Saturday, October 4, 2008

Palin vs. Biden: Scenes From a Debate

Since when does being poised and confident make you qualified to run for the second most powerful position in the land?? That is my question to all the people who are using this argument in defense of Palin doing a good job on Thurs! I am poised and confident speaking in front of a crowd. Hell, maybe I can be the next VP!!! Anyway, here are some thoughts shared with the New York Times about Thursday's debates.....

(Letters to the Editor of the NY Times)

To The Editor:

Re “Cordial but Pointed, Palin and Biden Face Off” (front page, Oct. 3):

In the first and only debate between the vice-presidential candidates, Gov. Sarah Palin looked great. She sounded great. At first glance, it looked as if she hit a home run.

Only problem is, she consistently and consciously ignored the questions posed by the moderator and went directly to her talking points that the McCain team drilled into her so successfully.

She looked into the camera and said, point-blank, that she didn’t care what questions were asked, that she was determined to speak directly to the people, without any filters from the media. She took this opportunity to give a political speech.

We must remind ourselves that this was a debate, not a speaking engagement. And when you look at it in that way, she struck out. John Fineberg

St. Paul, Oct. 3, 2008

To the Editor:

Today the race starts anew. Sarah Palin’s eloquent, plain-spoken performance in Thursday night’s debate reset the clock.

Sure, she dodged some questions, but that only proves her ability as a politician. Conventional wisdom says nobody votes for vice president in a presidential election, but that was then. Now, I think lots of regular Americans will vote for the Republican ticket because they want to vote for her. In fact, they’re probably thinking that she’d be a better opponent for Barack Obama than John McCain is. Tim Burke

Middletown, N.J., Oct. 3, 2008

To the Editor:

The most telling point in the debate for me was Gwen Ifill’s question about whether the Constitution places the Office of the Vice President completely within the executive branch.

Sarah Palin gave a rambling, disjointed nonanswer as she desperately tried to segue back into one of the stock answers she had practiced with her handlers.

Joseph R. Biden Jr., on the other hand, gave a reasoned and coherent answer that showed he was familiar with the Constitution and how Vice President Dick Cheney has overstepped its restrictions. John Robison

Westfield, N.J., Oct. 3, 2008

To the Editor:

Sarah Palin proved her critics wrong, showing that she has what it takes to be vice president. Under intense scrutiny, Ms. Palin stood her ground on Thursday night and calmed fears about her abilities, showing poise and confidence.

Ginny Tretter

Trent, Ohio, Oct. 3, 2008

To the Editor:

Ironically, the vice-presidential debate hurt the McCain campaign, because Sarah Palin performed unexpectedly well.

By showing that she was at least competent enough to debate, the focus shifted from Ms. Palin’s fitness for office to the positions and strategies of the McCain campaign.

Ms. Palin sought to portray John McCain as a longtime proponent of increased regulation of Wall Street. She sought to portray Mr. McCain as a hero of the Iraq war for his support of the surge while ignoring his central role in leading the country into this disastrous war of choice under false pretenses.

As Ms. Palin clearly articulated Mr. McCain’s central positions and Joseph R. Biden Jr. responded, it was clear that there was neither factual nor logical support for Mr. McCain’s positions.

The weakness of the Republican position would not have been nearly as obvious if Ms. Palin had stumbled and made the evening about her qualifications.

David VanSpeybroeck

Portland, Ore., Oct. 3, 2008

To the Editor:

Your Oct. 3 editorial “The Vice-Presidential Debate” gets it just right when it says that Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. left Sarah Palin “way behind on most issues.”

Indeed, an apt analogy would be to a newcomer to the world of running taking on a world-class sprinter in a 100-meter dash. The expectation is that the newcomer will surely lose and might even fall during the race, and many watch expecting to see the newcomer embarrass himself. But when he completes the race without falling, many applaud his success, though he lost the race by a large margin.

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