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Sarah Palin may be a better debater than you think
October 1, 2008 3:34 PM   Subscribe

Sarah Palin may be a better debater than you think... Sarah Palin, much derided for reasons best not gone over again, may be a better debater than people tend to think. Andrew Halcro, a Republican from Alaska says, "I've debated Governor Palin more than two dozen times. And she's a master, not of facts, figures, or insightful policy recommendations, but at the fine art of the nonanswer, the glittering generality. Against such charms there is little Senator Biden, or anyone, can do."
posted by datter (1422 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
We'll see about that.
posted by iamkimiam at 3:36 PM on October 1, 2008


[obligatory master debater joke]
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:37 PM on October 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


That's not debate, that's avoiding debate.

Unfortunately, that won't be how a large chunk of America sees it.

*sigh*
posted by Aquaman at 3:37 PM on October 1, 2008 [13 favorites]


Just for the record, I agree with the FPP: I believe she'll come across better than she does in the Couric interviews. There's a difference, of course, between being a better debater than we think and being a good debater... but I believe that it will not be the horror-show trainwreck that has mefites salivating in glee (me included).
posted by fingers_of_fire at 3:39 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Go back and watch some of George W's debates against Ann Richards, then tell me where the bumbling idiot came from.
posted by waraw at 3:41 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


I heard she's a leviathan of forensics.
posted by designbot at 3:42 PM on October 1, 2008


Let's see what Gwen Ifill lets her get away with.
posted by troybob at 3:43 PM on October 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm praying that she'll be overcome by the Spirit and start speaking in tongues.
posted by RussHy at 3:44 PM on October 1, 2008 [15 favorites]


This was already covered in another thread, and my previous thoughts on this stand: Palin is a fraud, attempting lame imitations of people who are actually good at rhetoric, who also happen to have the knowledge and intelligence to back it up. Yes, she'll get anecdotal and hokey. There may even be tears. But this isn't "debating", not by any definition.

That said, I'm grateful for the creation of this thread, because the other Palin thread has become unwieldy, and the VP debate looms hours from now.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:45 PM on October 1, 2008 [4 favorites]


I'm wondering if she will amp up the folksiness or tone it down.

Welcome VP debate thread. May you live long.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 3:45 PM on October 1, 2008


Ya know, when John first announced his running mate, I got all excited.. It was the perfect pair, Maverick couldn't have done better..

then, I realized it was "Palin", not "Paladin"...and my perfect cowboy Presidential slate was dashed to pieces..

/have gun, will travel, reads the card of a man.....
posted by HuronBob at 3:45 PM on October 1, 2008 [7 favorites]


I don't think that counts, RussHy. Unless she shows evidence of stigmata, of course.
posted by paddbear at 3:46 PM on October 1, 2008


Let's see what Gwen Ifill lets her get away with.

Likely quite a bit, given the raking over the coals that Ifill's gotten in the past couple of days.
posted by blucevalo at 3:46 PM on October 1, 2008


Unfortunately for her preparers, intelligence is not a fungible commodity.
posted by clearly at 3:47 PM on October 1, 2008 [6 favorites]


My current theory of her reminds of me of a rule of thumb when scouting sports talent, especially high school basketball, and hey, she was a high school basketball star ...

Oftentimes, you see a high school basketball star get flayed at the college level, because up until that time, they've always been the best player on the court, and their game is centered around using their built-in talent advantage only. They have no flexibility in dealing with a challenge outside of their experience.

This is especially true with bigger players -- centers and forwards. It's quite possible that the monster 6-foot-8, 18-year-old player that is torching his town or county has never played against someone their own size. Their game is all about managing their talent within a certain sphere of competition, and their repertoire of moves is suited only to that sphere. When faced with someone their own size for the first time, that nifty drop step and jump hook that's been working for you for 10 years might just get swatted away...

This is Sarah Palin. She charmed Alaska, because the competition wasn't as fierce. She got away with one against Charles Gibson, because she's able to handle a man with a back-handed "Oh, Charlie..."

But up against Katie Couric ... suddenly, none of the tried-and-true tactics work. She can't brush off Katie Couric in the same way as everyone else. Perky doesn't work against perky. Oh shit. Uh, uh. Putin! Yeah. Russia! It's ... it's right next door! He's raising his head ... and we ... and we send those out (fighter planes from Elmendorf AFB?) to ... keep an eye on him ... uhh ... help?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:48 PM on October 1, 2008 [82 favorites]


McCain/Palin 08: Lowered Expectaaaaations.
posted by stavrogin at 3:48 PM on October 1, 2008 [32 favorites]


Have you stopped beating your lover?
posted by elpapacito at 3:49 PM on October 1, 2008


This thread will be deleted by a mod. Previous political threads bear this out.
posted by eyeballkid at 3:50 PM on October 1, 2008


It will not be deleted. I bet some sweet homeade moose stew on it you commie bastard.
posted by eyeballkid at 3:51 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


This thread MUST NOT blink.
posted by mazola at 3:51 PM on October 1, 2008 [20 favorites]


Whether this is the case or not, my hope is that it just won't fly anymore. If this debate were held right after the conventions (and before all these interviews revealing her love of said generalities/non-answers), I think she could have gotten away with it, but folks will be on the lookout for that type of jibba jabba now and will (hopefully) call her out on it. Hopefully.
posted by Mrmuhnrmuh at 3:52 PM on October 1, 2008


When Palin threads are outlawed, only outlaws will have Palin threads.
posted by RussHy at 3:52 PM on October 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


This thread will be deleted by a mod. Previous political threads bear this out.
posted by eyeballkid at 3:50 PM on October 1

It will not be deleted. I bet some sweet homeade moose stew on it you commie bastard.
posted by eyeballkid at 3:51 PM on October 1
?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:52 PM on October 1, 2008 [4 favorites]


Hey, is this a Democratic meme that was started so that when Palin looks halfway decent, Democrats can claim that they knew that she was okay? As opposed to painting her as an idiot, and when she presents a decent showing it makes the Democrats look like idiots?

I think so.

Man, to be a political strategist. In the last eight years, people have become so polarized that manipulating the base has become child's play. And they get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars and get decent Cabinet level appointments to make people act like idiots pre-election. 5 more weeks! 5 more weeks!
posted by SeizeTheDay at 3:52 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Experts, Polls and Focus Groups All Confirm That Biden Stomped Palin in Tomorrow Night's Debate"
posted by Class Goat at 3:54 PM on October 1, 2008


Sarah Palin was able to debate well in Alaskan political debates because she's a native Alaskan with a grasp of Alaskan issues. But she has demonstrated over the past month that she was completely ignorant of US and world politics before being tapped for VP, and I don't think you can cram for the potential-leader-of-the-free-world test in a few weeks' time.

It came out recently that she couldn't name a Supreme Court case other than Roe vs Wade. She is not going to dominate Joe Biden, of all people, in a debate about US politics.
posted by showbiz_liz at 3:55 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Being the best debater in Alaska is sort of like being the tannest person in LA.
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 3:55 PM on October 1, 2008 [13 favorites]


Hey, is this a Democratic meme that was started so that when Palin looks halfway decent, Democrats can claim that they knew that she was okay? As opposed to painting her as an idiot, and when she presents a decent showing it makes the Democrats look like idiots?

What do you mean, "when", Kimosabe?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:55 PM on October 1, 2008


Let's see what Gwen Ifill lets her get away with.

Likely quite a bit, given the raking over the coals that Ifill's gotten in the past couple of days.


It hasn't been so bad...just a weak protest that will help the talk-radio crowd make excuses for Palin, if necessary, after the debate. I don't imagine Ifill would give in to that kind of intimidation.

The press is still pushing the Biden 'gaffe' thing, which isn't as bad as they make it out, considering the amount of stuff he has said, and for how many years. Every non-campaign-controlled Palin exposure has so far been a gaffe riot. It's not as if Biden isn't being rehearsed on what to avoid, and he's starting from the position of actually knowing something about the world. I'm guessing her platform is going to rely more on insults and one-liners, as she did at the convention, which will increase the spectacle factor, but it won't hold much water in post-debate analysis.
posted by troybob at 3:56 PM on October 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


I believe it. Partly because of a political sulking complex I have where every time I get involved in following politics, hoping for an exciting change, I'm always disappointed. And I'm watching the VP debates. Not getting my hopes up.
posted by crapmatic at 3:56 PM on October 1, 2008


She will wear a swimsuit.
posted by A189Nut at 3:56 PM on October 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


Leviathan? Are they saying she's fat?
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 3:57 PM on October 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


In a lot of ways she's just a prettier, slightly more coherent, more appealing version of Bush.

Bush 2.0 08!!
posted by moonshine at 4:00 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


So we're lowering our expectations for Biden now? Is this a debate or a limbo competition?
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:00 PM on October 1, 2008 [2 favorites]




All Biden has to do is look and speak competent, state the facts, and ignore her. Just let Palin writhe in the discomfort of her own futility. Let her debate her own ignorance.
posted by bukharin at 4:00 PM on October 1, 2008 [17 favorites]


Both sides of the debate are going to be hyperinflated. If Palin says anything even remotely ditzy or vacant it'll be YouTubed as proof of her idiocy. If Biden coughs it'll be declared an example of his inability to restrain his own mouth. Twenty bucks says all three of the major cable nets will have "body language experts" on withing 24 hours of the debate to explain what Palin and Biden "meant" by what they were "saying" that us "intelligent human beings" couldn't "see" with our own "eyes."

Expectations are lowered on both sides. Basically Biden has to not appear like a dick and Palin has to, well, pretty much not fart on camera and both sides will declare victory.

Palin's problem isn't that she's stupid. It's that she does not know how to bullshit. ("I read all of them." Really?) She gives Miss America answers to what she thinks can be cast as Miss America questions and the national stage doesn't swallow it.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:00 PM on October 1, 2008 [5 favorites]


gaffe riot, heh.
posted by cortex at 4:01 PM on October 1, 2008


If Biden is smart he will do nothing. Take the Obama approach. State your points and let the other side be the crazies they are. You don't need execute people who are already going to hang themselves.
posted by srboisvert at 4:01 PM on October 1, 2008 [3 favorites]


So we're lowering our expectations for Biden now? Is this a debate or a limbo competition?

Well, not really, he's just going to be out of his element. He's used to debating qualified people and mocking them when they say something stupid. If he pulls that tomorrow it might be akin to throwing her a life raft so he has to change his entire debate persona
posted by slapshot57 at 4:03 PM on October 1, 2008


I believe it. Partly because of a political sulking complex I have where every time I get involved in following politics, hoping for an exciting change, I'm always disappointed. And I'm watching the VP debates. Not getting my hopes up.

I keep torturing my wife by pointing out that the Obama hype is quite similar to the Tony Blair hype the UK had when he was elected.
posted by srboisvert at 4:04 PM on October 1, 2008 [5 favorites]


Marbury's advice to Sarah Palin.
posted by Ritchie at 4:04 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Go back and watch some of George W's debates against Ann Richards...

Oh, how I miss Ann Richards!

'Poor George. He can't help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth.'
posted by ericb at 4:04 PM on October 1, 2008 [24 favorites]


the fine art of the nonanswer

Hmm... the examples we have seen of this have not been so great.
posted by Artw at 4:06 PM on October 1, 2008


I keep torturing my wife by pointing out that the Obama hype is quite similar to the Tony Blair hype the UK had when he was elected.

Oh you fucker.

It kind of is. And I hate that fucker Blair now more than anyone.
posted by Artw at 4:07 PM on October 1, 2008 [4 favorites]


I'm firmly convinced that Palin is going to exceed expectations for tomorrow's debate. The structure of the VP debates will allow for her to essentially memorize speeches and talking points to sound coherent. With expectations for her so low, it'll seem like a triumph to her supporters and perhaps a few who would otherwise be somewhat on the fence. It won't quite be a political masterstroke, but it won't be a complete disaster. The air surrounding this debate of waiting for a Republican trainwreck might be setting up us trainwreck-lovers for a bit of a disappointment, and the result might make those predicting such a trainwreck look like a bunch of meanies to those who will either eventually support Palin or at least figure she's not so terrible.

It reminds me of the expectations some people had in 2004 that Kerry would trounce Bush in the debates, turning the entire country into a cacophony of Bush-hatred. Didn't happen. Kerry was a better debater in some respects, but he was charmless, and Bush eventually recovered from his initial missteps on the level of pure delivery - after all, "you forgot Poland!" might make us giggle, but it didn't come off as quite so ridiculous to a good chunk of the country. I also remember at least one political cartoon from the time trying to make the point that it was impossible for Cheney to triumph over Edwards, but I feel like Cheney got some surprised credit even from his enemies for how well he handled himself in a debate format, even if they otherwise found his ideas and presence odious. (It didn't help things, at least for myself, that I've always found something unseemly about Edwards, for reasons I can't quite put my finger on, not then and not now.)

We'll see, though. All I need is for Obama/Biden to win, not for the complete and total humiliation of Sarah Palin.
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:09 PM on October 1, 2008 [5 favorites]


It's funny. I watched Bull Durham this afternoon, and at one point, Crash tells the kid something like "Meat, everybody in the Show has a fastball."

Palin is in the Show. She isn't ready.
posted by rtha at 4:11 PM on October 1, 2008 [3 favorites]


She's burned so much (undeserved) goodwill so far, I hope the moderator stops for a fact check if Palin is asked her name.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:12 PM on October 1, 2008


I'm firmly convinced that Palin is going to exceed expectations for tomorrow's debate.

All Palin has to do is show up to "win", really. Let's be clear: the expectations are so low that simply being alive and breathing is a victory. So long as she doesn't repeat her Couric performance, she'll be fine, unfortunately.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:13 PM on October 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


People seem to predict that she'll either crash and burn, or win with evil genius. My guess is she's a little more savvy than she seems.

I'm expecting to be annoyed, not horrified or entertained.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 4:14 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Slightly less than 50 hours for McCain to suspend his campaign again and attempt to cancel the VP debate.
posted by brain cloud at 4:15 PM on October 1, 2008


Slightly less than 50 hours for McCain to suspend his campaign again and attempt to cancel the VP debate.

I was half-expecting Palin to show up in Congress this week to try to grab credit for passage of a bailout bill, the way McCain tried to do last week, when he thought it was a foregone conclusion.
posted by troybob at 4:17 PM on October 1, 2008


[obligatory master debater joke]

That's what she said?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:18 PM on October 1, 2008


Incidentally, this piece by Matt Taibbi about Sarah Palin is fun.
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:21 PM on October 1, 2008 [26 favorites]


Is there a Sarah Palin VP Debate Drinking Game (tm) yet?
posted by afx114 at 4:22 PM on October 1, 2008


I also remember at least one political cartoon from the time trying to make the point that it was impossible for Cheney to triumph over Edwards, but I feel like Cheney got some surprised credit even from his enemies for how well he handled himself in a debate format, even if they otherwise found his ideas and presence odious.

But Cheney and Edwards are both intelligent people. Also, if anything, Edwards came across as a newbie prettyboy compared to encased-in-marble Cheney. And Bush/Kerry? Yeah, I think Biden possesses a bit more charm and personality than Kerry.

As much as I just love thinking about 20034, I'd have to agree with others in this thread that Biden should and probably will go Obama on this one - staying on message, ignoring the opponent. Let her talk about workin' all her life, or being a hockey mom, or Trig. Biden can and should just keep coming back to the issues, all framed within the central important message of McCain = Bush.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:23 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thank you for posting this. Anyone expecting Palin to crash and burn at tomorrow night's debate is going to be sorely disappointed. This analysis over at Daily Kos articulates it much better than I can. Basically, the debate format is a gift to her; without sufficient follow-up opportunity in the debate rules, Palin won't be forced to think on her feet and will be able to throw out the sploosh of generalities that she's so good at without really answering the question. By merely forming complete sentences and not being pressed for more substantive responsive, she will sound like a superstar, and deliver more of that partisan buzzword crap that she was so good at during her RNC speech. At this point, the media is probably more interested in relaying a comeback narrative for her, that it can change the momentum in Obama's direction.
I hope I'm wrong about this, and that maybe being forced to articulate basic foreign policy and economic policy will be beyond her, far more complicated that articulating issues in Alaska politics and local issues.
But with a week of debate prep, I would think that even she could manage to memorize enough basic stock answers to get her through with flying colors if her responses are left unchallenged. Even if I'm wrong, though, and she fails miserably, the wingnuts will portray Gwen Ifill as a one-eyed partisan cacodaemon hellbent on destroying McCain and subverting her with "gotcha" attacks.
So I'm not seeing any winning scenario for the Dems from the debate tomorrow, other than somehow maintaining the status quo.
posted by Dr. Zira at 4:24 PM on October 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


I had this weird dream where Palin shows up for the debate drunk and starts asking Biden things like "do you want to fuck me? John wants to fuck me." And it went downhill from there. Biden just looks slightly appalled.

My fantasy world is much more lively than the real world.
posted by maxwelton at 4:26 PM on October 1, 2008 [45 favorites]


1) the american people will completely fail to deconstruct palin's non-answers and digest her grammatical horrors without complaint.

2) the media will dither about her performance. they'll call an evasion a skillful redirection, a panicked stall a dramatic pause. they'll point to biden's sweaty old-man brow and nod approvingly about how she had him on the run.

3) palin will complain (rightly) about the inane democratic comedy surrounding beauty contestants, teenage pregnancy and moose stew.

4) bump!
posted by klanawa at 4:27 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Is there a Sarah Palin VP Debate Drinking Game (tm) yet?

Yes, it's called "the rampant alcoholism in Alaska."
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:28 PM on October 1, 2008 [29 favorites]


Great, and the next day half the country will be marveling at America’s sweetheart and vilifying the press for bullying her
posted by freshundies at 4:30 PM on October 1, 2008


I'm guessing she uses up all three lifelines in the first half hour but then again, I've been watching that Tina Fey video way too much this week.
posted by Ber at 4:34 PM on October 1, 2008


She can turn a 60-second response to a query about her specific solutions to healthcare challenges into a folksy story about how she's met people on the campaign trail who face healthcare challenges. All without uttering a word about her public-policy solutions to healthcare challenges.

Unfortunately, yes. I'm sure there will be lots of this.

Why does Obama hate people with healthcare challenges?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:36 PM on October 1, 2008


Wait...people are painting Gwen Ifill as a liberal partisan? I thought it was pretty common knowledge that she's Condi's special friend.
posted by Biblio at 4:40 PM on October 1, 2008


Dr. Zira pretty much nails it. The debate has been structured as a gimme for Palin. It's a non-debate-debate. More like an extended interview with both candidates. I'm thinking of taking a big ol' pass on this one.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:42 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sara Palin is Dubya in drag. Why that would help is beyond me, but the Republicans have arcane knowledge about that shit.
posted by Huplescat at 4:42 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think that to a certain degree, the Republicans are relieved by the bad press she's gotten this week. Recall W in 2000. Expectations had be lowered so far, that the mere fact he could string two sentences together was "proof" that he wasn't so dumb.

Unlike the first Obama/McCain debate, the format is about challenge and response. All she has to do is go into "pitbull" mode, a la her convention speech, and attack Obama on some subject remotely related to the question without actually needing to answer.

While I wouldn't go so far as to predict a win for Palin, my guess is that she'll come off relatively unscathed. After all, they do train beauty queens for poise.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 4:43 PM on October 1, 2008


Take a look at this debate between Sarkozy and Royal in the last French election. There are moderators, but the candidates are sitting at a table, looking at each other and actually debating.

Think about what passes for "debate" in this country--short speeches, with a bit of spontaneous follow-ups from the moderator and short arguments from the opponents. In the McCain/Obama debate recently, Jim Lehrer at least tried to mix this up, telling both of them to address each other, and Obama was game, but McCain just wanted to speechify.

Palin will do the same, and based on her very well received Repub. convention speech, I suspect she'll do quite well in that sense. It all depends on how hard Gwen Ifil nails her with her many, many inconsistencies, or for that matter Biden. I know the Republicans set some strict guidelines for this debate, in favor of Palin, so it remains to be seen how the format can remove her (or Biden) from the script (though Biden needs no script; that guy would debate himself given the chance). She'll do much better than in formal, sit down interviews; she can't really do any worse than she did with Gibson and Couric.

I think after the debate we'll be hearing how she "did great!" from the right, based solely on her speeches. Remember, debates are a Rorschach test, especially for those of us who have made up our minds.
posted by zardoz at 4:43 PM on October 1, 2008 [7 favorites]


Do they have access to the questions beforehand? I heard they do from someone but cannot see that in the rules anywhere.
posted by H. Roark at 4:44 PM on October 1, 2008


Fellow citizens
In the name of peace, peace on earth
We are committed to war in Iraq.
I'm the person who gets to decide, not you — from Bush of George [remix of Bowie/Eno's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts — "Help Me Somebody". [RHS, Track 01 by Mentalhealth]].

This is what you're talking about RussHy, yeh¿

Hee-Hee. Obfuscation and stonewalling isn't debating. The Moderator hopefully has a gong if S.Palin gets off topic and brings her back to answering the question. Short and sweet like.
posted by alicesshoe at 4:46 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know, I was going to vote for Obama becfause I thought he would be good with the economy, and I thought he had a sensible position on foreign affairs, and I thought he was bright and cool. Buit now, after watching Palin, I decided to switch and vote for McCain
posted by Postroad at 4:50 PM on October 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


MAKE IT GO AWAY
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:52 PM on October 1, 2008


Is there a Sarah Palin VP Debate Drinking Game (tm) yet?
Drink whenever you remember that there's a decent chance that this woman will become the President of the United States of America.

I know I'll need a stiff one whenever that occurs.
posted by Flunkie at 4:52 PM on October 1, 2008 [14 favorites]


Bear in mind that one of the things that tripped her up with Katie C. was her inability to deal with follow-ups - all kudos to KC for being forceful in that regard. Governor Palin is not going to crash and burn tomorrow night, I predict. Unless Joe is able to figure out a way to put her on the spot while remaining within the agreed upon rules.



like the awesome debate scene in the 3rd season of the West Wing. Where have you gone, Aaron Sorkin? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 4:52 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


I wonder how soon the media will go into self-analysis mode on this. I read that there was some threat to stop covering Palin, given the lack of access, and that's why she did the UN reporter thing. But they're still hyping her like a celebrity. I usually stay away from TV news, but the couple times I've caught CNN this week, Anderson Cooper has been running Palin stories that are teased throughout the whole show, at every commercial break, and then shown in the last few minutes. I'm bothered enough that they've allowed the campaign to lead them around--they blame the press for every screw-up, and then the reporters still eat up every morsel (which is what Bush has done with the press for years, and they're still suckers for it), but at what point are they creating the hype as opposed to just reporting it?
posted by troybob at 4:55 PM on October 1, 2008


And Now... Deep Thoughts (Supreme Court Edition), with Sarah Palin.
posted by scody at 4:59 PM on October 1, 2008 [3 favorites]


It came out recently that she couldn't name a Supreme Court case other than Roe vs Wade. She is not going to dominate Joe Biden, of all people, in a debate about US politics.
COURIC: What other Supreme Court decisions [than Roe v. Wade] do you disagree with?

PALIN: Well, let's see. There's --of course --in the great history of America rulings there have been rulings, that's never going to be absolute consensus by every American. And there are--those issues, again, like Roe v Wade where I believe are best held on a state level and addressed there. So you know--going through the history of America, there would be others but--

COURIC: Can you think of any?

PALIN: Well, I could think of--of any again, that could be best dealt with on a more local level. Maybe I would take issue with. But you know, as mayor, and then as governor and even as a Vice President, if I'm so privileged to serve, wouldn't be in a position of changing those things but in supporting the law of the land as it reads today.
Video.
posted by ericb at 4:59 PM on October 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


I need a widget that beeps every time there's a new election thread that isn't going to get deleted.
posted by Bookhouse at 5:00 PM on October 1, 2008


scody -- jinx, you owe me a Coke.
posted by ericb at 5:00 PM on October 1, 2008


However, according to my calculations, her opponents were all Alaskans.
posted by DU at 5:02 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


> PALIN: Well, I could think of--

Well, there you have it. She *could* have thought of some other court cases, she just didn't feel like it. EAT SHIT LIBIRUL MEDIA
posted by The Card Cheat at 5:04 PM on October 1, 2008 [4 favorites]


>I wonder how soon the media will go into self-analysis mode on this... at what point are they creating the hype as opposed to just reporting it?

It won't, and the point at which they create the hype happens the sentence after stating the premise.

Based on, as you pointed out, 8 years of spineless journalism and talking heads occupying hours of not saying much of anything but what the administration wants them to, the media will continue to celebritize Sarah Palin because that's what she is and that's why people watch TV.
posted by blastrid at 5:04 PM on October 1, 2008


After two decades abroad, timezones still make my brain lock up. It's Friday morning here in Korea, which means the debate should be starting relatively soon over there, yeah?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:04 PM on October 1, 2008


Ifill will absolutely not care about what some bloggers are saying, even if they're violently tweeting it as well.
posted by raysmj at 5:04 PM on October 1, 2008


Goddamn San Francisco values: Palin Syrah Wine Sales Compromised by Sarah Palin.
posted by ericb at 5:05 PM on October 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


stavros, you still got another 25 hours.

but it's never too early to start drinking.
posted by blastrid at 5:05 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Perky doesn't work against perky.

Ifil isn't perky, but I bet it doesn't work against her either. Her and Lehrer--they have serious game face.
posted by DU at 5:06 PM on October 1, 2008


and the VP debate looms hours from now.

Uh, isn't it tomorrow (Thursday) night?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:06 PM on October 1, 2008


I remember when debates meant two politicans arguing rationally and respectfully with each other directly.

Of course, we had to wear an onion on our belt at the time.
posted by Aquaman at 5:07 PM on October 1, 2008 [10 favorites]


That Supreme Court video... she's a child who finds herself up in front of the class giving a book report on a book she has never cracked open.
posted by Flunkie at 5:08 PM on October 1, 2008 [4 favorites]


> Perky doesn't work against perky.

In certain other, uh, genres, it works very well indeed.
posted by you just lost the game at 5:11 PM on October 1, 2008


Joe Biden is gruffly charming and dad-like. Gruff trumps perky and perhaps the dad thing will make her confess that she hasn't done her homework. Spankings are optional.
posted by jonmc at 5:11 PM on October 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


And she's a master, not of facts, figures, or insightful policy recommendations, but at the fine art of the nonanswer, the glittering generality. Against such charms there is little Senator Biden, or anyone, can do."

Unless, of course, everyone is waiting to see her prove she's got the chops to be president, in which case, the non-answer is the worst possible reply. People who think this is about whether or not Joe Biden "beats" Palin don't get it. This is about whether or not people think she is the type of person fit for the job of the Presidency. Right now, she has not sold the country on that.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:12 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


From this link, here's one of her (non-)answers she used in a debate with Andrew Halcro which pretty much sums up her strategy:

"Andrew, I watch you at these debates with no notes, no papers, and yet when asked questions, you spout off facts, figures, and policies, and I'm amazed. But then I look out into the audience and I ask myself, 'Does any of this really matter?'"
posted by symbollocks at 5:13 PM on October 1, 2008 [15 favorites]


BIDEN: Air that has too much coal in it, corn syrup next, then a terrorist attack. But that is not in any way to diminish the fact that a terrorist attack is real, but hundreds of thousands of people die and their lives are shortened because of coal plants, coal-fired plants, and because of corn syrup.


BIDEN: Why is it that Joe Biden is the first in his family ever to go to a university? Is it because I'm the first Biden in a thousand generations to get a college and a graduate degree?



BIDEN: Uh, uh, Chuck Graham, state senator, is here. Stand up, Chuck. Let 'em see you. Oh, God love you. What am I talking about? I tell you what, you're making everybody else stand up, though, pal. I tell you what, stand up for Chuck.



BIDEN: Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be vice president of the United States of America. Let's get that straight. She's a truly close personal friend. She is qualified to be president of the United States of America. She's easily qualified to be vice president of the United States of America. And, quite frankly, um, it might have been a better pick than me. (rimshot) But she's first rate.


BIDEN: Part of what a leader does is to instill confidence, to demonstrate that he or she knows what they're talking about and communicates to people. If you listen to me and follow what I'm suggesting, we can fix this. Stock market crash, Franklin Roosevelt got on television and didn't just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed, he said, "Look, here's what happened."
posted by shockingbluamp at 5:15 PM on October 1, 2008 [3 favorites]


Let's see what Gwen Ifill lets her get away with.
Likely quite a bit, given the raking over the coals that Ifill's gotten in the past couple of days.
I sincerely doubt that Gwen Ifill is going to let any shit fly.

"The big meanies are being mean to me" might impress Palin supporters, but it's not going to faze Gwen Ifill.
posted by Flunkie at 5:18 PM on October 1, 2008


shockingbluamp, I fully expect your psot to vanish soon because MetaFilter is not abou exchange of free ideas but the current mood--biased opinios of the webmaster.
posted by Flunkie at 5:20 PM on October 1, 2008 [8 favorites]


From the Kos piece:

"Andrew, I watch you at these debates with no notes, no papers, and yet when asked questions, you spout off facts, figures, and policies, and I'm amazed. But then I look out into the audience and I ask myself, 'Does any of this really matter?' " Palin said.

My hunch is that she is correct, and that we are fucked.
posted by everichon at 5:26 PM on October 1, 2008 [4 favorites]


Oh, how I miss Ann Richards!

Can you imagine a debate between Ann Richards and Sarah Palin ... moderated by Barbara Jordan?
posted by ericb at 5:26 PM on October 1, 2008 [8 favorites]


After two decades abroad, timezones still make my brain lock up. It's Friday morning here in Korea, which means the debate should be starting relatively soon over there, yeah?

stavros, you still got another 25 hours.

but it's never too early to start drinking.


Um. Stav. *cough* It's Thursday morning in Korea-- long night?
posted by eyeballkid at 5:28 PM on October 1, 2008


Uh, isn't it tomorrow (Thursday) night?

Yes, less than 20 hours from now. I'm counting the hours. That's just how excited I am.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:28 PM on October 1, 2008


I fully expect your psot to vanish soon...

It'll be a double-secret super-vanishing with a heaping helping of disappearment on top.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:28 PM on October 1, 2008


Being the best debater in Alaska is sort of like being the tannest person in LA.

Wait... what? Isn't it more like being the tannest person in Alaska?
posted by one_bean at 5:29 PM on October 1, 2008 [7 favorites]


jonmc: why, oh why, did you make the spankings optional?

spankings should always be required...
posted by Crabby Appleton at 5:30 PM on October 1, 2008


Also: Sarah Palin reflects on her relationship with her "First Dude," Todd Palin.
posted by scody at 5:34 PM on October 1, 2008


Ah Palin threads, how soon they grow up into unwieldy beasts and are abandoned by their creators, only to be replaced with fresher, newer, trophy-threads. I place my bookmark upon this newest incarnation, so that I may come back to marvel at it's growth.
posted by dejah420 at 5:35 PM on October 1, 2008 [3 favorites]


Better debater than I think? Maybe. Better flutist? Not quite...
posted by mr.curmudgeon at 5:35 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Probably linked somewhere in tone of the other threads...Palin on Charlie Rose October 2007. In the first 4 minutes, Charlie Rose asks a question about most pressing issues in their respective states. Listen to the differences between Napolitano's answer and Palin's answer.

I'm starting to suspect that she sees her ability to pivot away from a topic she doesn't want to talk about as a feature and not a bug. It would have been totally easy for her to just give her version of whatever Napolitano said about education, but instead, she goes with the energy non-sequitur. I'm guessing she heard Charlie's original question, started preparing her energy answer, didn't listen to Napolitano's answer, and was caught off guard when Charlie turned to her and asked her about education, and not the question she was expecting.

I give her points for the pivot, but she's lacking the basic political skill of reframing the question and not the answer. Bill Clinton was the master of this.

I think her challenge for tomorrow will be not overcoming expectations, but setting new ones. If she tries to prove how smart she is, she'll fail. If she tries to re-establish her image as a pit-bull, she'll succeed.

I think Palin can "win" tomorrow's debate in the eyes of the public, but the Obama campaign is not running a "public opinion" strategy. Whatever their expected outcome is for the night, they'll probably hit their mark.
posted by billyfleetwood at 5:36 PM on October 1, 2008 [3 favorites]


stavrosthewonderchicken, you can watch the Canadian Political Debate now. Translated into English [they're debating in French - RHS, 'Audio & Video' —Leaders Debate].

Party leaders are all sitting around a table. 5 party's are represented, including the Green Party and Bloc Québecois-really only in Québec.

Some questions were asked by citizens on the street in Québec.
posted by alicesshoe at 5:37 PM on October 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


If I understand correctly, shockingbluamp is posting those Biden quotes as examples of 'gaffes'.

One of the many things that never ceases to surprise me about the degree to which the faux-conflict mongering doucheballoon media controls the framing of the way politics are done in America, and the way in which so many people seem to lap it up blithely, is this idea of making 'gaffes'.

What I hear when I read those Biden quotes is honesty. I have a great respect for people who say what they think, at least when it is clear that they've actually thought about things a bit before speaking. Think, in other words, being the key idea here. That they actually have considered opinions, not talking points. There is no conceivable reason, to me, to prefer packaged, memorized, content-free scripted responses by politicians on important issues, even if I disagree with the opinion in question.

I think in part it derives from a basic assumption (which may not be entirely incorrect in presidential politics) that politicians lie constantly. That they never speak the unvarnished truth about anything. I also think a major part of why this race and the Democratic candidates are so exciting to me and many others is that in Obama and Biden, we have two politicians who to some degree are basing their campaign on trying, as much as it is possible, to break out of that mold, to think deeply about issues, to be unafraid to display their intelligence, and to be willing to speak off-the-cuff, with all the danger of 'gaffes' that that implies, and to depend on the intelligence of the electorate to see that there is more value to that than stage-management and scripting and spin, and to buy into it philosophically as a game-changer.

There are still many people who are stuck in the old game, clearly.

I don't think Obama and Biden are all that different, but I think they're trying, and after the endless parade of soundbitey, principle-free scumbags in the last few decades-- Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan and their vices and vice-presidents -- it's a goddamn breath of fresh air.

Gaffe away, Joe, but speak from the heart and talk to us as if we're smart and aware and you have respect for us, and you'll win handily.

And if you don't, well, it's probably Second American Revolution time! And that'd be fun, too, at least to watch.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:40 PM on October 1, 2008 [45 favorites]


Um. Stav. *cough* It's Thursday morning in Korea-- long night?

Whoops, you're right. Tomorrow's a holiday here, so it feels like Friday. Carry on.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:41 PM on October 1, 2008


shockingbluamp--thanks for pointing those gaffes out, I'm just shocked, shocked! The thing about Biden's gaffes, what makes them fundamentally different from Palin's, is that no one really thinks Biden is stupid or unqualified. People think he's a windbag and talks way too much, and I agree. But at no point while listening to Biden do you think "Wow...this guy is a complete moron! He's just not knowledgeable enough!" The sheer volume of words that comes out of that man's mouth, his word-to-gaffe ratio, is probably really low. Palin's is sky-freakin'-high, at least at this point. That's what happens when your handlers don't let you speak.

Palin is different. She sounds dumb. Dumb in the sense that she doesn't know what she doesn't know, she just reckons that what she knows is good enough. Like Dubya, she's the kind of person who is so full of herself she can't really see her own failings and deficiencies. She would probably charm the pants off anyone in a face-to-face meeting, again like Bush seems to be able to do, but that should not be good enough to be leader of the free world.

That said, I think she'll probably do ok in the debate. Depends on the questions. Ultimately, though, she'll have to do more interviews and even (egad!) a press conference or two, and that'll be just as entertaining as the Couric interviews. Tina Fey will be busy for the next couple of weeks.
posted by zardoz at 5:44 PM on October 1, 2008 [5 favorites]


But is Joe Biden less of a douchebag than I think?
posted by mattholomew at 5:46 PM on October 1, 2008


All she has to do is show up. That's it. Her just showing up will give McCain a bump. Expectations are set so low that's all it will take.

To her target market she is a genius. Not a genius of intellect, mind you. No. That's for them egg heads who worry about them pesky facts.

Nope. Sarah, see, she's a genius of "Aw-shucks-hope-spun-good-ol' fashioned-common-sense." She don't need to know details or facts. The just needs to stand up, unblinking to problems... and ignore them.

Too bad it takes very uncommon sense to run a country that is on it's way to losing at least one of two fucked up wars and is possibly about to go into a second depression.

Anybody left who doubts my original premise of The American Moron deciding this election and Sarah Palin being their beacon? Yeah. Didn't think so.
posted by tkchrist at 5:48 PM on October 1, 2008


People who think this is about whether or not Joe Biden "beats" Palin don't get it. This is about whether or not people think she is the type of person fit for the job of the Presidency.

Unfortunately, those people also get to decide what "this is about".
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:48 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Given all the tiresome hand-wringing from more liberal types, and conservative posting of dumb Biden quotes (like those posted above, one of which just sounded like the introduction of someone and not a dumb quote per se), maybe expectations will be lowered for him as well. Meanwhile, I've been hearing reports from friends and family in the Deep South that Palin nuts didn't even bother the watch the Couric interview. All they've heard is her speech, plus Fox stuff, probably just the speech. They haven't a clue about her otherwise.
posted by raysmj at 5:50 PM on October 1, 2008


"I'd like to give my rebuttal time to Governor Palin. Perhaps she could use it to actually answer the question."

I see anything like that happen tomorrow night, and I'm going to hug my TV to death.
posted by MrVisible at 5:53 PM on October 1, 2008 [49 favorites]


Whenever I hear liberal hand-wringing, I figure the Obama team is either moving ahead or has an even shot. I haven't been proven wrong yet. There's always a first time, but ... How many went on and on about how Obama wasn't angry enough at McCain, how he should've blown up more about the Iraq war. Now he's ahead by either five to nine points in polls, depending on who you want to believe.
posted by raysmj at 5:53 PM on October 1, 2008 [5 favorites]


Here is what I really like about Palin. I miss teaching, something I had done for many many years, and when I hear her asked questions, I am instantly reminded of my dumb broad students--and yes, I can say that now that I am retired--who sounded exactly like her (guys do it too but not so well) and circle round and round and say nothing. Nada. Zip. Any teacher who has been in the game long enough knows this sort of fakery. I will now speak for all those teachers who have to endure such crap: We are not amused.
posted by Postroad at 5:55 PM on October 1, 2008 [13 favorites]


If there is a winning scenario for Obama tomorrow night, this is what it might look like: This is the TPM version of the now infamous "Roe v. Wade" video that ericb posted above. The TPM version includes Biden's response to the question right before Palin. When you have an opportunity to compare Biden's response to Palin's - back to back - the contrast is striking. Even without the Griswold privacy landmine that Katie Couric laid - and Palin stepped right into - the marked contrast between Biden and Palin may win the day if enough independent voters are impressed by the clear difference in knowledge. However, that presupposes that Palin is forced to answer the freaking questions without flipping the answer into an attack back at Obama/Biden. Unfortunately, I think what we're going to see tomorrow night is this formula: Question to Palin > Semi-coherent platitude + talking points + attack > Biden on defense
In that case, if Biden can just stay calm, cool, and collected, and (most importantly) disciplined, then your average independent/undecided voters may find comfort in his projection of resolute statesmanship, in marked contrast to her appearance as a shrill, mudslinging banshee.
Fortunately, few are better than turning a knife with a smile than Biden.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:04 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Postroad, your grammer stinks.

Bah. That's one of the most articulate comments I've seen Postroad make in the last 8 years!

For the student's sake.

There ought to be a Rule34-esque shorthand for the truism that whenever someone makes a snide comment on MeFi about another person's grammar or spelling, they inevitably make mistakes themselves. Amusing.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:05 PM on October 1, 2008


(like those posted above, one of which just sounded like the introduction of someone and not a dumb quote per se)

Chuck Graham is a parapalegic and can't stand up, is the "dumb" part there.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 6:06 PM on October 1, 2008


This thread MUST NOT blink.

Oh, but it must.
posted by JaredSeth at 6:06 PM on October 1, 2008 [4 favorites]


Metafilter sucks these days with every thread going over a hundred comments within hours. Matt is rich, we are poor. (Well, he deserves it, really, ten times over, but I am still sore.) Anyway, I lack the time to read all the comments that came before. We have become what we feared, Slashdot, where conversation is drowned out in the masses. Just look at the 5K Sarah Palin thread. For all this we do not have any better FPPs. The front page has been a wasteland of meh for the past few months. We get about one great post every several days instead of a couple per day. Perhaps it is the blandness of the internets not this site's failings though. Anyway.....

So she will not be a pushover. If Joe fails to come with his A game it will be bloody. She will just be vague and draw on her undeyning cuteness when in trouble. Joe, he will be awesome, until he oversteps and puts his foot in his mouth by telling her not to worry her pretty little head or some other dumb stunt. This is Joe's debate to lose. No one wins a debate, but candidates certainly lose them. Just because Sarah Palin is woefully unqualified to lead the country (go read about Andrew Jackson - dumb as a post, an unabashed redneck hick who prided his little, little brain on his being a sort of Joe Sixpack, and he was impeached due to is total incompetence) does not mean she can not debate effectively. Mastery of facts is secondary to mastery of your base. She may not be able to add double digit numbers in her head, or have actually read a newspaper in the last few decades, but she knows how to fake her way through erudition sufficient to convince the troglodytes who already support her, and perhaps even convince a few guys with woodys to do the same. At the very least I spoke today with a former McCain supporter who has changed sides over Palin's interview with Katie Couric. McCain has made a joke of the presidential election.
posted by caddis at 6:07 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think there's a lot of underestimating Biden going on as well...
posted by billyfleetwood at 6:08 PM on October 1, 2008 [12 favorites]


Dead on with your second paragraph, caddis. I wish we could give qualified favorites.
posted by JaredSeth at 6:11 PM on October 1, 2008


The debate rules were already dumbed down for Palin:
At the insistence of the McCain campaign, the Oct. 2 debate between the Republican nominee for vice president, Gov. Sarah Palin, and her Democratic rival, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., will have shorter question-and-answer segments than those for the presidential nominees, the advisers said. There will also be much less opportunity for free-wheeling, direct exchanges between the running mates.

McCain advisers said they had been concerned that a loose format could leave Ms. Palin, a relatively inexperienced debater, at a disadvantage and largely on the defensive.
...
Commission members wanted a relaxed format that included time for unpredictable questioning and challenges between the two vice-presidential candidates. On Wednesday, the commission unanimously rejected a proposal sought by advisers to Ms. Palin and Senator John McCain of Arizona, the Republican presidential nominee, to have the moderator ask questions and the candidates answer, with no time for unfettered exchanges. Advisers to Mr. Biden say they were comfortable with either format.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:12 PM on October 1, 2008


Any way we could reanimate Spencer Tracy by tomorrow night and get him to "Henry Drummond" her homespun-folksy-yokel ass into ashamed silence on national TV?

No?

:(


Dag yo.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 6:13 PM on October 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


leader of the free world

Everytime I see this phrase it makes me grind my teeth. For God's sake, the American president is NOT the leader of the free world.
posted by orange swan at 6:16 PM on October 1, 2008 [15 favorites]


Metafilter sucks these days with every thread going over a hundred comments within hours.

This, too, shall pass. It's only, like, the Most Important Election of Our (Mine, and Yours, and Everyone's) Lives', fer cryin' out loud! Even MeFites need to vent about this. MeFi will go back to normal around, say, December-ish, when the dust has settled. for reals, this is a damn important election, so if the "normal" postings are a bit dry for now, at least it's because of a significant reason.
posted by zardoz at 6:18 PM on October 1, 2008


>Hey, is this a Democratic meme that was started so that when Palin looks halfway decent, Democrats can claim that they knew that she was okay?

Almost.
Here's the game:
Democrats try to raise expectations on Palin so that if she doesn't manage to talk the entire audience into getting on a plane and shooting down your family pet, she loses.
Republicans are trying to talk down Palin so that when/if she manages to get onstage and not drool all over Ifill, she wins. This is why we have so many anonymous GOP quotes "OMGshitpants"!
posted by xorry at 6:21 PM on October 1, 2008


In certain other, uh, genres, it works very well indeed.

the dad thing will make her confess that she hasn't done her homework. Spankings are optional.

Wow, when did this thread become SMOKING HOT?!

OK, you be the stern moderator, and I'll be the naughty candidate who's gone over his allotted time.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:21 PM on October 1, 2008 [8 favorites]


"Whenever I hear liberal hand-wringing, I figure the Obama team is either moving ahead or has an even shot"

This.

Obama's campaign has been quite stunning up until this point. It's not that they are smarter than the Republicans, they are smarter than the Democrats too.
posted by fullerine at 6:24 PM on October 1, 2008 [15 favorites]


My personal guess is that she's going to come out attacking. Anything to get Biden to respond in kind. If he doesn't rise to the bait, it's going to be a long boring night. And if he fights back, I don't think it will be the disaster everyone is assuming.

But what do I know. I thought McCain was going to dump her after the first week.
posted by Eddie Mars at 6:25 PM on October 1, 2008


Incidentally, this piece by Matt Taibbi about Sarah Palin is fun.

...

After eight years of unprecedented corruption, incompetence, waste and greed, the party of Karl Rove understood that 50 million Americans would not demand solutions to any of these problems so long as they were given a new, new thing to beat their meat over.

...

the most disgusting thing about her is what she says about us: that you can ram us in the ass for eight solid years, and we'll not only thank you for your trouble, we'll sign you up for eight more years, if only you promise to stroke us in the right spot for a few hours around election time.

...

Democracy doesn't require a whole lot of work of its citizens, but it requires some: It requires taking a good look outside once in a while, and considering the bad news and what it might mean, and making the occasional tough choice, and soberly taking stock of what your real interests are.

This is a very different thing from shopping, which involves passively letting sitcoms melt your brain all day long and then jumping straight into the TV screen to buy a Southern-Style Chicken Sandwich because the slob singing "I'm Lovin' It!" during the commercial break looks just like you.


Yes it was. A lovely, unapologetic rant. Thanks.
posted by mrgrimm at 6:26 PM on October 1, 2008 [4 favorites]




More highlights from the Couric Interview:

COURIC: I know you're heading to Sedona to work on your debate. What is your coach advising you?

Gov. PALIN: I don't have a debate coach.

COURIC: Well, what are your coaches?

Gov. PALIN: I have quite a few people who are giving us information about the record of Obama and Biden, and at the end of the day, though, it is -- it's so clear, again, what those choices are. Either new ideas, new energy and reform of Washington, DC, or more of the same.


No coach. Just....um...people who ....er...help her. If she is speaking the truth here (Hah! Palin and Truth go together like Mackerel and Doughnuts) she could be in a world of hurt. Maybe she is champing at the bit, anxious to show America who she is. That would be precious, precious gold for the Democrats.

From the NY Times: Concerns About Palin's Readiness as Big Test Nears
I think she has pretty thoroughly — and probably irretrievably — proven that she is not up to the job of being president of the United States,” David Frum, a former speechwriter for President Bush who is now a conservative columnist, said in an interview. “If she doesn’t perform well, then people see it.[...]
Mr. Frum noted the difficulty that Dan Quayle, who was elected vice president in 1988, had in recovering from an early set of mistakes that led him to be ridiculed as an intellectual lightweight. “The story of Dan Quayle is he did probably 1,000 smart things as vice president, but his image was locked in and it was very difficult to turn around,” he said. “And Dan Quayle never in his life has performed as badly as Sarah Palin in the last month.”
"I knew Dan Quayle, and you, Madame, are no Dan Quayle!"
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:28 PM on October 1, 2008 [4 favorites]


Now I'm looking at Biden debate clips, and he's entertaining to say the least. If he cuts loose and has fun with it, he'll win over some voters. Hell, I would pay cash money to see Biden debate Giuliani.
posted by billyfleetwood at 6:31 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


The reason Palin will have an easy time is because Ifill said she's not going to grill anybody. She said it's a debate, not an inquisition, and that the people watching are avid watchers of this type of thing and they'll know when a candidate hasn't answered the question.

Sure, that's nice and all, and indeed it calls out to the best of people, but I think she's being a bit charitable.

I do think it would be delicious if she ruins it on her own in a grand way.
posted by cashman at 6:35 PM on October 1, 2008


MetaFilter: Perky doesn't work against perky.
posted by jimmythefish at 6:36 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]



Being the best debater in Alaska is sort of like being the tannest person in LA.

This might be one of the worst analogies in the history of analogies.

My assumption is that the person making the comment thinks that Sarah Palin is a poor debater. The person then takes into consideration the relatively small and rural population of Alaska and then decides that the best debaters are not likely to hail from that state. So this commenter hears someone say that Palin is the best debater in Alaska and wants to compare it to something to show just how insignificant a claim that is.

So the commenter chooses tanning for his/her silly analogy. Fine. Clearly, the commenter should choose a place where almost no one is tan to properly compare the tanning to the lack of debating wizards in Alaska. Bangor? Minneapolis? Detroit? No. The commenter chooses Los Angeles. Los Angeles, of course, is a coastal city that is known for beach babes and superficiality. As such, it may have the tannest people in the United States. Therefore, being the tannest person in LA might be good enough to be the tannest person in the US. It is really saying something about just how tan that person is. Completing the analogy, it would appear that the commenter is saying that Palin might be the best debater in the country.

Meanwhile, six people so far have favorited that comment. Assuming that they were doing so in a genuine way and not favoriting it because they keep some sort of file of failed analogies, it demonstrates something that is rather interesting. These six people most likely favorited it simply for the structure of the joke. They like the set up, "Saying A is B is like saying X is Y." That's it. They laugh at the joke simply because of its structure. They don't even actually consider what the joke means. They recognize a form of joke that they love, and it makes them laugh even if it is not funny.

I was just talking to a friend yesterday who cannot help herself from laughing hysterically when the "A called and wants its B back" joke is used. It doesn't even matter if the joke makes any sense. On the plus side, it is rather easy to make her laugh.
posted by flarbuse at 6:42 PM on October 1, 2008 [55 favorites]


Mastery of facts is secondary to mastery of your base. She may not be able to add double digit numbers in her head, or have actually read a newspaper in the last few decades, but she knows how to fake her way through erudition sufficient to convince the troglodytes who already support her, and perhaps even convince a few guys with woodys to do the same.

Between the RNC and today, Palin has done nothing but shun attention, and when she gets it, come across as dangerously incompetent for the VP spot. At this point, the only people who are going to be moved by her hokey nonsense are her base already. She would have to lay down a nuclear debate, replete with pie charts, graphs, and a Wagner soundtrack to convince anybody but those already voting McCain that she's ready for the job. So unless Biden takes off his shoe and throws it at her, I don't see this debate really having much impact on undecideds, though it may rev engines for Democrats and Republicans.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:46 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


The poetry of Sarah Palin.
posted by msalt at 6:52 PM on October 1, 2008 [7 favorites]


Palin: Court 'gutted' Exxon Valdez decision, July 2, 2008:
"I am extremely disappointed with today's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court," Palin said.
She would have to lay down a nuclear debate, replete with pie charts, graphs, and a Wagner soundtrack to convince anybody but those already voting McCain that she's ready for the job.

Now, I might have to vote for McCain if she turned to Biden and said, "Well, I'm a mushroom-cloud-layin' motherfucker, motherfucker! I'm Superfly T.N.T., I'm the Guns of the Navarone!"
posted by kirkaracha at 6:58 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Gov. PALIN: I have quite a few people who are giving us information about the record of Obama and Biden, and at the end of the day, though, it is -- it's so clear, again, what those choices are. Either new ideas, new energy and reform of Washington, DC, or more of the same.

Well, she's right about it being about new ideas, energy and reform vs. more of the same. Which is would be valid if she were running with someone that wasn't John McCain.She should DTMFA.
posted by birdherder at 7:05 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


She won't work now even if she crushes in the debate. This election will be decided by women, and the ladies seem to be crushing on Obama. Just now a mellifluous Obama ad ran on my TV, close-up on his face, he's talking about uniting people, health care, fuzzy kittens ... dude knows what he's doing--and who he's talking to.

Sarah Palin was a rush, but the buzz is over as we've gotten to know her. How many American women really identify with moose-shooting and paying for rape kits? Not a whole bunch of them I'd guess. I think Palin was a gamble that lost. It was a very bold try.
posted by Camofrog at 7:06 PM on October 1, 2008


By the way, who would've thought going into this election that the Republicans would be brought low by a Murderer's Row of Larry King, Campbell Brown, the women on The View, and Katie Couric?

This election will be decided by women, and the ladies seem to be crushing on Obama.

All he needs to do is run this picture 24/7.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:12 PM on October 1, 2008 [9 favorites]


Anyone who wants to play along with the debates can download some Palin Bingo cards.
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 7:16 PM on October 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


I miss Ann Richards, yes, but I really wish Shirley Chisolm was here.
posted by ltracey at 7:19 PM on October 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


Thanks, Sticherbeast, for the link to that magnificent Taibbi rant. Dunno how I missed it - I think Taibbi's one of the finest politically bent ranters working in America today, and that thing yields considerable evidence might well be the legitimate heir to the good Doctor's throne at Rolling Stone.

It was like watching Gidget address the Reichstag.

That right there? That's the best one-liner I've yet read on the unprecedented and incomparable vibe that surrounded Palin's acceptance speech. I await tomorrow night's debate with whatever the untranslatable German word is for a strain of nausea that is equal parts glee and dread.
posted by gompa at 7:24 PM on October 1, 2008


To her target market she is a genius. Not a genius of intellect, mind you. No. That's for them egg heads who worry about them pesky facts.

Nope. Sarah, see, she's a genius of "Aw-shucks-hope-spun-good-ol' fashioned-common-sense." She don't need to know details or facts. The just needs to stand up, unblinking to problems... and ignore them.


Well, if that's their target market, they're going to lose. They don't need to convince the know-nothing voter, who will probably go more for McCain anyway, but by now has almost certainly made a decision anyway. They need to convince the independents and the moderates, most of whom are a bit above low-information, particularly this time around. The old games aren't working as well as honesty, or at least sincerity, because people are pissed off. And that's why it's still true that you can't fool all the people all of the time, because eventually people get hit with reality and start paying attention. This is one of those moments.

That's why Obama can win this, because people are willing to be more realistic and vote for the better choice at this point, not just the easiest or most folksy. People don't like to admit they were taken for a ride, but most people eventually figure it out. Then they vote for the realists and the smartypants, at least for one election cycle, sometimes two. But then attention spans are short, and all this will be a very different conversation in two years.

Palin may pull of a good performance and even get in a few zingers, but if she doesn't come across as serious, or that she really doesn't have a grasp on history, the government and the world, then she will not convince the fence sitters, who aren't so much voting from their gut this time. She's pretty good at scripted answers, but she can't even form a coherent sentence on her own, and I think we're in for some choice moments if not exactly a skewering.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:24 PM on October 1, 2008


shockingbluamp: "Postroad, your grammer stinks. I hope you taught Wood Shop and not English. For the student's sake."

Oh SNAP. Postroad just got amped!
posted by lostburner at 7:27 PM on October 1, 2008


I'd prefer it if you held the election first, and then all the campaigning and debates and so forth. That way, safe in the knowledge that Obama won comfortably, I could hearily laugh at all the Republican goings on.

As it is, I want to laugh, but can't shake the cold shiver every time I realise it's still possible that these people will be running your country soon.
posted by twirlypen at 7:33 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


George Lakoff: Even with Palin's inexperience and ignorance of world events, she should not be underestimated. Here's how Biden can win.
posted by homunculus at 7:34 PM on October 1, 2008


Unfortunately, those people also get to decide what "this is about"

The attitude that there are all these dumbasses out there who are cancelling out the votes of smart people has killed Dems for years. They are pretty much as smart as we are but not as interested in politics. One just needs to reach them directly and not run away from distorting attacks and instead respond with brief but accurate responses. Dems ran away from telling the truth about their own positions when challenged. Obama does not. He stands his ground and doesn't try to be someone he's not.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:35 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


I am *very* worried. By the time she finishes answering a question the question itself will have been forgotten by most.

We are in deep shit.
posted by whozyerdaddy at 7:35 PM on October 1, 2008


Every time I see the Couric interview with Palin it reminds me of this
posted by photoslob at 7:36 PM on October 1, 2008


Sarah Palin's Greatest Hits Reel.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:36 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thanks, Sticherbeast, for the link to that magnificent Taibbi rant. Dunno how I missed it - I think Taibbi's one of the finest politically bent ranters working in America today, and that thing yields considerable evidence might well be the legitimate heir to the good Doctor's throne at Rolling Stone.

It's a pretty good rant, but no. HST could put your head into his world of nightmares and make you love every minute of his depraved experience. He had a unique way of putting political characters within that context, the setting of his insane imagination, so he could do with them anything that came to mind. I remember a particular article he wrote about Clarence Thomas, and he made a completely over-the-top, power-mad, rabidly drunk and violent caricature of a judge, all while describing the hits of opium he was inhaling in his front yard in the morning, just a musing over his morning coffee, so to speak. Taibbi can find some interesting and downright brilliant ways to express himself, but he's not capable of doing the same thing.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:39 PM on October 1, 2008


It's a pretty good rant, but no.

Yeah, I'm also underwhelmed by Taibbi, and I think that calling him this generation's HST does Hunter a major disservice.

Taibbi's a fine enough writer, but I don't see much heart behind the anger. Rage is good and important and the rational response these days, but rage that doesn't grow from a bedrock of love and hope and all of that shit is rage that is, ultimately, impotent.

Hunter, for all his failings, was a great writer. For all his over-the-top ranting and chemically-induced aberrations, he had a heart as big as all outdoors. I don't think Taibbi's anywhere near as talented a writer, nor do I get anything from him but a cynical desire to tear shit down.

In that way, he's a poster boy for the younger generation, I suppose. Fucking lawn, get off it, I know.

But it's also unfair to Taibbi to compare him to HST, and it must drive him a little nuts every time people say it, if he's serious about writing as opposed to word-fueled semi-celebrity. I don't think he's consciously emulating Hunter -- I hope not -- and the fact that people insist on doing it must also be somewhat gratifying, on some level.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:52 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


At this point, the only people who are going to be moved by her hokey hockey nonsense are her base already.

FTFY.
posted by piers at 7:54 PM on October 1, 2008


I can't wait until the whole thing unravels to the point where Bible Spice is screaming "DON'T HATE! DON'T HATE!" at Ififll.
posted by The Straightener at 7:55 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


(go read about Andrew Jackson - dumb as a post, an unabashed redneck hick who prided his little, little brain on his being a sort of Joe Sixpack, and he was impeached due to is total incompetence)

It was Andrew Johnson, not Andrew Jackson, who was impeached.
posted by lilacorlavender at 7:56 PM on October 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


All these videos of her speaking in tongues, and yet on NPR the past two days there are STILL people calling in, and saying they love her, how "fresh" and "new" she is. I don't understand people.
posted by inigo2 at 7:56 PM on October 1, 2008


HST could put your head into his world of nightmares and make you love every minute of his depraved experience.

He's not kidding.
posted by dirigibleman at 7:57 PM on October 1, 2008


Obama Makes McCain Very Uncomfortable
posted by homunculus at 7:58 PM on October 1, 2008


Perhaps the problem is simply that she doesn't know what the word "specific" means.
posted by Flunkie at 8:02 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


It was Andrew Johnson, not Andrew Jackson, who was impeached.

Jackson was also instrumental in expanding suffrage (to all adult white males only, but still a step up from landowners only) and did called for the election of judges. But it is true he did talk the "sticking up for the little guy" game while at the same time advocating the practice of appointing political supporters into office, which benefitted a lot of his buddies who profited from rampaging west in the form of Manifest Destiny (he was positively bloodthirsty when it came to native Americans). A pro-business, cronyiest president of aggressive, war-like character who exploited populist rhetoric. The more things change, ...
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:18 PM on October 1, 2008


I have a good friend who argues that its all right that Sarah McCain is not intelligent in general because she is intelligent enough about the right issues - Iran, Israel, on taxes, on reform. Furthermore, his position is that intellectuals - like Biden and Obama - are better at abstract thinking than dealing with reality. A person of average intellect, like Palin, is, thus, a better choice because she's better at getting down to brass tacks, as it were.

Now, bringing his point of view up is something of a straw man argument on my part, since I can pretty easily argue that most world leaders are above-average people, even above average intellects in some area or another.

Anyhow, my point here - and I do have one - is that Palin does not need to win over the folks who support her - just the people in the middle. If Biden can steer the debate in such a way that rather than looking like an idiot, she looks like "Bush in a skirt," the center (as it were) will not hold for Palin. At least that's my perception.
posted by Joey Michaels at 8:18 PM on October 1, 2008


I've seen no better evidence of Palin's imminent undoing than her own campaign management's behavior. Was it barely a week ago McCain was trying to get his own debate moved into the Oct. 2 spot, with the result that the V.P. debate would be put off? Smelled like panic to me and still does.
posted by skyper at 8:32 PM on October 1, 2008


What does your friend say about the fact that Sarah Palin seems so willing to lie out loud, repeatedly - about thing that are easily shown to be false?

Sorry. On the debate topic: I have the internet. I have seen footage of her debating. She is not good at it. She is bad. She is obviously reading cards (something that has recently been cited as a plus, not sure when this became so public her "colored index cards" became cute.). I have been ranting about this, to everyone I know, for about a month, after seeing some debate footage on PBS.

I mean. Really.

Has no one been on a conference call? We all know this woman. She is poisonous and stupid.

Biden was on the news talking about all the intelligent, qualified women in politics he has debated through the years. Subtext: You stupid anchor, she's not the only woman; I've done this before and they were all better than her.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 8:38 PM on October 1, 2008


Oops.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 8:40 PM on October 1, 2008


Anyhow, my point here - and I do have one - is that Palin does not need to win over the folks who support her - just the people in the middle. If Biden can steer the debate in such a way that rather than looking like an idiot, she looks like "Bush in a skirt," the center (as it were) will not hold for Palin. At least that's my perception.

Yes, exactly, and she was brought onboard to shore up the fundamentalist and NASCAR base, but, ultimately, those aren't the people they need to win, and McCain isn't quite hitting the right notes with voters in the middle, either.

But Bush wasn't really as stupid as people made him out to be, and that was his greatest strength as a politician, to have the opposition underestimate his political abilities, though certainly he was incurious and far from brilliant. And, incidentally, Quayle wasn't really that dumb, either, but he was a terrible politician and lacked common sense at critical times. Palin isn't even in the same league.

I've seen Dan Quayle fail badly many times. I've listened as he mangled logic and highlighted his ignorance. I'm very familiar with Dan Quayle. Governor, you're no Dan Quayle.
(apologies to Bentsen)
posted by krinklyfig at 8:47 PM on October 1, 2008


Is there anywhere I can watch the debate online?
posted by Manhasset at 8:50 PM on October 1, 2008


But Bush wasn't really as stupid as people made him out to be

Well, yes, yes he is. He is quite clearly an imbecile.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:51 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, yes, yes he is. He is quite clearly an imbecile.

No, but I don't really want to argue on behalf of Bush's intelligence. He isn't that bright, that's for sure. But my point is that he's smarter than Palin, no question, and that's pretty scary.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:54 PM on October 1, 2008


I like that Sara Palin pronounces "didn't" as "dih-ent".
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:57 PM on October 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


Manhasset: cspan.org has live streaming. If it is like the presidential debate, the VP debate will be on CSPAN 2.
posted by jedicus at 8:59 PM on October 1, 2008


Is there anywhere I can watch the debate online?

I suspect that MSNBC.com, CNN.com, etc. will offer live streaming tomorrow evening.

MySpace will host it at their MyDebates website. As well, CurrentTV will stream the debate.
posted by ericb at 9:01 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, if that's their target market, they're going to lose. They don't need to convince the know-nothing voter, who will probably go more for McCain anyway, but by now has almost certainly made a decision anyway. They need to convince the independents and the moderates, most of whom are a bit above low-information, particularly this time around.

You have kinda backwards.

Palin is not for the independents and undecideds. Who ever the hell they are. Not at all.

She is for the single issue abortion voters and the far, far, right religious conservatives who were threatening TO STAY HOME as recently as four months ago because they hated McCain.

People seem to forget that Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh threatened to "campaign for Hillary" if McCain got the nomination. Well. He did.

Undecideds will NOT decide this election. Because, like oil reserves, they are horribly and deliberately exaggerated by both sides. Seriously. How stupid or out of touch do you need to be to be undecided at this point?

Just like the LAST three elections it will be the base of the parties that decide this election - if they vote or don't vote specifically. The Base gets disheartened easily when things don't go EXACTLY their way and a share of them stays home or makes an ill-conceived grudge vote for an independent (Perot or Nader). The reason the Dems stand a chance is that the minority, female, and youth "base" might actually vote this time.

Unfortunately, due to demographics and the dense distribution of dipshits in America, there are more GOP base who think Palin is an awesome plain-spoken every-woman. She was brought on to bring them out. And to only initially to capture some pissed of Hillary voters... but that has back-fired.

The GOP base is not George Will. The base is, well... dumbshits.
posted by tkchrist at 9:04 PM on October 1, 2008 [6 favorites]


Does anyone know a reliable place where I can download a MP3 of the debate, immedately after it's over?
posted by zardoz at 9:10 PM on October 1, 2008


shockingbluamp: "Postroad, your grammer stinks. I hope you taught Wood Shop and not English. For the student's sake."

Dude, how are we supposed to take you seriously about grammar when you can't spell?

unless of course you were talking about Postroad's Kelsey Grammer which he keeps poised as an attack dog to rip the throats out of his detractors...
posted by Eekacat at 9:12 PM on October 1, 2008


Bush: imbecile, or actively unwilling to perceive reality? Another way of saying, was he born stupid, or did he earn it?
posted by msalt at 9:12 PM on October 1, 2008


Unfortunately, due to demographics and the dense distribution of dipshits in America, there are more GOP base who think Palin is an awesome plain-spoken every-woman. She was brought on to bring them out. And to only initially to capture some pissed of Hillary voters... but that has back-fired.

Regardless of your read on who decides, the polls are not showing this to be true. Her negatives are very high.

The GOP base is not George Will. The base is, well... dumbshits.

Counting on dumbshits to pull off every election is not a reliable strategy.
posted by krinklyfig at 9:15 PM on October 1, 2008


Ummm, I really hope she's a better debater than I think she is, because I think she's fucking terrible. I wish I could have a good laugh tomorrow night, but I just feel so sorry for her being put in this position. I'm usually pretty cold-hearted about politics, but man, my heart goes out to her. She must be fucking terrified, and there's a good chance that she will come off like Miss Teen South Carolina or whoever that poor blond girl was that kept saying "the Iraq" and "such as."
posted by zekinskia at 9:16 PM on October 1, 2008


What does your friend say about the fact that Sarah Palin seems so willing to lie out loud, repeatedly - about thing that are easily shown to be false?

Lesser Shrew, too right about this. If anything will bring Palin down it is her distressing tendency to bullshit ineptly. This sociopathy is what made her Couric interviews so cringe inducing, e.g., her claim to read all the newspapers put in front of her. Cutesy BS is still BS. Joe Sixpack may not know anything about Plessy v. Ferguson, but he can tell when someone is feeding him a line of shit.

I also expect to see this tendency reinforced by a species of focal dystonia. She is being crammed full of factoids and overprogrammed. When she will attempt to extract a relevant factoid to answer a question, she is just as likely to emit a cluster of irrelevant--but contemporaneously crammed into her--buzz words, just as she has done in all her interviews so far. It is not accidental that her responses have appeared to be MadLib ™ scripts with Republican buzzwords inserted into the blanks. If she does this in the debates, it will be comedy gold.

Folks seem to be expecting that Palin will be able to duplicate her teleprompter-assisted performance at the convention. I do not believe that lightning will strike twice, but we shall see in a few hours.
posted by rdone at 9:23 PM on October 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


How ironic to bring up George Will's name as a voice of reason in a discussion about presidential election-oriented debates.
posted by raysmj at 9:23 PM on October 1, 2008


"If Sarah Palin were to become President, it would be nice if she had some idea of how our system of government is supposed to work. In that light, consider the bit about whether there is an inherent right to privacy in the Constitution. Palin says yes, which is odd, since as Couric points out, that right is central to Roe v. Wade........

If there is a right to privacy in the US Constitution, then protecting it is a federal issue. It has to be. You just cannot say that there is a right to privacy in the US Constitution, but that what to do about that fact should be up to the states. Not if you understand what the Constitution is, and how our system of government works."
posted by poxuppit at 9:26 PM on October 1, 2008 [4 favorites]


zekinskia, she took the position gladly. She's said she wants to be President some day, and when this came up, she leapt at it. Problem is that she has the common problem that incompetent people have: they can't judge their own competence. She really believes that she's the greatest thing since sliced bread. Here's a good summary of the phenomenon at Damn Interesting. I have no sympathy for her at all. She walked into this with open eyes, and confident of her abilities.
posted by Eekacat at 9:27 PM on October 1, 2008


Cary Tennis in Salon: The very thing that appalls us about Sarah Palin -- her discomfort in the realm of reason -- is her main selling point. This is so mind-boggling that you have to take a minute to let it in. Take a deep breath. Read that sentence again. Face it: Sarah Palin represents what many people want: a retreat from reason; a regression to childhood.

posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 9:27 PM on October 1, 2008 [8 favorites]


Regardless of your read on who decides, the polls are not showing this to be true. Her negatives are very high.

Okay. You're not groking. Think about what I'm saying here: Her negatives are not high among the GOP base. She is pulling record crowds at her appearances. The Base LOVES her. Three months ago the base was depressed as shit about McCain. These are the people STILL giving Bush high approval ratings. And McCain "the Maverick" had been rejected by the base in 2000 as not conservative enough. They were still rejecting him.

Counting on dumbshits to pull off every election is not a reliable strategy.

Um. Its worked pretty well the last three presidential elections. And it works for BOTH SIDES.

EVERY election? Well that's a silly qualifier. I will say this: Relying on dipshits to win US presidential elections IS likely a winning stratagem for thenext four of five election cycles because the electorate is split and cultural issues motivate the base who decide the split. As a nation we have compromised on everything we can until the the current generation of power elites die off and the culture changes bvy it's own momentum.

Buddy. You have to remember a couple of things. First of all smart people are a minority in this world. Stupid people are much easier to motivate and manipulate than smart people. And lastly "undecideds" are the same people who don't vote.
posted by tkchrist at 9:29 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


When Adlai Stevenson was running for President. A lady told him "All the thinking people are behind you."

Stevenson replied, " I agree. However, I need a majority to win."
posted by Rafaelloello at 9:41 PM on October 1, 2008 [14 favorites]


Sarah Palin represents what many people want: a retreat from reason; a regression to childhood.

That pretty much nails it.
posted by tkchrist at 9:45 PM on October 1, 2008


Cary Tennis nailed Sarah Palin?
posted by mazola at 9:53 PM on October 1, 2008


Buddy. You have to remember a couple of things.

Buddy? OK ...
posted by krinklyfig at 9:56 PM on October 1, 2008


Bush’s Approval Rating Drops to New Low of 27%

G.O.P. Drops in Voting Rolls in Many States:
For more than three years starting in 2005, there has been a reduction in the number of voters who register with the Republican Party and a rise among voters who affiliate with Democrats and, almost as often, with no party at all.
...
Among the 26 states with registration data, the percentage of those who have signed on with Democrats has risen in 15 states since 2004, and the percentage for Republicans has risen in six, according to state data. The number of registered Democrats fell in 11 states, compared with 20 states where Republican registration numbers fell.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:56 PM on October 1, 2008


Thanks for the Slate link, msalt. I love this:

"Befoulers of the Verbiage"

It was an unfair attack on the verbiage
That Senator McCain chose to use,
Because the fundamentals,
As he was having to explain afterwards,
He means our workforce.
He means the ingenuity of the American.
And of course that is strong,
And that is the foundation of our economy.
So that was an unfair attack there,
Again based on verbiage.

(To S. Hannity, Fox News, Sept. 18, 2008)

Her words make so much more sense when they are read as poetry! Let's make her Poet Laureate not because her "poems" are any good, but because that will keep her out of National Office where her actions might have real consequences.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:58 PM on October 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


Okay. You're not groking. Think about what I'm saying here: Her negatives are not high among the GOP base.

I grok, pal.

In fact, the base is more than just the dumbshits of the party.

I understand perfectly why it's easy to be completely cynical. I don't happen to agree with your take on how it will play out this time, though.
posted by krinklyfig at 9:59 PM on October 1, 2008


Okay, this is just beyond tacky: "barackbook" has me convinced RNC has lost its collective mind. (Via)
posted by skyper at 10:06 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Her words make so much more sense when they are read as poetry!

Just like Rumsfeld!

Count me among those who think that Palin will receive a bit of a bump in polls no matter how poorly she does. The reason is not that she's a good or bad debater, or that she knows or doesn't know things, or that she has the base on her side or doesn't. The reason is that millions of Americans who haven't been following every twitch in the run up the debates have not yet even really seen or heard her. They're going to tune into the debates as relatively blank slates who have heard the buzz, but who haven't read articles, watched YouTube clips, scoured her records, listened to pundits. They may know her name and they may have seen 5- or 10-second clips on the news. They probaby know that she's being made fun of, because it's all over pop culture from the Enquirer to SNL to the water cooler, and they'll know that "everyone says" she's really, really stupid and there's no way she's qualified to be president. But if that's all you know going in, then her performance in a 90-minute debate is honestly not going to look too bad.

"Everyone said she was so dumb, but I liked her! I thought she did fine! I don't understand what people think is so funny."

Remember the initial bump after McCain's nomination of her, before anyone knew anything about her, but a lot of people really liked her style, storyline, and charisma? I'm expecting a diminished echo of that bump among people who will be seeing Palin, and taking her whole image in, for the first time. I don't think it'll last, but I think she'll generate a small bump in the polls that will take a few days to erode.

The same effect Barack Obama enjoyed ("He's not as bad as people were telling me! I kind of like him actually!"), but this time working in her favor.
posted by Miko at 10:24 PM on October 1, 2008 [4 favorites]


don't happen to agree with your take on how it will play out this time, though.

How it "will" play out? I'm not making predictions. It's how and why it has already played out. Plain was for the dumbshits. That's who she is for.

And the base, the base only truly is considered to be about 10-15% of each party. And in the last elections, and this one, the GOP has firmly established their "base" as the far, far, right and the LEAST INFORMED part of their party. The ones who still love Bush who still think 9/11 was an Iraqi plot. You cannot refute this.

These are the people that believe Palin when she says she has foreign policy experience because of Alaska's proximity to Russia. And they are the ones who did not like McCain.

Can Obama win? Maybe. But only if liberals can drop this useless facade of thinking intelligent people decide Presidential elections in the US. Because clearly they do not.

This isn't cynicism. I WISH it was. It's just fact.
posted by tkchrist at 10:34 PM on October 1, 2008 [3 favorites]


She is pulling record crowds at her appearances.

Actually, last I'd heard the numbers out of the McCain camp on this were outright fabrications, with local police giving much smaller numbers than they were.

On the other hand, if she comes to Minneapolis, I'd go. I'd like to see her say that crazy bullshit in person.
posted by graventy at 10:40 PM on October 1, 2008


On the other hand, if she comes to Minneapolis, I'd go. I'd like to see her say that crazy bullshit in person.

This definitely accounts for some non-zero percentage of her turnout, because I would do the same if she were speaking near me, and I can't imagine I'm alone in wanting to witness the spectacle and gather firsthand impressions.
posted by Miko at 10:52 PM on October 1, 2008


Think about what I'm saying here: Her negatives are not high among the GOP base.

OTOH, they seem to be high enough among Democrats to actually increase Democratic turnout as well as Republican.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:56 PM on October 1, 2008


Perky doesn't work against perky

I just had the greatest vision of Palin and Couric facing off against each other in Dragon Ball Z style in some distant desert. Each surrounded by a faint pink glow as their smiles get wider, their teeth become whiter and their hair styles become more and more professional yet surprisingly stylish.

And crouching behind a rock Chris Matthews looks into his teleprompter, "Their perky levels are over 9000!"
posted by afu at 11:33 PM on October 1, 2008 [6 favorites]


I'd like to see her say that crazy bullshit in person.

I'd prefer not to relive my third grade teacher.
posted by ryoshu at 11:42 PM on October 1, 2008


I just had the greatest vision of Palin and Couric facing off against each other in Dragon Ball Z style in some distant desert.

If we're going with an anime theme, I'd go with the first "fight" scene between Yuki Nagato and Mikuru Asahina - one armed with a cardboard magic wand, the other with a pair of toy guns, facing off with poorly rehearsed lines, breaking down into an actual fistfight, until the cameraman comes in to break it up.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:53 AM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's on! Pyu pyu pyu!

That's actually one of the major components of my drinking game this time around: any onomatopoeia from either debater is worth a shot. I'm skipping work so I can bang! zoom! get plowed for democracy.
posted by milquetoast at 2:02 AM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


hassarahpalindestroyedtheearth.com ...?
posted by malevolent at 2:13 AM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


I keep torturing my wife by pointing out that the Obama hype is quite similar to the Tony Blair hype the UK had when he was elected.

My thoughts exactly. I pretty much became cynical about Obama as soon as I found out Zbigniew Brzezinski is one of his foreign policy advisors. I'd still vote for him over McCain if I was American, but it's just another "lesser of two evils" choice like always with politicians.
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 2:43 AM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


From The Times:

Tim Bell, Margaret Thatcher's adviser, devoted his evenings to coaching the first female leader of the Conservative Party. He taught her to lower her voice and to wear her hair in a helmet but he says he couldn't achieve the same for Mrs Palin. “She doesn't have the intellectual grasp. I didn't have to spell out Margaret Thatcher's own policies to her, I just had to encourage her to use humour and the right amount of aggression. I don't think any amount of preparation could help Palin; it's going to be bloody.”

And that, to me, is it in a nutshell. You can only polish a turd so far. However bright and shiny it might look, you can't disguise the fact that it's full of shit.
posted by essexjan at 2:57 AM on October 2, 2008 [7 favorites]


I just hope Palin does better at the debate than McCain last week. I swear to god some parts of that debate were really just confusing and inappropriate.
posted by dgaicun at 3:15 AM on October 2, 2008


I think someone should ask her to spell "verbiage."

Wanna bet she thinks it is "verbage"?
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:03 AM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Man is there a lot of cynicism and fear in this thread!

The idea that Palin has been withholding her evil genius until this debate is laughable. No campaign would have chosen the public drubbing McCain has gotten for her gaffes to date.

Biden, gaffes aside, is a very informed, very intelligent, very *folksy* guy.

This is going to be brutal, and Palin will not win.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:06 AM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Gay Wasillans -- "Coming Out Against Sarah Palin." (YouTube)

This was remarkably good. Gay and lesbian Wasillans describe the climate of oppression that enveloped Wasilla with the rise of the fundy churches and Mayor Palin. Chilling and important, in my opinion.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:25 AM on October 2, 2008 [5 favorites]


This thread is nothing without cash gambling.
posted by WPW at 4:27 AM on October 2, 2008


In what respect, WPW?
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:46 AM on October 2, 2008


This thread is nothing without cash gambling.

I'll book.

2:1 - Palin holds up her index finger woodenly while speaking.
3:1 - Biden barely restrains smirking.
4:1 - Populist pandering (either candidate)
5:1 - Palin starts five sentences, finishes none.
6:1 - Fightin' Blue Hens reference used for first time in the history of US political debates.
7:1 - Sweet Alaskan crocodile tears.
8:1 - A snort-laugh.

BONUS ROUND (High-rollers only)

50:1 - "Back when man fought the dinosaurs ... "
100:1 - "LOOK at her, people! She's dumb as a stump!"
1000:1 - "Oh, hear it comes, the Holy Ghost is gonna talk through me! Habala hafnala grabafabala-foobala!"
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:47 AM on October 2, 2008 [21 favorites]


Ordinarily, VP debates don't budge the polling a bit. I don't know that this one will be any different. The people who Palin plays well to are hardcore Christian conservatives, and they're pretty much already sold. I suspect that for most independents, Palin's performance tonight is going to be seen in the light of that SNL interview sketch. She might get a small bump out of this, but likely the most she can do is try to stop the bleeding.
posted by EarBucket at 4:53 AM on October 2, 2008


Slate, Kitty Florey -- "The Sentences of Sarah Palin, Diagrammed" Good laffs.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:02 AM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Obama crossed over into enemy territory.

He walked over to where McCain was chatting with Republican Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida and Independent Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut. And he stretched out his arm and offered his hand to McCain.

McCain shook it, but with a "go away" look that no one could miss. He tried his best not to even look at Obama.


CBS poll: Obama 49, McCain 40

Pollster's Brian Schaffner on why a comeback is going to be difficult for McCain.
posted by EarBucket at 5:06 AM on October 2, 2008


And also in Slate, Timothy Noah tracks Sarah Palin's strange college career in "Sarah Palin's College Daze."

Reminds me of her snotty answer about kids who get "sent off to see the world" with a passport and a backpack by their rich families. Wonder who paid for her year in Hawai'i?
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:08 AM on October 2, 2008


McCain shook it, but with a "go away" look that no one could miss. He tried his best not to even look at Obama.


There is only one phrase that fits here.

"Christ, what an asshole."

Sums up McCain in a nutshell.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:10 AM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


McCain shook it, but with a "go away" look that no one could miss. He tried his best not to even look at Obama.

It really makes me sick that someone could still be that racist in this day and age.
posted by orange swan at 5:29 AM on October 2, 2008


As the 21st century began, human evolution was at a turning point. Natural selection, the process by which the strongest, the smartest, the fastest, reproduced in greater numbers than the rest, a process which had once favored the noblest traits of man, now began to favor different traits. Most science fiction of the day predicted a future that was more civilized and more intelligent. But as time went on, things seemed to be heading in the opposite direction. A dumbing down. How did this happen? Evolution does not necessarily reward intelligence. With no natural predators to thin the herd, it began to simply reward those who reproduced the most, and left the intelligent to become an endangered species.
posted by kcds at 5:42 AM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


I don't know that refusing to acknowledge Obama means McCain is racist. If this campaign continues it's present course, then McCain is going to get his head handed to him in the election. It can't be a good feeling to have a whole nation reject you.
posted by rdr at 5:45 AM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Palin-Drome: Two candidates enter. Both will emerge victorious, in the eyes of their camps.
posted by educatedslacker at 5:54 AM on October 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


Sara Palin is Dubya in drag.

I'm not sure if this shows more misunderstanding of Dubya or Palin. Dubya is a fraud, plain and simple. The cowboy act, the feigned born-again christianity, its all bull shit to cover a little Yalie frat boy and big business operator. Palin on the other hand is genuinely a fundamentalist twit who is fully qualified to run a town the size of Wassilla or even be stretched to run a state with less people than DC. Not that those aren't important things, really, but she is out of her depth beyond local issues.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:55 AM on October 2, 2008 [5 favorites]


Washington Post: Skepticism of Palin Growing, Poll Finds
"In the new Post-ABC poll, Palin matches the Democratic vice presidential candidate, Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., on empathy, one of McCain's clear deficits against Obama, while fewer than half of voters think she understands 'complex issues.'

But it is the experience question that may prove her highest hurdle, particularly when paired with widespread public concern about McCain's age. About half of all voters said they were uncomfortable with the idea of McCain taking office at age 72, and 85 percent of those voters said Palin does not have the requisite experience to be president.

The 60 percent who now see Palin as insufficiently experienced to step into the presidency is steeply higher than in a Post-ABC poll after her nomination early last month. Democrats and Republicans alike are now more apt to doubt her qualifications, but the biggest shift has come among independents.

In early September, independents offered a divided verdict on Palin's experience; now they take the negative view by about 2 to 1. Nearly two-thirds of both independent men and women in the new poll said Palin has insufficient experience to run the White House."
posted by ericb at 5:58 AM on October 2, 2008


I don't buy that McCain is a racist, if for no other reason that I haven't seen any other indications of his leaning that way, whether in personal or public life.

McCain refusing to acknowledge Obama is, however, dishonorable, unbecoming, insulting, and flat-out tacky. It makes him look like a petty asshole, and someone who is unfit to navigate the delicate protocols that are a key part of international relations.
posted by shiu mai baby at 5:58 AM on October 2, 2008


I don't know that refusing to acknowledge Obama means McCain is racist.
Yeah. John McCain may very well be racist -- I wouldn't be surprised -- but what he's showing is merely that he's a small, petty, bitter man.
posted by Flunkie at 6:03 AM on October 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


The Palin-Drome: Two candidates enter. Both will emerge victorious, in the eyes of their camps.
That's true of more or less every presidential debate ever, specifically including even the McCain-Obama one from last week.

But only one of them emerged victorious in the eyes of people outside of their camps. And he did so by convincing margins.
posted by Flunkie at 6:05 AM on October 2, 2008


We don't know that racism is why he won't even look at Obama, true. He may just be a really poor sport.

But google "McCain racist" and you'll come up with some disturbing shit.

A retired Naval officer who says he served with McCain in the Navy says he treated black sailors with disrespect and scorn. McCain refuses to release his detailed military record and some sources say that record includes incidents that include issues with black sailors.

But I also came up with this:

“In no way do I think that John McCain's campaign was being racist,” Mr. Obama said in his first meeting with reporters since predicting that Mr. McCain and other Republicans would try to scare voters because Mr. Obama looks unlike “all those other presidents on the dollar bills” – most of them older white men.

“I think they're cynical,” he said. “And I think they want to distract people from talking about the real issues.”


Mr. Obama, you are coming across as a truly fine human being in this campaign. If you are even half as good at being American President as you are at being a Presidential candidate, the U.S. will be in good hands.
posted by orange swan at 6:05 AM on October 2, 2008 [6 favorites]


I have a good friend who argues that its all right that Sarah McCain is not intelligent in general because she is intelligent enough about the right issues - Iran, Israel, on taxes, on reform.

She's a country mile away from that, too--even with the bar at mid-ankle level, it's still apparently not low enough. Palin on Hamas
posted by Mayor West at 6:17 AM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't buy that McCain is a racist, if for no other reason that I haven't seen any other indications of his leaning that way, whether in personal or public life.

He opposed a federal MLK holiday and voted against it in 83. He was perhaps appeasing his state constituency, which opposed it (on racist grounds). But once again, McCain blew with the wind and reveals no core of principle.

Now he says he "regrets" that vote. Sure he does.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:33 AM on October 2, 2008


Palin on Hamas

Oh, my!
posted by ericb at 6:35 AM on October 2, 2008


Mayor West, it is true that she appears to be a firm supporter, at least, of a federally guaranteed right to privacy.

Seriously, in her answer to Couric's SCOTUS question, she blithely shot the legal foundation for the anti-abortion movement out from underneath her own legs. And the bullet passed through her foot.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:35 AM on October 2, 2008


I think it was clear she had no idea what Hamas was in that answer. Democracy=good. Keep it simple, stupid.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:36 AM on October 2, 2008


I work for a draconian company that blocks all streaming media -- Mayor West, is there a transcript on the Hamas discussion anywhere?
posted by shiu mai baby at 6:39 AM on October 2, 2008


He opposed a federal MLK holiday and voted against it in 83.

Oh man, that's right. I forgot about the infamous MLK Day vote. Good lord.
posted by shiu mai baby at 6:40 AM on October 2, 2008


Bill Schneider, on CNN, is usually a complete and total tool, and a master of stating the blaringly obvious as if it were a profound insight.

But he just nailed an analysis this morning. He said -- implicitly praising Obama's strategy -- that the state polls are now moving Obama's way more forcefully in key battlegrounds (Obama by 9 in Virginia in the new CNN, whereas Bush won Va by 9 in 04, an 18 point swing) because Obama is not running a national campaign, but a very state-focused campaign.

Once again, we're watching the Muhammad Ali of American politics at work. The opponent is defending his face from dummy punches and leaving his gut wide open for the heaviest stuff.

Look at the way Obama is using radio to reach under the radar of national media with his most negative stuff.

Man, it makes the Kerry and Gore teams seem a little more than incompetent; I realize this is a favorable environment, and that we had to learn a lot from 2000 and 2004. But the sheer skill and professionalism of Axelrod and Plouffe is something to behold.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:41 AM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


Mayor West, it is true that she appears to be a firm supporter, at least, of a federally guaranteed right to privacy.

She seems to be in principle, yes, but I find it really disconcerting that her position is completely up for grabs the moment it interferes with one of her weird bits of morality. The hallmark of a competent leader is someone who understands nuance, and is willing to sacrifice a pet issue to support a broader ethos. Palin, on the other hand, wants Roe v. Wade overturned because it should be state's-rights (that old canard...), even when that demand comes in the same sentence as her affirmation that the constitution does, in fact, guarantee a right to privacy.

shiu mai baby, the transcript is here. This might just be another case of her pathologically refusing to answer specific questions in favor of sticking to scripted talking points, but in the interview, you see a momentary flash of panic in her eyes when Couric drills into a specific case, which suggests that she's in way over her head.
posted by Mayor West at 6:45 AM on October 2, 2008


it is true that she appears to be a firm supporter, at least, of a federally guaranteed right to privacy.

And this is why someone as ignorant as Palin is dangerous to her own party. There have been several incidents where she's been asked a question, she hasn't known the answer, so she's decided to bluff her way through with good old common sense.

Her biggest screwup so far has been on the Pakistan issue. She was asked a reasonable question about what they would do about al-Qaeda in Pakistan. She didn't know John McCain's position, but common sense told her what it would tell anybody--if we know where bin Laden is, of course we'd cross the border to get him. It'd be silly not to. Turns out, though, that's one of Barack Obama's positions, and the opposite of what she's supposed to be saying.

This question on a right to privacy in the Constitution is, if anything, a bigger mistake. She clearly has never been exposed to the argument about privacy and how it relates to the abortion question. So she heard the word privacy and, like any reasonable person would, said "Oh, privacy! That's a good thing!" Unfortunately, what she didn't realize is that she's the VP nominee of a party explicitly opposed to a right to privacy. If I were a pro-life conservative, this would give me serious pause.
posted by EarBucket at 6:46 AM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Couric: What happens if the goal of democracy doesn't produce the desired outcome? In Gaza, the U.S. pushed hard for elections and Hamas won.

Palin: Yeah, well especially in that region, though, we have to protect those who do seek democracy and support those who seek protections for the people who live there. What we're seeing in the last couple of days here in New York is a President of Iran, Ahmadinejad, who would come on our soil and express such disdain for one of our closest allies and friends, Israel ... and we're hearing the evil that he speaks and if hearing him doesn't allow Americans to commit more solidly to protecting the friends and allies that we need, especially there in the Mideast, then nothing will.

And SMB, to be clear, I am not saying I think McCain is a "real" racist -- in his heart -- either. I actually think he lacks principle to the extent that even evil principles are cynical tools for him politically. Also, he's ex-military, and the combat vets I know are usually remarkably cured -- vocally so -- of their pre-service racist attitudes, if they had them. But I also think we do "racism" a disservice as a concept if we fail to acknowledge that structural enablers of racist policies are "racists" just as much as people who won't shake the hand of a black man
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:47 AM on October 2, 2008


Ugh, meant to italciize the quoted transcript.

EarBucket, agreed. I don't think she understands what Couric meant by "right to privacy" as a technical concept in US constitutional law. It sounded good to her, sure, I'm for privacy rights! But no, I'm not for killing little babies, Katie.

She's unprincipled for reasons that differ from McCain's lack of character. She's too poorly educated to grasp the abstract principles of her gut feelings.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:50 AM on October 2, 2008


fourcheesemac: "Seriously, in her answer to Couric's SCOTUS question, she blithely shot the legal foundation for the anti-abortion movement out from underneath her own legs. And the bullet passed through her foot."

Best mixed metaphor since I heard "beating my head against a dead horse." Seriously, how does one shoot a metaphorical foundation...with a gun.
posted by iamkimiam at 6:51 AM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Is this the official VP thread? Cause I already waded through all that bullshit upstream.(place holder.) (Go Biden!)
posted by Balisong at 6:51 AM on October 2, 2008


Palin on Hamas

Good lord! The woman isn't even qualified to be first lady, let alone VP.
posted by educatedslacker at 6:52 AM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


By the way, if we're betting on the election, the fun bet is how many times Joe Biden will interrupt himself with "Look..."

I'm guessing... 14.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 6:52 AM on October 2, 2008


"By the way, if we're betting on the election"..
erm, debate.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 6:53 AM on October 2, 2008


Look at the way Obama is using radio to reach under the radar of national media with his most negative stuff.

Man, it makes the Kerry and Gore teams seem a little more than incompetent; I realize this is a favorable environment, and that we had to learn a lot from 2000 and 2004. But the sheer skill and professionalism of Axelrod and Plouffe is something to behold.


You know, this kind of talk, accurate and descriptive as it may be, makes me a little sick to my stomach. It makes me realize that this new shit is the same old same old shit, much as I'd like it not to be, and that my stupid wishful hopes that there's actually something different and new going on here, finally, after all these years, yeah right I know, are just that: hopes.

Which are worth precisely jack shit.

Hold me. I'm all sensitive and stuff.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:57 AM on October 2, 2008


iamkimiam, good one. But remember, Palin carries a really big gun. (YouTube, appalling)

And so does Jesus.

If that won elections, this guy would have been president.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:02 AM on October 2, 2008


Obama live in Grand Rapids right now, FYI. On CNN.

Streaming on BarackObama.com
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:03 AM on October 2, 2008


I find it really disconcerting that her position is completely up for grabs the moment it interferes with one of her weird bits of morality.

Palin hasn't given any of her so-called principles two minutes' real thought in her life. She reminds me of a friend's brother. He is Canadian-born and raised and so long as he lived here he was anti-American, making tired jokes about guns and military aggression and all that. But then he moved to the States (Alabama or Arkansas, I can't remember which), married an American woman, and had a daughter (whom they've named "Liberty"). He supports Bush and talks about getting a gun because "a man has to protect his family". He's not doing any real thinking about anything he supposely thinks. He's just going with the societal tide, because that's the easiest and most immediately rewarding course of action.

Palin's the same way. If she'd grown up in a family and environment where she was rewarded (in terms of money and power, since that's what seems to be what she cares about) for endorsing legal abortions and travelling the world, then she would have done it. (Though her positions would still be no better thought out than they are now.) If she'd been plain and not able to coast on her looks, she might have had to develop other facets of herself, but she was good looking and rewarded for parading about in a bathing suit, so that's what she did. She's an opportunist and she's limited, and she's un-self-aware, and she'll take the easiest and first route to get what she wants.
posted by orange swan at 7:09 AM on October 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


You know, this kind of talk, accurate and descriptive as it may be, makes me a little sick to my stomach. It makes me realize that this new shit is the same old same old shit, much as I'd like it not to be, and that my stupid wishful hopes that there's actually something different and new going on here, finally, after all these years, yeah right I know, are just that: hopes.

Which are worth precisely jack shit.

Hold me. I'm all sensitive and stuff.


Stav, you sound exactly like a embittered divorced man who's Afraid to Love Again.
posted by orange swan at 7:12 AM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


This, by the way, is why I've thought for a while that the Democrats should push for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing a right to privacy. Make the Republicans stand up in front of the country and say "No, we don't think you should have this right." Make them explain why.
posted by EarBucket at 7:16 AM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Stav, you sound exactly like a embittered divorced man who's Afraid to Love Again.

I am neither bitter nor divorced.

But politically, yeah. Spot on, pretty much.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:17 AM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


re: Obama using radio for negative ads- I feel like the difference between that and the shit McCain is pulling is that Obama doesn't need to lie. The VP pick is dumb as a stump, the Presidential nominee is a crazy old man. If they're slinging shit, it's gonna be true shit.
posted by 235w103 at 7:18 AM on October 2, 2008


[wraps wings affectionately around stav]
posted by orange swan at 7:18 AM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Rasmussen this morning: Obama up 51-44. Leading by 3 points in North Carolina.
posted by EarBucket at 7:20 AM on October 2, 2008


:steps in looks around:
Okay guys, I'll see you later tonight.
posted by kimdog at 7:23 AM on October 2, 2008


Aww, stav.


And 235w, that's where I am. Obama's negative ads (with a couple of exceptions) don't exaggerate or mislead. They tell the truth, which is negative enough to sound pretty harsh.

I am deeply committed to the idea that winning clean is the only way to win that's worth shit. But I have also been deeply disappointed at the dem's inability or unwillingness to *fight* for something so important, and to fight hard and smart.

Obama gained my confidence as a potential president in large part because his leadership of his campaign has been stunningly impressive to this long time observer of and cynic about American politics.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:26 AM on October 2, 2008


Couric's question [to Palin and Biden] regarding the separation of church and state.
"Katie Couric: Thomas Jefferson wrote about the First Amendment, building a wall of separation between church and state. Why do you think that's so important?

Sarah Palin: His intention in expressing that was so that government did not mandate a religion on people. And Thomas Jefferson also said never underestimate the wisdom of the people. And the wisdom of the people, I think in this issue is that people have the right and the ability and the desire to express their own religious views, be it a very personal level, which is why I choose to express my faith, or in a more public forum.

And the wisdom of the people, thankfully, engrained in the foundation of our country, is so extremely important. And Thomas Jefferson wanted to protect that.
Not only does Palin get so twisted up in herself that it's tough to remember what the question was in the first place, but I went hunting for the Jefferson quote she references and couldn't find it. I did dig up this:
'It is not wisdom alone but public confidence in that wisdom which can support an administration.'

--Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, 1824.
If this is what Palin was going for, she not only took it out of context, but she wasn't even close.

Then I found this interaction amongst chatters in the Sean Hannity forum, and they came to the same conclusion. There is no Jefferson quote.

You know you're in trouble when the Fox peeps call your bluff."

CBS video.
posted by ericb at 7:42 AM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Palin Says She's Eager To Debate Since Media Has Been "Censoring" Her
"Getting to speak directly to Americans without that filter of mainstream media trying to I think maybe censor some of my comments as we lay out those contrasts between these two different tickets."
LOL!
posted by ericb at 7:45 AM on October 2, 2008


Holy crap. Someone is writing this script for us. It's better than the best reality TV or HBO drama you could imagine. Make it stop!
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:46 AM on October 2, 2008


...how many times Joe Biden will interrupt himself with "Look..."...

That's something that generally drives me crazy about TV interviews and commentary. It strikes me as some kind of NLP-type technique.
posted by troybob at 7:47 AM on October 2, 2008


Palin's small town snobbery

And here's the folks chewing on the red meat that is SP: How long will Palin put up with McCain?
Subject: How long will Sarah tolerate McCain?
Comment: Following in the footsteps of the other failed Rino leader, McCain could care less about a fair and honest moderator in the Palin/Biden debate. Sarah not being part of a path being broken by family privilege may not appreciate being thrown overboard by another Bush look a like. All she needs to do is look to John Bolton or any other true conservative abandoned by another weak Rino screaming put me in Dad. These new age Rino's have no interest in conservative causes or defending their own, a Democrap named Sandy Berger is all the proof needed here. Ask Scooter Libby or our jailed border agents how well this has gone. Sarah must realize the only reason McCain is even in the race is conservative support of her. The polls show conservative support dropping daily for McCain as he heaps praise on the Liberal Lion and screams for no accountability for Dodd, Schumer, Frank and Raines. Sarah is much smarter than these children and time will tell if she will be another emasculated Cheney sitting in the corner looking at his watch waiting to go home in defeat.

Livermore, California
I can't seem to link to individual posts.

side note: talk radio is all about 'BBUT HE'S A MUSLIM!!!111'. For hours at a time.
posted by lysdexic at 7:47 AM on October 2, 2008


"Getting to speak directly to Americans without that filter of mainstream media trying to I think maybe censor some of my comments as we lay out those contrasts between these two different tickets."

YOU'RE KILLING WORDS.
posted by 235w103 at 7:48 AM on October 2, 2008 [21 favorites]


"The San Francisco Chronicle says tonight's debate is 'must-see TV - even if you loathe politics - for its sheer unpredictability.' Both candidates 'display a marked tendency to set off America's collective gaffe-o-meter,' the Hartford Courant writes, producing a 'ghoulish fascination -- like waiting for a crash at a NASCAR race -- with tonight's debate.' Politico notes that media figures expect it to be a ratings juggernaut, likely overtaking those of the first presidential debate." *
posted by ericb at 7:48 AM on October 2, 2008


Palin was chosen to make McCain palatable to the Republicans' locked-in base of motivated voters while McCain was supposed to be the one who brought folks in from across the aisle, he is not doing that. Tonight Palin will perceived as doing well thanks to the subterranean expectations, but unless Biden uses a chainsaw rather than an épée , I wouldn't be surprised if the Republicans' inevitable bump turns out to be insubstantial or very fleeting.

And there's still two more rounds of Obama/McCain to come.

Also, I doubt Ifill gives a shit if people think she's mean to Palin; she works for PBS, for pete's sake.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:49 AM on October 2, 2008


This, by the way, is why I've thought for a while that the Democrats should push for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing a right to privacy. Make the Republicans stand up in front of the country and say "No, we don't think you should have this right." Make them explain why.
posted by EarBucket at 9:16 AM on October 2 [+] [!]


Here's what they'd say: "We believe that this is an issue that should be decided at the State level". It's what they always say when they defend the indefensible.
posted by interrobang at 7:50 AM on October 2, 2008


David Letterman: Top Ten "Things Overheard At Palin Debate Camp"
posted by ericb at 7:53 AM on October 2, 2008


Someone is writing this script for us. It's better than the best reality TV or HBO drama you could imagine.

The SNL writers might as well take the next month as paid vacation.
posted by orange swan at 7:55 AM on October 2, 2008


The Letterman list:

10. "Let's practice your bewildered silence."
9. "Can you try saying 'yes' instead of 'you betcha'?"

8. "Hey, I can see Mexico from here!"

7. "Maybe we'll get lucky and there won't be any questions about Iraq, taxes or healthcare."

6. "We're screwed!"

5. "Can I just use that lipstick-pit bull thing again?"

4. "We have to wrap it up for the day -- McCain eats dinner at 4:30."

3. "Can we get Congress to bail us out of this debate?"

2. "John Edwards wants to know if you'd like some private tutoring in his van."

1. "Any way we can just get Tina Fey to do it?"


Shrieking with laughter here. SHRIEKING. And pounding the top of my desk with my fists. I may need medical assistance to recover.
posted by orange swan at 7:58 AM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Can we get some more tags up in this? Vp? Biden?

Paln's Hamas bumble makes me angry. She doesn't know what the hell is going on. I hope she is exposed tonight. I thought she would attack Biden and would wear some color that contrasts with the stage/carpet, because I believe that really helped her in the past. Call me stupid, but biden should wear some color that lets him stand out, without looking crazy. Else he'll fade into the background. 'Such as Sarah' is going to be smiling gigantic and in pageant mode appearance-wise. I still think she can try to outbiden biden and get away with it. Honestly, if she makes that joke mentioned upthread about biden having been around since dinosaurs roamed the earth, what can biden do but grin and laugh? And the pit bullshit will be heralded by the numbskulls.

The only saving grace, since I've given up on Ifill cornering her with good questions, is that with all this cramming, one mistake, one thing that doesn't go according to plan, and it'll knock off the program in her head. I can't think of a subject, but if there was some subject they could mention that will make Palin think of something else, that'll have a chance at shorting her out, as it were. Some unexpected thing she knows about but has to call on memory to answer.

But anyway, she's going to be suzy smile-brite this evening.
posted by cashman at 8:01 AM on October 2, 2008


Public Policy (pdf): Obama holds double-digit lead in Michigan, 51-41.
posted by EarBucket at 8:01 AM on October 2, 2008


Ya know Letterman's gonna keep having a field day with Palin and McCain. Too bad he tapes at 5:00 p.m. ET. We'll have to wait for tomorrow's show for his reaction to this evening's debate
posted by ericb at 8:02 AM on October 2, 2008


Honestly, if she makes that joke mentioned upthread about biden having been around since dinosaurs roamed the earth, what can biden do but grin and laugh?

He can say, "Hey, John McCain must have told you how he used to be my babysitter back then."
posted by orange swan at 8:08 AM on October 2, 2008 [6 favorites]


Leading by 3 points in North Carolina. Whooo-Hoooooooooo!!!!!

My husband (a Tar Heel) just turned 40 and registered to vote for the first time. I begged and pleaded with him to get involved in 2000 and 2004, but he believed that politics, while fun to read about and discuss, was meaningless; it's more or less the same old bullshit. This year he voluntarily registered without any prodding from me. It's all thanks to Sarah Palin. Moreover, he is not just content with voting-- he is trying to reach out to friends and family and sway their votes. He has plenty of ammunition to fight the good fight-- since Aug 29 we have talked about little else. At the moment there is 3000 miles between us, but we keep busy swapping links.

Palin Mangles Thomas Jefferson
:
Katie Couric: Thomas Jefferson wrote about the First Amendment, building a wall of separation between church and state. Why do you think that's so important?

Sarah Palin: His intention in expressing that was so that government did not mandate a religion on people. And Thomas Jefferson also said never underestimate the wisdom of the people. And the wisdom of the people, I think in this issue is that people have the right and the ability and the desire to express their own religious views, be it a very personal level, which is why I choose to express my faith, or in a more public forum.

And the wisdom of the people, thankfully, engrained in the foundation of our country, is so extremely important. And Thomas Jefferson wanted to protect that.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:11 AM on October 2, 2008


"Once again, we're watching the Muhammad Ali of American politics at work"


OMG, your so racist
posted by staggering termagant at 8:12 AM on October 2, 2008


Debate or no debate, her matronly hair-do bugs me.
posted by dasheekeejones at 8:15 AM on October 2, 2008


2. "John Edwards wants to know if you'd like some private tutoring in his van."

Great, John Edwards is the new Gary Heart.
posted by cimbrog at 8:15 AM on October 2, 2008


Caught this on dKos (I know, I know) but it was amazing and inspiring. 440 West Virginia miners declined to be enlisted into an NRA publicity stunt and stayed home, shutting down Blacksville #2.

If we see Appalachia turn, this thing is a blowout.

Here is the link for the full story, but it's crashing right now.

For those who missed it in earlier threads, Richard Trumka of AFL-CIO makes the case for union voters to get the fuck over any lingering racism. (Amazing.) (Youtube)

And UFCW has a new ad out for Obama on the subject of equal pay for women. Hits Wal-Mart hard. (Youtube)

I am thrilled to see labor rising as a force for Obama.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:19 AM on October 2, 2008 [9 favorites]


In 2004, MeFites were pretty horrified at Gwen Ifill's moderation of the Cheney/Edwards VP debate. (cf. 1 2).

"Ifill is sucking at keeping things on track." -- amberglow
"Ifill is just doing a hideous job. She's a pretty good reporter, but she's horrible at this." -- Sidhedevil
"Ifill's questions are terrible (did she write them?), her delivery is terrible, her moderation ("You just said Kerry's name!") is terrible, and -- oh, god, did she really just screw up whose turn it was to speak?" -- rafter
"There actually was a clear loser in this debate, folks, and it was Gwen Ifill. What a hideous job she did." -- Sidhedevil

If you're watching for major gaffes, there's three people, not two, to pay attention to tonight.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:28 AM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


From the letter to the editor that 4CM links to above:

McCain has not said one word about the outrageous lack of enforcement of mine safety and health laws in the Bush administration, while Barack Obama has consistently promised to appoint someone to be in charge of the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration who will put miners' health and safety first.

I was thinking about this the other day, about how easy its going to be for Obama to turn this country around (in some ways). All he's going to have to do is hire qualified people instead of party hacks. Mind-blowing, huh?
posted by Bookhouse at 8:30 AM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm convinced that Aaron Sorkin has been writing real life the last few months.
posted by educatedslacker at 8:33 AM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


That is a good comeback. I did think of some otherr things Palin could try to do (the mother card), and it seems there are good comebacks biden could give. So hopefully Sarah gets revealed as the fraud she is, just like in her interviews.

Thanks for the links, fcm. And thanks for the story, slog.
posted by cashman at 8:34 AM on October 2, 2008


If Sorkin was writing this, Palin would have better banter.
posted by cortex at 8:36 AM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


fourcheesemac - that's a hell of a speech!
posted by Jofus at 8:42 AM on October 2, 2008


Could Palin somehow not remember "The Wall Street Journal" or the "Washingont Post" when Couric asked her what newspapers she read. I mean ferchrissakes just throw out one name!
posted by PenDevil at 8:47 AM on October 2, 2008


HEH! French press uses Tina Fey pic in Palin article
The English translation of caption under it says that during interviews, Palin is hesitant, troubled and clumsy but didn’t offer more on where the picture was taken and who was on the right.

This just goes to show that In Palin’s case, it’s difficult to separate fact from fiction!
This would all be so much more fun if only I knew for sure there would be a happy ending.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:50 AM on October 2, 2008


She was fighting down the urge to shout "Highlights! Weekly Reader!"
posted by cortex at 8:50 AM on October 2, 2008 [6 favorites]


Palin Says She's Eager To Debate Since Media Has Been 'Censoring' Her

Katie Couric's just been giving her tons of rope and letting her hang herself. She'd be much better off if they had been censoring her.

For example, they could've cut off her weird out-of-the-blue defensive tangent about Alaska not being a foreign country when Couric asked her about newspapers. Couric's been doing a great job of maintaining her composure in the face of Palin's inanities, but that tangent provoked a yucky face from Couric, almost as if Palin had farted. In fact, Palin would've come off better if she had farted.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:50 AM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


I reckon she thought the question was a trap, and hesitated to commit to a certain newspaper.
posted by dhruva at 8:50 AM on October 2, 2008


I mean ferchrissakes just throw out one name!

"C-coffee News?"
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:55 AM on October 2, 2008


I reckon she thought the question was a trap, and hesitated to commit to a certain newspaper.

Yeah. You can't say the Washington Post or the New York Times; those are elitist liberal papers. But, geez, what about the Wall Street Journal? Surely that would be a safe answer.
posted by EarBucket at 8:57 AM on October 2, 2008


She should have said: Anchorage Daily News and her hometown newspaper, The Frontiersman.
posted by ericb at 8:57 AM on October 2, 2008


I'm beginning to think that almost any question to Sarah Palin is a trap.

Also, since we were talking odds, what are the odds that Palin has hubby Todd try to break Biden's knee so he won't be able to make it to the debate? That Tonya Harding was pretty feisty too...
posted by Eekacat at 9:00 AM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


In fact, Palin would've come off better if she had farted.

I will write in Sarah Palin for President if she lets one rip in the debates. Especially if she responds to the shocked stares of Biden and Ifill with a total "fuck you" look and a shrug.

I reckon she thought the question was a trap, and hesitated to commit to a certain newspaper.

Indeed. My feeling is that she'd screwed up so many questions that she probably began suspecting that she'd be pounced on with a "gotcha" for citing even a relatively safe, obvious answer like the Washington Post. Hence the weird tangent about Alaska not being a foreign country: she figured that the line of questioning was going to lead to some, in her mind, snobby conclusion about her reading habits, which surely was connected somehow to city slickers thinking rural people are dumb, but it only revealed her as defensive and wormy when cornered. It also implied, weirdly, that perhaps there WAS something about Alaska that she regards as provincial - after all, she was the one who brought it up, not Ms. Couric.

Y'know, Presidents (and even Vice Presidents) do have to actually have neutral-to-antagonistic meetings with important people. I don't think for a second that Sarah Palin is literally illiterate or whatever, but she handles even easy questions with such untrusting terror, confusion, and spite that she would probably be quite dangerous if she ever had to meet with Medvedev or whomever for anything except an out-and-out meet-and-greet.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:01 AM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


Palin has hubby Todd try to break Biden's knee so he won't be able to make it to the debate? That Tonya Harding was pretty feisty too.

How do you think Gwen Ifill's ankle got broken?

(Also, count me among those unimpressed with Ifill's prior debate moderation. She's good on WWR, but she did not control the debate in 2004.)
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:08 AM on October 2, 2008


It also implied, weirdly, that perhaps there WAS something about Alaska that she regards as provincial - after all, she was the one who brought it up, not Ms. Couric.

You mean Republicans might be the kind of people that would claim to be "(wo)men of the people" and then disdain the rough crowds outside the gates of their gated community or country club? I would never pegged them as such! I'm Shocked!
posted by Pollomacho at 9:08 AM on October 2, 2008


The roof is on fire:

Florida Republican leaders hastily convened a top secret meeting this week to grapple with Sen. John McCain's sagging performance in this must-win state.

Their fears were confirmed Wednesday when four new polls showed Sen. Barack Obama leading, a reversal from just a few weeks ago when McCain was opening up an advantage.

The polls come amid a cascade of bad news about the economy, an issue that McCain has struggled with in recent days.

With some grass roots organizers complaining about coordination problems with the campaign, Republican Party chairman Jim Greer gathered top officials at the state headquarters in Tallahassee on Tuesday afternoon. He swore the group to secrecy.

posted by EarBucket at 9:27 AM on October 2, 2008


My Obama campaign donation pledge after debate is as follows, if anybody else wants to join in:

- $5 for each time Sarah Palin says she put the Governor's plane on Ebay;
- $5 for each time Sarah Palin says she was against the "bridge to nowhere";
- $5 for each time Sarah Palin says she has foreign policy experience because she can see Russia from Alaska;
- $5 for each time Sarah Palin says she has executive experience/ability to lead because she was the mayor of a podunk Alaska town for 2 terms and governor of a welfare state for less than two;
- $5 for each time Sarah Palin refers to herself as a "Maverick", a "Reformer", or a "Washington Outsider";
- $5 for each time Gwen Ifill has to prompt Sarah Palin to "be more specific";
- $5 for each accusation of sexism Sarah Palin makes against her rivals or the media.

I expect to be broke by tomorrow.
posted by contessa at 9:34 AM on October 2, 2008 [5 favorites]


contessa, you forgot the most important one:

- $10 for each time Sarah Palin uses that creepy catch-a-falling-star-and-toss-it-in-the-wastebasket gesture she used to illustrate the rearing of Putin's head in the Couric interview, which looked like the kind of gesture you'd program into a crude cyborg to demonstrate an "animated" speaking style (0:58-1:02 on this clip)
posted by gompa at 9:52 AM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


"In one part of the interview, I asked her what newspapers and magazines she read before being asked to be John McCain's running mate," Couric said. "And she couldn't name any. So again, I turned to the crew and I said, 'Hold it, guys,' and I went to the Governor privately and said, 'Governor Palin, did you not understand the question? I'm asking you to name some newspapers or magazines you read. You can't come up with any? I'm just trying to make sure you're clear and to give you a fair shake here.' And she said, 'Okay. Nightline? Is that a magazine?' I said, 'No, that's a television show.' She said, 'What about Lou Dobbs? Isn't that a newspaper?' And I said, 'No, that's a man. Lou Dobbs is a man.' And there wasn't much more I could do. I'm not a miracle worker."
posted by EarBucket at 10:06 AM on October 2, 2008 [9 favorites]


Sarah Palin has been silenced all her life!
posted by Artw at 10:11 AM on October 2, 2008


Jesus. It's 23/6, so I assume it's satire, EarBucket. But the hell of it is I find it entirely believable.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:11 AM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


EarBucket, you do know that is fictional, right? It is from The National Protrusion "Political Satire Disguised as News."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:13 AM on October 2, 2008


So I shouldn't be wrapping my fish in Lou Dobbs?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:15 AM on October 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


Yeah, sorry, I assumed it was obvious that it was satire. I guess it's telling that people had to ask.
posted by EarBucket at 10:16 AM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


So I shouldn't be wrapping my fish in Lou Dobbs?

Buy him a drink first.
posted by Bookhouse at 10:17 AM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


Depends on whether or not your fish has worms in it.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:18 AM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


$5 for each time Sarah Palin refers to herself as a "Maverick", a "Reformer", or a "Washington Outsider"

This is the big one.
posted by dirtdirt at 10:23 AM on October 2, 2008


contessa - $5 for each time Gwen Ifill has to prompt Sarah Palin to "be more specific";

I think this is the one that's gonna kill you. Palin's entire style is predicated on hearing a question, and just rambling off in a completely different direction. At this point, I think the people who have been allowed to interview her are so stunned by the incoherence that when they try to press for more details, they eventually just have to let it go because there aren't getting anything close to a rational, on topic response.

I hope to all that is good and right in the universe, that they don't let her get away with that shit tonight. The first time she slides off topic, I want someone to hold her feet in the fire and demand specifics.
posted by quin at 10:50 AM on October 2, 2008


Ralph Stanley cuts radio ad for Obama:

“Howdy, friends. This is Ralph Stanley, and I think I know a little something about the families around here. Barack’ll cut taxes for everyday folks — not big business — so you’ll have a little more money in your pocket at the end of the year. I also know Barack is a good man. A father and devoted husband, he values personal responsibility and family first.”
posted by EarBucket at 10:54 AM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


I reckon she thought the question was a trap, and hesitated to commit to a certain newspaper.

I believe this was exactly the excuse, I mean, explanation, Kathryn Lopez on the Corner (National Review) gave. She's so smart not to fall for the liberal media's gotcha journalism! The crazed base will never admit SP is anything but fantastic.
posted by Mavri at 10:56 AM on October 2, 2008


Unfortunately, what she didn't realize is that she's the VP nominee of a party explicitly opposed to a right to privacy. If I were a pro-life conservative, this would give me serious pause.

Conservatives don't equate being anti-choice with anti-privacy. Abortion is not a privacy issue to them.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:06 AM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


That Ralph Stanley clip had me shaking with joy.
posted by notsnot at 11:08 AM on October 2, 2008


Alvy Ampersand: So I shouldn't be wrapping my fish in Lou Dobbs?

Bookhouse: Buy him a drink first.

DO NOT WANT.
posted by LMGM at 11:08 AM on October 2, 2008


Conservatives don't equate being anti-choice with anti-privacy. Abortion is not a privacy issue to them.

Not for rank-and-file conservatives in the pew, no. But if you argue the legal merits of Roe with a conservative, you'll get an argument that the Court read a right into the Constitution that doesn't exist there naturally, in order to get the result that they wanted. Your more thoughtful pro-life conservatives are going to be bothered by this.
posted by EarBucket at 11:19 AM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


That Ralph Stanley clip had me shaking with joy.

I think it's a remarkably good move by the Obama campaign. Stanley's well-respected by an awful lot of people in SW Virginia and western North Carolina, which is an area Obama's had some trouble with. If the ad (listen here) moves even a small percentage of older white Appalachian voters to give Obama another look, the impact could be significant.
posted by EarBucket at 11:23 AM on October 2, 2008


Palin Bingo.
posted by contessa at 11:25 AM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


McCain pulling out of Michigan!
posted by EarBucket at 11:27 AM on October 2, 2008


EarBucket: Holy shit. That is big, big, BIG news.
posted by shiu mai baby at 11:29 AM on October 2, 2008


Yeah. McCain's offensive line is folding. Without Michigan, his options are very limited. The polling's also narrowing sharply in Georgia in the past few days. Not that I think Obama's terribly likely to win there, but McCain's got to make that call now--does he ignore it and hope Obama doesn't close any further, or put resources in that have to come out of his defenses in Ohio and Florida?
posted by EarBucket at 11:34 AM on October 2, 2008


Wait, and wasn't it in Michigan that the GOP was planning on challenging voters whose names appear on the foreclosure lists? So... they're just going to desert their state party faithful and hope like hell the odious foreclosure plan works? I mean, at this point, why even bother?

NB: Is it too much to hope that they really are giving up on the foreclosure thing? I mean, if you're going to go through the trouble of filing a defamation lawsuit, I can't imagine that you could then turn around and do exactly what you're decrying:

A Macomb County GOP official has filed a defamation suit against The Michigan Messenger, saying he never told a reporter for the Web site that Republicans were planning to challenge homeowners on foreclosure lists to keep them from voting.

The Web site quotes Macomb County Republican Party Chairman James Carabelli in a Sept. 10 article as saying that "we will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren't voting from those addresses."

Carabelli says again in the suit that he never made the comment and asks for monetary damages and attorney fees.

Jefferson Morley of the Messenger's Washington-based parent organization, The Center for Independent Media, has said repeatedly that the center and The Michigan Messenger stand by the story.

posted by shiu mai baby at 11:42 AM on October 2, 2008


Holy cow, and I thought I loved Ralph Stanley before!
posted by scody at 11:47 AM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


I mean, if you're going to go through the trouble of filing a defamation lawsuit, I can't imagine that you could then turn around and do exactly what you're decrying

You're right, the Republicans could never get away with hypocrisy or dishonesty.
posted by lostburner at 11:48 AM on October 2, 2008


McCain will go off TV in Michigan, stop dropping mail there and send most of his staff to more competitive states, including Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida.

Obama's lead in Wisconsin is only slightly smaller than his lead in Michigan, so I'm not sure how much sense that move makes. Florida and Ohio are both very close; Pollster shows Obama with a slight lead in both states. McCain must win both Florida and Ohio to win the election; Obama can win without either one of them.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:51 AM on October 2, 2008


I'm torn. I don't know if I want Obama to pull too far ahead, because it will leave McCain in a more desperate position, and we've seen how crazy he'll get already; or if I want Obama to keep pulling ahead to overcome the potential effects of whatever crazy shit they're already planning to do...
posted by troybob at 11:52 AM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Seriously, how does one shoot a metaphorical foundation...with a gun.

If the foundation is "turtles all the way down" then a gun would, indeed, be quite effective.
posted by Rumple at 11:53 AM on October 2, 2008


She's so smart not to fall for the liberal media's gotcha journalism!

I am so sick of hearing the Republican excuse for Palin's inane babbling as being the result of "gotcha journalism." Current Google News count for "gotcha journalism" is 753 -- and climbing.
posted by ericb at 11:54 AM on October 2, 2008


McCain pulling out of Michigan!

I wonder if he told the campaign workers there that their jobs weren't coming back?
posted by Pollomacho at 11:55 AM on October 2, 2008 [5 favorites]


Lostburner, I don't deny that the Republicans -- especially those who would challenge the Scary Black Voters -- aren't above pulling any hypocritical or dishonest trick to get things to break their way.

But to have a bone fide lawsuit filed, have it on actual court records that you object to someone saying you're going to use foreclosure records to deny a person the opportunity to vote, well, it seems to me that the last thing you could do is, you know, use foreclosure records to deny a person the opportunity to vote.

In other words, if that was the GOP plan, then why bother to file a lawsuit? Why not just deny and sidestep in the press, which would make executing your plan far less complicated?
posted by shiu mai baby at 11:58 AM on October 2, 2008


McCain pulling out of Michigan!
Its the catholic thing to do. (lame joke is really just a place holder)
posted by Sailormom at 12:04 PM on October 2, 2008


Anybody can file a lawsuit and then quietly dismiss it. Actually filing makes it newsworthy. It's like those tired new stories OMG A man sued the police for not returning his weed after they arrested him? Just means his court appointed lawyer likes to get in the newspaper.

Look, dirty tricks to block votes are already started (fake pro-Obama calls saying "Vote on Nov. 11th!" reported today in Oregon; stupid since we vote by mail.)

The best prevention: Get everyone you know to vote early, NOW, wherever it is legal. NOW.
posted by msalt at 12:06 PM on October 2, 2008


I'm torn. I don't know if I want Obama to pull too far ahead, because it will leave McCain in a more desperate position, and we've seen how crazy he'll get already; or if I want Obama to keep pulling ahead to overcome the potential effects of whatever crazy shit they're already planning to do...

There's that unsubstantiated Michelle Obama videotape that Rove is rumored to have his claws on to until just before election day. I wouldn't be surprised to see desperate conservatives do desperate things a few days beforehand. Building as much of a lead as possible would be a good insurance policy.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:07 PM on October 2, 2008


That Ralph Stanley clip is AWESOME


I would also like to remind any Bay Area MeFites that you can SEE Ralph Stanley (and many many other big names) for free this weekend at Golden Gate Park for this years HARDLY STRICTLY BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL!

http://www.strictlybluegrass.com/



/no, you get your own blog. ;)
posted by Senor Cardgage at 12:11 PM on October 2, 2008


I want Obama to keep pulling ahead to overcome the potential effects of whatever crazy shit they're already planning to do...

Military incursions into Northern Pakistan are on the rise. You do the math. (or, if mat is not your strong suit, NPR has done it for you)
posted by Pollomacho at 12:19 PM on October 2, 2008


McCain pulling out of Michigan!

. . . AND STAY OUT!

Now, who's got a firehose so we can give this place a good thorough rinsedown? But seriously, I do hope this doesn't cause my fellow Michiganders to get complacent and stop the canvassing and getting-out-the-vote efforts. I'll be digging in even harder -- especially since people know you're not kidding when you'll come out in the cold, cold rain.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:22 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Joe Biden learns how to not make girls cry. I cracked up about six times reading this ...
posted by WCityMike at 12:33 PM on October 2, 2008 [18 favorites]


Get out of my secret Christmas place Sarah Palin!
posted by contessa at 12:42 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


It appears that NBC has forced YouTube to take down the Obama campaign's eerie "Bad News" ad, which portrays a hypothetical McCain win through a mock clip of MSNBC's election day coverage.

You can still see it in all its parallel universe creepiness at Liveleak, though.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:42 PM on October 2, 2008


Thanks for that link, WCityMike, that was great.
posted by RussHy at 12:43 PM on October 2, 2008


The picture of Biden in that 23/6 article brings to mind Jeff Dunham's scowling old man ventriloquist dummy Walter.

Walter for President.
posted by ericb at 12:43 PM on October 2, 2008


> a hypothetical McCain win

That ad was so weird...
posted by dhruva at 12:46 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Susie Bright: Why Sarah’s Sex Life Matters
posted by homunculus at 12:52 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Where: Somewhere in Pakistan high in the Hindu Kush. Deep in a cave.

When: 6.5 minutes after Plain/Biden Debate.

BIN LADEN: (Talking on phone in front of TV)
Hey, hey, hey! Yeah. It's me. YEAH. I just watched it. The boys and me in the cave here were in stitches. STITCHES! YEAH! Oh my Allah, praise be to him, that was so fucking awesome. That Palin chick thought Damascus was a WWF wrestler! Oh. Allah. So many good quotes in there. Yeah...what? Oh. No. Don't worry. I'm sure cell phones are totally safe at this point. That's why I'm calling. Look. Put me on speaker. PUT ME ON SPEAKER! (Tucks phone under chin) (Aside) He's putting me on speaker... so get ready... (back on phone) HEY! We on speaker? Great. (Aside to giggling cadre of AQ fighters) 1... 2... 3...

Everybody yells into phone:
...MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, BITCHES!!!! (cave erupts in laughter)

BIN LADEN:
...shhhh... shhhh.... (back into phone) Okay. Okay. But seriously. Take me off speaker. Okay. So, tell the boys to pack her up and head home. Yes. I'm serious. The Evil Satan is Cooked, Sliced, and Served, bro! We won this motherfucker, praise be to his name. Yeah. 'President Palin' Woooh-hoo! No shit. Right on schedule. So tell the boys it's back to booze, porn, and bitches. Oh. And tell them they can shave their bears if they want. Nice work everybody.
posted by tkchrist at 12:54 PM on October 2, 2008 [17 favorites]


ericb: "The picture of Biden in that 23/6 article brings to mind Jeff Dunham's scowling old man ventriloquist dummy Walter."

You're not the first to notice. ;-)
posted by WCityMike at 12:55 PM on October 2, 2008


And tell them they can shave their bears if they want.

I know that was a typo, but it's an interesting one none the less!
posted by Pollomacho at 1:00 PM on October 2, 2008



I know that was a typo, but it's an interesting one none the less!


Was it, Pollomacho? Was it.
posted by tkchrist at 1:14 PM on October 2, 2008


Jon Stewart's opening monologue was pretty good.
posted by RussHy at 1:15 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


I know that was a typo, but it's an interesting one none the less!

Was it, Pollomacho? Was it.


It certainly gave me paws.
posted by troybob at 1:21 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


McCain Camp's Pre-Debate Spin: Palin Doesn't Need To Pass IQ Test
Listening to surrogates and aides to John McCain on Thursday, one is left with the impression that there is no great need for Gov. Sarah Palin to actually answer questions during tonight's vice presidential debate.

Indeed, the spin coming from McCain surrogates and strategists is that all Palin has to do is pass a sort of artificial personality test, in which she strikes an emotional thread with the average voter -- question, answers, or intellectual capacity be damned.

Such were the talking points mere hours before the debate in St. Louis, which peaked with Sen. Joe Lieberman - a man not unaccustomed to the pressures of such a forum - actually proclaiming that Palin's relative ignorance helped her relate to ‘regular people.’

‘She's not lived in the world of Washington, so she doesn't know every detail of all the questions senators deal with,’ Lieberman told NBC's Andrea Mitchell. ‘But, frankly, that's her strength. I think that's why a lot of regular people out across America think she's going to be their voice.’

Mitchell interjected, ‘Senator, she wants to be a heartbeat away from the presidency. You know, that doesn't mean just being an average mom, it means bringing other skills.’

But Lieberman stayed on the point, stating later, ‘I think tonight is not a kind of final college exam. I think the point is who is she as a person... Whether she can answer every detailed question, I don't think that ultimately matters to the American people so long as they think she passes those other personal thresholds.’”
posted by ericb at 1:41 PM on October 2, 2008


You're not the first to notice. ;-)

Heh!
posted by ericb at 1:42 PM on October 2, 2008


Oh, this should be hilarious: Palin’s new plan: Go after Biden
Sarah Palin plans to go on the attack in tonight’s debate, hitting Joe Biden for what she will call his foreign policy blunders and penchant for adopting liberal positions on taxes and other issues, according to campaign officials involved in prepping her for tonight’s showdown.

The Palin camp is projecting surprising self-confidence in the pre-debate hours, despite the vice presidential nominee’s uneven — and, at some points, peculiar — performances in recent television interviews, the officials say. Top advisers to John McCain privately say Palin’s recent CBS interview was a borderline disaster, especially since it played out in several segments over several days. Tonight will be different, they say.

“This is going to finally put her back into a position where we see her like we saw her the first couple weeks,” a McCain official said. “She was herself. She was authentic, and people related to that. ... Tonight, she’ll get into a rhythm. You’re going to see her in a way that you haven’t seen her yet.”

By contrast, Biden plans what an aide calls "a just-the-facts, prosecutorial approach laying out the case against McCain and defending Obama." The aide said Biden will be "keeping the eye on the target, which is McCain."
Biden's got the right idea, and so does the Palin camp. Keep building up those expectations, guys. Next they'll tell us she's been up all night watching Thumbsucker and has a PowerPoint presentation ready.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:42 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Does Rove have pictures of Lieberman with a 14-year-old boy, or what?
posted by troybob at 1:43 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Whether she can answer every detailed question, I don't think that ultimately matters to the American people so long as they think she passes those other personal thresholds.

That instills me with so much confidence that should McCain not complete everything on his 'Bucket List' she'd be in charge of our military, guide us through dicey world affairs and an incredibly complex economic debacle, etc.
posted by ericb at 1:45 PM on October 2, 2008


adopting liberal positions
Oh how dare he! The scoundrel!

put her back into a position
You’re going to see her in a way that you haven’t seen her yet.”

Wait. Are we talking about a debate or a yoga class?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:16 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


tkchrist writes "Can Obama win? Maybe. But only if liberals can drop this useless facade of thinking intelligent people decide Presidential elections in the US. Because clearly they do not."

How would the liberals do this, then? What dumb people should liberals start appealing to, and how? Should they try to go for a Southern Strategy, or perhaps court the fundamentalists by creating an anti-abortion plank? Who among liberals is appealing to dumb people right now? Is that the Michael Moore faction, or what?

Not trying to be snide, but I'm not sure how to accomplish what you're talking about without compromising principles. OTOH, get out the vote drives, community organizing, that sort of thing still works, and this is the first time it's been done on this scale.

Go ahead and believe that Obama will lose based on the dumb vote, but I know even dumb people tend to vote based on the money in their pocket, and even dumb people sometimes figure out that the people in power probably contributed to that. The Democratic Party in the past was able to get the middle-lower information vote through the labor movement, which isn't dumb, per se, but does focus on class issues, income, "kitchen table" economics, that sort of thing. The Republicans have been able to win through waging a culture war for some time, but culture is not static, and this tactic won't work forever. Maybe they'll find another Southern Strategy, but the Democrats don't have to, and if they do, well, forget about my support ever again.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:19 PM on October 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


krinklyfig the dem's don't need to adopt their own dummies... thought they do with single issue voters on the left, by race bating etc. No. What then need to do is dishearten the OTHER guys dummies.
posted by tkchrist at 2:32 PM on October 2, 2008


I know even dumb people tend to vote based on the money in their pocket, and even dumb people sometimes figure out that the people in power probably contributed to that. The Democratic Party in the past was able to get the middle-lower information vote through the labor movement, which isn't dumb, per se, but does focus on class issues, income, "kitchen table" economics, that sort of thing. The Republicans have been able to win through waging a culture war for some time, but culture is not static, and this tactic won't work forever.

This is quite true. Americans have demonstrated the uncanny knack for overlooking just about everything else if their back accounts come into play. I have to say I also find the whole "holy crap we have to pander to idiots" argument a little tiresome, too. What does this even mean? Racism? Pushing terrorist fear buttons? No thanks. Obama has demonstrated that it's possible to convey progressive ideas in simple language (something neither Kerry or Gore were able to do, even though their "defeats" were by hair bredths) and with charisma. Simple talking and charm - there, there's your appeal to the "dumb" vote, the undecideds and the independents. Beyond adopting actual neo-con platforms, there's not a whole lot else we can do ... apart from motivating our own base, staying on message, and letting McCain fall on their faces over and over.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:34 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


bank accounts
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:35 PM on October 2, 2008


I am soliciting genuine drinking game suggestions. I have only played a political drinking game once in my life, and it was before the 2003 State of the Union address. A friend of mine and I were stuck in a hotel room in southern Brazil at a conference, and begged off for the night so we could watch the speech. We ordered up a nice bottle of Argentine wine (I don't remember if it was a cabernet or a merlot, probably merlot), and resolved to drink every time the president got both sides of the floor to stand and applaud. We were drunk and the bottle was gone before he even got to the axis of evil part of the evening. I don't want to get that drunk, I want to be able to follow the speech coherently. That said, I think we could spice things up if we have a good, cogent and easy to follow set of drinking rules. Rules that would not leave us heaving for having drunk too much, too quickly. Rather, rules that require us to pay close attention, and sip in moderation, so that we are pleasantly buzzed, not munted, by the end of (what I hope to be) the spectacle.
Barring all that. This post serves as my own place holder in this second thread of all threads.
posted by msali at 2:37 PM on October 2, 2008


Does Rove have pictures of Lieberman with a 14-year-old boy, or what?

Remember, Lieberman was gunning for the VP slot throughout the race. Were it not for Sarah Palin, Joe Lieberman could very well have been debating Biden tonight. Unfortunately, McCain didn't want to deal with the threat of a floor fight at the RNC over the selection of Lieberman, so the "Maverick" went with Mrs. Joe Six Pack.
posted by Dr. Zira at 2:40 PM on October 2, 2008


"I think the point is who is she as a person... Whether she can answer every detailed question, I don't think that ultimately matters to the American people so long as they think she passes those other personal thresholds."

Shorter Lieberman: "Well, yes, of course she's not very bright; but we don't think most Americans are very bright, either."
posted by scody at 2:47 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Dr. Ralph endorsed Obama a few weeks ago. His ad rocks!

Hello Virginia.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:57 PM on October 2, 2008


I can't watch the debate (Canadian without any American TV access) but I'll be keeping up on this thread; I hope there'll be a fair bit of live commenting going on.
posted by Shepherd at 3:08 PM on October 2, 2008


Lesser Shrew: What does your friend say about the fact that Sarah Palin seems so willing to lie out loud, repeatedly - about thing that are easily shown to be false?

Well, it appears that true information actually seems to reinforce misinformation for a certain segment of society. Pointing out her lies to this gentleman tends to make him believe her all the more.

Mayor West: She's a country mile away from that, too--even with the bar at mid-ankle level, it's still apparently not low enough. Palin on Hamas.

Yeah, I've linked that to this dude. His position is that what she says isn't what she means, so what she is saying is not actually relevant to the discussion.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:12 PM on October 2, 2008


Shepherd, the debate is streaming live on the BBC website.
posted by Pallas Athena at 3:26 PM on October 2, 2008


Yeah, I've linked that to this dude. His position is that what she says isn't what she means, so what she is saying is not actually relevant to the discussion.

This isn't the first time I hear this. Why are all these telepathic people voting Republican? We could use them. Especially in diplomatic relations - you could sit one of these Republican telepaths next to a UN rep, who would lean over occasionally and say things like, "Uh, Algeria said they understand you're concerns, but really, he wasn't listening - he's weighing the pros and cons between thin crust and deep dish."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:28 PM on October 2, 2008


VA General Assembly names Dr. Ralph Stanley "Outstanding Virginian 2008".
posted by ormondsacker at 3:29 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Skepticism of Palin Growing, Poll Finds:
...public assessments of Sarah Palin's readiness have plummeted, and she may now be a drag on the Republican ticket among key voter groups, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
...
Six in 10 voters see her as lacking the experience to be an effective president, and a third are now less likely to vote for McCain because of her.
...
In early September, independents offered a divided verdict on Palin's experience; now they take the negative view by about 2 to 1. Nearly two-thirds of both independent men and women in the new poll said Palin has insufficient experience to run the White House.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:31 PM on October 2, 2008


Republicans used to be masters at sending out multi-tier multi-level messages. By which I mean they could tell the mouth-breathers that Saddam was behind 9/11 and then wink to the George Wills of the party like "We know you know this is bullshit... but you got oil futures, right?"

The problem is the neo-con agenda was hard to sell to both the base and the establishment money conservatives AND have competent people managing both messages.

In order to get elected the GOP had to make so many deals to edge ahead of that 50/50 electoral split that they threw one too many bones to the far right Christians and mouth breathers that we ended up Liberty U morons in charge of the Justice department.

So i order to get an agenda accomplished (which they failed at, BTW) they had to go overboard with the cronyism. And you end up with Brownie at FEMA.

All this and the constant lies pissed of the 'elite" establishment conservatives that understood how to do things... and they all quit or put up roadblocks. Before the GOP knew it they had all these incompetent true believers running things and a clueless a base convinced everything was going hunky dory.

All this has created this distillation of an ever increasing reliance on the stupidest least informed parts of the GOP to get elected. Which makes governing harder and harder. Leading to and more winks and nods and harder to find money deals to the old school Conservatives, a group that the base no longer identifies with becuase the base now believes GOP propaganda about "elites."

So yeah. Of course there has to be a reckoning. But it may not happen yet. That's what I'm trying to warn you all about. Because the Democrats are still giving the GOP base way too much credit for brains. They can talk to us like we're smart but we have to NOT be put off by treating the plebes like they are dumb. It's not condesending. It's reality.

It's crucial we accept that the Democrats will have to do that multi-level messaging thing, too. The best course of action would be to not attempt to convert the GOP mouth breather base but to alienate them from the GOP and get as many of them as possible to not vote. And that takes some nasty, nasty shit.
posted by tkchrist at 3:33 PM on October 2, 2008 [6 favorites]


tkchrist writes "krinklyfig the dem's don't need to adopt their own dummies... thought they do with single issue voters on the left, by race bating etc. No. What then need to do is dishearten the OTHER guys dummies."

OK, assuming you're correct, again, I'm just trying to figure out what that means. How would you go about doing that this election cycle, for instance?
posted by krinklyfig at 3:34 PM on October 2, 2008


Where can I find an on-demand stream of the debate which will be up quickly (as opposed to live)? I can't watch it until I get home at about eight.
posted by lostburner at 3:45 PM on October 2, 2008


I reckon she thought the question was a trap, and hesitated to commit to a certain newspaper.
Yeah. You can't say the Washington Post or the New York Times; those are elitist liberal papers. But, geez, what about the Wall Street Journal? Surely that would be a safe answer.
Well... she probably knows that the NYT is viewed by her fellow crazies as communist propaganda. And maybe WaPo too.

But I have serious doubts that she knows that the Wall Street Journal is not viewed that way.

It's a big media paper, ain't it? Ergo, liberal.

Which, by the way, reminds me that Couric used the word "ergo" in one of her questions to Palin. My immediate reaction, without having thought about it or anything, was "I wonder if Palin knows what that means."

This whole situation would be laughable if it weren't dangerous.
posted by Flunkie at 4:08 PM on October 2, 2008


Yeah, well, someone should ask her about her medical records, eh?
posted by bitter-girl.com at 4:36 PM on October 2, 2008


I know there are a bunch of Asheville MeFites. Obama will be doing his next debate prep in Asheville. He's also doing a rally on Sunday, just announced.

Change We Need Rally with Barack Obama
Asheville High School
Memorial Stadium
419 McDowell St.
Asheville, NC
Sunday, October 5th
Gates Open: 12:00 p.m.
Program Begins: 2:00 p.m.

posted by fourcheesemac at 4:39 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


How would you go about doing that this election cycle, for instance?

Again it's not so much what democratic strategists need to do specifically, becuase they are doing what I'm saying, but how we liberal individual voters respond to what they do. WE need to remember who we are dealing with and not let politics distract us from the larger goal.

The right wing, for instance, doesn't completely fall apart when McCain apparatchiks use dirty tactics or purely partisan politics to manipulate a segment of the electorate. Where as, and I use MeFi threads as a barometer here, I have heard numerous times of how people will vote independent or for Nader if Obama does X.
posted by tkchrist at 4:43 PM on October 2, 2008


How would you go about doing that this election cycle, for instance?


Make sure they hear stuff like this - that Palin picked liberal dem Ferraro as her favorite veep. That's the kind of thing that could keep one-time Palin fans home on election day.
posted by poxuppit at 4:45 PM on October 2, 2008


Skepticism of Palin Growing, Poll Finds

Skeptical of Palin growing as well, I am.
posted by roombythelake at 4:47 PM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


Fear not Nader. Nearly every single poll that has included Barr and Nader has shown that *both* draw votes from McCain. It's been one of the quiet stories of this year, but it's quite an impressive body of data.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:49 PM on October 2, 2008


My pre-debate predictions (not to terribly hard to call, given what we already know):

1 - Sarah Palin will attempt to play the victim in very sly ways that will enliven her already-enamored base by alleging that her so-far cruel treatment by the "librul media" (er, actually, pretty fair and expected treatment, given the office she's going for and how carefully her own campaign is controlling all but the most benign information about her and her record) and disrespect by Democratic Washington (even though they've hardly said a peep about her, other than the glaringly obvious) -- and this criticism will "prove," beyond a shadow of a doubt, that people are running scared in the face of a maverick reformer such as Sarah "The Pen" Palin -- WHICH IS WHY SHE McCAIN WILL WIN!

2 - Sarah Palin will work the "mom" card harder than she ever has before, despite the fact that her firstborn is by many accounts an Oxy abuser who had to join the military to stay out of trouble at home; her eldest daughter is knocked up by, and soon to be shotgun-married to, a guy who would be a top contender for the "Dude-I-have-nightmares-about-impregnating-my-teenaged-daughter" awards among 99% of responsible parents; and her youngest at a mere 6 months is a special needs kid who -- no matter where you lay on the feminism spectrum -- you have to wonder, is she really going to be all the parent he needs her to be during his developmental years, if she has a high pressure job like the one she claims she's qualified to do? Does she even really care at this point? Among her already-convinced base of supporters, having 5 kids = Sarah Palin is the supermom we all aspire to be! Among anybody who has more than two brain cells to rub together, all five kids means is that she and Todd still get it on regularly and she has healthy ovaries and enough kids to use as political playing cards.

3 - Sarah Palin will talk about Oil. A lot. And drilling. A lot. And how foreign oil = terrorism = another 9/11!!!one!! Being that it is perhaps the one topic that she knows more about than the standard McCain index-card cram-night talking points, I expect her to go on about this extensively, even when it's not even germane to the questions she's being asked.

4 - Dollars to donuts, all of Sarah Palin's barbs will be directed at Barack Obama, not Joe Biden. The McCain campagin has successfully convinced themselves that Sarah is running against Barack, and their followers have fallen right into line on that one. Joe Biden need only make gentle reminders to her about who is at the top of her party's ticket and knock that shit right back down where it belongs.

Godspeed, Ole Joe. Do us Proud.
posted by brain cloud at 4:52 PM on October 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


TPMtv, John McCain: "Life isn't fair"

My favorite moment: [6:02] ... cockamamey
posted by clearly at 4:55 PM on October 2, 2008


Where as, and I use MeFi threads as a barometer here, I have heard numerous times of how people will vote independent or for Nader if Obama does X.

I think this may be your mistake. The folks in Mefi's political threads are a self-selected group of folks who tend to tilt in a fairly specific direction, even among liberals/progressives. If declarations of intent in Mefi threads translated into mass activity in real life, half of the U.S. would have moved to Canada by now.

And yeah, Nader's position in this race -- both by virtue of how he's actively running his campaign, and how it's being received -- is quite different than it was in 2000.
posted by scody at 4:58 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


COURIC (to Biden): What do you think is the best and worst thing that Dick Cheney has done as Vice President?

PALIN: Worst thing I guess that would have been the duck hunting accident--where you know, that was an accident. And I think that was made into a caricature of him. And that was kind of unfortunate. So the best thing though, he's shown support, along with George W. Bush, of our troops. And I've been there when George Bush has spoken to families of those who have suffered greatly, those who are serving in the military. I've been there when President Bush has embraced those families and expressed the concern and the sympathy speaking for all of America in those times. And for Dick Cheney to have supported that effort of George Bush's, I respect that.

(BIDEN: I'm not being a wise guy here about I don't know what he's done. I mean, there's not many things I'd pick that I thought he's done that have been good. But I admire his strength. I admire his willingness to take positions that are completely contrary to popular opinion. But I think that what he's done has been just--I don't think Dick Cheney trusts that the American people can make judgments that are in the interest of the country. But I think the thing I think he's really really think he's done. I think he's done more harm than any other single elected official in memory in terms of shredding the constitution. You know --condoning torture. Pushing torture as a policy. This idea of a unitary executive. Meaning the Congress and the people have no power in a time of war. And the President controls everything//I don't have any animus toward Dick Cheney but I really do think his attitude about the constitution and the prosecution of this war has been absolutely wrong.)

posted by fourcheesemac at 5:05 PM on October 2, 2008


Remember, you can't spell "Nader" without "nad."
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:05 PM on October 2, 2008


Please someone ask Sarah Palin what she thinks of the "unitary executive" theory. Please?
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:06 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Here's to hoping tonight will be legendary.
posted by Bookhouse at 5:10 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Sarah Palin Imagines the Vice Presidential Debate

GI (serious): Governor Palin, Senator Biden, thank you for joining us this evening. Governor, the first question is to you: Many people are saying that blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Given that blah blah blah blah blah blah blah, what are your opinions on the matter of blah blah blah blah blah blah blah?

SP (bright and chipper): Well first Gwen, I just want to say how great it is that a nice lady like you could grow up to be on the teevee! And ya know all those big words too. That's just great! Good for you! It just goes to show ya, only in America, dontcha know!

GI (serious): Thank you governor. Senator Biden, do you have a response?

JB (grumpy and with a Droopy Dog voice): Sarah Palin, you're stooooooooooooo-pid.

SP (disappointed, but still bright, chipper, and strong): Aw. That's mean, Joe Biden. You're a meanie. Why are you a big meanie, Joe Biden?

JB (sad, Droopy Dog): Because nobody loves me.

SP (sympathetic, bright, and chipper): Aw. That's sad, Joe Biden. But cheer up, Joe Biden! It's not your fault that you're ugly!

JB (happy, but still Droopy Dog): You're right, Sarah Palin!

SP (bright and chipper): That's the spirit, Joe Biden!

JB (happy, pathetic, Droopy Dog): I love you, Sarah Palin!

SP (kind, bright, and chipper): Aw. That's cute, Joe Biden! But I'm just a teensy weensy little itty bit out of your league! You should ask that weird ugly girl who's always accidentally snorting her milk out her nose during lunch hour if she would go on a date with you! You guys would look just super cute together, Joe Biden!

JB (happy, Droopy Dog): Thank you, Sarah Palin! You're the greatest!

SP (bright and chipper): Yaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

GI (serious): And there you have it, America: Yay; yay indeed. No truer words have ever been spoken.
posted by Flunkie at 5:12 PM on October 2, 2008 [14 favorites]


the vice presidential nominee’s uneven — and, at some points, peculiar — performances in recent television interviews

That's an incredibly kind way to describe those television interviews.
posted by orange swan at 5:13 PM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


Please someone ask Sarah Palin what she thinks of the "unitary executive" theory.

"Well, you know, gosh! I'm a mom, I've got five kids -- and oh my golly, a grandkid on the way, and we're just so excited about it, just like anyone who really loves their family and chooses life, and wants to change our energy policy with new ideas for the job transformation and, you know, the health care, and the trade not being so scary -- so I know all about being a urinary executive. There's diapers to change, potty training to be done, and you know, you betcha, it's a lotta work, but I think it's made me super-prepared for the major challenges that we'll face with John McCain as commander in chief!"
posted by scody at 5:17 PM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


So when does this thing start? 9 p.m. CT?
posted by jokeefe at 5:19 PM on October 2, 2008


OK, I've got CSpan's Debate Cam linked up. Right now there's just a bunch of milling about and crosstalk. It's kind of surreal actually - parts of sentences flow into each other ... "... saw you were in a wheelchair there ... she's got to nail this ... you know, and when you go on vacation ... you're just doing your job". Bill Burroughs could take dictation from this and have a novel.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:21 PM on October 2, 2008


8 pm Central
posted by jaronson at 5:21 PM on October 2, 2008


9:00 Eastern time, jokeefe, so in just under 40 minutes.
posted by orange swan at 5:21 PM on October 2, 2008


Thanks!
posted by jokeefe at 5:24 PM on October 2, 2008


I keep trying to stay out of these threads but I just can't help it.

This campaign has destroyed my ability to detect irony and I have no idea what to think anymore. Please help me, Metafilter. Is this:
Her fellow bartender, Crystal Porter, chimed in. “I know [Obama's] wife runs a liberalist camp for teenagers, and when he gets elected, he wants to make it mandatory for all teenagers to go there. I also heard as a hobby he makes flags, like home made flags, one for each race. He has one for black people and one for white people and one for Indians.”

As I headed east on a long stretch of Interstate 80 toward Utah, I kept imaging Mr. Obama, his head bent over a Butterick pattern for race-based flags, sewing in his spare time.

Road to November: Lamoille, Nev.
...somebody having a laugh at the expense of the big-city Eastern reporter who'll believe anything about rural Nevadans, or a serious expression of concern that Obama is a secret vexillographer?
posted by enn at 5:26 PM on October 2, 2008 [8 favorites]


Ok, this is a longshot, but are there any live streams out there with closed captioning? I'm sneaking watching this debate at the workplace and can't listen to it, darn it all.
posted by zardoz at 5:26 PM on October 2, 2008


Heads-up: we're liveblogging the VP debate here over on Politicalfilter.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:28 PM on October 2, 2008


McCain now wishes ‘they hadn’t picked’ Gwen Ifill to moderate VP debate.
posted by homunculus at 5:30 PM on October 2, 2008


The Canadian leader's debate starts at the EXACT SAME TIME and I can't watch both. Aaaarrrgghh!!!!
posted by orange swan at 5:37 PM on October 2, 2008


Where can I watch the Canadian leader's debate online? Any chance it will be on youtube or something later on? I'll be stuck at work for a while...
posted by blithely at 5:42 PM on October 2, 2008


"...somebody having a laugh at the expense of the big-city Eastern reporter who'll believe anything about rural Nevadans, or a serious expression of concern that Obama is a secret vexillographer?"

Even growing up in rural Nevada, I honestly have no idea. My honors chemistry lab partner was from about 20 miles west of there, so I am taking it with a grain of salt. All I know is that Lamoille Canyon is beautiful

Also, Elko county voted 70% for W. in 2004.
posted by clearly at 5:42 PM on October 2, 2008


I hope this goes smoothly. I'm growing quite tired of people using the word 'gaffe.'
posted by polyhedron at 5:44 PM on October 2, 2008


"I also heard as a hobby he makes flags, like home made flags, one for each race. He has one for black people and one for white people and one for Indians."

Jesus Christ ... where do people get this shit from??
posted by brain cloud at 5:44 PM on October 2, 2008


enn, also read the previous article about Elko County for some more context.

Road to November: Canvassing for Obama in Elko, Nev.

...and remember that some of us Nevadans know how to use the internets and shit.
posted by clearly at 5:53 PM on October 2, 2008


Jesus Christ ... where do people get this shit from??

You didn't get your flag? I did. I display it proudly on a shrine featuring a photo of Michael Moore, a copy of Bullworth, and a votive candle in the likeness of Howard Zinn.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:55 PM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


Also, I don't care what Ifill said; she was pushed. You totally know she's covering for someone.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:57 PM on October 2, 2008


Oh dear Christ, CNN's "Perception Analyzer"™ is now just vomiting itself all over the screen.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:57 PM on October 2, 2008


shameless self link: Several of us are liveblogging over at politicalfilter.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:58 PM on October 2, 2008


Fuck me, I actually have vicarious stage fright going.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:59 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


place holder
posted by pearlybob at 6:02 PM on October 2, 2008


"Can I call you Joe?"

Done.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:03 PM on October 2, 2008


AH HA HA H A HA this is incredible already
posted by arcanecrowbar at 6:03 PM on October 2, 2008


I step away from the mic to cough.

/Chocolate Biden
posted by educatedslacker at 6:04 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


SOCCER MOM!
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:05 PM on October 2, 2008


Decent first response from Biden.

1 "betcha" so far from Palin.
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:06 PM on October 2, 2008


Soccer moms [x]
posted by topynate at 6:06 PM on October 2, 2008


I assume others are also playing Palin BINGO
posted by MrBobaFett at 6:06 PM on October 2, 2008


He gets to respond. She's toast.
posted by educatedslacker at 6:07 PM on October 2, 2008


Yay Biden!
posted by liquorice at 6:08 PM on October 2, 2008


that was a nice memorized speech, there. now maybe gwen can ask some questions we didn't completely anticipate?
posted by almostmanda at 6:08 PM on October 2, 2008


Oh dear god.

Oh dear.
posted by jokeefe at 6:08 PM on October 2, 2008


Did she just WINK at the camera?
posted by liquorice at 6:08 PM on October 2, 2008


Did she just wink at me?
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:08 PM on October 2, 2008


"maverick"!
posted by jokeefe at 6:09 PM on October 2, 2008


Get down to gettin' business done!
posted by porn in the woods at 6:09 PM on October 2, 2008


*|o
posted by sciurus at 6:09 PM on October 2, 2008


Nice wink.
posted by Floydd at 6:10 PM on October 2, 2008


Oh dear, Joe is looking a little annoyed.

Also; Hockey Mom
posted by dejah420 at 6:10 PM on October 2, 2008


Can someone please kill me? This is like watching the guy who does sports debate the woman who does the recipe bit on the local morning show.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:10 PM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


Hockey moms and Joe Six Pack.

I can't even watch this. Mother of god.
posted by jokeefe at 6:10 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wow, the CNN trendline just freaked out at "Joe Sixpack".
posted by Rhaomi at 6:11 PM on October 2, 2008


I would like to join this team of Mavericks.
posted by clearly at 6:11 PM on October 2, 2008


AH AH AH MY GOD
Financial crisis?
"Don't live outside of our means! We can learn a heckuva lesson!"
posted by arcanecrowbar at 6:11 PM on October 2, 2008


What's with Biden's eyebrows?
posted by Floydd at 6:11 PM on October 2, 2008


Ten minutes in, and my mind is blown already.

I bet "Joe Sixpack" is eating this stuff up, though.
posted by greenie2600 at 6:11 PM on October 2, 2008


interesting-- she's demanding "strict oversight" of (I think) the mortgage market by the federal government (whom she also just accused of failing the economy). Wonder how that'll sit with free-market conservatives?
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:12 PM on October 2, 2008


Biden has too many facts and citations.
posted by smackfu at 6:12 PM on October 2, 2008


Rhaomi, freaked out for good or ill? I'm watching through the NYT site...
posted by jokeefe at 6:12 PM on October 2, 2008


If she says "Darn right" one more time, I'm going to develop an embolism.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:13 PM on October 2, 2008


So far (a few questions in), I think she's pulling it off. Where she's talking about what can be done, and the opportunities presented... Biden just talks about things McCain said or did about things in the past. She's talking forward, Biden is talking backward. If she keeps this up she'll do well.

I'm surprised to say that, and thinking I may have to look for my train wreck elsewhere.
posted by datter at 6:14 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Go Joe!
posted by dejah420 at 6:14 PM on October 2, 2008


For crazy. It jagged diagonally down under itself, like a "Z". She must be a maverick!
posted by Rhaomi at 6:14 PM on October 2, 2008


94 times.
posted by Floydd at 6:14 PM on October 2, 2008


The Governor did not answer the question!
posted by topynate at 6:14 PM on October 2, 2008


Shoot me.
posted by dirtdirt at 6:14 PM on October 2, 2008


MY BRAIN IS MELTING

Please don't let this woman become vice president.
posted by greenie2600 at 6:15 PM on October 2, 2008


"....let's talk about taxes." Yay Gwen!
posted by Floydd at 6:16 PM on October 2, 2008


Joe needs to look lovingly into the camera.
posted by birdherder at 6:16 PM on October 2, 2008


Gawd! Her bangs are in her eyes!
posted by Floydd at 6:18 PM on October 2, 2008


I can't get on to mydebates.org - does someone have a link to another stream which isn't CNN and doesn't need additional plugins?
posted by jb at 6:18 PM on October 2, 2008


She's yet to mention taxing employer health benefits, which was the question.
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:18 PM on October 2, 2008


THIS FUCKING HURTS. FUCKING. HURTS.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:18 PM on October 2, 2008


What exactly constitutes this middle class she's supposed to be a part of, last I heard she and her hubby are worth 1.2 million... I must be lower, lower class when all this time I thought I was just lower class.
posted by datter at 6:19 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


They could have coached an eighth grader for two weeks and gotten the same results. She seems so disconnected from what she's saying. She looks absolutely terrified.
posted by arcanecrowbar at 6:19 PM on October 2, 2008


Biden needs more coherence, fewer teeth-flashes.
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:20 PM on October 2, 2008


myspace has a stream that doesn't seem to require a plugin
posted by flaterik at 6:20 PM on October 2, 2008


Eye roll. Government jab. Was the question about health insurance or what? I'm lost here.
posted by Floydd at 6:20 PM on October 2, 2008


Does it count if Joe says "Bridge to Nowhere"?
posted by MrBobaFett at 6:21 PM on October 2, 2008


Biden nicely exploiting the debate structure to get a zinger in there.
posted by topynate at 6:21 PM on October 2, 2008


huh, on the CNN trendline, women spike for Biden and men spike for Palin.
posted by stavrogin at 6:22 PM on October 2, 2008


Biden is good. I cannot believe Palin just said not to nationalize health care if you don't like how things have been run the past eight years.

MSNBC didn't require me to download something unique.
posted by salvia at 6:22 PM on October 2, 2008


I have really tried to avoid mocking Palin for her accent and folksy talk, but it's positively cringe-inducing. This woman's rhetoric causes diabetes.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:22 PM on October 2, 2008 [6 favorites]


er, sorry, I didn't realize mydebates.org just redirected to myspace
posted by flaterik at 6:23 PM on October 2, 2008


Does Biden have the most boring speaking voice ever? Even when he emphasizes things it's still the same level but just slower.
posted by smackfu at 6:23 PM on October 2, 2008


Oh, man. Biden may have good information to convey, but verbally he's flailing. Palin is, so far, looking far more telegenic. It revolts me, but I'm not the target demographic.

On the other hand, she did just wink again.
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:25 PM on October 2, 2008


I thought her area of expertise was
pumpin' out retarded-named children
posted by notsnot at 6:25 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Her expertise is energy? Really? They teach that in sports broadcasting school, do they?
posted by dejah420 at 6:25 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's the Kobyashi Maru scenario all over again. Palin can't win by playing the game as written so she's changing the rules. No "debate" for her, just a bunch of 30-second opportunities for sound bites.

Listen, I ask you, what fucking good is a moderator if he/she doesn't have a shock buzzer to keep the candidates in line?

Frankly, that the republican candidates don't want to play by the given rules for a simple debate should be a fucking huge clue that they're not going to play by the rules when given the golden key to the country on a velvet pillow.

Kisses and goodnight.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:25 PM on October 2, 2008 [6 favorites]


Wow, that was bad.
posted by sciurus at 6:25 PM on October 2, 2008


I have really tried to avoid mocking Palin for her accent and folksy talk, but it's positively cringe-inducing.

Agreed. She sounds like an offensive parody of everybody she's attempting to rope in (many people even in central Michigan and northward have a similar accent), and I just hope they can hear it.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:25 PM on October 2, 2008


These debates always feel like watching a couple of grade school kids stuck in the principles office and trying to get each other in trouble.

"Well he..."
"Yeah but she..."
"Oh yeah well your friends..."
"NO it was YOUR friends..."

I'd love it if the moderator broke out a switch.
posted by datter at 6:26 PM on October 2, 2008


I'm sure I'm not the only one who sees how differently she speaks when she strays from the cards right?
posted by JakeEXTREME at 6:26 PM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


She's all about the "rearing heads."
posted by Floydd at 6:27 PM on October 2, 2008


Watching this debate is just depressing.
posted by lullaby at 6:27 PM on October 2, 2008


Palin is performing very well, at the same level she did during her convention speech. The base will eat this up, and I suspect a lot of people who are still undecided will be impressed. I think this is going to give the McCain campaign a big boost.
posted by homunculus at 6:28 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Uh, oh, I think she's starting to lose it.
posted by jaronson at 6:28 PM on October 2, 2008


It is the mess on Main Street that is fucking up Wall Street?
posted by birdherder at 6:28 PM on October 2, 2008


I switched over to CNN to watch the dial group lines - it's hilarious: they always go flat when she is talking because no one can figure out what she's saying.
posted by poxuppit at 6:28 PM on October 2, 2008


Datter, I agree. Debating...that's a paddlin'. Debating in a monotone...that's a paddlin'. Debating with zero clue and only your cue cards to hold you up....oh...you better believe that's a paddlin!
posted by dejah420 at 6:28 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Is "rears its/his head" on the bingo card?
posted by Morrigan at 6:29 PM on October 2, 2008


According to CNN's magic line thingy, apparently women like it whenever someone is talking on camera and all the men are asleep.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:29 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Energy? WTF is she on about? Total non-sequitur.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:30 PM on October 2, 2008


WILL SHE EVER ANSWER A FUCKING QUESTION?

Stay tuned to find out....
posted by educatedslacker at 6:30 PM on October 2, 2008


Energy energy energy.

I get abortion energy.

Energy.

The question is about health care? I want to talk about energy.
posted by Eekacat at 6:30 PM on October 2, 2008


Every single goddamn question, Palin says "I wanna talk about..." and talks about something totally fucking unrelated to the question.
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:30 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Is that so, Governor Palin?
That's not so. (Talks about something else entirely).

Gah!
posted by topynate at 6:30 PM on October 2, 2008


Okay, so where's the CNN stream that has the trend lines? Or is that just on the cable-TV version?
posted by greenie2600 at 6:31 PM on October 2, 2008


Wait how is Palin performing well? She comes off as talking without saying anything relevant. Random talking points. Joe sounds far more reliable and factual.
posted by MrBobaFett at 6:31 PM on October 2, 2008


Is her voice shaking??
posted by lullaby at 6:31 PM on October 2, 2008


Heck. Heckuva. Heck Heck Heck. Heckuva. Heck.
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 6:32 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Probably just TV, bottom of screen.
posted by datter at 6:32 PM on October 2, 2008


She just talks and talks until she thinks of something to say.
posted by Floydd at 6:32 PM on October 2, 2008


Oh man, she's in full-on Couric mode with this climate-change question.

Tina Fey has material for at least another year.
posted by greenie2600 at 6:32 PM on October 2, 2008


It seems like the trendline for independents always likes it when Palin speaks.
posted by sciurus at 6:33 PM on October 2, 2008


She's very nervous, but she's sticking to the script so far. I still have hope for some sort of deviation.
posted by topynate at 6:33 PM on October 2, 2008


The trendline is available on the stream, it's the box called "Voters rate debate performances"
posted by DiscourseMarker at 6:33 PM on October 2, 2008


Interesting how much she stumbled on this question. (Is climate change caused by humans?) I do hope they have more questions that rattle her like that.
posted by salvia at 6:33 PM on October 2, 2008


OK, Biden seems to be doing better on the energy question: greater clarity, simpler sentence structure.
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:34 PM on October 2, 2008


Her answers are nonsensical and irrelevant, but I think we all agree she's crushing Biden, right? The pundits are going to call it a massive home run.
posted by The Bellman at 6:34 PM on October 2, 2008


I am not sure if I can last through this whole thing.
posted by lumensimus at 6:34 PM on October 2, 2008


Am I crazy or did she just call him Senator O'Biden?
posted by datter at 6:35 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Thanks, DiscourseMarker!
posted by greenie2600 at 6:35 PM on October 2, 2008


She said nucular! I'm back on board!
posted by lumensimus at 6:35 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm not one to attribute all the changes in the planet to mankind...drill drill drill...domestic solution to the energy problem...it is safe to drill, we need to do more of that...

Dear God.
posted by ArkhanJG at 6:35 PM on October 2, 2008


NUCULAR

**chug**
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:35 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Did she say Senator O'Biden?
posted by Morrigan at 6:36 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


"The chant is 'Drill, baby, drill'."

Oh, snap! Joe Biden forgot Poland!
posted by Flunkie at 6:36 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


She did!
posted by datter at 6:37 PM on October 2, 2008


"...I am tolerant.. some of my best friends are.....bigots."
posted by Floydd at 6:38 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Ooo, gay rights. This should be interesting...

Again with the claim to have gay friends! Hasn't this been debunked already?!

"Straight-up" LOL.
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:38 PM on October 2, 2008


Uncommitted Ohio voters love it when Governor Palin talks about lesbians.
posted by stavrogin at 6:39 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


We have an exit strategy?
posted by birdherder at 6:39 PM on October 2, 2008


It's official; I despise her. She's the high school cheerleader running for student council who gets up in front of the school and talks about shorter class times, longer lunch periods and more pep rallies but has absolutely no clue of how to provide that.
posted by Ugh at 6:40 PM on October 2, 2008 [23 favorites]


Disgusting that they share the position on making marriage unavailable to same-sex couples.
posted by salvia at 6:40 PM on October 2, 2008 [13 favorites]


lame, can't we just say gay, straight whatever, if it involves law we call it a civil union. Leave marriage to be religious ceremony.
posted by MrBobaFett at 6:41 PM on October 2, 2008 [5 favorites]


"Gwen, with all due respect, I didn't hear a plan."

He should continue to use that line throughout the remaining 45 minutes.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:42 PM on October 2, 2008


"Obama voted against our troops."
posted by Floydd at 6:42 PM on October 2, 2008


Dear Joe Biden:

We know that 2 comes after 1.

Thank you,

Everyone
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:42 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


White flag?
posted by birdherder at 6:43 PM on October 2, 2008


She called Biden/Obama's plan for pulling out of Iraq "white flag of surrender". We may be getting close to someone getting a rap in the mouth here.
posted by datter at 6:43 PM on October 2, 2008


OH SNAP
posted by sciurus at 6:43 PM on October 2, 2008


"The building had thirteen floors, but that's another storey."
posted by Floydd at 6:44 PM on October 2, 2008


As disappointing as that was, I did see Biden attempting to draw a distinction between the civil and religious dimensions of committed relationships. I think it would be awesome if the only legal option available to any couple, regardless of composition, was registering for a civil union.

On preview: what MrBobaFett said.
posted by lumensimus at 6:44 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Disgusting that they share the position on making marriage unavailable to same-sex couples.
This is true of Obama and Biden in terms of the religious sense of marriage. In terms of the civil sense of marriage, they're all for it.

And frankly, this is as it should be. Just as the government has no business telling Catholics that the Catholic church must allow divorcees to marry, the government also has no business telling assholes that the asshole church must allow gays to marry. Government should not be telling religions about what their sacraments need to conform to.

However, they also believe that, just as the government extends the civil benefits of marriage to divorcees, whether they're Catholic or not, it must extend the civil benefits of marriage to gays, regardless of whether they're assholes or not.

There is absolutely nothing wrong in their position on this matter. Only via oversimplification might it seem that there is.
posted by Flunkie at 6:45 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


HAI GUYZ IS THIS THE DEBATE THREAD?
posted by spiderwire at 6:46 PM on October 2, 2008


That was a nice rationalization.
posted by smackfu at 6:46 PM on October 2, 2008


Nukular!
posted by birdherder at 6:47 PM on October 2, 2008


psssst. Joe. STOP BEING A FREAKING SENATOR FOR FIVE MINUTES! Regular people have instant narcolepsy when they hear the words "subcommittee" and "amendment."
posted by poxuppit at 6:47 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


it isn't nucular, it is new-clear.
posted by clearly at 6:48 PM on October 2, 2008


Is it wrong that I want to buzz Biden's head with a #1 clipper? I think he would look more dignified if he wasn't pretending.
posted by ninjew at 6:48 PM on October 2, 2008


NUCULAR NUCULAR NUCULAR
posted by Rhaomi at 6:48 PM on October 2, 2008


Are you not allowed to be a Republican if you don't pronounce nuclear wrong?
posted by potch at 6:48 PM on October 2, 2008


Heh, the Castro brothers. Sounds like a folk singing group.
posted by smackfu at 6:48 PM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


I make that 6 "nucular"s. And she's recycling her spiel about Ahmedinajad.
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:49 PM on October 2, 2008


new-clear. Why is that so hard?
posted by poxuppit at 6:49 PM on October 2, 2008


She can pronounce Ahmadinejād but not new-clear?!
posted by ijoshua at 6:49 PM on October 2, 2008 [6 favorites]


*SNORE*
posted by sciurus at 6:49 PM on October 2, 2008


Holy shit! They hate us for our freedom!
posted by birdherder at 6:49 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


OH NOES! THEY ARE TAKING OUR FREEDOMS!
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 6:49 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


They HATE what we STAND FOR!

With our FREEDOMS!
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:49 PM on October 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


Tolerance! Women's rights! Hahahahaha!
posted by lumensimus at 6:50 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


"that is beyond bad judgment, that is dangerous"

Now she's just quoting John McCain verbatim.
posted by datter at 6:50 PM on October 2, 2008


Diplomacy is Serious Business
posted by arcanecrowbar at 6:50 PM on October 2, 2008


"Our freedom, our tolerance, our respect for women's rights" LOLOLOLOL
posted by bunnytricks at 6:50 PM on October 2, 2008


I don't think they hate America's freedoms as much as the hate America fucking around with foreign governments constantly.
posted by MrBobaFett at 6:50 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Look at you over there. With your freedoms.

You dirty whore.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:50 PM on October 2, 2008 [8 favorites]


Palin's obstinate and stupid, and McCain and never gives the same answer twice. So, I propose we rename their campaign MOOSE AND SQUIRREL.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:51 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Spain-nnnn!
posted by notsnot at 6:51 PM on October 2, 2008


This is horrible / will work. She's rattling off the pre-recorded talking points with ease.
posted by Artw at 6:51 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Godwinned!
posted by educatedslacker at 6:52 PM on October 2, 2008


Flunkie: Here is the official Obama/Biden position (from their website):
Barack Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples equal legal rights and privileges as married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights.

The problem I have with this (and what I heard Joe Biden just say) is that it perpetuates that separate but equal bullshit that ghettoizes LGBT people-- there should be ONE license granted by the state for ALL couples, not a "civil union" for same-sex couples and a "marriage license" for hetero couples. I'm glad they want civil unions to be equal to marriage, but then why not just get rid of legal marriage altogether, and truly leave that term to religious organizations if they want it so badly. I don't get the sense that that is what they are proposing with their support for civil unions.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 6:55 PM on October 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


Maverick! *ding*
posted by ArkhanJG at 6:55 PM on October 2, 2008


MAVERICK!
posted by Eekacat at 6:55 PM on October 2, 2008


wtf? what kind of logic is that? the dems can't want change because they're pointing out error with current policy? isn't that what CHANGE MEANS? TO BE DIFFERENT?
posted by ninjew at 6:56 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Thanks for the longer religious / civil distinction explanation. I still think it sucks for him to clearly say [not positive I got this quote exactly right:] "we oppose same-sex marriage." I don't say "I oppose allowing women to drive" as a way of communicating that I understand certain religions may have that position and want people to be free to practice whatever religion they choose.
posted by salvia at 6:56 PM on October 2, 2008


Shit. I have to take a shot every time she drops a "g" and I'm fixin' to pass out.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:56 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


SPAINNNNNN!
posted by exlotuseater at 6:57 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Nuculur weapons are the be-all, end-all.
posted by vibrotronica at 6:57 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


I guess if "feathers" is a euphemism for Dubya's ball hair, then McCain has certainly and eagerly ruffled a lot of feathers over the past eight years.
posted by bunnytricks at 6:57 PM on October 2, 2008 [5 favorites]


"secretary rice, meeting with one side or the other..."


you know, israelis, palestinians, jews, arabs - it's just soooo tough to keep them all straight!
posted by fingers_of_fire at 6:57 PM on October 2, 2008


I think she just called Kim Jong-il... Kim Jungle. That's better than the earlier Senator O'Biden bit.
posted by datter at 6:58 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


The doomsayers upthread earlier today were right. The Republicans won this when they were able to dictate the terms of the debate. 90 seconds of foggy word salad and buzzwords, with no real opportunity for rebuttal.
posted by arcanecrowbar at 6:58 PM on October 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


you know, israelis, palestinians, jews, arabs - it's just soooo tough to keep them all straight!

I believe you mean the Zionites and the Porcupinians.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:00 PM on October 2, 2008


OK, Biden needs to stop referring to himself in the third person. Or I'm going to start referring to myself as "Joe Biden."
posted by Pallas Athena at 7:00 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


The surge won't work - Afghanistan is a Karst topography, for one.
posted by notsnot at 7:00 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wait, there's no NATO allies in Iraq? FU, Palin.
posted by ArkhanJG at 7:01 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


THIS IS NOT A FUCKING PTA MEETING
posted by clearly at 7:01 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: foggy word salad and buzzwords, with no real opportunity for rebuttal.
posted by emelenjr at 7:01 PM on October 2, 2008 [6 favorites]


Did Joe Biden just sigh heavily during Palin's response?
posted by DiscourseMarker at 7:01 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


nuclear weapons would be the be-all and end-all of so many people


she's got a point there.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 7:01 PM on October 2, 2008


(thanks to the geologist wife for that one)
posted by notsnot at 7:02 PM on October 2, 2008


did he say "Bosniac's" ?
posted by MrBobaFett at 7:02 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


No one even remembers Bosnia, Joe.
posted by smackfu at 7:02 PM on October 2, 2008


When they show the back shots of Palin, it looks like she's got the transmitter bump on her back like Bush had in '04.
posted by anomie at 7:02 PM on October 2, 2008


I liked how Biden just said "Bosniacs". That's a cool word.
posted by DMan at 7:02 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Joe Biden stands as a friend to the Bosniacs.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:03 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


nuclear weapons would be the be-all and end-all of so many people

Especially in communities, like the community of New York.
posted by gatorae at 7:03 PM on October 2, 2008


Biden's not going to win anybody over with all these facts and plans. Palin is doing a heckuva job of being perky and positive and her "aw shucks, folks, how can running this country be, right?"

*sigh*

I was so afraid of this. Fuck.
posted by papercake at 7:04 PM on October 2, 2008


If I weren't already drinking heavily, she would make me hit the bottle. Hard.
posted by poxuppit at 7:04 PM on October 2, 2008


To better explain my drivers license analogy -- I don't think you should say "we don't think women should be allowed to drive" just to pander to religions who forbid it, the separation of church and state notwithstanding (even if you also offer "chaufeuse licenses").
posted by salvia at 7:04 PM on October 2, 2008


Maverick/Outsider 2008!
posted by homunculus at 7:04 PM on October 2, 2008


did he say "Bosniac's" ?
Yes. I was surprised by that, so I looked it up, and according to both the OED and Merriam-Websters, "Bosniacs" is a synonym for "Bosnians".
posted by Flunkie at 7:05 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Both answers to the Darfur question sucked.
posted by sciurus at 7:06 PM on October 2, 2008


I am totally trademarking the word Bosniacs™, Bosniac™ and Bosniacian™
posted by datter at 7:06 PM on October 2, 2008


I for one am a fan of Biden's facts and plans. Isn't that something we need from leaders?
posted by MrBobaFett at 7:06 PM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


I reckon she thought the question was a trap, and hesitated to commit to a certain newspaper.

She's a journalism major. A journalism major. Not only that, she specifically mentioned the fact that she's a journalism major to Hugh Hewitt as an explanation for why she's OK with "gotcha" questions: "Oh yes Mr. Hugh, I'm a journamalism major, so I've heard lots of those questions before."

But apparently not enough of them to be able to name a newspaper. If you asked me, "Oh hey, you were an English major, what's your favorite book?" and I said, "ALL OF THEM," you wouldn't say, "ooh, tough question, too open-ended," you'd say, "wow, what a moron."

That's not a "gotcha" question, it's a "gimme" question. And if you can't answer it you shouldn't be running for Vice President -- a fairly important position that may occasionally require you to think on your feet in public.

Seriously, I know conservatives hate the lib'rul media, but is Katie Couric alone really that much scarier than a summit of world leaders or a hostile opposition party? Really? Do they expect her to handle the latter situations better than the former?
posted by spiderwire at 7:06 PM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


POWW!!!!!!!!


(oops, scared the cat)
posted by notsnot at 7:07 PM on October 2, 2008


Heh, John McCain knows how to win a war, but he's never been in a winning war...
posted by Eekacat at 7:07 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


DAMNIT.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bosniaks
posted by datter at 7:07 PM on October 2, 2008


wonkette seems to have crashed.
posted by poxuppit at 7:08 PM on October 2, 2008


She just said, "John McCain knows how to win a war; he's been there..."

Hmmmm.... how exactly did he do that?
posted by armoir from antproof case at 7:08 PM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


No one even remembers Bosnia, Joe.

Not even Hillary Clinton?
posted by spiderwire at 7:08 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


My next band is going to be called Joe Biden and the Bosniacs.
posted by vibrotronica at 7:08 PM on October 2, 2008 [9 favorites]


The Republicans won this when they were able to dictate the terms of the debate. 90 seconds of foggy word salad and buzzwords, with no real opportunity for rebuttal.

Absolutely. Because what's happened, and quite transparently, is that she's memorized a short speech related to each of the likely questions and repeated it smoothly. Palin has not once had to think or explore the depth of any question. She's been armed with strategies for switching the topic of a question to a topic she has studied up on. And she's pretty damn busy with her index cards.

It's transparent that this isn't her brain doing the work. But her image might look pretty good to those who aren't concerned about knowledge, and they may have some success with this strategy of spinning "ignorant" as "outsider."
posted by Miko at 7:09 PM on October 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


Mavericks again???? This is fake.
posted by gatorae at 7:09 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


If she says, "The greed and corruption on Wall Street" one more time...
posted by Locative at 7:10 PM on October 2, 2008


I apologize to all the Bosniacs for being ignorant to their cool alternative name.
posted by MrBobaFett at 7:10 PM on October 2, 2008


How would a Palin administration differ from a McCain administration?

"What do you expect? A team of mavericks."

Huh?
posted by lumensimus at 7:10 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


From Ambinder: Palin gets the name of the commander general in Afghanistan wrong: he's McKiernan, not McClellan.
posted by poxuppit at 7:10 PM on October 2, 2008


MrBobaFett, I'm with you on the plans and ideas. I guess I have a low opinion of those people who are on the fence during this election.

She just winked. I just threw up a little in my mouth.
posted by papercake at 7:11 PM on October 2, 2008


I for one am a fan of Biden's facts and plans. Isn't that something we need from leaders?

I'm reminded of that riff from the Aaron Sorkin - Michael Douglas president flick about how "these are serious times, we have serious challenges, and we need serious people, etc." I'm sure the dimbulb Palin happy-happy-joy-joy-rah-rah-rah routine will go over big, though.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:11 PM on October 2, 2008


So if it’s a pod of whales and a murder of crows, do you call it a team of mavericks?
posted by ijoshua at 7:11 PM on October 2, 2008


Since when do the working class pay business taxes?

Having a business makes you bourgeoisie.
posted by jb at 7:11 PM on October 2, 2008


oh wow, the wife is even using the c word. Yowza.
posted by notsnot at 7:12 PM on October 2, 2008 [5 favorites]


She's completely insufferable.
posted by Flunkie at 7:12 PM on October 2, 2008


Ok, I'm just amused by how they try to out-middle class each other.

Although Palin's cutesy-folksy-whatever is just irritating.
posted by lullaby at 7:12 PM on October 2, 2008


STOP FUCKING WINKING! YOU'RE RUNNING FOR VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!

Respect the office even if you don't respect yourself.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:12 PM on October 2, 2008 [5 favorites]


WHAT
posted by ninjew at 7:12 PM on October 2, 2008


My brain hurts from watching this. I should have played the drinking game instead of palingo.
posted by dejah420 at 7:12 PM on October 2, 2008


Oh gosh darn tootin, you betcha FUCKING STAB ME IN THE PENIS IT WILL HURT LESS THAN THIS.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:12 PM on October 2, 2008 [15 favorites]


BE FOLKSIER I FUCKING DARE YOU BE FOLKSIER RIGHT THIS FUCKING MINUTE
posted by Simon! at 7:12 PM on October 2, 2008 [24 favorites]


She just did a shout-out. Words fail me.
posted by Ugh at 7:13 PM on October 2, 2008 [5 favorites]


But her image might look pretty good to those who aren't concerned about knowledge

The beauty of this strategy is that there's no bad soundbites to take away.
posted by smackfu at 7:13 PM on October 2, 2008


So if it’s a pod of whales and a murder of crows, do you call it a team of mavericks?
I just looked this up in the OED, too. It turns out that the proper term is actually "a coven of mavericks".
posted by Flunkie at 7:14 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


"Say it ain't so, Joe, there you go again, doggone it!" "Extra credit for the third-graders!"

Someone please hit me in the forehead with a mallet until I go into a coma.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:14 PM on October 2, 2008 [7 favorites]


I've taken to playing that video of her playing the flute in the background whenever she talks. Makes it much more pleasant.
posted by datter at 7:14 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Was that the first Presidential/Vice Presidential debate shout out ever? Inquiring minds want to know...
posted by ltracey at 7:14 PM on October 2, 2008


She completely avoided the economic issue by talking about education.
posted by jb at 7:15 PM on October 2, 2008


EXTRA CREDIT FUCK YES.
posted by clearly at 7:15 PM on October 2, 2008


Wait. What additional, not-currently-exercised power does the Constitution allow the VP to have over the Senate? That sounds ominous.
posted by salvia at 7:15 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Since when do the working class pay business taxes?

Having a business makes you bourgeoisie.


Now that's just commie talk.

*winks folksily*
posted by gompa at 7:15 PM on October 2, 2008


Are there people somewhere who would be charmed by this? I ask in all seriousness.
posted by poxuppit at 7:15 PM on October 2, 2008


i've had it. this is intolerable. I'm gonna stab myself in the thigh repeatedly. then soothe the pain by changing the channel and lighting a joint.
posted by ninjew at 7:15 PM on October 2, 2008


"Shout out"? Really?

She might actually be too folksy for people to take her seriously.
posted by joedan at 7:15 PM on October 2, 2008


I said something about this upthread, but Aaron Sorkin couldn't have written a better character than Palin. Everyone counted her out and knew she was going to get smoked, but then she comes out with this performance, shocking the whole nation. Granted, it's all smoke, mirrors, and a million redirections, but you know that McCain is smiling that stupid Bush smirk right now.

FUCKNUTS.
posted by educatedslacker at 7:16 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yes - the vice president simply needs more power.
posted by ao4047 at 7:16 PM on October 2, 2008


Biden's not going to win anybody over with all these facts and plans.

Is this seriously how intimidated we are with this bullshit about the average voter preferring relatable ignorance in their leaders?

Lay it down, Biden, if nothing else as a witness to God and/or anybody who will listen that America had a real choice between soundbites with a pretty face and a bible on one hand, and someone who cared enough to think about and discuss policies on the other.

And you know what? Obama's been trusting people to respond to the higher road so far, and the road has certainly not been smooth, but it's worked out well enough. I'll despair just like anybody else if McCain and Palin win at the end of it, but until then, the high road's good enough for me.
posted by namespan at 7:18 PM on October 2, 2008 [11 favorites]


Since when do the working class pay business taxes?

Having a business makes you bourgeoisie.

Now that's just commie talk.


So is talking about a working class.

Back in the day (aka the 17th century), we just called them "the poorer sort" or "the meaner sort" - as opposed to the "better sort".
posted by jb at 7:18 PM on October 2, 2008


Are there people somewhere who would be charmed by this? I ask in all seriousness.

Moreover, if they somehow do find such revolting shallow shameless patronizing faux-flirty pandering charming, could they possibly want the (Vice) President to be behaving that way when meeting foreign leaders? Is she running for Princess Di, or what?
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:19 PM on October 2, 2008


Josh Marshall:

10:17: ...
posted by spiderwire at 7:20 PM on October 2, 2008


MAN, Biden got a huge spike as soon as he ripped into Cheney.
posted by sciurus at 7:20 PM on October 2, 2008


Oh great. The cubs are getting murdered again. Apparently the TV needs to be off tonight.
posted by ninjew at 7:21 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, she had to bring up the "city on a fucking hill" speech! (And attribute it to Reagan of all people!)

Righties just fucking love that speech. What is left about America that other nations want to emulate?
posted by Pallas Athena at 7:22 PM on October 2, 2008


Biden almost cried. JESUS HELP ME.
posted by datter at 7:23 PM on October 2, 2008


Jesus. She's like an flailing animatronic! Like the hokey Maw Bear in the old Country Jamboree show. This whole display is just so fucking insulting.
posted by maryh at 7:23 PM on October 2, 2008


FINALLY someone calls bullshit on the Maverick! Thank you!!!
posted by arcanecrowbar at 7:26 PM on October 2, 2008


namespan, you're a better person than I.
posted by papercake at 7:26 PM on October 2, 2008


I don't think she's doing well at all. Even the "Ohio Swing Voters" have been flatliners for most of her cutesy schtick, and the women trendline has been sloping up for Biden. What this has done has made me a lot more confident in Biden as a VP pick.
posted by potch at 7:27 PM on October 2, 2008


If she doesn't say earmarks I'm gonna be pissed
posted by MrBobaFett at 7:29 PM on October 2, 2008


You mean Reagan didn't invent the idea of "the city on the hill"? That's just crazy talk.
posted by jb at 7:29 PM on October 2, 2008


The filter of the mainstream media? How about the filter of not answering the question at hand?
posted by lumensimus at 7:29 PM on October 2, 2008


Sarah Palin knows what my hurts are.
posted by clearly at 7:30 PM on October 2, 2008


This post is wrong. Turns out that Sarah Palin is not a better debater than I thought.
posted by spiderwire at 7:30 PM on October 2, 2008 [10 favorites]


I almost cried when he almost cried. In a good way.
posted by ersatzkat at 7:30 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Make-Believe Maverick
posted by homunculus at 7:30 PM on October 2, 2008


My assessment of Palin's performance: She didn't say anything but she said it very well.
posted by Manhasset at 7:31 PM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


JESUS MAWKISH CHRIST
posted by sciurus at 7:31 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


"I really enjoyed not answering questions directly to the American People. MAVERICKOUTSIDERMAVERICKOUTSIDER! Thank you." *wink*
posted by papercake at 7:32 PM on October 2, 2008


"back in the day when the men and women of america were free."

did i hear that right? wtf does that mean?
posted by andywolf at 7:32 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


forget the mike's on please god please god
posted by andywolf at 7:33 PM on October 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


did i hear that right? wtf does that mean?

I think you've identified the theme of the night.
posted by gatorae at 7:34 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think she's implying that civilization is going to collapse if we don't vote for John McCain. Nice to see the fear-mongering tactics of the past eight years are going to change.
posted by lumensimus at 7:34 PM on October 2, 2008


"back in the day when the men and women of America were free"

IF YOU DON'T VOTE FOR MCCAIN 'N' ME PUTIN WILL COME OVER ALASKAN AIRSPACE INTO AMERICA AND ENSLAVE US ALL
posted by scody at 7:35 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


God that was depressing
posted by dydecker at 7:36 PM on October 2, 2008


Well guys, we may or may not have subverted MeFi a bit here tonight but that was entertaining just the same.
posted by datter at 7:36 PM on October 2, 2008


Biden almost cried.

That was awesome. It was genuine (which Palin wasn't), it was moving, and it was one of the few things she really couldn't have gotten away with herself.
posted by Miko at 7:38 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


So, does Gwen Ifil have to sit there like that until they leave?
posted by dirigibleman at 7:38 PM on October 2, 2008


How can you change without being to look back at what you are changing from?
posted by Artw at 7:38 PM on October 2, 2008


If McCain and Palin are elected, the entire world will come and raise their heads over Alaskan airspace and into America.

The rest of the world has had to tolerate Dubya and Darth Cheney fo 8 years. Please elect sane individuals this time?

Thanking you.
posted by tomcosgrave at 7:39 PM on October 2, 2008


I don't think this is going to be much of a game-changer, really. Palin basically tossed talking points up that Biden shot down and kept the focus on McCain = Bush. She managed to get a laugh, but then Biden curb-stomped the maverick meme. And the fact that he got the last word, tying in his dad, small town America, God, our troops - an excellent cocktail for undecideds.

In the end, McCain may see a modest bump, but again, so will Obama. As I've said, this should be a vitamin shot to both sides, but not a real serious impact on the direction these campaigns are going.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:39 PM on October 2, 2008


Heh, LGF is down. Republicans are going to go ape shit over the fact that Palin didn't drool on herself and fart on camera.
posted by anomie at 7:40 PM on October 2, 2008


Chris Matthews was just freaking out on MSNBC over her comment about expanding the powers of the VP. I was in the car when she said it, and I could hear the guy in the car next to me scream "OH MY GOD, YOU DUMBSHIT FASCIST!" when she started in.
posted by scody at 7:40 PM on October 2, 2008 [52 favorites]


So, does Gwen Ifil have to sit there like that until they leave?

Ifil broke her foot two days ago and is probably in a cast and with crutches at a minimum; so I imagine, yes, might be better to wait until the cameras go off and the crowds disperse to get out of the way.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:41 PM on October 2, 2008


dirigibleman

I'm watching NBC, and they said she hurt her leg very badly and was using a wheelchair this morning.

Republicans REALLY wanted her to go easy on Palin...
posted by educatedslacker at 7:41 PM on October 2, 2008


A draw. Very little chatter in the greater sphere regarding this debate beyond the next 24/48-hours.
posted by ericb at 7:41 PM on October 2, 2008


I just now became aware of why Joe Biden almost cried, and completely retract my non-witty comment above.
posted by datter at 7:42 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Manhasset has it. Biden had all the information at his fingertips, but did not always deliver it coherently. Palin was much more telegenic and came across as more clearly-spoken. He beats her on content-- she beats him on delivery.

How voters will react depends on whether her "folksy" persona makes them feel charmed or condescended to.
posted by Pallas Athena at 7:42 PM on October 2, 2008


So, does Gwen Ifil have to sit there like that until they leave?

She broke her ankle this past weekend!
posted by ericb at 7:43 PM on October 2, 2008


this should be a vitamin shot to both sides, but not a real serious impact


That would be so perfect, given the hyperventilating expectations...
posted by poxuppit at 7:43 PM on October 2, 2008


Linda Wertheimer on NPR just talked about how Biden sometimes looked "bemused" at Palin, "as if appreciating a worthy competitor."

I thought the look contained more of the sentiment from the the classic Samuel Johnson story: surprised - not that it was done well, but that it was done at all.
posted by Miko at 7:44 PM on October 2, 2008 [5 favorites]


she beats him on delivery.

If you consider delivery to be either the same platitudes over and over again or a brazen avoidance of the question...
posted by tomcosgrave at 7:45 PM on October 2, 2008


Sorry! I didn't know!
posted by dirigibleman at 7:45 PM on October 2, 2008


Biden choking up was an amazing, heart-stopping moment in the debate. And everything she said after just sounded so shallow and inconsequential. I predict a spike for Biden on that alone.
posted by shiu mai baby at 7:45 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Manhasset has it. Biden had all the information at his fingertips, but did not always deliver it coherently. Palin was much more telegenic and came across as more clearly-spoken. He beats her on content-- she beats him on delivery.

You know, when the waitress gets my order wrong but has great tits I don't compliment her for her delivery; I ask where my steak is.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:46 PM on October 2, 2008 [24 favorites]


Heh - Kevin Drum: "... a lot of her filibustering ended up sounding like random strings of phrases from the Hockey-Mom-o-Bot 3000."
posted by Flunkie at 7:47 PM on October 2, 2008


You mean Reagan didn't invent the idea of "the city on the hill"? That's just crazy talk.

At the moment, the spider dangling on a thread above the flame hits a bit closer to home as a national metaphor.
posted by enn at 7:48 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


After all the damage she's done over the past weeks in interviews and public appearances, she's really in too deep of a hole for this rather lukewarm DebateLite to make many people decide she's not a blithering idiot after all.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:48 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Exactly, XQUZYPHYR. She did a lousy, lousy job of actually answering the question asked. She delivered her talking points rather well, but half the time what she was saying had nothing to do with the topic at hand.
posted by shiu mai baby at 7:49 PM on October 2, 2008


Wow. The CNN group had 10 people raise their hand when Soledad Obrien asked "did tonight's debate solidify who you were voting for?"

One said they were voting for McCain.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:49 PM on October 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


Palin did about as well as I thought she would; I never believed she would be the trainwreck a lot of you seem to have been expecting. No, what surprised me is that Biden exceeded my expectations. While a lot of conservatives may be feeling very relieved right now that she didn't make any major screw-ups, I think a lot of undecideds are suddenly a lot more impressed with Biden.

And yeah, the way he executed that momentary choke-up at the end was a performance of Oscar-winning calibre.

In the end, Palin looked like someone very happy to have pulled that off for 90 minutes; Biden looked like he could have happily continued doing it for 5 more hours.
posted by the bricabrac man at 7:49 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


"Palin won because she didn't screw up." God, that thinking just makes me want to vomit.
posted by shiu mai baby at 7:50 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


She delivered her talking points rather well, but half the time what she was saying had nothing to do with the topic at hand.

Precisely! When she was asked to name her "Achille's heel" for example, and proceded to ramble on about her governoring. In fairness, that might be because she doesn't know what Achille's heel means.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:51 PM on October 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


It all depends on whether or not the majority of people in America are cretinous morons or not.
posted by Artw at 7:52 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


And yeah, the way he executed that momentary choke-up at the end was a performance of Oscar-winning calibre.

Dude, you're talking bout a tough, populist guy from Delaware. That choke-up was not "executed," and it wasn't "a performance." That was straight-up the only authentic moment in the entire 90 minutes.
posted by shiu mai baby at 7:52 PM on October 2, 2008 [7 favorites]


One said they were voting for McCain.

and she didn't even know where she was...holy crap.
posted by clearly at 7:53 PM on October 2, 2008


Biden's choking up revealed a humanity that made Sarah Palin look like a mannequin. I can only hope that the media's coverage of this debate has that moment as a central element of what happened tonight.
posted by interrobang at 7:54 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


It all depends on whether or not the majority of people in America are cretinous morons or not.

Oh, well then.



We're doomed.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 7:55 PM on October 2, 2008


It all depends on whether or not the majority of people in America are cretinous morons or not.

Eh, I don't know. Biden was especially consistent in speaking very simply, almost to the point of condescension. "Let me repeat that" was probably his most oft-repeated phrase. He kept his points brief, his shots at McCain direct, and wove in a healthy amount of emotion and the ol' hokey appeal.

Compare this to say, John Kerry.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:55 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


And yeah, the way he executed that momentary choke-up at the end was a performance of Oscar-winning calibre.
You're suggesting that he was faking emotion about the death of his wife and baby daughter?
posted by Flunkie at 7:56 PM on October 2, 2008 [6 favorites]


Exactly, Marisa. Biden did a great job, for the most part, of staying on message, and framing his response with easily-digestible but accurate bullet points. Very well done.
posted by shiu mai baby at 7:57 PM on October 2, 2008


tomcosgrave: If you consider delivery to be either the same platitudes over and over again or a brazen avoidance of the question...

I'd put both of those under "substance," of which I agree she had almost none. But she was surprisingly adept at wrapping that shit in a shiny package.

XQZPHYR: You know, when the waitress gets my order wrong but has great tits I don't compliment her for her delivery; I ask where my steak is.

"Where's the beef?" is a damn good question at this point.
posted by Pallas Athena at 7:57 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


The whole exchange on the role of the vice-president is going to be incredibly damaging for the McCain ticket.
If there is one person more despised, feared and hated in this country than George Bush, it it Dick Cheney. Palin's tacit endorsement of Cheney's constitutional revisionism of the office of VP, combined with her sunny assertion that she would like to expand the powers of that office in various unspecified ways, will pretty much destroy any hope of McCain winning over a good number of independents who are already suspicious of her popularity among the hard Right. A Sarah Palin who diligently and quietly fulfilled the prescribed role of her office might have been acceptable to these voters; a Sarah Palin, whose true support base (much more ideologically extreme and combative) is decidely not that of her running mate, that is bent on aggrandizing even more power, is truly terrifying to many people. Palin may have solidifed McCain's support among the religious Right, but I suspect an equal number of independents--those folks that McCain must win over if he is to win, will be streaming for the exits of the Republican party this election cycle.
posted by Chrischris at 7:59 PM on October 2, 2008 [10 favorites]


And yeah, the way he executed that momentary choke-up at the end was a performance of Oscar-winning calibre.

You must really think he's a monster.
posted by dirigibleman at 7:59 PM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


she's really in too deep of a hole for this rather lukewarm DebateLite to make many people decide she's not a blithering idiot after all.

But maybe it'll instill a lot of false confidence in the McCain campaign, and they'll lengthen her leash over the next week so we can have more hilarious hijinks!

But I don't think so. I think they'll keep her scripted and away from the media until Election Day.

I completely agree, though. She did just well enough not to hurt the campaign further, but her performance was too clearly rote and rehearsed to reverse the opinions about her. She had already begun to repeat her themes (maverick, middle class, mom-itude, regularness, Reagan, hero, maverick, confidence, American people, maverick again...) before the 90 minutes were up. It wasn't enough to hurt, but it wasn't enough to impress or to bring in the undecideds...who are this campaign's only hope.
posted by Miko at 7:59 PM on October 2, 2008


:-))
posted by Rafaelloello at 8:00 PM on October 2, 2008


"I thought she came across terrific" - Chris Matthews.

Bleah.
posted by poxuppit at 8:01 PM on October 2, 2008


As somebody who listened to the debate on the radio, I would say that Palin did a pretty poor high school debate level job, let alone the vice presidential level she was actually (laughably, unbelievably) at.

Biden pretty much was swinging her innards around yodeling, but the worst moments for Palin came when she was the one talking. I was sad to hear at the end that this was the only VP debate. I haven't laughed like that in a while.
posted by stinkycheese at 8:02 PM on October 2, 2008


Exactly, XQUZYPHYR. She did a lousy, lousy job of actually answering the question asked. She delivered her talking points rather well, but half the time what she was saying had nothing to do with the topic at hand.

Well, she basically said at the beginning of the debate that she wasn't going to play by the silly rules given to her and was going to answer the questions "her way." Mrs. Papercake and I both laughed at the blatant Fuck You/Retreat to her 3x5 cards.
posted by papercake at 8:03 PM on October 2, 2008


All hat, no cattle.
posted by Tenuki at 8:04 PM on October 2, 2008 [6 favorites]


Wait, she had 3x5 cards? Is that even allowed?
posted by shiu mai baby at 8:04 PM on October 2, 2008


As somebody who listened to the debate on the radio, I would say that Palin did a pretty poor high school debate level job, let alone the vice presidential level she was actually (laughably, unbelievably) at.

It's true that she really needs that camera. I was making exactly the same comment to someone just as I read your post - we listened to the debate partly on the radio, and watched the other part of it streaming online. She sounds far weaker without the visual connection she makes right to the camera - she has this wide, intent gaze and perma-smile that are oddly hypnotizing, in a neotonous sort of way. Without that, the words sound even emptier.
posted by Miko at 8:06 PM on October 2, 2008


"As somebody who listened to the debate on the radio, I would say that Palin did a pretty poor high school debate level job..."

I agree. She will do very poorly with those undecideds huddled around the victrola, mailing in their absentee ballots written with charcoal on parchment.
posted by Rafaelloello at 8:08 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


I did find it amusing that Palin co-opted the phrase "Never Again" from the Holocaust and used it in reference to... the credit crisis.
posted by gatorae at 8:08 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Howard Fineman, tool extraordinaire, on CNN, gets one right: Palin's style was "like a wolverine attacking the pant leg of a passerby."
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:09 PM on October 2, 2008


That kitchen table got a serious workout tonight.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:10 PM on October 2, 2008 [10 favorites]


She will do very poorly with those undecideds huddled around the victrola, mailing in their absentee ballots written with charcoal on parchment.

You really think a candidate who just said there's wiggle room in terms of VP power is going to draw independents?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:11 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


she scares the shit out of me
posted by Bookhouse at 8:12 PM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


Biden choking up was an amazing, heart-stopping moment in the debate.

Video | 01:35. The story behind it all.
posted by ericb at 8:13 PM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


Fun, fun, fun, until Michelle takes the Corolla away.
posted by Rafaelloello at 8:14 PM on October 2, 2008


fun, fun, fun, until Cindy takes the Lear Jet away.
posted by clearly at 8:15 PM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


She will do very poorly with those undecideds huddled around the victrola, mailing in their absentee ballots written with charcoal on parchment.

Come on, now - we all know the Victrola vote was always in the bag for McCain anyway. I think that's what's behind his energy initiative - more power to fuel our Victrolas, streetcars, and Frigidaires!

But the radio? Well, it's a great medium for catching people who had to cancel their cable so they can afford their rent and medical bills, and for people who have to be at work nights. I wonder how many people who had to listen while at work - at the hospital, the police station, the security company, the 7-11, the taxi dispatcher - make over $250,000 a year?
posted by Miko at 8:16 PM on October 2, 2008 [10 favorites]


I hate T. Boone Pickens.
posted by Flunkie at 8:16 PM on October 2, 2008


I'm lagging behind here (DVR) buty we just got past the crying and the de-mavericking, and I have to ssy I am really liking Biden.

Will it impress the hypothetical morons? Probably not, but he is one cool guy.
posted by Artw at 8:17 PM on October 2, 2008


> she scares the shit out of me

Yeah especially when they asked her about nukes...
posted by dhruva at 8:18 PM on October 2, 2008


She will do very poorly with those undecideds huddled around the victrola, mailing in their absentee ballots written with charcoal on parchment.

Or, you know, people like myself driving home from work (or even at work) and listening to it on -- what's that? -- the radio.
posted by scody at 8:18 PM on October 2, 2008


I did find it amusing that Palin co-opted the phrase "Never Again" from the Holocaust and used it in reference to... the credit crisis.
Well dontcha know, gee golly, maybe it's just because I'm a Joe Six Pack Hockey Mom Washington Outsider, but whillikers, dontcha know they really are the same thing, because our Jewish brother and sisters, God bless 'em, dontcha know they were right there in the middle of the Holocaust and the credit crisis, dontcha know.
posted by Flunkie at 8:20 PM on October 2, 2008 [9 favorites]


Yeah especially when they asked her about nukes...

That question was quite clearly off pre-scripted talking point, and should not have been allowed in the debate.
posted by Artw at 8:20 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


As an independent voter in a swing county of a swing state, Palin has done nothing to earn my vote, and if the opposing candidate was similar to recent elections, I might have had to abstain. McCain, to me, is George Bush's Monica Lewinsky. I hate to admit it, but I liked McCain back in the 2000 election. Now he's just pathetic. Palin is Dan Quayle, but just with less substance. If anyone that isn't a blind conservative still has any question about the vote this November, then they can't see through a plain glass window.
posted by Eekacat at 8:20 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's petty, but her pronunciation of a few words just makes me mental. Example #1: Surge. In Palinspeak: Serrrrrrrrrrge. The Serrrrrrrrrge. She loved that word so much.

#2 NEWKYOULAR. Over and over again until every lobe of my brain was pounding in agony. Honestly, part of me believes that one of her debate coaches made her say it that way just because they know how much it drives thinking folk right up the wall.
posted by shiu mai baby at 8:22 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


From 538:
The CBS poll of undecideds had Biden winning the debate 46-21, with 33 percent calling it a tie. But few votes were moved as as result. Among the undecideds, 18 percent committed to Obama, and 10 percent committed to McCain, but 71 percent remained uncommitted.

Biden won the CNN and CBS focus groups. Palin won the Luntz focus group. The candidates tied in the Halperin focus group.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:22 PM on October 2, 2008


Biden wins whitest teeth. Or whatever those were in his mouth.
posted by Rafaelloello at 8:23 PM on October 2, 2008


our Jewish brother and sisters, God bless 'em

Oh man. The part where she smarmed to Biden how his wife's reward was in heaven because she was a teacher nearly made me retch. In my dream universe (you know, the one where Samuel L. Jackson shows up in the Couric interview to yell "Newspapers, motherfucker -- DO YOU READ THEM?"), Biden snaps back "my wife's reward is in my pants, you nitwit, now shitcan the platitudes and answer the fucking question."
posted by scody at 8:25 PM on October 2, 2008 [52 favorites]


"Consider that wee shall be as a Citty upon a Hill" - John Winthrop, not Ron Reagan. Christ, what an asshole.
posted by The White Hat at 8:27 PM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


Scody, I hear you. I cannot believe, I just can NOT believe, she brought up Biden's dead wife. What in the hell was she thinking?
posted by shiu mai baby at 8:28 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


She loved that word so much.

Oh yeah! And Awkmadinnajad, the president of Eye-ran! You could tell they'd coached her on the pronunciation in debate camp all week, and she was all eager to say it as much as she could to show off her big girl words. Sort of like when each of my nephews learned the word "fart."
posted by scody at 8:28 PM on October 2, 2008 [6 favorites]


The part where she smarmed to Biden how his wife's reward was in heaven because she was a teacher nearly made me retch.

To me, it brought to mind the first episode of Six Feet Under: Nate, sitting in the living room during his dad's funeral, and some woman coming up to him and saying, "I'm very sorry about your loss, but he's in a much better place now" and he responds, "Wow, you're so right about that."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:28 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


This is the easiest job ever. All I have to do is keep you all concentrating your energies in this little blue hole for a few more weeks. hehehehehe
posted by Rafaelloello at 8:31 PM on October 2, 2008


You know, I don't like to say it ..because it's mean and I would never, EVER talk to anyone like that you know, but sometimes I doubt Sarah's commitment to Sparkle Motion.
posted by The Whelk at 8:31 PM on October 2, 2008 [18 favorites]


I found I could barely even keep my mind on what Palin said, while I had no trouble following Biden. And no, the problem is not my powers of concentration.

That "Bridge to Nowhere" joke was awesome. And I loved it that Biden counteracted Palin's idiot "I'm a mom and a real person" shtick by proving that he has his own family and his own griefs and struggles — he just doesn't use it as evidence that he's qualified for being VP. It had a certain "everyone has their own personal life, including me, so don't act like you're the only one who can relate to other people, and moreover I'm sick of listening to you trying to paint your life as some kind of shining proof of your political apitude" tone to it.

And I don't think that was an act when his voice broke as he talked about not knowing if his son was going to survive. Not very many people can act that well, and this is a man who was trying to have a serious debate.
posted by orange swan at 8:32 PM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


This is the easiest job ever. All I have to do is keep you all concentrating your energies in this little blue hole for a few more weeks. hehehehehe

Careful, Raf, you don't want to get super-censored.

And my goodness, how will I find the time to do anything else between posting comments?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:32 PM on October 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


shiu mai baby, trying to get a rise out of him? Ill considered of whoever thought it'd be a good idea, in any case.
posted by topynate at 8:33 PM on October 2, 2008


Well I think Palin was referring to Biden's current wife (married in 1977) who is a schoolteacher. But that remark struck me as insensitive, as his first wife is dead
posted by ltracey at 8:35 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


With focus groups, everyone is a loser.

I can't take those people seriously. Basically, they were herded into a set of bleachers, given $50, and asked to give an opinion on the debate for the sake of cable network ratings.

Me, I watched Obama speak on the quad of my University on Tuesday. Last night, I attended a presentation by General John Abizaid, former commander of CENTCOM on the prevailing issues in the Middle East. I mean, getting on teevee and raising your hand is one thing, forming an educated stance is quite another.
posted by clearly at 8:36 PM on October 2, 2008


Rafaellogoodbye?
posted by lumensimus at 8:37 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


She was just a cold bitch after Biden's choke up. She missed the opportunity to win a lot of points by briefly and warmly acknowledging that, even in her faux-folksy goofball way. Instead, by brusquely changing the subject, she came across as cold and wooden.

Her VP shit was scary, I hope that gets picked up a lot. I thought I was worried with Cheney expanding the powers, but the idea of having this dimwit enlarging the powers of the office is really terrifying in a bad, surrealistic way.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:38 PM on October 2, 2008 [5 favorites]


So, I'm up to what -- $75?

goddamn Sarah Palin and her predictable ways
posted by contessa at 8:38 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Drifting here and there with facts.
posted by netbros at 8:39 PM on October 2, 2008


This is the easiest job ever. All I have to do is keep you all concentrating your energies in this little blue hole for a few more weeks. hehehehehe

You mean when I am not registering voters on my campus between classes, knocking on doors on the weekends, and casting my early vote for Obama on October 18 and encouraging others to do so as well?

FAIL.
posted by clearly at 8:40 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Hey, so right about John Winthrop! And the best bit? He was talking about a place on the East Coast:
the Lord will be our God and delight to dwell among us....hee shall make us a prayse and glory, that men shall say of succeeding plantacions: the lord make it like that of New England: for wee must Consider that wee shall be as a Citty upon a Hill, the eies of all people are uppon us...
GO SOX!

I found I could barely even keep my mind on what Palin said, while I had no trouble following Biden. And no, the problem is not my powers of concentration.

Same here. We were just talking about how the more memorable moments seem to be Biden's - there's a little bit of a 'Chinese food effect' with Palin's comments. I know she spoke for the allotted time, but I still feel hungry.

Biden's hands were tied in this debate, and sure, there's a lot I wish he could've done better. But he did exactly what he needed to do, and turned in a workmanlike, honest, solid, and very respectable performance. He just had to get out of Palin's way and let everyone see what she had to bring to the game. He couldn't attack her and get away with it without accusations from the campaign. He did the job he needed to: increased confidence in his ticket among supporters and undecideds, and do no harm. The traditional veep role in the debate. I would have loved the fireworks that we totally know he's capable of, but he was right to lay them aside tonight.
posted by Miko at 8:42 PM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


"Consider that wee shall be as a Citty upon a Hill" - John Winthrop, not Ron Reagan.

A Classic Dog-whistle soundbite right there. Those "in the know" (read: the Religious Right) understand that the City on the Hill metaphor is a head-nod in the direction of America's so-called Dominionist roots. Winthrop's brand of Puritan political philosophy--based squarely on the seamless integration of civil and theological power-- is pretty much the historical fountainhead of a whole stream of Conservative Christian thought which finds its apotheosis in the ideas of Rushdoony and his Christian Reconstructionist movement.

Someone among Palin's debate coaches was a pretty smart cookie to include this in her talking points...
posted by Chrischris at 8:43 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Is it November 5th already? Damn you, Rafaelloello!
posted by JaredSeth at 8:43 PM on October 2, 2008


In Palinspeak: Serrrrrrrrrrge. The Serrrrrrrrrge.

Brings to mind Scott Thompson's 'Kids In The Hall" skit -- 'Buddy Cole Finds Love at First Sight':
"Serge the man came striding into the pool area like the Colossus of Rome and shot me a look of raw passion that heroes have been shooting at heroes for thousands and thousands of years. I froze."
posted by ericb at 8:43 PM on October 2, 2008


So, fact-checking "the surge won't work in Afghanistan" comment:

CNN: "But a different type of surge is needed in Afghanistan, said Gen. David McKiernan, the top NATO commander there."

Mother Jones: "What I don't think is needed - the word that I don't use in Afghanistan is the word 'surge.' There needs to be a sustained commitment of a variety of military and non-military resources, I believe."

WaPo: The new top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said yesterday that more American troops are urgently required to combat a worsening insurgency, but he stated emphatically that no Iraq-style "surge" of forces will end the conflict there.

Many other articles that mention the interview in passing conflate "surge" with "more troops," however. Because McKiernan is asking for more troops, it's easy to say "well surge, more troops, whatever." Is 'Merka smart enough to parse this?
posted by zekinskia at 8:43 PM on October 2, 2008


You can see how false bravado masks desperation, in Palin and in the person currently shitting in this thread, which has been perfectly civil hitherto.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:44 PM on October 2, 2008


Looks like Obama is still ahead
posted by Rafaelloello at 8:44 PM on October 2, 2008


Did anyone else get a creepy Lucille Bluth vibe from all that winking?
posted by maryh at 8:45 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


"Consider that wee shall be as a Citty upon a Hill" - John Winthrop, not Ron Reagan.

I would have said John Bunyan. Shows what I know.
posted by Artw at 8:45 PM on October 2, 2008


A political Rick roll? Classy
posted by JaredSeth at 8:47 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


When does the debate start?
posted by mazola at 8:49 PM on October 2, 2008


Scody, I hear you. I cannot believe, I just can NOT believe, she brought up Biden's dead wife. What in the hell was she thinking?

Is it not that live wife that's the teacher? Even so, WTF moment.
posted by Artw at 8:49 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


the Lord will be our God and delight to dwell among us....hee shall make us a prayse and glory, that men shall say of succeeding plantacions: the lord make it like that of New England: for wee must Consider that wee shall be as a Citty upon a Hill, the eies of all people are uppon us...

That's nice and all, but what atrocious spelling. Can we trust the wisdom of a guy who didn't even use SpellCheck? I'm sure Reagan spelled his version correctly. Or had people do it for him.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:49 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


This is the easiest job ever. All I have to do is keep you all concentrating your energies in this little blue hole for a few more weeks. hehehehehe

I love these little attacks, because they tell you something about the attacker: that perhaps posting shit on the internet is about all they can manage in a day. Fortunately that's not true of the rest of us, who seem to manage to fulfill multiple roles and advance toward more than one goal at a time. [Me? Full-time job, home life, social life, volunteer program leader, Obama campaign volunteer persuasion caller and canvasser 2-3 times a week!]

So, post away. We've got time. This is the relaxing part of the day.
posted by Miko at 8:49 PM on October 2, 2008 [8 favorites]


I thought it was a commonplace of Puritan rhetoric. Back in old England, Puritan reformers is Dorchester used the phrase in the early 17th century, if I recall "Fire From Heaven" correctly.
posted by Abiezer at 8:51 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Who farted?
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:52 PM on October 2, 2008


I love these little attacks

Are you serious? Just pretend for a minute that you're looking for political attacks and restrict your search to Metafilter. Do you think you could find any?
posted by Rafaelloello at 8:52 PM on October 2, 2008


Scody, I hear you. I cannot believe, I just can NOT believe, she brought up Biden's dead wife. What in the hell was she thinking?

Is it not that live wife that's the teacher? Even so, WTF moment.


I missed that, but yeah, just so utterly tasteless. "Hey, your wife has a place in heaven all ready for when she dies, you know, like the first one did."

Too bad we can't say the same for Palin.
posted by orange swan at 8:53 PM on October 2, 2008


Subpoenas upheld in Palin trooper investigation
An Alaska judge refused Thursday to throw out subpoenas for members of Gov. Sarah Palin's administration in the State Legislature's investigation of her firing of her public safety commissioner.

Anchorage Superior Court Judge Peter Michalski rejected a request by Palin's Republican allies to shut down the investigation and ruled that the subpoenas were issued properly by the state Senate Judiciary Committee.

posted by madamjujujive at 8:55 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


It would be fun to go through the debate text and do word frequency analysis on each candidate. I think there were at least 7 "mavericks" from Palin, and a whole bunch of "God" and "God bless" - a few more from Palin, but definitely from both.
posted by Miko at 8:58 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Just pretend for a minute that you're looking for political attacks and restrict your search to Metafilter. Do you think you could find any?

There's one I could point to in this very thread, but I'm in the pocket of TimeWarner, so I can't.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:58 PM on October 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


I think there were at least 7 "mavericks" from Palin, and a whole bunch of "God" and "God bless" - a few more from Palin, but definitely from both.

Why, there was a whole team of mavericks.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:00 PM on October 2, 2008


Just pretend for a minute that you're looking for political attacks and restrict your search to Metafilter. Do you think you could find any?

There's one I could point to in this very thread, but I'm in the pocket of TimeWarner, so I can't.


Good job. You found the one. Congratulations on winning the MeFi Scavenger hunt.
posted by Rafaelloello at 9:01 PM on October 2, 2008


Every time Palin talked I felt like she was shitting in my brain.
posted by frenetic at 9:02 PM on October 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


Coulda swore a month or so ago I saw a video of McCain saying, "Well, I would never refer to myself as a maverick..." or something like that and he and Palin seem to have done nothing but since I saw it.
posted by Manhasset at 9:02 PM on October 2, 2008


Good job. You found the one. Congratulations on winning the MeFi Scavenger hunt.

And congratulations to you, on making Ron Paul supporters seem rational and even-handed.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:02 PM on October 2, 2008


Biden is nearly incapable of speaking in "real" terms that MOST people can relate to. A comment way upstream referenced that -- when he starts talking about subcommittees, many people glaze over.

But that's fine, when you're running for the Senate for the umpteenth time and most of the people that vote for you have voted for you before, and know that "that's how you are."

But in 2008...part of Palin's appeal is that she is NOT a "professional" politician. I understand some of the criticism of Palin - really I do - but she represents something that many people (knowingly or not) really want: a citizen-politican. Not someone who has lived and worked in Washington DC for decades (McCain, Biden). That's part of Obama's appeal, too -- he is not a "professional" politician. He's not quite as "citizen"-y as Palin, but he's definitely not part of the DC mainstream (yet).

And that's part of why Palin has resounded so strongly -- particularly among people that so many MeFites hold in disdain. Palin has been a Mayor and Governor, true -- but far, far removed (literally and figuratively) from the political swamp that is Washington DC.

Laugh or cringe or cry all you want -- but her "citizen-politician" appeal shouldn't be discounted.

Palin isn't perfect - but she is genuine. Biden isn't perfect - but he's a perfect politician.

Advantage: Palin. Not a huge win tonight, but a win nonetheless.
posted by davidmsc at 9:05 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Good job. You found the one. Congratulations on winning the MeFi Scavenger hunt.

And congratulations to you, on making Ron Paul supporters seem rational and even-handed.


And congratulations to you too, for moving up a level in your cognitive reasoning skills.
posted by Rafaelloello at 9:05 PM on October 2, 2008


I will pay someone cash money to have this thread not be about konolia Rafaelloello .
posted by madamjujujive at 9:08 PM on October 2, 2008 [16 favorites]


All I have to do is keep you all concentrating your energies in this little blue hole...

Wait, that means that in addition to appearing silly and underinformed, you're concentrating your own energy here... that's... that's one dastardly clever and devastating plan you got there, bucko.

...for a few more weeks.

Oh? Well, I guess that's something else to look forward to.
You'll never be super-censored from my heart, though.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:09 PM on October 2, 2008


This totally doesn't matter, but Palin has pretty hair. Much prettier than Biden's, that's for sure.
posted by garlic at 9:09 PM on October 2, 2008


I thought it was a commonplace of Puritan rhetoric. Back in old England, Puritan reformers is Dorchester used the phrase in the early 17th century, if I recall "Fire From Heaven" correctly.

a commonplace of American Puritan rhetoric. T
posted by Chrischris at 9:09 PM on October 2, 2008


773 comments, and what 4 or 5 are mine? I must really...

...well you've probably heard.
posted by Rafaelloello at 9:10 PM on October 2, 2008


Good job. You found the one

Ah, you think you were the only one to ever make such an attempt at attack. I get it now. As it happens, someone else tried it a few days ago right here on MetaFilter, and I had essentially the same response. A few months before that someone else tried it, and a little while before that someone else tried it. In fact, I think it's an unbroken tradition going back to alt.lameattacks.net in the early 90s. Which is why I referred to them as "these" little attacks.

Completely apart from this thread and its topic, the belief that somehow internet discussions take a lot of time and intensity out of people strike me as pretty old-school, dating from a time when it was more difficult and more unusual for people to use the internet. These days, it's pretty much organically integrated into life, and you don't need to be in your mother's basement on a homebuilt connection in the dark of night to keep track of things. Though that still seems to come as news to some.
posted by Miko at 9:13 PM on October 2, 2008 [5 favorites]


Why, there was a whole team of mavericks.

I think the collective noun is "a Dallas".
posted by penduluum at 9:13 PM on October 2, 2008 [12 favorites]


Well, that's my point Chrischris - was fairly sure it was in common parlance in late 16th and early 17th century England prior to crossing the Atlantic. Anyway, minor point. What a plastic loon that Palin woman is. Staggering that she's even being considered as a candidate.
posted by Abiezer at 9:14 PM on October 2, 2008


Rafaelloello, nothing personal. Comment all you want, my comment was not to you but to the people that take the bait and run with your incendiary statements.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:14 PM on October 2, 2008


[My drinking game got the better of me, so forgive me if I'm repeating points already established here;]

notsnot : oh wow, the wife is even using the c word. Yowza.

Right around here, my normally placid bride had both middle fingers firmly extended and her arms locked in place, pointed at the TV screen.

In that moment, I was reminded of why I love that woman.

arcanecrowbar : FINALLY someone calls bullshit on the Maverick! Thank you!!!

Yes. I think it was the first moment in the debate that he showed that, while he was willing to play nice at the request of his boss, he still had some teeth to bare.

ersatzkat : I almost cried when he almost cried. In a good way.

It was awful, but I loved this moment. Because after all the talk about her "special needs child" which I'm sure, in her mind was real and unassailable, to see Biden so briefly reveal the pain of his loss... well, it was powerful and more than I ever expected.

Chrischris : Palin's tacit endorsement of Cheney's constitutional revisionism of the office of VP, combined with her sunny assertion that she would like to expand the powers of that office in various unspecified ways,

The Cheney thing is were he won this though. She did a remarkably good job in this, but, in my view, he ended her here.
posted by quin at 9:16 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


I will pay someone cash money to have this thread not be about Rafaelloello .

It's real simple. Just stop feeding the troll and it will go away.
posted by cjets at 9:16 PM on October 2, 2008


It looks like my work here is done. Talk amongst yourselves. I'll give you a topic:

President John McCain - how we can best support him.

Good night all.
posted by Rafaelloello at 9:17 PM on October 2, 2008


"A two-state solution is the solution. And Secretary Rice, having recently met with leaders on one side or the other there, also, still in these waning days of the Bush administration, trying to forge that peace, and that needs to be done, and that will be top of an agenda item, also, under a McCain-Palin administration.

Israel is our strongest and best ally in the Middle East. We have got to assure them that we will never allow a second Holocaust, despite, again, warnings from Iran and any other country that would seek to destroy Israel, that that is what they would like to see.

We will support Israel. A two-state solution, building our embassy, also, in Jerusalem, those things that we look forward to being able to accomplish, with this peace-seeking nation, and they have a track record of being able to forge these peace agreements."
posted by poxuppit at 9:17 PM on October 2, 2008


I really don't understand how anyone could watch Palin's performance tonight and state, without laughing, that she is an authentic human being. She is a farce. She is a cartoon. I have a "diverse family" with a lot of "Joe Sixpack and Hockey Mom" relatives, too, and no one speaks in everyday speech the way she sounded tonight, and they certainly wouldn't speak that way in a serious debate; the fact that she did is not rustic, or folksy, but disingenuous and ultimately disrespectful. Before the debate, pundits worried that Biden would be unable to walk the line between patronizing Palin and attacking her. I felt that Palin was patronizing to the viewers, let alone how she interacted with Biden. What we saw tonight was not a serious vice presidential candidate, but a character that has been carefully crafted and designed to convince the American people that they, too, could one day be vice president, and golly gee whillikers, this lady is YOU! I don't doubt that many people will fall for her act tonight, but it still aggravates me that the McCain/Palin camp is so acutely aware of so many people's need to be able to point to the TV and say "I could do that!" The only thing that disgusts me more is the fact that this charade actually appeals to so many people.
posted by gatorae at 9:18 PM on October 2, 2008 [13 favorites]


Jesus, American politicians are dumb about energy. Palin doesn't believe in man-made global warming and wants to drill, drill, drill for an "energy independence" that that can't remotely accomplish, and Obama and Biden give lip service to global warming, but can only make empty nods to crack-pot "alternative energy sources" like wind, solar, and bio-diesel. The ONLY proven energy source that generates lots of electricity without burning all those nasty fossil fuels that are causing global warming is nuclear power. This amazing technology has existed for a long time, and we have not exploited it to the detriment of the nation and the world. American "liberals" killed nuclear power with their atomic fear-mongering in the 1970s and to this day, and thus take a disproportionate blame for global warming. Of course those notorious right-wingers the French get 90% of their electrical energy from their 59, fossil fuel free, nuclear plants. (compared with 60% in crazy right-wing Belgium, 50% in crazy right-wing Sweden, and 20% in America)

Obama needs to take his head out of his ass, and promise to build nuclear facilities ten times more than he promises some crack-pot "wind" or "solar" miracle (he only expresses extremely tepid nuclear support when prompted, always just to moot it because of "waste storage" concerns, just like all the other American Democrat pols). Congratulate yourselves, American libs, you can prounounce "nuclear" correctly, and you believe in global warming. This makes you to superior as people to, but equally useless as, Republicans. Now fucking stop with the empty promises of crackpot alternatives and line up behind the better, more planet-friendly energy sources that already exist. The Republicans are the ones who say it's ok to piss in the planet's gas tank because future technology will always save us. We can't operate on those assumptions.
posted by dgaicun at 9:18 PM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


I like that it didn't get as nasty as I had expected. My expectation was that she was going to go for the cheap sound-bite insult, and how Biden might react to it. I'm certainly biased, so I'd like to think that was because Biden kept things on a respectable level and didn't give her the opportunity to go there without hurting herself.

I think that like the Obama/McCain debate, it will be viewed as essentially a draw for a bit (excepting those Republicans who consider the fact that she didn't fall on her face a win), but as it sinks in Biden will come out ahead. What was great for Obama in the first debate was that he erased concerns that he is not on the same level as McCain; but the standard for Obama was not simply that he did not embarrass himself and his party. Palin didn't come close to achieving the gravity that Biden has. I'm guessing the debate won't really affect things overall, though. At least the focus shifts now to the next two debates. I'm hoping the celebrity spectacle of it dies down now that she bored the crowd (as any politician would) seeking that kind of thing.

I thought that it was funny that she went for the 'Washington insider' thing, as if Washington insiders didn't write her entire script. Her 'media filter' claim I thought fell flat (she wasn't edited to look stupid in those Couric interviews; she did it herself). I was surprised (or maybe I was the only one who had a problem with it) that Biden didn't come back on her seemingly dismissive comment on the "blunders" of the war, as if it were a stubbed toe and not the tragedy it has become.

Again, biased, but I liked how Biden come out of it. I had a flash of worry when he got emotional, but I thought it was a legitimate response to what she was trying to play, and I don't think many outside the talk-radio circuit would see it as other than a genuine moment. It certainly did make her seem colder; I thought her mention of having a special-needs child was off, as if it were a fact not connected to her personally. I'm curious to hear whether her attempt to relate to the working or middle class actually went anywhere; it seemed implausible, not a match to the person we're seeing--like her down-home talk.

Bobtroy thinks she's going to backtrack on the gay thing, but I feel pretty good that she at least felt the need to appear to be more accepting than her background would suggest, even if it's not true. Bobtroy also noted that the gay rights discussion in general got a good response with the Ohio viewers (I was elsewhere, checking out PBS) Thanks, Will & Grace and Queer Eye!
posted by troybob at 9:21 PM on October 2, 2008


Well, that's my point Chrischris - was fairly sure it was in common parlance in late 16th and early 17th century England prior to crossing the Atlantic.

Very well might have been--I'm not as up on my pre Massachusetts Bay Colony Puritan political theory as I should be (how stupid that sounds, but you know what I'm saying). I wonder, though, if you would agree that the rhetoric was--in the case of those who might have spoken about it pre-1629-- aspirational but primarily triumphalist when Winthrop referenced it.

Based on what small research I've done, I suspect that Winthrop, John Cotton, Williams, and their financial backers viewed the colony as a kind of crypto-separatist project--they were creating a society where--even as they paid lip service to the libertine civil order of Stuart England--they could lay the groundwork for a totalitarian theocratic order whose structure served both as a repudiation of the Gomorrah that they believed England had become and as a beacon to those who shared their peculiar brand of Calvinist doctrine. Basically, they went into the wilderness to build a new society--that "City on a Hill" which would serve as a refuge for the Puritans once God finally got around to smiting Britain.
posted by Chrischris at 9:27 PM on October 2, 2008


We have here an object lesson. When cornered, facing defeat, when exposed as frauds and incompetents, some people will become hostile, negative, lashing out and and baiting all comers. We see it from the McCain campaign, now desperately trying to spin "she didn't fuck up so badly" into "she's the comeback kid." We see it in their increasing turn to negative campaigning. And we will see it among their supporters as they contemplate the massive electoral drubbing they are about to receive from the best run presidential campaign in modern history. You see people like that all over the comments sections of mainstream political blogs, dumping all their oppo research crap and slanders and then running away with a "nyah nyah I can't hear you" chickenshit cowardly finger in each ear.

Take pleasure in it. It shows we do indeed have them on the ropes. Peace out y'all.
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:28 PM on October 2, 2008


Yeah, I got some satisfaction out of Biden's 'maverick' take-off as well. She said it so many times, even where it didn't fit into a sentence, that she she opened it up for him. His 'bridge to nowhere' comment was funny, because it struck me as the old-school way to deliver an insult in a debate...kinda like how once upon a time saying, "i declare that you, sir, are no gentleman" was once a duel-worthy slight.
posted by troybob at 9:29 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


many people (knowingly or not) really want: a citizen-politican.

I agree with you with one emendation: many people (knowingly or not) think they want a citizen-politician. But that's only because they don't know anything about government, and they think it looks pretty damn easy to sit back in Washington, eat steak dinners, and cash lobbying checks. But that's not what it's all about.

How ridiculous it would be for people to say "When it comes to major league sports, I don't want professionals any more. I want citizen-athletes!" We could have them, but it would spell the end of the popular interest in major league sports. Or for people to say "When it comes to education, I want citizen-teachers and citizen-professors!" I don't know about you, but I'm fervently thankful I didn't have citizen-professors. "When it comes to medicine, I want citizen-nurses and citizen-doctors!" We tried that, up until the eighteenth century. The system had some notable failures.

We have professional politicians largely because there's a professional level of knowledge involved in being a politician. That definitely doesn't mean it has to be a person's only career, though at the level of high national office I definitely want to see someone who's been serious about politics for a long time in life. And certainly, at the local level, we're all citizen-politicians. Unless you're in a pretty big city, councillors and committee members don't get pay or stipends. But I live in a state where we have a lot of citizen-politicians in the state Assembly, because of some quirks of the way the session works and because it's a volunteer position - and damn do things get bollocksed up. It's an embarrassment at times.

Certainly our democratic structure assumes that politicians are citizens first. But I don't think it was ever intended to assume that you could legislate or execute from total ignorance of the history and mechanisms of government. If you've ever done so much as serve on a planning and zoning board, school board, conservation commission, or anything, you're certainly aware that you take home a couple fat binders' worth of homework every week, that you need a commanding knowledge of the scope and structure of your committee charge and reporting requirements, etc.

People might think it's awesome to proclaim ignorance and inexperience as "outsider" status, but I think they should think a little harder. Think about that boss you had that was promoted before s/he was ready. Think about that teacher your kid had that should never have gotten her certificate. Think about "outsider" George Bush - who ran with exactly the same kind of campaign, businessman/governor/reformer/non-Washington - and how well he worked out. Think about having an "outsider" dentist or insurance adjustor or home inspector.

I don't want outsiders. I want talented, smart people with enough experience to understand how to employ the system of government we have in order to make life better for people. Outsiders waste our time with their learning curves - as we've just recently seen - and we haven't got time to waste. Plus, they're untested. There's no guarantee that once they're "inside," they won't immediately succumb to the same corruption and isolation they are critiquing. They haven't been in that hothouse yet, and no one knows how they'll react.

People who claim to like "citizen-politicians" or "outsiders" like the way that sounds, but I'm not so sure they really would be happy with the effect of pursuing that as a national ideal.
posted by Miko at 9:30 PM on October 2, 2008 [73 favorites]


Heh. Pat Buchanan is currently insisting that she won the debate hands-down, despite being confronted with the initial audience polls gave it to Biden. His proof? Why, he was sitting next to Geraldine Ferraro at the time, and she agreed with him that Palin did great!

Also, he said that she has a fresh and expansive vocabulary. Yeah, if you speak PIG LATIN.
posted by scody at 9:34 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


I wonder, though, if you would agree that the rhetoric was--in the case of those who might have spoken about it pre-1629-- aspirational but primarily triumphalist when Winthrop referenced it.
You have me the other way (so to speak) as I know far too little about early American politics, but your characterisation of the notion as aspirational fits with the history book I mentioned above, which described Puritan reformers in early 17th century England responding to a disaster (the burning of Dorchester) with an attempt to create a moral and good community, although they ran up against those older libertine currents. But I am really no expert and may well just be wrong.
posted by Abiezer at 9:35 PM on October 2, 2008


dgaicun, want to know why this liberal american is terrified of nuclear power?

We can't even build a CAR that will last a decade. New homes start falling apart in just years. We house hurricane victims in trailers that wouldn't meet health and safety standards for commercial sale.
I simply don't trust our lowest-bidder cost-cutting country to do it without screwing up something serious. I don't want to find out the plant near me just had an accident since, whoops, the reason the contractor came in cheaper than everyone else is because his concrete mix was less stable or something.
posted by Kellydamnit at 9:37 PM on October 2, 2008 [6 favorites]


Actually, I suspect we're both right. Which is kind of excellent in its own way.
posted by Chrischris at 9:39 PM on October 2, 2008


So this is our Israel/civil union moment? But how diverse is your family?
posted by Abiezer at 9:42 PM on October 2, 2008


This totally doesn't matter, but Palin has pretty hair. Much prettier than Biden's, that's for sure.
Hey now, Biden payed a lot for his hair.
posted by Sailormom at 9:44 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


The debate went precisely as predicted. Palin got McCain a bump just by showing up and be able to walk and chew gum. Yup. She "won." What ever that really means.

As for her being "genuine?" Sweet Zombie Jeebus. She did beauty pageants and was a local news anchor. And now she's in politics? These are not the pursuits and aspirations of people who are "genuine." The word narcissist comes to mind.

As do the words "gullible fucking rube" for anybody that buys into her repulsive faux-folksy-way-too-adorable nonsense.
posted by tkchrist at 9:47 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Did she call Chalabi "Talibani" ???
posted by afx114 at 9:48 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


His proof? Why, he was sitting next to Geraldine Ferraro at the time, and she agreed with him that Palin did great!

Ferraro already established herself as a bigoted idiot. She's part of America's ugly racist past, even if she's not as much of a bigot as Buchanan. Time for the country to move onward and upward.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:49 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


A few things that really caught my attention during this deabte:

1. Good lord, Palin! Answer the motherfucking question! (repeated ad insanitam)

2. On folksiness: Biden sounded like Edwards' "My father worked in a mill!" bit half the time, while Palin just sounded (and looked) incredibly fake. Point to Biden.

3. Oooh, using Reagan's "There you go again!" Nice job comparing yourself to a conservative messiah.

4. Come to think on it, her claim to being "tolerant" sounded an awful lot like those racists who claim they're "tolerant" by having a "black friend".

5. Biden's choking up won him the debate. Hands. Down.
posted by Pope Gustafson I at 9:51 PM on October 2, 2008


When Biden got lost, or realized he was misspeaking, he corrected himself, and made it clear what he was talking about. Palin didn't do the same, she just tried to power through it. Biden also did a better job sticking to the questions for the time period, where Palin would throw out a quick easy answer and move on to talking about energy.
posted by garlic at 9:54 PM on October 2, 2008


Advantage: Palin. Not a huge win tonight, but a win nonetheless.
posted by davidmsc at 9:05 PM on October 2


It always disappoints me that people like davidmsc and SCDB - smart fucking guys most of the time - can be such big fans of someone who has clearly spent none of her life thinking about anything of substance. David, you know, for a fact, you would make a better VP candidate than Palin. So why are you not disgusted by McCain's clearly political (not pragmatic) choice? It's sad. :(
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:54 PM on October 2, 2008 [7 favorites]


...particularly among people that so many MeFites hold in disdain

hi davidmsc. I don't know why you would say that. Are you talking about blue collar people? "Real" people? I am a blue collar girl. My dad was a bus-driver and I come from a family of seven kids. When my Mom & Dad retired, they had less than $20,000 life savings and thought they were rich. Thank goodness they had kids to get them through retirement until they passed on.

If I hold any in disdain, it is the power people - the rich, greedy, corporate fat cats who are the Bush-Cheney-DeLay-et al cronies. I used to believe McCain was different but no he's not. You'd think he would be, after how miserably they have betrayed him, but no.

My connection to the blue collar world is why I have mostly supported Democrats all my life and why I support Obama. The Democrats are the people who fought for my parents' Social Security, the people who fought for raising the minimum wage, workplace safety, and other worker protections. Beyond gun rights and crumbs, there is nothing republicans of today do for middle class or poor people. They are not looking out for me or mine, or for any of the people I worked with when I worked in factories or social service centers. Or for that matter, most of the people I work with today who are somewhat better off. They are no champions of the working class. It is one of the great sad ironies that by exploiting cynical PR tactics, they are able to garner so much support among people that they don't do anything for.

But most of the CEOs of companies I work with love them. This I understand.

I don't think I am alone in this - I suspect many mefites are from blue collar backgrounds. Some of us may disagree with and get pretty snarky or heated in these threads, but I think you are wrong to assume that the overwhelming majority of us disdain working class people.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:56 PM on October 2, 2008 [31 favorites]


Biden Won, Because He Made Forceful Case Against McCain
posted by homunculus at 9:57 PM on October 2, 2008


Snap polls: Palin exceeded expectations; Biden still won

Read: "not a trainwreck" is not an adequate reason to make someone VP.

I also thought it was telling how many of Obama's talking points she lifted: "change is coming," "we need to create new jobs for working families," "time to stop the greed on Wall Street" (and when, on god's green earth, did you ever expect the fucking REPUBLICAN to denounce greed on Wall Street?!), etc. So for all her wrigglin' around the questions and dancin' away from specifics, this is a tacit concession that the GOP isn't actually in control of the broader terms of the election this time around.
posted by scody at 9:58 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Biden had all the information at his fingertips, but did not always deliver it coherently.

I loved his verbal stumbles. Everybody knew what he meant, and they made it obvious how canned Palin's soundbites were. Obama should get over having to look smart all the time, and take some down-to-earth lessons from Biden.
posted by msalt at 9:58 PM on October 2, 2008


I simply don't trust our lowest-bidder cost-cutting country to [build nuclear plants] without screwing up something serious.
posted by Kellydamnit at 9:37 PM on October 2


Modern nuclear plant designs are as close as you get to foolproof with respect to catastrophic failure. I'm not going to take the time to explain it because frankly the data has been out there for years and you owe it to yourself and the rest of us to educate yourself before blurting out this nonsense. No offense but I am tired of explaining it to people who have made no effort of their own.

Anyway, Obama's weakest positions - in this progressive's eyes - are his stances on gay rights and nuclear power. But 1,971,165 out of 1,971,167 ain't bad.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:00 PM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


Ferraro already established herself as a bigoted idiot. She's part of America's ugly racist past, even if she's not as much of a bigot as Buchanan.

Oh, exactly. I just thought it was funny that Buchanan was invoking Ferraro as if to prove that "even liberals" were bowled over by Palin's sparkling performance, when really all it proved was that Buchanan likes watching the debate with other shitbags.
posted by scody at 10:00 PM on October 2, 2008


Why couldn't Palin, the "maverick", come up with something that she disagreed with the Bush administration about?
posted by garlic at 10:07 PM on October 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


I suspect many mefites are from blue collar backgrounds. Some of us may disagree with and get pretty snarky or heated in these threads, but I think you are wrong to assume that the overwhelming majority of us disdain working class people.

Amen.
posted by scody at 10:08 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Extra credit for the third-graders...

Isn't extra credit what got us in this awful economic mess to begin with?
posted by tractorfeed at 10:14 PM on October 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


I suspect many mefites are from blue collar backgrounds.

Not just "backgrounds"... There are Mefites who are currently blue collar.
posted by amyms at 10:15 PM on October 2, 2008 [8 favorites]


She didn't implode, he didn't explode. Yawn.

I wish they hadn't changed the format.

Wonder if they'll let her out of the cage? We can has press conferences, plz?

Gawd, this is too funny. The freepers are insisting that Pallin won, but every other post is "Freep this poll!"

Hmm. Conservative Press Machine© is all about Joe Biden's "14 lies". I heard more lies out of Palin's mouth in the first five minutes. Anyone keeping track of that?
posted by lysdexic at 10:15 PM on October 2, 2008


I'm saving up so I can get a collar.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:20 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Well, I listened to it -- audio only -- because I couldn't find a recording tonight that wasn't chopped into bites or managed to hold a connection for more than 10 minutes. And I *had* to find a video clip of Biden choking up when I heard it. That was powerful. That was maybe the most powerful thing I've seen a politician convey, Obama included.

Palin boosters either won't see it as genuine or will deny that it was, so no difference there, but for Obama supporters and the open-minded, wow, Biden just scored a gazillion points of personal, not just ticket, support. Wow.

But I really didn't get the pre-debate talk above about how it's wrong or inaccurate to talk about two levels of debate. If Palin's ratings don't sink straight away from this (and looks like they're haven't) it's because glossy nothings do the trick. Actually, what a marked change of tone in this thread before and after on this point.

tkchrist: Can Obama win? Maybe. But only if liberals can drop this useless facade of thinking intelligent people decide Presidential elections in the US. Because clearly they do not.

krinklyfig: How would the liberals do this, then? What dumb people should liberals start appealing to, and how? Should they try to go for a Southern Strategy, or perhaps court the fundamentalists by creating an anti-abortion plank?

Obviously, they needn't do any of these things. Appealing to the "dumb people" means speaking in broad terms, not getting bogged down in facts and numbers, and... hey, all the things people were scolding Biden for during this debate! The fact that Obama/Biden can win without this kind of pandering is fantastic, but let's not pretend it wouldn't work, on some.

(sorry -- long comment!)
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:21 PM on October 2, 2008


Oh, and that format sucked. Why ask questions if Palin is just going to get time to talk about whatever she wants?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:22 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Biden is nearly incapable of speaking in "real" terms that MOST people can relate to. A comment way upstream referenced that -- when he starts talking about subcommittees, many people glaze over.

Real terms? This stuff that people "glaze" over is the details of making actual effective policy, and you know what? I think real Americans -- blue collar, white collar, black, white -- are just about ready to vote for somebody who actually knows their shit.

But in 2008...part of Palin's appeal is that she is NOT a "professional" politician. I understand some of the criticism of Palin - really I do - but she represents something that many people (knowingly or not) really want: a citizen

Citizens are great, good citizens who are willing to dig in and do work in their communities and in elected office are nothing to sneeze at. But there's thousands of other people out there who meet the same standards and can do better than Palin's soundbite circletalk, and this isn't just the opinion of some eggheaded bean-overthinkers here on MeFi. It's out there on the ground.

Palin did fine in the delivery and personality department, despite being obviously scripted. But if I'm right -- and I think I am -- America's ready for something better.

(And I see that Miko already said it better than I could, like she often does. )
posted by namespan at 10:27 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


dgaicun, I kind of agree with you just a little, about the stupidity of not doing a better job with Nuclear power, but to blame it on liberals is kind of silly. Just because the article you link to mentions Jane Fonda doesn't mean what you're trying to make it mean.

As with anything in this country, if you want to get to root causes, follow te money. Despite our energy woes, despite our crumbling economy, despite our "failures" in Iraq, the most profitable corporations in the history of counting profits have been American Oil companies in the past year. No matter what side of the argument you fall on, that's where any discussion of energy policy needs to start.

Also, I think Biden won the debate hands down, Or should I say, The Obama campaign won. Here's why. The McCain campaign has not had a cohesive message at all over the course of this election cycle. The closest they've come to a solid messag has been McCain deciding why he should be president, talking about those attributes, and tearing down his opponents for not having those attributes. Problem is, he forgot to check to see if the American People actually care about his talking points. And the only argument that is kind of on the mark, change, Obama got there first, and does it better.

The Obama campaign has been setting new world records in Message discipline, and it is a message that has proven to be something the general public agrees on in large numbers. "Bush Sucks" In Both Debates so far, oth Obama and Biden have forcefully, and without effective counter-argument looked right into the camera and got off their main message. John McCain equals more george Bush.

Until The McCain campaign finds a way to keep Obama from executing his strategy, Obama is winning this thing.

McCain like stunts,so he still might pull of the one stunt that turns this thing. If you ask me, that would be calling Bush out by name. Don't just allude to it, come out and say it. "Bush was a terrible president, and I want nothing to do with him or anybody who knows him".

That could win him this thing.
posted by billyfleetwood at 10:28 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Word Clouds: "So, is 'also' some sort of talking point superglue or something?"

I thought Ifill did a pretty poor job as moderator. Her questions were sometimes confusing.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:33 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


That syrupy word salad that she employs to mask her utter lack of understanding? That whirring logohrrhoea that starts you off at the wailing wall and deposits you at a PTA meeting in Cutesy-Poo, Alaska? I think it should be called a Palin-drone. As in, "Hey, what's the longest Palindrone you know?" And nerdy kids could obsessively recite their favorite snarky scattershot Markov-chain soliloquies to each other.

Trust me, it'll be bigger than snap bracelets!
posted by milquetoast at 10:34 PM on October 2, 2008 [20 favorites]


Don't you hate trying to make a point, only to find someone else made the same point, only better and with less typos?
posted by billyfleetwood at 10:37 PM on October 2, 2008


Anyway, Obama's weakest positions - in this progressive's eyes - are his stances on gay rights and nuclear power. But 1,971,165 out of 1,971,167 ain't bad.

Here here, OC. I think there's more, but I don't think there can be much serious debate about the right candidate.
posted by dgaicun at 10:38 PM on October 2, 2008


er... uh... "hear ye, or hear him".
posted by dgaicun at 10:39 PM on October 2, 2008


The more I think about it, the more I really like Biden's comments on not assuming the motivations of one's opponent. I'm guilty of that as well. I don't know if it hit the right tone for the kind of people they're fighting over for votes, but it was a nice expression of the kind of maturity through experience that Palin can't get close to.
posted by troybob at 10:40 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Palin To Protesters: My Son Is Fighting For Your Freedom
posted by homunculus at 10:51 PM on October 2, 2008


And Secretary Rice, having recently met with leaders on one side or the other there, also, still in these waning days of the Bush administration, trying to forge that peace, and that needs to be done, and that will be top of an agenda item, also, under a McCain-Palin administration.

Who the hell really talks like this? If she is running on being the outsider, on being the non-Washingtonian, why can't she talk in simple, clear sentences? blah blah ALSO, STILL blah blah TRYING blah blah AND blah blah ALSO

Well, our founding fathers were very wise there in allowing through the Constitution much flexibility there in the office of the vice president. And we will do what is best for the American people in tapping into that position and ushering in an agenda that is supportive and cooperative with the president's agenda in that position. Yeah, so I do agree with him that we have a lot of flexibility in there, and we'll do what we have to do to administer very appropriately the plans that are needed for this nation. And it is my executive experience that is partly to be attributed to my pick as V.P. with McCain, not only as a governor, but earlier on as a mayor, as an oil and gas regulator, as a business owner. It is those years of experience on an executive level that will be put to good use in the White House also.

Is she trying to be incoherent?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:55 PM on October 2, 2008


Biden did fine (despite the hilarious "Bosniacs," which I want to be used in a Weird Al-ish remake of "Maniac"). Palin wasn't a disaster, a la the Couric interviews, but she used "maverick" at least 10 to 15 times too many and was without substance, rudely refused to answer the questions in bald-faced fashion a couple of times (and refused other times, just in a less obnoxious way).

Meanwhile, to the hand-wringing people above: You really think people watching a political debate are turned off by words like "subcommittee?" It's not like we'll be getting rid of those, even if the economic system collapses over the next few months. Even small town Southern Baptist churches have subcommittees and probably a Committee on Committees. I kid you not! We're a committee and boring meeting lovin' nation. Well, half of everybody hates meetings, but we schedule them endlessly anyway, for it's how things are done here, no one knows any other way. (I may have some issues with George Will, but I love his quote about why football, which he doesn't like, is the perfect sport for modern America: It's "violence, punctuated by committee meetings.")
posted by raysmj at 10:55 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sarah Palin exceeds expectations -- and still loses. Debating Joe Biden, Palin avoids another train wreck, delivering Republican talking points with robotic determination. But she also fails to convince undecided voters to stop their movement toward Obama.
posted by homunculus at 10:55 PM on October 2, 2008


Biden did fine (despite the hilarious "Bosniacs," which I want to be used in a Weird Al-ish remake of "Maniac")

jesus christ educate yourself you fucking trigs
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:58 PM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


Yes, just read that (before seeing your comment), but ... you were that familiar with the term? Bosnians is apparently preferred, given that Bosniaks refers to natives. I never heard that used in news reports or accounts of the war. I don't serve on a Senate subcommittee. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
posted by raysmj at 11:01 PM on October 2, 2008


having lived in Bosnia for over a year the people there refer to themselves as bosnian-croats, bosnian- serbs, and bosnian- muslims. Politically the bosnian-muslims changed their official name as bosniak in the late 90's.
posted by raysmj at 11:04 PM on October 2, 2008


> Modern nuclear plant designs are as close as you get to foolproof with respect to catastrophic failure. I'm not going to take the time to explain it because frankly the data has been out there for years and you owe it to yourself and the rest of us to educate yourself before blurting out this nonsense. No offense but I am tired of explaining it to people who have made no effort of their own.

Ok, here's the problem with why the United States can't have nuclear power as is: until we actually have a working whistleblower, contractor responsibility, worker rights protection, and oversight that works, nuclear power will not be safe. People can compare things to France and how they are able to do it safe, but forget to mention the level of worker education, social support network, and just well, job independence available there. People who aren't desperate for work and know they can still feed there kids if they speak up about poor safety practices on the job, will SPEAK UP ABOUT POOR SAFETY PRACTICES ON THE JOB.

On paper, with graphs and charts, things make sense, but people are not taking into account the social issues that inevitably make up part of the system. I even did a FPP about how we still haven't cleaned up after our mess from 50+ years ago.

And then there is the issue of how can we have energy independence but Iran can't? How is making more radioactive chemicals and waste when we currently have a very poorly managed infrastructure that can't handle the waste we make right now?

And on top of that, there is a huge waiting list for the essential parts to make new reactors, so its not like we can just buy 40 and have them running in two years. I am not saying we shouldn't have the discussion on Nuclear power, but to believe that it is the solution to everything and people are just overreacting and hysterical about false beliefs about it, just points out that the discussion needs to include a whole approach to the solution. If we want more plants, how are we going to safely dispose of the waist. how are we going to ensure that people are safe working there, how are we going to ensure that those ultra safe designs and procedures are actually implemented properly?
posted by mrzarquon at 11:04 PM on October 2, 2008 [15 favorites]


Is she trying to be incoherent?

Yes. Kind of. The people she is designed to impress blank out on anything more than three syllables. So she punctuates her sentences with short catch phrases with lots of "action" filler words in between. All the mouth breathers care about is how she's cute like a kitten. What she actually says is nearly irrelevant.

This is it for her as far as media exposure. You won't hear from her again except in controlled speeches. That is: Until she's either sworn in as President and has to announce martial law when McCain dies four months into his besieged administration —or— when she's on her tell all book tour. It will be a pop-up book.
posted by tkchrist at 11:06 PM on October 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


On Palin's begrudging acknowledgment of benefits for same-sex couples in Alaska.
posted by troybob at 11:08 PM on October 2, 2008


Pop-up Putin!
posted by Artw at 11:08 PM on October 2, 2008


Raysmj, as a high school student, I had a Bosnian friend who told me the difference between Bosnians and Bosniaks, Serbs, Croats, and all that other stuff that at the time was incredibly confusing (and still can be); in that sense, I had an unfair head start.

But it would still serve people well to check their sources before cracking jokes.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:09 PM on October 2, 2008


It will be a pop-up book.

Awesome. You can open it to the center spread, and Putin just POPS! Right up! In an airplane! Where is he? Oh! It's Alaska!
posted by scody at 11:12 PM on October 2, 2008


(damn you, Artw.)
posted by scody at 11:12 PM on October 2, 2008


I can't believe anyone thinks Biden spoke too Senatorially. Palin's syntax is so mangled that even when I am looking at a transcript it takes a real effort to decipher her meaning. And it isn't because she is Shakespearian: there is no richness of vocabulary or creative word play or hidden depth that will reward the person who makes an effort. I'm stumbling over phrases such as:
....were very wise there in allowing through the Constitution much flexibility there
Why is she constructing her sentences like this?! AAARGH. It's like Babel fish being used to double translate.
And it is my executive experience that is partly to be attributed to my pick as V.P. with McCain
I had to read through this slowly to figure out what it means. I think she means, "The reason why John McCain picked me to be his running mate is partly because of my executive experience..."

Biden was much clearer.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 11:14 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Optimus: I certainly wasn't alone in finding it funny. I watched the debate with other people who were educated well enough, who all laughed. "Bosniak" doesn't even show up in a dictionary word search via Google. Its modern use is apparently still relatively new and, according to what I was able to find after seeing a reference to it elsewhere, still controversial in the region. In that sense, Biden's showing he's more informed that the rest of us in foreign policy, way more. But if I was hostile to him for that, I would have said so. I thought it was funny, but in a "whatever" sort of way. By contrast, the use of "maverick" so often was just annoying and stupid.
posted by raysmj at 11:18 PM on October 2, 2008


mrzarquon, I see where you're coming from. I do not believe that nuclear power is a short-term solution. It's a medium-term solution, meant to help us get through the years 2025-2100.

If we want more plants, how are we going to safely dispose of the waist.

bury that shit under a mountain i don't give a fuck
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:19 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


What I want to see stopped, regardless, is any reference to a mythical "kitchen table." I just have a breakfast bar. I feel left out.
posted by raysmj at 11:20 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Raysmj: it's cool; I'm sorry I called you a trig. If it helps, I first heard the term in 1998.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:20 PM on October 2, 2008


I'm taking bets. If McCain DOESN'T get elected what will become of Palin?

Surely she will make a complete debacle of her governorship. She will run for senate? Naw. They won't have her. Hmmm. Will she make a run for President in 2012? Possibly. But I doubt it.

I bet even money if she doesn't succeed in politics she'll pose for Playboy with in five years.
posted by tkchrist at 11:23 PM on October 2, 2008


how are we going to safely dispose of the waist

Side crunches are good.

(I keed! I keed!)
posted by scody at 11:32 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


I bet even money if she doesn't succeed in politics she'll pose for Playboy with in five years.

Sames true of McCain.
posted by Artw at 11:33 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


I just finished watching the debate. I approve of Joe Biden because he ANSWERED THE FUCKING QUESTIONS instead of repeating what he had been told to say over the last couple weeks of Debate Camp. Governor Palin smirked every time she heard him say a safeword something that obviously matched up with a keyword she'd been instructed to respond to, and then repeated what was written on the little card provided.

I think this debate would have been more completely awesome had it been held "five weeks" ago.
posted by bigbigdog at 11:34 PM on October 2, 2008


I think this debate would have been more completely awesome had it been held "five weeks" ago.

Or even without the index/cheat cards...
posted by susanbeeswax at 11:40 PM on October 2, 2008


Points taken in above replies to my comment. I am not claiming that a "citizen-politician" is necessarily the best thing - but it is refreshing to see such amidst a field of predictable professional politicians.

And I didn't mean to imply that all of MeFi hates "blue collar" people -- in fact, I never used the phrase "blue collar."

But any fair MeFite would have to agree that there are more members here than not who believe that Palin appeals primarily to uneducated, hick, redneck Americans in flyover country who do nothing but drink beer, watch NASCAR, and think Britney Spears is a role model.

And as far as me being at least as qualified as Palin to be VP -- well, possibly. Thanks for the vote of confidence. I can think of several other MeFites who could do a great job in the Oval Office (or environs thereof). But I - like most of you - don't have the stomach to throw my hat in the ring - certainly not at that level.
posted by davidmsc at 11:58 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Palin proved that she can speak in complete sentences, but not that she understands anything about foreign policy.
posted by homunculus at 12:13 AM on October 3, 2008


One viewer's response to Sarah "I'm Jane Sixpack!" Palin's reaction to the most personal moment of the debate:
This evening, Joe Biden had a moment that I can really, personally relate two. He was talking about understanding how it is to have a child in jeopardy when he choked up. Of course, he was referring to his own personal tragedy - his loss of a child and his wife in a car accident, along with the critical injury of two more children.

I lost 3 children with my first wife many years ago. They were triplets born at 22 and 1/2 weeks. Old enough to try to breathe, but with no lungs to breathe with. None of them survived more than minutes. Each had a name, and each still stays with me - even as I am years past this with a wonderful family now. It was more than devestating, it made my first wife crazy, and destroyed that marriage.

Now, I'm not telling all of you this to engender sympathy. As I mentioned, I now have a wonderful, full life with an incredible wife and beautiful children. I'm bringing this up, because of what that experience was - and how horrendous it was that Sarah You-Betcha ignored it.

It is the worst thing that any adult could ever go through, and every parent - thankfully most never experience it - but they all know that's the case. I'm assuming that includes Sarah Palin, since she has five children.

But her response - well, her response was to not even acknowledge that this very authentic, very real man - a candidate with no veneer - had suffered through this and that it still hurt. No, "I'm so sorry for your loss" or any compassion of any kind. Rather, she talked about how she and McCain were mavericks.

It was so blatant and stupid. And I wouldn't have blamed Joe Biden if he had walked across the stage and slapped her. And she surely deserved it.

More importantly, it was at that moment - the very moment when it was time to be a "compassionate conservative," she acted just like the valley girl teenager she speaks like. And that immature stupidity is how she lost the debate.
posted by scody at 12:22 AM on October 3, 2008 [12 favorites]


I think Biden was exactly right to do this debate as he did. Palin has never been the issue, she has always been a distraction, and a useful one for McCain, pulling attention off the issues in favor of the grotesque tabloid details of her life. Biden put the crosshairs squarely on McCain, consistently calling him out on his record.

Sure, I would have liked to see blood on the floor. I would have liked to see Biden turn on her like a piranha, with a great flurry of motion and a gnashing sound, and all that would be left is a skeleton with librarian glasses and a rictus grin of condescension. But that would have once again put the focus on Palin, where it doesn't belong. And she may have acquitted herself in this debate, thanks to what Bush once called the soft bigotry of lowered expectations, but, as we have seen, left to her own devices she is more than capable of spectacularly humiliating herself in public. She'll implode or she won't; it doesn't really matter. Vice Presidential debates don't win elections. Democratic candidates have consistently creamed the Republic choice for VP ("You are no Jack Kennedy.") and then lost the election anyway.

This is between Obama and McCain. And Obama will win this the way he won against Clinton, by out-fundrainsing, out-organizing, by staying on point, and by genuinely moving the electorate. McCain, in the meanwhile, will lose this in the way he lost it last time, by attempting to sell himself as something he isn't before an America that's shy of buying.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:46 AM on October 3, 2008 [5 favorites]


I would have liked for Biden to respond to one of the moderator's questions by saying something like, "Interesting question. I would like to talk about {the conflict in Georgia/minimum wage/the price of tea in China}. Is that okay?" And then let it actually hang in the air. Make the moderator respond.

I would have liked to see him respond to one of Palin's answers -- particularly the one that included her statement that she would not be giving answers to please the moderator or Senator Biden -- with something along the lines of, "You are showing an amazing amount of disrespect not just for the moderator and me, but also for the American people. The entire point of this debate is to answer the questions that are asked of us, not to talk about whatever we want. We have commercials for that."

I thought her performance was horrific and insulting. While politicians often try to steer their answer away from the subject matter of the question closer to something they want to talk about, she didn't even try to steer. She not only refused to answer the questions, she told us she was refusing to answer the questions. But I wasn't upset with her when the debate ended. I was upset with the media for excusing this conduct and claiming that she "held her own" or "exceeded expectations." Really? She did? Giving scripted answers on the topics of her choice and avoiding topics she was not prepared to answer exceeded your expectations? Sarah Palin has looked her worst during interviews when the interviewer was able to follow up on a question or force her to address something that was asked that is outside her comfort zone. Here, she didn't have to worry about that issue because there was no follow-up, no pressure to answer the questions, and she had a strategy where she could just talk about what she wanted to talk about. I am not upset with her. I am not upset with Joe Biden. I am not upset with the moderator. I am wildly upset with Brian Williams and Tom Brokaw (I was watching NBC at the time) for not reacting at the end of the debate with aggressively calling her out for not answering questions.
posted by flarbuse at 1:05 AM on October 3, 2008 [11 favorites]


I'm taking bets. If McCain DOESN'T get elected what will become of Palin?

She'll get her own show on Fox. It will air following Rove's and Delay's shows.
posted by afx114 at 1:12 AM on October 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Chrischris, good call on the Dominionist dog-whistle for "city on a hill". I think it really was just what it seemed to be -- a blatant reference to St. Ron. I think unless you were there (speaking to the thread in general) you can't realize how important that speech was to defining Reagan's world-view or "vision for America", and how it still resonates with conservatives. It was a big signal that Palin believes in the core concept even if she strays on individual items once in a while.

There's another interesting angle to this -- the speech was written by Peggy Noonan, and it was Noonan who was caught on mic during the RNC saying they "just lost the election" because of Palin, and that "Republicans don't do narrative well" as a negative assessment of the Palin backstory. This may have also been a peace offering of sorts to the old guard.

Mostly, though, it probably just reminded people of someone who could actually give a speech.
posted by dhartung at 1:13 AM on October 3, 2008


"There you go, Joe" was yet another Reagan reference, but it didn't seem to go over with what I presume was the expected oomph.
posted by raysmj at 1:20 AM on October 3, 2008


But any fair MeFite would have to agree that there are more members here than not who believe that Palin appeals primarily to uneducated, hick, redneck Americans in flyover country who do nothing but drink beer, watch NASCAR, and think Britney Spears is a role model.

To be fair, The unfair stereotype on the left that the republican base is a bunch of dumb hicks is fairly new, about 8 years old to be exact. Before that the belief was that the GOP was the party of Rich old white men. I do agree that it's a lousy assumption to make, and it undermines any attempt at being "progressive".

On theflip-side however you have a lot of people on the right who think "liberal" is a synonym for communist, and that "elite" is some sort of putdown. That's equally as ridiculous.

As to your citizen-politician point. I agree with you about Sarah Palin's appeal on those grounds. She's the authentic version of what Bush pretends to be. Even as a democrat that's somewhat refreshing. But you should also understand that to a lot of us, Obama also fits that bill.

Whenever I think of Mccain's Bomb Iran song, I think of my friend who was born here and grew up here, but lives in fear of us going to war with Iran because that will mean she might not get to go visit her grandparents before they die. To her, and to other minorities, and people who buy phone cards to call relatives in other countries, and the sons of single moms, and the community organizers, and everyone else who finds small town to be scary and weird, he is way more citizen-y than Palin will ever be.

And while "regular" Americans may be a large monolithic group, it's starting to look like if the rest of us come together, the numbers might be on our side.
posted by billyfleetwood at 1:36 AM on October 3, 2008 [5 favorites]


Palin's closing remarks:

"It was Ronald Reagan who said that freedom is always just one generation away from extinction. We don't pass it to our children in the bloodstream; we have to fight for it and protect it, and then hand it to them so that they shall do the same, or we're going to find ourselves spending our sunset years telling our children and our children's children about a time in America, back in the day, when men and women were free."

Reagan made the remark in a recording for the AMA in 1961 called Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine. This was a part of Operation Coffee Cup, the AMA's attempt to quash Medicare.
posted by Tullius at 1:43 AM on October 3, 2008 [6 favorites]


On the front page of Yahoo: Palin, Biden debate no game-changer
"Conservatives must be breathing a little easier tonight because Sarah Palin passed a test," Donna Brazile said on ABC. "She did her homework. ... Overall, there were no moose in the headlight moments."

Biden, for his part, was respectful of Palin and steered clear of any hint of condescension.

"He decided he was not gonna take her on directly," MSNBC's David Gregory said. "She challenged him, she mocked him, she chided him. He decided to train his responses and just talk about (John) McCain's record."

A click away on CNN, Soledad O'Brien asked another panel whether they had made up their mind as a result of the debate. Ten people raised their hands — one sided with McCain, and nine with Barack Obama.

Instant polls conducted by CBS and CNN about the debate reflected trends in overall opinion polls toward Obama the past couple of weeks.

A CBS News/Knowledge Networks Poll of uncommitted voters who watched the debate found 46 percent thinking Biden won, with 21 percent siding with Palin. A CNN poll found respondents judging Biden the winner by a 51 percent to 39 percent margin.

Republican strategist Mike Murphy, on MSNBC, said the debate "became a bit of a nothing-burger."
Also on the front page of Yahoo: "See Biden choke up". I appreciate the fact that a sincere show of emotion touched people, but I think they could have phrased that better.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:16 AM on October 3, 2008


Also: surprise, everyone! Some facts adrift in vice presidential debate. Por ejemplo:
PALIN: Criticized Obama's "plan to mandate health care coverage and have universal government run program" for health care, and added: "I don't think it's going to be real pleasing for Americans to consider health care being taken over by the Feds."

THE FACTS: Wrong on several counts. Obama's plan does not provide for universal coverage, only mandates insurance for children and doesn't turn the system over to the government. Most people would still get private insurance through their work. Obama proposes that the government subsidize the cost of health coverage for millions who have trouble affording it and he'd set up an exchange to negotiate prices and benefits with private insurers — with one option being a government-run plan.

PALIN: Said the United States has reduced its troop level in Iraq to a number below where it was when the troop increase began in early 2007.

THE FACTS: Not correct. The Pentagon says there are currently 152,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, about 17,000 more than there were before the 2007 military buildup began.

PALIN: "Barack Obama even supported increasing taxes as late as last year for those families making only $42,000 a year."

BIDEN: "The charge is absolutely not true. Barack Obama did not vote to raise taxes. The vote she's referring to, John McCain voted the exact same way."

THE FACTS: The vote was on a nonbinding budget resolution that assumed that President Bush's tax cuts would expire, as scheduled, in 2011. If that actually happened, it could mean higher taxes for people making as little as about $42,000. But Obama is proposing tax increases only on the wealthy, and would cut taxes for most others. In the March 14 budget resolution supported by Obama and Biden, McCain actually did not vote.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:25 AM on October 3, 2008


I have to admit that the Palin hype machine just isn't as much fun without Carly Fiorina out there calling everybody sexist. Poor Carly.
posted by troybob at 2:44 AM on October 3, 2008


Did anyone else see or hear the conversation between Biden and Palin after the debate? What was Biden telling her? I was watching a Fox News feed (via news.com.au) - there weren't any announcers or ad breaks, no screen graphics except a logo and a 'coming up next' if you moused over the top of the window. After the debate had finished, it went to ambient crowd noise, no mics, but the cameras stayed on the stage while the two families milled around. It looked like the kind of thing that would normally have a presenter doing a voice-over, winding up the event.

Biden talked to Palin for maybe a minute or two, and she looked kinda annoyed about it. A little girl stood between them for a while, but he didn't stop talking. She interjected a couple of times, and after they parted she went to her husband and whispered in his ear. I'd love to know what he was saying - it didn't look like they were doing small talk. I wonder if he was telling her that Congress wouldn't think her index cards were cute :)
posted by harriet vane at 3:45 AM on October 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah! And Awkmadinnajad, the president of Eye-ran! You could tell they'd coached her on the pronunciation in debate camp all week, and she was all eager to say it as much as she could to show off her big girl words.

Actually, she messed up by not stumbling on the pronunciation. It seems like I've seen a million conservative politiciams and pundits do the thing where they stutter a bit while saying his name and then give a little signal that says "Get a load of the crazy guy's crazy name".
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 4:11 AM on October 3, 2008


According to the poll referenced on CNN, 84% of people thought Palin did better than expected...but the vast majority of them also thought she lost. This is not a George W. moment. The expectations for this woman were so low, simply making it through the debate without saying anything markedly stupid (like failing to identify what newspapers she reads or any Supreme Court decision aside from Roe) made people say wow, she's not as stupid as we thought! But they still didn't think she succeeded as a debater. I think the American people, of whatever background, can recognize when they're being shoveled a load of manure, whether it's with a folksy wink or not. Exceeding expectations that were so low they might as well have been for Bristol Palin is not a victory.
posted by miss tea at 4:19 AM on October 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I wish Ifill had told Palin to answer the questions as asked, because those were the rules and Biden was sticking to them.
posted by orange swan at 5:03 AM on October 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


because those were the rules and Biden was sticking to them.

But he's not a Maverick™ now is he?
posted by Tenuki at 5:12 AM on October 3, 2008


If everything's out the window anyway (whenever I hear Palin make the case for a stark choice between the candidates, hear her argue for the change people have been craving for, I can't help but think: that doesn't mean what you think it means, Governor Palin) how about you let teh internets aid in your decision: posted by =^^= at 5:42 AM on October 3, 2008


I would have liked to see him respond to one of Palin's answers -- particularly the one that included her statement that she would not be giving answers to please the moderator or Senator Biden -- with something along the lines of, "You are showing an amazing amount of disrespect not just for the moderator and me, but also for the American people. The entire point of this debate is to answer the questions that are asked of us, not to talk about whatever we want. We have commercials for that."

That would have rocked.
People are being supportive of Biden for debating the way he did, yet they're also thrilled that he gave "maverick" a good pounding. I don't think there'd be many saying he did the wrong thing if he'd done what the moderator apparently wouldn't and insist on some answers.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:49 AM on October 3, 2008


ATTN: Sarah Palin

gggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg
gggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg
gggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg
gggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg
gggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg
gggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg

Please make use of the above as you see fit, particularly at the end of your sentences. We've got plenty. That should be a few days supply. Indicate when you're running low, and I'll send more.
posted by shadow vector at 6:01 AM on October 3, 2008 [27 favorites]


Well. She did better than i hoped, but not as good as i feared.

Biden was impressive.
posted by lunit at 6:10 AM on October 3, 2008


According to the poll referenced on CNN, 84% of people thought Palin did better than expected...but the vast majority of them also thought she lost.

I think most people who care enough about ideas and discourse to sit through an hour and a half debate would notice how badly Palin did. There are those who will realize how badly she did who will never admit to it, like John McCain and his team, but otherwise there is bound to be a negative effect for McCain and Palin in the polls.
posted by orange swan at 6:12 AM on October 3, 2008


I thought a telling point in the debate came after the Achilles Heel question. Palin rambled off on talking point #17 and I was screaming at the TV, "WHAT! DON'T YOU GET THE QUESTION! ANSWER THE FUCKING QUESTION." I saw Biden writing something down, and figured it was probably something along the lines of, "DIDN'T ANSWER QUESTION...ASK HER TO DEFINE ACHILLES HEEL!!" But instead, he came out with a self-deprecating joke, and completely ignored her non answer.

Joe, you are a bigger man than I.

I thought he came across as intelligent, passionate and honest. She came across as phony and contrived. The differences were quite clear and starkly drawn, and come November, we will get what we deserve.
posted by Otis at 6:14 AM on October 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Did anyone else catch the "NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP" / "NEVER GONNA LET YOU DOWN" banners in the Obama crowd behind Chris Matthews on MSNBC? I'm having trouble finding video proof.
posted by casarkos at 6:18 AM on October 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


I saw Biden writing something down, and figured it was probably something along the lines of, "DIDN'T ANSWER QUESTION...ASK HER TO DEFINE ACHILLES HEEL!!"

And in the margin: "Remember to ask her after debate who does her teeth."

Seriously, Palin answering what her greatest weakness is? Even if she knew what "Achille's heel" means, I don't think a narcissist like her would be able to come up with one. Maybe something along the lines of, "Oh, jeez, I dunno, I push myself too hard. Also, I sometimes forget just how pretty I am."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:22 AM on October 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


Man, "game changer" is as ubiquitous now as "swift boat" was in 2004, and I'll be glad to see it disappear for a while.
posted by the_bone at 6:27 AM on October 3, 2008


I thought he came across as intelligent, passionate and honest.

Yes, and in such a good way. It was wonderful to see a 65-year-old making such great use of his depth of knowledge and experience, being so engaged and sharp and skillful, and still caring so much about what he does. McCain just comes across as an angry old man who's past being effective. I know who I want to be like when/if I get to be their age.
posted by orange swan at 6:28 AM on October 3, 2008


I'm just impressed with how well she learned the 5 D's: Dodge, duck, dip, dive... and dodge.
posted by educatedslacker at 6:29 AM on October 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


Bobtroy also noted that the gay rights discussion in general got a good response with the Ohio viewers (I was elsewhere, checking out PBS) Thanks, Will & Grace and Queer Eye!

Umm...at least here in Northeast Ohio we've got plenty of gay people and gay-friendly people. Hell, the leader of one of the largest (and most beautiful, in my opinion) churches downtown is an out lesbian.

It's Cincinnati -- which should just get it over with and secede to Kentucky -- who might need a little help, though.

shadow vector, I'm with you on the Gs. I was yelling at the TV until a friend of mine twittered "brought to you by the letter 'g'" and then I just sob-laughed.

Another fun yell-at-tv-point: "Respect for women's rights? WHAT? Like having them pay for their own rape kits???"

And finally...with all the winking nonsense, it was like Amy Poehler and Tina Fey last week: "Governor, is it true that you just become increasingly adorable when cornered?" Fey: "*wink finger pistol* pew! pew! pew!"
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:39 AM on October 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


It would be fun to go through the debate text and do word frequency analysis on each candidate.

Maverick? Kitchen table? Dissect the debate -- "Use our Video Analyzer to go the parts of the vice-presidential debate you want to see — and find out what words and phrases were used most often by Sarah Palin and Joe Biden."
posted by ericb at 6:40 AM on October 3, 2008


Palin: I May Not "Answer The Questions The Way You Or The Moderator Want"
"Harold Ford remarked on Sarah Palin’s lack of responsiveness to Gwen Ifill’s questions: 'she had a set of answers to a set of questions, even if the question was not asked she was going to provide the answer.'

CBS’s Bob Schieffer: 'I found it disconcerting, time and again Governor Palin chose not to answer the question.'"
posted by ericb at 6:46 AM on October 3, 2008


"Discussing Palin’s seeming confusion on McCain’s record, CNN’s Anderson Cooper said, On equal rights for gays and lesbians, it came off as if she actually supports the same policies as Obama and Biden do, which is just factually not the case.' Paul Begala agreed: 'She seemed to say she supported the Biden-Obama position that we should all treat all Americans equally. That would be a radical step for Republicans.' Another pundit said evangelicals heard Palin’s answer and wondered, 'What in the world is she doing?' Read more about Palin’s record on gay rights here."
posted by ericb at 6:49 AM on October 3, 2008


Palin: I May Not "Answer The Questions The Way You Or The Moderator Want"

... or at all...
posted by orange swan at 6:55 AM on October 3, 2008


CNN Poll: Biden wins debate -- 51-36.

CBS Poll: Biden wins debate -- 46-21.
posted by ericb at 6:57 AM on October 3, 2008


Palin: I May Not "Answer The Questions The Way You Or The Moderator Want"

MSNBC Chris Matthews:
"Not only did she say I'm not going to do any more interviews, it seemed, but she was saying, I'm not going to listen to Gwen Ifill tonight. She said I'm not going to give the answers the moderator wants to ask for. What an extraordinary statement. I'm not going to play by the rules and when I get elected I want more power in the office than it's had before. Hmm... Not too much humility here."
posted by ericb at 6:59 AM on October 3, 2008 [6 favorites]


One of my favorite Palin lines:
"And how long have I been at this, like five weeks?"
posted by ericb at 7:01 AM on October 3, 2008 [5 favorites]


By golly, she is a whiz at foreign policy! I can see why McCain has turned to her advice many times in the past.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:03 AM on October 3, 2008


Forty-six percent of the uncommitted voters surveyed say Democrat Joe Biden won the debate, compared to 21 percent for Republican Sarah Palin.
posted by ericb at 7:03 AM on October 3, 2008


If this thread gets up over the 1000 comment mark I may have to stop reading it.



Of course I won't.
posted by datter at 7:04 AM on October 3, 2008


Oh damn, ericb, there's some stealth posting in your "MSNBC Chris Matthews" link.
Torie Clarke, who worked with McCain back in Arizona and with the Bush Administration's Department of Defense, had the following remarks on ABC: " I think Joe Biden had his best night tonight. He came with one mission, and that was to go after John McCain, and he did it, backed up by facts. I think he did a better job tonight of tying McCain to the Bush administration than Obama did last week. Matthew Dowd, who worked for George Bush's communications team while in the White House, followed Clarke and he too agreed that the Delaware Democrat took the evening.
It's pretty meaningful when former Bush staffers hand the debate win to a Democrat, because those people are sworn to fealty through a blood oath with Satan. Now their only way to escape the Prince of Darkness will be a fiddle contest, or smuggling in some oxycontin for Rush Limbaugh.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:11 AM on October 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


Sarah Palin Debate Flow Chart
posted by kirkaracha at 7:12 AM on October 3, 2008 [8 favorites]


I put together some tag clouds for the two candidates here.
posted by xchmp at 7:20 AM on October 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Biden nailed it. He did exactly what he had to do. He's a pretty solid debater in general, but he was near the top of his game last night.

Palin exceeded expectations by not throwing up on Gwen Ifill, but her performance isn't going to reassure independents much. She seemed to rush through a lot of her prepared talking points, with too much speed and not enough inflection. There were a number of lines that I thought would have been more effective if she'd delivered them well, but as it was they just got lost in the stream of words. And she had a little bit of a deer-in-the-headlights look into the camera; not that she looked panicked, but she came across as nervous and a little jittery. That's not going to help reassure people that she's presidential material.
posted by EarBucket at 7:25 AM on October 3, 2008


A favorite Biden moment -- Biden: John McCain is No Maverick
“Can I respond to that?

Look, let's talk about the maverick John McCain is. And again I love him, he's been a maverick on some issues but he's been no maverick on things that matter to people's lives.

He voted four out of five times for George Bush's budget which put us half a trillion in debt this year and over three trillion in debt since he got there.

He has not been a maverick in providing healthcare for people. He voted against including another 3.6 million children in coverage of the existing health care plan in the United States Senate.

He's not been a maverick when it comes to education. He has not supported tax cuts and significant changes for people being able to send their kids to college.

He's not been a maverick on the war, not been a maverick on virtually anything that generally affects the things that people really talk about around the kitchen table.

Can we get mom's MRI? Can we send Mary back to school next semester? We can't make it. How we gonna heat the house this winter? He even voted against what they call LIHEAP, for assistance for people with oil prices going through the roof in the winter.

So a maverick he is not, on the important critical issues that affect people at the kitchen table.”
posted by ericb at 7:27 AM on October 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


McCain camp: Biden ready to exagerrate.
posted by EarBucket at 7:27 AM on October 3, 2008


Campaign trajectory remains unchanged.
John McCain has become the candidate of change, while Barack Obama would be happy with more of the same – at least when it comes to the last month of the presidential campaign.

For the conclusion of Thursday's debate failed to alter a trajectory that has favored the Democratic ticket. The campaign is still handcuffed to the nation's financial crisis, with voters willing to take a risk on change and reminded of what they don't like about Republicans and the Bush administration.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:33 AM on October 3, 2008


I liked the graphical representation of the word cloud from the GBPT. It evoked more of the wreckage that was.
posted by lysdexic at 7:40 AM on October 3, 2008


Also, I don't know if this has already been posted, but McCain has surrendered in Michigan, and moving on to other pastures.
John McCain is pulling out of Michigan, according to two Republicans, a stunning move a month away from Election Day that indicates the difficulty Republicans are having in finding blue states to put in play. McCain will now turn his attention to bolstering his defenses in Ohio and Florida while putting more resources into Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and the second congressional district of Maine, where there is a sole electoral vote available.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:41 AM on October 3, 2008


She came across as phony and contrived.

Communications Analysis used to be my forte, and although I'm pretty rusty at it now, yet I think I can put my finger on what went wrong. Clearly, she was attempting to channel President Reagan, but while she knows the song, she mangled the lyrics and sang off-key. One reason why she came off as phony is while using the "down home" accent, the winking, the informality ("May I call you Joe?") she combined that with complicated sentence structure, buzz words and larded it all with politic-speak. Examples:
thanks to John McCain's bipartisan efforts that he was so instrumental in bringing folks

And the American workforce is the greatest in this world, with the ingenuity and the work ethic that is just entrenched in our workforce.

Now, that's not what we need to create jobs and really bolster and heat up our economy.

I do take issue with some of the principle there with that redistribution of wealth principle that seems to be espoused by you.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:42 AM on October 3, 2008 [6 favorites]


What's really bizarre about McCain leaving Michigan for those particular states is, while Ohio and Florida are close, as of now Obama leads McCain by 5% in Wisconsin, 5% in Minnesota, 7.9% in Pennsylvania, and 7.6% in Maine. It's almost like he asked his staff, "OK, what blue states are we destined to fail in? Because that's where I think we should concentrate our energies."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:48 AM on October 3, 2008


Optimus: Anyway, Obama's weakest positions - in this progressive's eyes - are his stances on gay rights and nuclear power

dgaicun: Here here, OC

My understanding of his stance on gay marriage is that it's exactly the right stance, but that he has (intentionally) chosen the most horrible way to talk about it (from a progressive's point of view) in order to appease middle America. He says that for him marriage is the union of one man and one woman, but that he wouldn't impose this definition on anyone else. Which I read as: people are free to have whatever definition of marriage they choose (between consenting adults), but they are not free to impose that definition on anyone else.

Right? I mean, if we're holding out hope that everyone in the U.S. will personally accept marriage, that's not going to happen. And if we're hoping for Obama to stand up during a debate and say, "Damn right I support gay marriage, you bigot!" Well, that might be dramatic, but if we want a candidate to be able to say that and still win an election we have a lot more work to do on the ground.

Does he have some anti-gay-rights policies I don't know about?
Barack Obama believes we need to repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. His campaign literature says, "The key test for military service should be patriotism, a sense of duty, and a willingness to serve."

Barack Obama co-sponsored legislation to expand federal hate crimes laws to include crimes perpetrated because of sexual orientation and gender identity. (...) ...supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and believes it should be expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity. (...) ...believes gays and lesbians should have the same rights to adopt children as heterosexuals.
Well, here's the only problem I see:
He said he would support civil unions between gay and lesbian couples, as well as letting individual states determine if marriage between gay and lesbian couples should be legalized.
But honestly I think if he had campaigned on a platform of a federal mandate for legalization of gay marriage in all 50 states he would have not been elected.
posted by The Loch Ness Monster at 7:57 AM on October 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


Wow! This seems pretty big to me: The University of Illinois argues state law keeps faculty from displaying or proclaiming for whom they are voting; state office says that law extends to students, too
The university's administration has sparked outrage by telling faculty, staff and graduate students that a 5-year-old state law designed to prevent state workers from campaigning for candidates on state time or with state resources meant they could not express support for candidates or parties through pins, T-shirts or bumper stickers while on campus. Nor could they attend any political rally or event on campus, the administration said.
No political rallies on campus? That is crazy. No pins or T-shirts? That's outrageous.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:02 AM on October 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Claims that she won when the rules were dumbed down in her favor aren't very convincing. When I was in high school I went back to my elementary school so I could dunk on the 8-foot-tall baskets. That didn't make me an NBA player.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:10 AM on October 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


On the C-SPAN split view stream, did anyone else catch where Palin was looking at her index cards and said "Okay" and it came through the microphone, but no one was addressing her? I'm not the one to make accusations but it seemed odd to me at the time. Is she allowed to take cues from anyone outside of the moderator? Or could someone else perhaps let me know what it was?
posted by JakeEXTREME at 8:11 AM on October 3, 2008


What's really bizarre about McCain leaving Michigan for those particular states is, while Ohio and Florida are close, as of now Obama leads McCain by 5% in Wisconsin, 5% in Minnesota, 7.9% in Pennsylvania, and 7.6% in Maine. It's almost like he asked his staff, "OK, what blue states are we destined to fail in? Because that's where I think we should concentrate our energies."

Well, I think Minnesota's actually a little closer than that. SurveyUSA has a poll this morning that actually gives McCain a one-point lead. (SUSA was very reliable in the primaries, but they've been all over the board lately, so it's worth waiting to see some more polls in the next few days before worrying about this particular one.) Nonetheless, you're right about Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Putting resources there seems like a real waste to me.

I think Minnesota's going to go for Obama next month, but it makes sense for McCain to push a little longer there. New Hampshire looks like it might be pulling away (Obama has a 10 point lead from Rasmussen this morning) but McCain's still got a chance there. And he might have a shot at peeling away an electoral vote in Maine, so he's not on a total fool's errand there.

But basically, he's going into a defensive crouch, hoping he can hold all the Bush states except New Mexico and Iowa. It's a good indication that they don't think Obama's current lead is a bump. They think it's the new equilibrium point of the race, and the ground they're going to be fighting on for the next month.
posted by EarBucket at 8:17 AM on October 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


McCain's fate hangs on three states:
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) now must win Pennsylvania, Wisconsin or Minnesota in order to get enough electoral votes to win the presidency, his campaign says.
...
McCain figures that winning one of those three big remaining swing states, plus those he considers safe, would put him 10 shy of the 270 electoral votes he needs to win.

"We can dig up an additional 10 electoral votes in Nevada, Colorado and New Hampshire," the official said.

Recent polls have showed Obama running strong in some states Bush won in 2004. But the McCain official said the campaign is confident: "We feel strongly that we’re going to win in Florida, Missouri and the traditional Republican states of Virginia and North Carolina."
The McCain campaign is also going after one electoral vote from Maine.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:22 AM on October 3, 2008


The university's administration has sparked outrage by telling faculty, staff and graduate students that a 5-year-old state law designed to prevent state workers from campaigning for candidates on state time or with state resources meant they could not express support for candidates or parties through pins, T-shirts or bumper stickers while on campus. Nor could they attend any political rally or event on campus, the administration said.

It does specify graduate students. Perhaps those graduate students are working as TAs, and so can be considered staff, which seems reasonable to me.
posted by orange swan at 8:25 AM on October 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


did anyone else catch Palin's freudian slip? From the CNN transcript:

Look at Lieberman, and Giuliani, and Romney, and Lingle, and all of us who come from such a diverse background of -- of policy and of partisanship, all coming together at this time, recognizing he is the man that we need to leave -- lead in these next four years, because these are tumultuous times.
posted by logicpunk at 8:30 AM on October 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I will pay someone cash money to have this thread not be about konolia Rafaelloello Palin.
posted by mazola at 8:32 AM on October 3, 2008


Did anyone else catch the "NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP" / "NEVER GONNA LET YOU DOWN" banners in the Obama crowd behind Chris Matthews on MSNBC? I'm having trouble finding video proof.

Here you go...
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:38 AM on October 3, 2008 [5 favorites]


Has no one here talked about Joe Biden periodically scratching his face? I liked that, that was unexpected. He did it a couple of times. It seemed like a weirdly incongruous thing for a candidate to do as the focal point of national media attention -- a reminder that he was at ease, just talking, just making his points, addressing the citizens, while Palin was really trying hard to not fail in front of the staring judgemental eyes of pundits.

This is not to minimize the magnitude of the issues discussed, or the profound disrespect Palin showed when she refused to answer questions, but that little quirk of body language was interesting.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:47 AM on October 3, 2008


I think graduate students who are teaching probably should not wear political shirts to class - but there is no reason not to wear them to the library.
posted by jb at 8:50 AM on October 3, 2008


"McCain's fate hangs on three states"
Oh! That is good news!

HOLY SHIT WE'RE GONNA WIN
posted by lunit at 8:52 AM on October 3, 2008


One thing I noticed was that sometimes when they showed Palin speaking you could see Joe Biden smiling at her. But it seemed to me that it was more of a big, sardonic grin than a smile.
posted by orange swan at 8:57 AM on October 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wait. But if McCain wins North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Indiana, Nevada, and Ohio... he doesn't need Wisconsin, Minnesoda, or Pennslyvania. Unless they're counting on Obama taking Colorado AND New Hampshire. Right?
posted by lunit at 8:59 AM on October 3, 2008


Unless they're counting on Obama taking Colorado AND New Hampshire. Right?


Obama up 12 in NH today. NHIOP
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:01 AM on October 3, 2008


Colorado's actually the one place where McCain's doing well lately. He's had a bit of a surge in the polls in the last week or so. My guess is that the McCain campaign wants to frame it as being about those three blue states because they can't let it look like they're just focusing on playing defense. The narrative is slipping out of their grasp as it is, and they can't afford to have the story be about how the desperate McCain camp is just praying to please please please not lose Ohio and Florida.
posted by EarBucket at 9:12 AM on October 3, 2008


39% of early voters in Georgia are black.
posted by EarBucket at 9:31 AM on October 3, 2008


Those'll be straight in the bin then.
posted by Artw at 9:36 AM on October 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


Charles Krauthammer sounds like he's giving up.
posted by EarBucket at 9:38 AM on October 3, 2008


I watched the debate, and I've got to say, I felt pulled in by Sarah Palin's tracter-beams. Good Lord. I see her preparation included getting new highlights! She's really, really... hypnotizing. Until you actually try to parse the words escaping from her mouth and realize that they don't make ANY SENSE.

I'll go read the rest of the thread now. I just wanted to put in my 2c. And a placeholder comment. I confess.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:51 AM on October 3, 2008


But honestly I think if he had campaigned on a platform of a federal mandate for legalization of gay marriage in all 50 states he would have not been elected.

I don't know how to do that cool HTML thing where it crosses out words, so let me just say that the tense of the verbs in that sentence is a little, um, over-confident. Still a month to go...

speaking of which (topic change) - I get a little nervous anytime Obama or Biden mentions bin Laden. We're stepping up efforts to go after him in Pakistan. It's the perfect October Surprise, and while it doesn't make a lick of difference in my mind about anything (including the safety of the country, frankly - there'll still be terrorists, long after OBL bites it), it's leaving the ticket very vulnerable.

Of course, maybe they'll spin it as - too bad we didn't do this 5 years ago!!!
posted by fingers_of_fire at 10:08 AM on October 3, 2008


If bin Laden were captured in the next few weeks, it'd be seen as a transparent stunt by the Bush administration. I think it would be received very cynically, if people didn't outright assume that he'd been held in secret, waiting for an October Surprise. And all Obama would have to do is go on TV and say "Great! I'm glad that with three months left in office, George Bush decided to get around to doing this. But we don't need another four years of putting things off until the last minute. What we need is a president who etcetera etcetera etcetera."
posted by EarBucket at 10:15 AM on October 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


I thought Biden's smile while Palin was speaking was awesome. He actually looked like he was enjoying himself. Like, he's a professional politician, and here he is in the brightest lights and on the largest stage of his career. Sure, he cares deeply about the issues, but he's also a pro, and genuinely interested to see how his opponent avails herself of the same opportunity. Class act all around, methinks.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 10:16 AM on October 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


McCain figures that winning one of those three big remaining swing states, plus those he considers safe, would put him 10 shy of the 270 electoral votes he needs to win.

"We can dig up an additional 10 electoral votes in Nevada, Colorado and New Hampshire," the official said.


Colorado: 9 electoral votes
Nevada: 5 electoral votes
New Hampshire: 4 electoral votes

McCain would need to win: Florida, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Missouri, Indiana, and two (2) out of Colorado, Nevada, and New Hampshire should he fail to win any of those three "big remaining swing states." I would like to know what he considers "safe." To me, it seems that McCain is looking at the map like this is February 2005.

Obama is leading in Florida, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, and all of Colorado, Nevada, and New Hampshire, as well as all three of Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

I fail to see how publicly pulling out of Michigan instills confidence that he can gain ground much less win in any of the Great Lake States.

But then again, there is still Diebold huh?
posted by clearly at 10:21 AM on October 3, 2008


Wouldn't it be fun to see Biden appear in debate with Tina Fey on SNL this week? He couldn't do it as it would undermine the class with which he conducted the debate...but still...
posted by troybob at 10:23 AM on October 3, 2008


Diebold can't stop a landslide.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:25 AM on October 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


If bin Laden were captured in the next few weeks, it'd be seen as a transparent stunt by the Bush administration. I think it would be received very cynically, if people didn't outright assume that he'd been held in secret, waiting for an October Surprise. And all Obama would have to do is go on TV and say "Great! I'm glad that with three months left in office, George Bush decided to get around to doing this. But we don't need another four years of putting things off until the last minute. What we need is a president who etcetera etcetera etcetera."

No. It would seal the deal completely. McCain would surely win. But their not gonna catch Bin Laden in thirty four days. No fucking way.

If they do then I would seriously call shenanigans. I'm mean how? How could they possibly, after seven years of hardly coming close, suddenly get this guy just in time for a presidential election when the country that harbors Bin Laden is even MORE anti-American and unstable than ever? How would that be possible given the decline of Karsai in Afghanistan, the resurgence of the Taliban, and the degradation of NATO support? Luck? A sudden unexpected bout of competence? We finally get some ,ole into Al Quaeda or something? Riiiiiight.

Anybody left in this country with any brains would have to see through that. With the economy the way it is and this last minute massive power grab of the Treasury Department? Wow. Pretty much every conspiracy theory about 9/11, the shit I usually mock, would look to be true. If Bush catches Bin Laden before November that'd be it for me. I'd move my ass out of this country as soon as possible. Because maybe alarmists like Noami Klein could really be right.... the next step could be a total fascist state.
posted by tkchrist at 10:31 AM on October 3, 2008


UNLESS... I thought about this... Bin Laden knows that another Neo-con Bush (McCain/Palin) term would put the nail in the coffin for America. So maybe, just maybe he would martyr himself deliberately to get McCain elected, put himself on trail on TV, speachify, gloat and then watch America burn when the Republicans finally finish his job for him and kill Democracy for good. After all. They have done a pretty great job so far with the Bin Laden Agenda. Man. I hope Bin Laden isn't THAT smart or dedicated.
posted by tkchrist at 10:37 AM on October 3, 2008


Perhaps those graduate students are working as TAs, and so can be considered staff, which seems reasonable to me.
posted by orange swan at 11:25 AM on October 3 [+] [!]

From the same link (my bold):But the governor's Office of Executive Inspector General[...] delivered a sweeping twist, saying the state law meant that university students, not just employees, were prohibited from participating in political rallies on campus—an assertion at odds with the University of Illinois' interpretation of the law.

"Anything that benefits a political campaign is prohibited on state property," said Gilbert Jimenez, deputy inspector general


So the Governor's office is clearly interpreting the ban as applying to more than just TAs and other employees.

Back to Palin who is so much more interesting at the moment (and try as I might I can't make that read non-sarcastic, so let me say I am not being sarcastic.) Oh Lord, Hustler is rushing through a Palin-inspired porn: Nailin Palin
The faux Sarah is Lisa Ann, who "will be nailing the Russians who come knocking on her back-door." In another scene -- a flashback -- "young Paylin's creationist college professor will explain a 'big bang' theory even she can't deny!"

There's also a threeway with Hillary and Condoleezza look-alikes. The video is in pre-production, but is being fast tracked for release before the election.
See what happens when you wink and flirt with the camera?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:37 AM on October 3, 2008


I think if we did get a bin Laden capture announcement, it would come after the election. Bush is far more concerned with saving his own legacy than helping McCain, and post-Nov 4 there's no chance it would look like an election stunt. Remember two years ago when he fired Rumsfeld the day after the midterms? Bush only cares about himself at this point. He'll let his party burn if it means saving his own reputation. (Not that he's saving that either at this point, but he'll take a stab at it before he leaves office.)
posted by EarBucket at 10:52 AM on October 3, 2008


HOLY SHIT WE'RE GONNA WIN

There is no guarantee, keep that bottle corked and work a little bit harder

39% of early voters in Georgia are black.

Goddamn right, but probably won't matter.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:59 AM on October 3, 2008


"I'd like to have lunch with Sarah," said one married woman, "but have Joe running my country."
Another focus group weighs in.
posted by poxuppit at 11:05 AM on October 3, 2008


Anybody calling Florida for Obama, keep in mind that there's a "marriage protection amendment" on the state's ballot this year -- a tactic that's known to fire up the fundies and hardcore conservatives. I think Obama will do unexpectedly well in Florida, but I'll eat my internet if he wins the state.

VOTE NO ON 2, FLORIDA MEFITES.
posted by contessa at 11:06 AM on October 3, 2008


Interesting: Sarah Palin says she learned that the McCain-Palin campaign was conceding Michigan to Obama when she read about it this morning (Oct. 3)

I'm guessing Big Daddy didn't want to worry her purty little head none last night before the big Home Coming Rally-- Goooooo Mavericks!
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 11:18 AM on October 3, 2008


Until you actually try to parse the words escaping from her mouth and realize that they don't make ANY SENSE...

Newsweek’s Andrew Romano: “The problem for Mrs Palin, however, is that she often seemed to run out of talking points - at which point her answers would devolve into the confusing ‘blizzards of words.’”
posted by ericb at 11:18 AM on October 3, 2008


Interesting: Sarah Palin says she learned that the McCain-Palin campaign was conceding Michigan to Obama when she read about it this morning (Oct. 3)

God, I wish that had come up in the debate last night. That would have been beautiful.
posted by EarBucket at 11:20 AM on October 3, 2008


Ok, then, who's up for some truth squads?

lemme know if I'm in the wrong thread
posted by lysdexic at 11:21 AM on October 3, 2008


Video compilation of Palin reading from her notes during the debate.
posted by ericb at 11:21 AM on October 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Politico: “...on at least ten occasions, Palin gave answers that were nonspecific, completely generic, pivoted away from the question at hand, or simply ignored it: on global warming, an Iraq exit strategy, Iran and Pakistan, Iranian diplomacy, Israel-Palestine (and a follow-up), the nuclear trigger, interventionism, Cheney’s vice presidency and her own greatest weakness.”
posted by ericb at 11:21 AM on October 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't know how accurate this projected database is, but I've been keeping my eye on it a lot recently. Today is the first time I've seen nothing but Obama across the board. Even the far-right projectionists are saying it's all Obama - and I think there's only one or two ties.

It would be an amazing thing to see Obama take this race, and while the cynical "I've given up hope for a better world" part of me thinks something's going to knock it off-course, looking at it from a completely factual standpoint... I just don't see how McCain could possibly win this one.

Anyone care to tell me how accurate/inaccurate that site I linked is?
posted by revmitcz at 11:33 AM on October 3, 2008


"McCain's fate hangs on three states"

I read that as "McCain's hate fangs on three states."

*shiver*
His terrible death whinny hate fangs.

posted by weston at 11:35 AM on October 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


Interesting: Sarah Palin says she learned that the McCain-Palin campaign was conceding Michigan to Obama when she read about it this morning (Oct. 3)

*I* knew about this yesterday at mid-afternoon, and I'm a) not only not a member of McCain's team, I'm b) in another country. They really just don't bother to tell her anything, do they?
posted by orange swan at 11:40 AM on October 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Diebold can't stop a landslide.

Maybe, but Diebold can create a mandate.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:46 AM on October 3, 2008


Anyone care to tell me how accurate/inaccurate that site I linked is?

Well, it's really just a compilation of various analysis sites. Some are professional political pundits and academic types, some are just random bloggers sitting in their basements (which doesn't mean they're necessarily wrong!). But you can get a pretty good idea of the conventional wisdom of the race, if nothing else. As I read the race at the moment, McCain's plausible paths to the White House are narrowing, and at this point his plan is probably to hunker down, play defense, and hope some kind of exterior event changes the shape of the election in his favor.
posted by EarBucket at 11:47 AM on October 3, 2008


If bin Laden were captured in the next few weeks, it'd be seen as a transparent stunt by the Bush administration.

Worked for Reagan. Remember that half the country has an IQ less than 100.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:48 AM on October 3, 2008


If bin Laden were captured in the next few weeks, it'd be seen as a transparent stunt by the Bush administration

Obama's been saying he'd go after bin Laden and al Qaeda for months and McCain's been mocking him and calling him naive, so I'm not convinced that getting bin Laden would work in McCain's favor.

Al Qaeda bombs US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, August 7, 1998

"Look, is this guy, [bin] Laden, really the bad guy that's depicted? Most of us have never heard of him before." -- John McCain, mid-September 1998
posted by kirkaracha at 11:51 AM on October 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Worked for Reagan.

Well, sure. The country was sick of an ineffective incumbent president and a wrecked economy. They looked to a fresh, charismatic face from the other party to come in and change things. They were prepped to be cynical about Carter, not Reagan. Trying to pull the same kind of stunt could backfire really badly. Of course, we may get to the point soon where McCain's firing off a new Hail Mary pass every day.
posted by EarBucket at 11:52 AM on October 3, 2008


Trying to pull the same kind of stunt could backfire really badly.

I'm with you. I really hope I'd be wrong.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:56 AM on October 3, 2008


Palin debate flowchart
posted by Artw at 11:58 AM on October 3, 2008


Palin debate? More like Palin comparison! AMIRITE?
posted by kaibutsu at 12:16 PM on October 3, 2008


McCain loses support in a key demographic.
posted by Bookhouse at 12:28 PM on October 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


They really just don't bother to tell her anything, do they?

This is the reality TV show I crave. I don't care what some bimbos are saying to some hambos while they get drunk in a jacuzzi. I want to know what is going on behind the scenes at the McCain-Palin ticket. Does she flirt with him? Treat him with condescention? (You are so lucky to have me...) Does he avoid her? Does he try to mold her to his expectations? Put the moves on her? Does it ever get physical? Where do the spouses fit in with all this? I can just imagine both Cindy and Todd whispering hot streams of vindiction into their mates' ears, "Oh s/he thinks s/he is so important! You're the one driving this racecar, baby!"
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:34 PM on October 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


From the post's title:

Sarah Palin may be a better debater than you think

No, she's really not. If I had to grade her performance, charitably, I'd have to giver her an incomplete.

In fact, I don't know what I would call that, but debating it's not. What kind of scares me is that we might be on the verge of a new low in American political discourse. A new debating "style" where instead of making any attempt to address or even recognize, or even showing a glimmer of understanding the moderator's questions, the candidate ignores the whole thing and decides to parrot talking points.

On an unrelated note, I am going to contribute a few bucks to the McCain campaign so that poor woman can buy some "g"s to put at the end of her gerunds.
posted by psmealey at 12:34 PM on October 3, 2008


McCain channels the Penguin.

Obama staffs up in Nebraska.

McCain camp going full-bore negative with ads. This might pay off, but it carries a risk of backlash.
posted by EarBucket at 12:40 PM on October 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


General McClellan Responds.
posted by homunculus at 12:43 PM on October 3, 2008 [12 favorites]


I know John McCain. John and I fought side by side in Mexico. We threw back a bourbon and loved some whores in TJ. We had our fun.

That link is a fucking laugh riot. Oh how I wish I could favorite your comment over and over again, homunculus.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:48 PM on October 3, 2008


Was anyone else struck by how coldly Palin treated her own BABY in the post-debate milling? Unless I missed it, she never even looked at Trig's face, just burped him until the pictures were taken and handed him back off to a daughter.

Combined with her non-reaction to Biden's widowering, and her near-stalking of her sister's ex-husband, it gives me the chills.
posted by msalt at 12:52 PM on October 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


I want to know what is going on behind the scenes at the McCain-Palin ticket.

Well, when asked if he had taken advice from Palin about foreign affairs, McCain replied that he'd asked for her advice plenty of times. It wasn't about foreign affairs, though; he'd merely asked which tie went better with his suit. And there was a little bit of a tiff when he was readying for the Katie Couric interview that he'd blown off Letterman for and she yelled at the makeup person that "you've caked on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt!"

Other than that, they mostly hang out and discuss how much more power she'll be given than Cheney has.
posted by leftcoastbob at 1:05 PM on October 3, 2008


General McClellan Responds.

When Palin said "General McClellan" last night I said:

Oh. I understand her confusion. McCain probably used to pilot an iron-clad for McClellan. I'm sure he tells her all the stories. Of him doing fisticuffs with Diamond Jim Brady over a debt of honor. Him and Andrew Carnegie hitting striking coal miners on the head with shovels from thier Pinkerton wagons. Then there is the laugh riot about the Kaiser Wilhelm II and him getting drunk and headbutting anarchists. That's a lot for a simple snow-billy gal to keep track of, you betcha.
posted by tkchrist at 1:06 PM on October 3, 2008 [5 favorites]


I didn't make it through the debate, but I hope to read through the transcript later. I stopped some 20 minutes in, after plenty of non-answers from both sides.

While listening, a few things caught my ear.

Palin: "Now, what I've done as a governor and as a mayor is (inaudible) I've had that track record of reform. And I've joined this team that is a team of mavericks with John McCain"

How can you have a team of mavericks? By definition, a maverick is (generally) "One that refuses to abide by the dictates of or resists adherence to a group; a dissenter," though one variation on this definition is simply "someone who exhibits great independence in thought and action," so I guess it is possible to have a team of independently minded individuals.

At some other point, Palin mentioned how Obama has voted along party lines 96% of the time. First, maybe the Dems had some good ideas to vote with. After all, he is the Democratic nominee for President. But if you vote against party lines so much, why not switch sides? Or run Independent? If your party is nothing to be proud of, why stick with them? Now, that's a maverick move.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:22 PM on October 3, 2008


Combined with her non-reaction to Biden's widowering, and her near-stalking of her sister's ex-husband, it gives me the chills.

YES. I'm guessing the Alaskan wilderness ain't the only unforgiving frozen entity that the Palin children confront on a regular basis.
posted by scody at 1:26 PM on October 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


i believe the correct collective noun for mavericks is clusterfuck.
posted by snofoam at 1:38 PM on October 3, 2008 [20 favorites]


How can you have a team of mavericks?

Maybe you should ask Mark Cuban.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:43 PM on October 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I thought it was a Falsehood of Mavericks.
posted by dirtdirt at 1:43 PM on October 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


No kidding? It's a COVEN of mavericks.

OOGA BOOGA WITCHCRAFT OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
posted by CitizenD at 1:47 PM on October 3, 2008


This is the easiest job ever.

Another paid Republican operative?
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:48 PM on October 3, 2008


Oh ya, that makes sense. Not.

Palin's rehearsed a few of the answers she flubbed last week, and her new line is that the real reason she gave inadequate replies is not because she didn't know the answers, but becuase she was annoyed. She pledges in the future to try not to be "too impatient with the mainstream media."

You can't make this stuff up.
posted by madamjujujive at 1:53 PM on October 3, 2008


But any fair MeFite would have to agree that there are more members here than not who believe that Palin appeals primarily to uneducated, hick, redneck Americans in flyover country who do nothing but drink beer, watch NASCAR, and think Britney Spears is a role model.

I think I'm pretty fair, and I don't agree. Some people may believe that, but I'd wager that a lot of people here believe what I believe, based on direct observation: Palin appears primarily to fairly well educated, suburban, middle-income to affluent female Americans in their 20s through 40s who live in recently developed suburbs and ring cities, who are primarily concerned with raising children at this point in their lives, who are socially conservative, who are largely Anglo-American, and who are often members of evangelical churches but may also be from mainline Christian denominations. From what I've read, heard, seen in reporting, and personally witnessed, that's her base. I don't think she gets anywhere much with "hick, redneck" Americans. Her market is Panera Bread's. Or Curves'.

The Rovean categories don't hold in this election cycle. And most commonsensical people have realized they were always a false division. Splitting people among surface, consumer-based identities is a strategy, not an immutable descriptive reality.

On the topic of NH: I'm "on the ground" here, and it looks to me like this state is going way, way Obama. It was quite narrow for Kerry, but as with everywhere, there is much more enthusiasm and a much more mobilized electorate this time; plus, the state overall is "bluer" than it was four years ago. I honestly don't think it's seriously in play. McCain certainly has a lot of support among some sectors, but they aren't large enough sectors, in my belief.

Plus, to pull an Ohio they'd have to resort to some other solution besides Diebold. We're frugal Yankees up here with almost no state budgets. We don't need fancy, expensive newfangled gadgets for votin'. My fathah and his fathah before him voted with pen and paper, and so will we, by gum.
posted by Miko at 2:04 PM on October 3, 2008 [15 favorites]


Last night, in my Sociolinguistics/Narrative class, we analyzed a bunch of transcriptions from recent political speeches. We were looking for patterns and more subtle linguistic features that help to build a narrative, through identity construction via the establishment of coherence, authenticity, etc.

One particularly salient piece of text was an excerpt from the Presidential Debates last friday. The last line from a McCain turn, in response to Obama is:

"I have a long record and the American people know me very well and that is independent and a maverick of the Senate and I'm happy to say that I've got a partner that's a good maverick along with me now."

There are many things about this sentence that, to me, show an overall lack of coherence. It is rife with contradictions. This leaves me with a feeling of mistrust, because there is no consistency. The words we choose, for the most part, are not conscious acts. They fall naturally from the identity we want to project, the ideas we have, and the values we hold, among many other things. When all of those things are on the same trajectory, the words we choose should reflect that.

The first thing I notice about that line is the projection of belonging and togetherness that is evoked from the clause "and the American people know me very well." But it is followed by "that is independent and a maverick," which is an apparent contradiction. Are you in, or are you out? You can't be both.

Then he goes on to say "I've got a partner"..."a good maverick"..."with me." This triply reinforces this idea of a 'pact' or 'team'. Another apparent contradiction, because mavericks, by definition, are solo agents. They are independent thinkers, not idea-by-committee types. That this is indexed as such not once, twice, but three times suggests to me that this framing of what a maverick is is really important. But it's not consistent or logical.

And also, something that's REALLY bothering me...You don't get to call yourself a maverick. You don't even get to call your cohorts mavericks, without implying some sort of social distance. It'd be like if I started walking around telling everybody what a badass I am. If I did, I'd probably want to use it lightly. Or ironically. Hmmpff. Now that I think about it, John McCain is the ultimate hipster.

*This all occurred before last night's VP debate, where "Team Maverick" probably wiped out a bingo card or two or fifty.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:09 PM on October 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


Palin On Fox News: Couric Annoyed Me.
posted by ericb at 2:10 PM on October 3, 2008


I was deeply impressed by Joe Biden. While Palin might have done better than expected (not difficult when expectations are at rock-bottom), I think it was apparent that most of her answers were scripted. She spoke too quickly when called upon, as if she wanted to get all her points out before she forgot what they were. She didn't answer the questions and she kept repeating the same talking points (energy, greedy Wall Street bankers, middle-class Americans, Iraq, surge etc), whether they were relevant or not. For people who have any idea of the criticisms that have been levelled at her over the past few weeks, I have to believe that they would have recognized that in the days leading up the debate, during her well-publicized practice sessions, she was taught how to manipulate people. She was taught that she could bluff her way through any topic by using a few well placed words and phrases about things that currently resonate deeply with people, topics that are apt to bring up strong feelings. Essentially, she was taught how to appeal to people's fear. Anyone who has been paying attention (and I know a lot of people haven't) knows she doesn't have the credentials or experience that a VP should have. They know that and will have understood that her whole thing was pretty much scripted and memorized from beginning to end.

This only emphasized how relaxed and knowledgeable Joe Biden was. He came across as completely unscripted, he just knows what he's talking about. Anyone could have thrown any question at him and he would have been able to answer it. He knows his stuff because he's smart and he's been around a long time. He made it seem effortless like he didn't even really need to prepare. In fact, the impression I got from Joe Biden was that the debate wasn't the hard part. Questions about policy and voting records - not hard for him at all. What was hard for Joe Biden was having to stand there and pretend that he was having a serious debate with an equal. And that he couldn't even acknowledge what an insult and a joke it was for someone who has put the time and work in for years to suddenly be in competition with someone who is so obviously unqualified but is in the running because of looks and/or charm alone. The maturity and restraint that was shown by Joe Biden in light of this is what we really should be looking for in our leaders.

I may be remembering this incorrectly but I remember one of the reasons people wanted to vote for GWB in 2000 because he was a down to earth guy, a guy you could have a beer with. Voting for someone based on perceived personality traits rather than qualifications, intelligence, competence or experience got us the epic clusterfucks that are: Hurricane Katrina, a disaster of a war, sprialling national debt and an economy teetering on the brink of collapse. And people want to go with this voting strategy again? I just do not understand.
posted by triggerfinger at 2:11 PM on October 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


Oh, here's Palin's excuse, from today, about why the Couric interviews were so awful:
"The Sarah Palin in those interviews was a little bit annoyed because no matter what you say you're gonna get clobbered," she said.

Asked by Couric to name the periodicals she reads, Palin repeatedly declined. She also would not name any Supreme Court decisions she disagreed with, other than the Roe v. Wade abortion ruling.

Palin told FOX News on Friday that she reads the same newspapers and magazines as everyone else, "including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal and The Economist."

She said she "shouldn't have been so flippant" on the Supreme Court question. "I can cite a lot of cases that I absolutely disagree with the Supreme Court on."

She cited the June decision that child rapists cannot be executed, as well as the 2005 decision that local governments can seize private land for purposes of economic development.
Man, try doing this for your job interviews. "The me you saw yesterday was actually a little bit annoyed because even though I desperately wanted to make the best possible impression on the most important audience I've ever faced, I knew I was gonna get clobbered, so I deliberately made myself look worse. I read the same industry publications as everyone else, including Major Journal and the Harvard Business Review, even though I couldn't think of any yesterday. And I shouldn't have been so flippant when you asked me about whether I disagreed with any of the major decisions in the company's history. I can cite a lot of decisions I disagree on, now that I've looked some of them up with the help of some researchers."
posted by Miko at 2:11 PM on October 3, 2008 [9 favorites]


How can you have a team of mavericks?

You remember how after Hot Topic opened, all the non-conformist kids started hanging out in the mall so that they could buy the shoes and t-shirts that their non-conformist friends were wearing? It was really convenient, because it gave them all a place where they could get together and discuss the best place on their bags to sew their anarchist patches, while still having access to at least ten different restaurants in the food court. It was also nice because the security guards made sure they could be safe from getting mugged while discussing all the problems with The Man?

This probably isn't anything like that at all.
posted by quin at 2:12 PM on October 3, 2008 [6 favorites]


Last night, in my Sociolinguistics/Narrative class, we analyzed a bunch of transcriptions from recent political speeches.

Geesh...another group of Californian, arugula-loving, priviliged college-educated elistists!
posted by ericb at 2:17 PM on October 3, 2008


I was totally against arugula before I was for it.
(Ironically, I ate arugula last night, while watching Stephen Colbert. Or maybe I should say, "While watching Stephen Colbert last night, I ate arugula ironically.")
posted by iamkimiam at 2:21 PM on October 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


"The Sarah Palin in those interviews was a little bit annoyed because no matter what you say you're gonna get clobbered," she said.

Asked by Couric to name the periodicals she reads, Palin repeatedly declined. She also would not name any Supreme Court decisions she disagreed with, other than the Roe v. Wade abortion ruling.


Do people actually believe this crap? "Of course I know all the answers but I wasn't saying because Katie was so meeeeeean to me."

The next thing you know, they'll be saying that when McCain said that "the fundamentals of the economy are strong" he was actually talking about something else entirely--like the workforce or something.
posted by leftcoastbob at 2:22 PM on October 3, 2008


Now fucking stop with the empty promises of crackpot alternatives and line up behind the better, more planet-friendly energy sources that already exist.

But you did mention the one problem with nukes without mentioning a solution. Excluding the waste, nuke power is cleaner and less hazardous historically than coal. Certainly nuclear plant workers have lower occupational risks than other power plant technology presents. But the problems I see are two. First, the risks of nuclear are pulsatile, not continuous like coal. Coal emits greenhouse and other gases that present short-term and long-term health and environmental threats. Nuclear emits thermal pollution that can be controlled or at least mitigated, I suspect, with the right technology. But the potential for catastrophic failure which would produce long-term, devastating health and environmental damage is one major cause for folks to hesitate. Experience teaches us the probability of such a pulsatile event is small, but it isn't zero. Coupled with a large downside, some people will assume a value at the high end for that probability range and it produces an expected harm too large for their comfort.

The second risk is nuclear waste storage. Reprocessing carries risk and storage carries risk. Each has an unknown probability associated with those risks and again this leads conservative folks to be uncomfortable with shouldering them.

I think it is a little too blithe to criticize people reluctant to wholeheartedly endorse nuclear energy for being short-sighted, even though several small countries have adopted its use widely without incident to date. Nuclear energy may eventually have to be adopted for lack of any other options. I hope by that time we have better control of the risks and a way to eliminate the problem of nuclear waste.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:24 PM on October 3, 2008


SNL: Queen Latifah To Play Gwen Ifill In Potential VP Debate Sketch.
posted by ericb at 2:25 PM on October 3, 2008


"The Sarah Palin in those interviews was a little bit annoyed because no matter what you say you're gonna get clobbered."

I love this line. She's trying to disassociate...from herself.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:26 PM on October 3, 2008


I think it's a POW. A POW of mavericks.
posted by ssmith at 2:27 PM on October 3, 2008 [7 favorites]


Sarah Palin says she learned that the McCain-Palin campaign was conceding Michigan to Obama when she read about it this morning (Oct. 3)

Palin disagrees with Michigan move
"Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said Friday that she disagrees with the John McCain campaign’s decision to pull staff and resources out of Michigan.

'I want to get back to Michigan, and I want to try,' Palin said in an interview on Fox News. 'Todd and I, we'd be happy to get to Michigan. We'd be so happy to speak to the people there in Michigan who are hurting.

...The Alaska governor first heard the news this morning and fired off a quick e-mail to campaign officials expressing her displeasure with the move.

'Oh c’mon, do we have to?' Palin said she wrote."
posted by ericb at 2:30 PM on October 3, 2008


Also, interesting switch from past tense to future, with respect to situations they're referencing.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:30 PM on October 3, 2008


'I want to get back to Michigan, and I want to try...'

Breaking News: Sarah Palin teams up with Mickey Rooney -- "Let's put on a show!"
posted by ericb at 2:32 PM on October 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Palin disagreeing with the Michigan move, to me smacks of "See! SEEEE!!!! I am an independent thinker! Look, I am publicly disagreeing with John McCain when it's safe to do so! We're Mavericks! Lalalalala!"
posted by iamkimiam at 2:33 PM on October 3, 2008


'I want to get back to Michigan, and I want to try,' Palin said in an interview on Fox News. 'Todd and I, we'd be happy to get to Michigan. We'd be so happy to speak to the people there in Michigan who are hurting.

The campaign can NOT be happy with this sort of messaging. Can you imagine being McCain and being graced with this news of public second-guessing from your running mate - who's already been a liability - containing as it does the implication that she will succeed where you couldn't?
posted by Miko at 2:33 PM on October 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Speaking of "you can't make this stuff up" (well maybe the Onion can, but I can't):
Sen. John McCain's senior foreign policy adviser cites a steamy romance 50 years ago with a Brazilian babe among the things that illustrate the candidate's decades-long interest in Latin America.[...]

''I called him John but also my darling and my sweet coconut,'' she said. ``He was a great kisser. I liked it so much that I bought a book to learn how to kiss myself.''[...]

Asked afterward about whether he was suggesting that McCain's fling with a Latin hottie counted as Latin America foreign policy experience, Fontaine said: ''The only thing I was trying to convey was that his experience goes back a long way,'' Fontaine said.
Oh man. I really want to go to a McCain event so I can call him "sweet coconut."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:36 PM on October 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


Do you think if McCain wins, we could get Cheney to leave behind his man-sized safe, and then we could lock Sarah Palin inside the safe? Forever?
posted by contessa at 2:38 PM on October 3, 2008


Fox News: Palin Won VP Debate Because She Had A Bigger Flag Pin
"Steve Doocy...[pointed] out the fact that although both Biden and Palin were wearing flag pins, Palin’s was 'about three times the size of his. So I would say flag-pin wise, she is a hands-down winner,' said Doocy. [Gretchen] Carlson noted that her pin had 'a few more jewels' too. Watch it.
This has gotta be an SNL skit, amirite? No. Holy shit.
posted by ericb at 2:38 PM on October 3, 2008 [8 favorites]


Oh, what's that? During the first Presidential Debate Obama was wearing a flag pin and McCain wasn't! Traitor!
posted by ericb at 2:40 PM on October 3, 2008


*a steamy romance 50 years ago with a Brazilian babe*

Um, bringing up the 50 years ago steamy romance stuff doesn't help.

That's 50 years ago when McCain didn't need Viagra®.
posted by ericb at 2:46 PM on October 3, 2008


Breaking News: Sarah Palin teams up with Mickey Rooney -- "Let's put on a show!"

Oh, wait. I forgot. She's already teamed up with Rooney's peer!
posted by ericb at 2:47 PM on October 3, 2008


My flag pin is crocheted from the entrails of my enemies.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:48 PM on October 3, 2008 [7 favorites]


"The Sarah Palin in those interviews was a little bit annoyed because no matter what you say you're gonna get clobbered," she said.

It must genuinely seem that way to somebody who is unable to name a single news publication she's read. I mean, if you don't pay attention to current events or read any analysis periodical, aren't all these questions going to seem strange?

And let's realize here that we're talking about someone who has apparently seriously asked in public debates if "facts, figures, and policies ... does any of this really matter?"

If facts, figures, and policies don't matter to you, aren't these detailed questions about them just "gotcha games"?

Try to see things from her perspective.
posted by weston at 2:51 PM on October 3, 2008


That's 50 years ago when McCain didn't need Viagra®.

Dude. John McCain was like 100 years old, fifty years ago. OF COURSE he needed Viagra.
posted by contessa at 2:52 PM on October 3, 2008


My favorite part of the debate was learning that Sarah Palin is a liberal!

She's ready to go after those predatory lenders and strictly regulate Wall Street, she totally supports full legal rights and civil unions for gay couples, and she wants to let bankruptcy courts restructure mortgages. She wants to take immediate steps to fight global warming! There are probably more that I'm forgetting, too.
posted by msalt at 2:53 PM on October 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


msalt -- don't forget...she's a "mavrick!"
posted by ericb at 2:57 PM on October 3, 2008


My fathah and his fathah before him voted with pen and paper, and so will we, by gum.

I read that as "by gun," which is how my fatahs up in Vermont vote, ay yuh.

That is, Obama will carry the state since anyone who votes for McCain is likely to get shot.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:05 PM on October 3, 2008


My favorite part of the debate was learning that Sarah Palin is a liberal!

I think you're actually on target with this comment.

I think that Gov Palin, like so many Americans, when presented with a set of policies that are not labeled "conservative" or "liberal" will tend to pick more policies that fall in the "liberal" column than policies that fall into the "conservative" column.

It's just that she's been taught since the 70s or so that liberal=Democratic Party=weak=unAmerican, so she runs screaming from anything with those labels. But I do seem to recall reading a while back that she was quite excited about Obama's campaign.

In this (and only in this!), she reminds me of my father-in-law: he wants to vote for Obama and definitely feels more positively about him than he does about McCain, but he feels that as a middle-class, middle-aged white male in Texas, his hand will almost be magnetically drawn to the lever for John McCain.
posted by lord_wolf at 3:12 PM on October 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


I know it gets old saying so, but ain't Miko great?
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:13 PM on October 3, 2008


Diebold can't stop a landslide.

I actually think Diebold could, but not the way most people think. If I were on the McCain campaign or a Republican similarly desperate to keep the presidency held by my party, what I'd do is largely the equivalent of Karl Rove bugging his own office. Craft an exploit designed to switch votes over to Obama in Ohio, then "discover" this appalling attempt to subvert the course of American democracy.

Heck, you don't even have to actually do it. You might even be able to get away with having a sufficiently partisan election official simply level the allegations and feed news to the media within a time far enough from the election date to really get traction but close enough that the media doesn't have time to figure out there's no fire with the smoke.

This is one of the worst things about electronic voting as it's now constituted. You don't even have to steal an election to undermine its legitimacy.

I'm almost afraid to post this, I don't want to give anyone ideas. But let's face it, strategists of the Rove variety already think of this stuff.
posted by weston at 3:13 PM on October 3, 2008


999.
posted by cgc373 at 3:22 PM on October 3, 2008


From FiveThirtyEight:
"Let’s be clear. We've observed no comparison between these ground campaigns. To begin with, there’s a 4-1 ratio of offices in most states. We walk into McCain offices to find them closed, empty, one person, two people, sometimes three people making calls. Many times one person is calling while the other small clutch of volunteers are chatting amongst themselves. In one state, McCain’s state field director sat in one of these offices and, sotto voce, complained to us that only one man was making calls while the others were talking to each other about how much they didn't like Obama, which was true. But the field director made no effort to change this. This was the state field director."

...

"You could take every McCain volunteer we’ve seen doing actual work in the entire trip, over six states, and it would add up to the same as Obama’s single Thornton, CO office. Or his single Durango, CO office. These ground campaigns bear no relationship to each other."

...

"Here on out, our skepticism is going to be higher. We truly respect organizers on both sides, because it is grindingly hard work for minimal pay. It’s powered by a belief in doing what’s right. We do not quote them or get them in trouble. Moreover, we truly respect direct action by volunteers – who do exist on the McCain side, just as a tiny, tiny fraction of the Obama side – but if the attitude continues on this unhelpful and obstructive turn, we’re going to spend less time making excuses for what we observe. Less benefit of the doubt. "
It really feels that way here in Reno as well.
posted by clearly at 3:25 PM on October 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Obama takes the lead in Nevada.

This comes after Obama's rally in Reno on Tuesday, and McCain's subsequent cancellation of a campaign appearance.
posted by clearly at 3:28 PM on October 3, 2008


Sarah Palin's Vlog Post-Debate is very funny. (Comedians Benincasa and Saez were mentioned on mefi before - in the grande thread I think).
posted by dog food sugar at 3:29 PM on October 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Is she trying to be incoherent?

The girl can't help it.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:32 PM on October 3, 2008


>>My favorite part of the debate was learning that Sarah Palin is a liberal!
I think you're actually on target with this comment.


Thank you. But do you have to sound so surprised?
posted by msalt at 3:40 PM on October 3, 2008


i was surprised not to see this awkward paragraph added to this thread from NRO:
I'm sure I'm not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, "Hey, I think she just winked at me." And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America. This is a quality that can't be learned; it's either something you have or you don't, and man, she's got it.
Now I need to bleach my brain.
posted by acid freaking on the kitty at 3:52 PM on October 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


One of my favorite Palin lines:

"And how long have I been at this, like five weeks?"


That reminds me, when she used the line "Say it ain't so, Joe," my first thought was that she had set him up for it by asking her before the debate if she could call him "Joe". Her handlers instructed her to do that so she could use the line without being accused of being disrespectful. Cold, calculating, and slimy. Just folks, my ass.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:54 PM on October 3, 2008 [6 favorites]


Pyow! Pyow!
posted by Artw at 3:56 PM on October 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


McCain camp: Biden ready to exagerrate.

Clearly more evidence they going hard after their "fucking moron" base.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:58 PM on October 3, 2008


Thanks for the analysis, and sharing of polling. After watching the debate I will admit I was a bit in love with Biden (okay, a lot in love) but I was worried that the 'general viewer' would not see through the debating tricks used by Palin (and heck, I am not a master debator, but I could pick them a mile off). But my faith in the USA is improving if it seems everyone else picked up on them as well.
posted by Megami at 4:12 PM on October 3, 2008


I'm sure I'm not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, "Hey, I think she just winked at me."

Pathetic. I enjoyed hilzoy's reaction to this at obsidianwings:

I'm sure I'm not the only female in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, rolled her eyes and thought: oh, dear God. We have all seen just that wink deployed at guys like Rich Lowry. We have all watched in amazement as it actually works, despite its transparent manipulativeness. What, we all wonder, could those guys possibly be thinking? (What the winking women are thinking is usually altogether too clear.) I'm betting that for every male vote that wink picked up, it lost at least one woman.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 4:39 PM on October 3, 2008 [10 favorites]


Interesting analysis, iamkimiam

You bracket the question of intentionality -- one can prevaricate an entire persona, and spin an entire semantic web in the voice of that character. In that case, you have to look beyond the surface semantic features to locate the meaning of a speech act. Debates have their own truth conditional norms, forcing one to lie in generalities if one is going to lie at all. In addition, there is an interesting oral/literate mediation going on here, though much more with Palin than the McCain example you gave. Weeks of debate prep and stump campaigning mean these candidates have memorized and internalized and oralized words crafted by writers to project meanings decided by committee and adjusted for truth conditional context (stump speech, tv interview, debate) as needed.

My point is that one needs to know something about the speaking subject's intentionality that may not be revealed by referential (or even metaphoric or connotative) meanings of the words themselves, removed from the context of performance. It's why debates have different effects on radio listeners and tv viewers, and it's why YouTube clips have radicalized our perception of politics in the last few years in ways that go beyond simply catching and spreading gotcha moments.

Note how debates are increasingly scored on body language, on the swarm of spin and fact checking, on "hits" and "soundbites," as the question of content becomes trivial. You need to see someone lying to you to recognize he's a liar, sometimes. And you have to remember that you're not hearing spontaneous improvised oral discourse; you're hearing highly crafted texts. Sarah Palin was just so amateur, and her syntax so tormented by anxiety and a lack of grasp of her subject matter and overprep, that it was obvious that she had memorized the words.

Biden, trust me, had just as many memorized chunks at his disposal, and he used a few. But you almost never knew it.

And that's why he won because he was perceived as being more truthful. And in fact, he was. People can tell these things, and pundits do not give them enough credit. It's why they call it wrong every time, only to be massively undercut by the instapolls.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:42 PM on October 3, 2008 [6 favorites]


I will go further. Conspiracy theorizing lefty that I am, I believe the pundits are charged with telling Americans how to think about what they just saw. And I am delighted to see that they seem to be losing that power. You can lie to some of the people some of the time, assholes.

Here's a good book on the subject, co-edited by a pal.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:49 PM on October 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


he won because he was perceived as being more truthful. And in fact, he was.

Excellent points, wow. And I'd add that not only have Biden's texts become more deeply internalized and more readily available over the years, it's not only because of that accumulated repetition that he's able to appear more truthful. It's also because in some real sense, his texts and his own identity are in tighter alignment than Palin's texts are with her identity.

Though in many cases Biden's words, tropes, ideas may have originated in committees and been crafted by writers, had they felt false to him, or been unable to withstand utility during a long political career, they'd have fallen away or been actively jettisoned. And we can say this comfortably because we can see that his outwardly lived values map fairly closely to his stated values, so there's no dissonance - the ideas he claims to have aren't contradicted by the ideas embodied in his work or his life choices.

Contrast this with Palin, on the one hand, to whom all the ideas are so new that thay may or may not really adhere well to her lived values. They are unexamined, and though she can repeat them well, they don't necessarily plot easily onto her own unique instincts and off-the-cuff judgments. So there is a clear disconnect between her rhetoric and her reality, which increases the viewer's distrust (as observed upthread, when forced to answer on her own without a canned phraseology, she sounded like a liberal. In part, that's because she didn't recognize the tropes she was employing as being associated with liberalism - a sign not only of political inexperience, but an unexamined committment to conservatism that may not at all be in tight alignment with her actual, lived values).

And contrast it with McCain. He has all of Biden's practice and more as far as time spent repeating and internalizing texts goes, but he has all of Palin's lack of concord between stated and embodied values. The rhetoric of "maverick" and "independent" are at odds with the record of supporting the status quo and forging alliances with the powerful. The discussion of Wall Street greed is at odds with life choices that indulge and even celebrate excessive consumption and the defensibility of capital seeking profit no matter what the cost to society. The mantle of "honor" conflicts with a personal demeanor of hostility and contempt.

With both McCain and Palin, there is a puzzling gap between stance/rhetoric and the readable communication of their faces and actions. That gap is where distrust takes root.

Great comments on that, fcm and iamkimiam.
posted by Miko at 5:08 PM on October 3, 2008 [19 favorites]


After last night's debate, Sarah Palin earned an impressive endorsement from a famous person.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:10 PM on October 3, 2008 [21 favorites]


Great comments on that, fcm and iamkimiam

And from you, as usual Miko.
posted by dersins at 5:11 PM on October 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, exactly -- Biden has internalized his verbal persona as his character and his political identity. He's built a long record of work that allows him to feel a stake in the success of the ideas and institutions he's supported. That's the elusive "authenticity" factor pundits are always wailing about: is someone comfortable in their own persona? (Aside from them telling us what off the rack persona is supposedly more "real" American).

Being a politician is being a performer. There's a certain kind of narcissism to it, a desire to be loved and adored. But to get there, you have to give something, accomplish something. All great performers have this balance. When it's effective, people look at you and see themselves.

Luckily, America 2008 is simply too diverse -- and too worried -- for a majority of people to see themselves in Sarah Palin, like her OR NOT, as the naive citizen who goes to Washingto to shake it up. We're able to focus when the chips are down, apparently, no matter how dumb and parochial the pundits think we are, how much *they* think *we* are all Sarah Palins slobbering over her every cute phrase.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:16 PM on October 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Or in simple terms, what I am saying is that *despite what the pundits think,* Sarah Palin was the one who came off as a faker last night, and Biden came off as a real person you could imagine caring about your problems. He won the debate, no matter what they say about low bars and exceeding expectations, because he was much more real, even as he was much more experienced and smart and more of an "insider." The point is that those need not be incompatible. Don't even get me going on how Barack has managed (in a really different way) the same mix, which they said he never could, of being both "real" and "smart."

They'll be writing about his campaign operation 50 years from now, if we're all still here.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:21 PM on October 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


With both McCain and Palin, there is a puzzling gap between stance/rhetoric and the readable communication of their faces and actions. That gap is where distrust takes root.

I'm disturbed by Sullivan's allegation (grain of salt, I know) that all the "folksy" stuff ("doggone," etc.) is new. I'm skeptical that it's fake, but I would believe that she's been leaning on it more as the pressure's built up.
posted by spiderwire at 5:22 PM on October 3, 2008


After last night's debate, Sarah Palin earned an impressive endorsement from a famous person.

Hilarious. I wonder how Peggy Noonan feels about that? To paraphrase that old TV commercial, "Somebody SO famous we can't even tell you who it is!"
posted by msalt at 5:30 PM on October 3, 2008


Palin disclosed her tax returns for the last two years and looks like there might be some funny business.
In 2007, the family reported earning a gross income of $166,080 ($107,987.00 of which came from Gov. Palin) and paid taxes totaling $24,738, for a rate of 14.9 percent.

But there is some discrepancy with the latter number. According to an accompanying 2007 personal financial disclosure report, Palin's "income" as governor of Alaska was $196,531.50, well above the $107,987.00 that was noted on her W2 form from that same year. An email was sent to the McCain campaign for clarification. And this story will be updated should aides reply.
Pay particular not to the comments as well:
Author: CRAIG MEDRED
Date: February 18, 2006
... Scott Davis and Todd Palin were in the Interior village of Tanana on Friday night poised to win another Tesoro Iron Dog snowmobile race. ... the F6 Arctic Cats of Kenai's Davis and Wasilla's Palin will purr across the Iron Dog finish line in Fairbanks around noon today to claim a top prize of more than $25,000 from the race's $90,000 purse.
this would be a fourth victory

I noticed this also, since Todd received $60k - 100k from his retirement account he should've paid 30% in on these funds since he is younger than 59 1/2 per ERISA rules. ERISA states any distribution is taxed 20% upon distribution and an additional 10% is assessed at the end of the tax year, this applies to ALL retirement payments regardless of your state of residency, just using the $60,000 amount his tax liability is $18,000 PLUS it will increase their taxable income by this same amount.

Where are the 1099's?
Wait for the news to be all over this.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:44 PM on October 3, 2008 [8 favorites]


Well, thanks a lot, Secret Life of Gravy. I have to fix supper and won't be able to do that now because I will be obsessively hanging out here waiting for IRS dirt to filter down. You betcha I'm gonna have an unhappy family over this.
posted by leftcoastbob at 5:51 PM on October 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


After last night's debate, Sarah Palin earned an impressive endorsement from a famous person.

I wondered how that screenshot of the WP ended up on the WP, but now it all makes sense
posted by revmitcz at 5:56 PM on October 3, 2008


Oooh, IRS problems as well as an investigation for corruption? This gets better and better.

This is reminding me of the case of Blair Hornstine from a few years back. She was a teenager who sued her high school for not making her sole valedictorian instead of co-valedictorian. There was considerable fallout. She received a lot of negative press, it made her deeply unpopular in her community and her house was vandalized, some articles she'd written for the local paper were examined found to contain plagiarism, there was much comment about how she'd played the system to bolster her grade point average (i.e., dropping gym because her grades weren't high enough), Harvard rescinded their offer of early admission because of the plagiarism, and though she was appointed valedictorian she didn't end up going to her graduation because she was afraid she'd be booed or worse.

These are modern takes on an Aesop's fable about a dog with a chunk of meat in its mouth who saw his reflection in a stream and tried to get the meat away from the "other" dog, with the result that he had no meat at all.

If you've got an overwrought sense of entitlement, and allow it to make you greedy and overreach yourself, you'll not only not gain more, you'll lose what you already had.
posted by orange swan at 6:21 PM on October 3, 2008 [8 favorites]


A little more detail on the unfolding Palin tax brouhaha on ABC news just now.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:27 PM on October 3, 2008


Never mind that, depending on which calculations you believe, Todd n' Sarah pay between a 10 percent and 15% federal tax rate.

How come that pleez?

Plus Alaska actually gives you money back. So she's got a negative state tax burden. She has a fat lot of nerve standing up for supposedly overtaxed Americans. I know my overall tax rate is a lot higher than that.

Hypocrisy is so folksy.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:36 PM on October 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


Well it is obvious now why she took exception to Obama's statement that it is patriotic to pay your taxes.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:46 PM on October 3, 2008 [9 favorites]


Oh man, things are getting hot in Alaska this evening. The right wing law firm doing the McCain campaign's wet work on troopergate was slapped down in court today -- the Branchflower report can come out. Now comes word (Mudflats) of an emergency filing to stop the report, with the Alaska state supreme court, which has agreed to hear the motion. More at Anchorage Daily News.

Amazing drama, like Florida 2000 in some ways.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:59 PM on October 3, 2008


The Sarah Palin Sex Tape.
posted by empath at 6:59 PM on October 3, 2008


Every time I read a comment like the second one on the ABC news story linked by 4cm, I despair that humanity will ever evolve. I mean, it's like a second-grader defending their daddy, who just happens to be a mob boss.

If I ever run for office (ha!) and comments like that start showing up in support of me, I'll remove myself from the race.
posted by maxwelton at 7:04 PM on October 3, 2008


David Brooks is a horse's ass.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:34 PM on October 3, 2008


This is totally awesome - VP debate in song and dance.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:42 PM on October 3, 2008 [9 favorites]


I was sure that the wink was some kind of nervous tic, but now I'm not so sure.
posted by dhruva at 7:43 PM on October 3, 2008


This is totally awesome - VP debate in song and dance.

That was fucking incredible.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:01 PM on October 3, 2008


...The Alaska governor first heard the news this morning and fired off a quick e-mail to campaign officials expressing her displeasure with the move.

'Oh c’mon, do we have to?' Palin said she wrote."


I just can't tell what's real and what's Onion any more.
posted by rifflesby at 8:50 PM on October 3, 2008 [6 favorites]


Bush 2000 = Palin 2008.
posted by homunculus at 9:02 PM on October 3, 2008


emergency filing to stop the Troopergate investigation

As shameful and craven as I think this is, I looked up the reasoning in their petition to the Alaskan Supreme Court, and it doesn't seem as insane and groundless as I thought it would. I'd love to hear from an Alaskan constitutional lawyer on this, but the state has an unusual provision in Article I, Section 7 that was apparently a reaction against the McCarthy hearings of the 1950s, when Alaska became a state:

Article I § 7. Due Process No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. The right of all persons to fair and just treatment in the course of legislative and executive investigations shall not be infringed.

posted by msalt at 9:03 PM on October 3, 2008


Transcript of the Biden/Palin debate.

One of the things I noticed was how many times Palin used the verb tap. 8 times.

And East Coast politicians who don't allow energy-producing states like Alaska to produce these, to tap into them, and instead we're relying on foreign countries to produce for us.

instead of those dollars circulating here, creating tens of thousands of jobs and allowing domestic supplies of energy to be tapped into and start flowing into these very, very hungry markets.

So even in dealing with climate change, it's all the more reason that we have an "all of the above" approach, tapping into alternative sources of energy and conserving fuel

because people are so hungry for those domestic sources of energy to be tapped into.

the alternative fuels will be tapped into: the nuclear, the clean coal.

In those arenas, John McCain has already tapped me and said, that's where I want you, I want you to lead. I said, I can't wait to get and there go to work with you.

And we will do what is best for the American people in tapping into that position and ushering in an agenda

it wasn't just that experience tapped into, it was my connection to the heartland of America.


Among the many uncomfortable feelings I experienced listening to her was the impression of a person who perceives a lot of life as about the oil business, pipes, tapping into wells. People as sources of energy to tap or that she is tapped, rather than as complete human beings or whole human relations.
posted by nickyskye at 10:02 PM on October 3, 2008


This whole "team maverick" thing sums up the one thing I find totally bewildering about American culture...

People are sold products, lifestyles, and leaders based on the promise that: You Can Be An Individual Just Like Everybody Else.
posted by salishsea at 10:16 PM on October 3, 2008


Record Refutes Palin's Sudan Claim: Palin Administration Against Sudan Divestment Before It Was For It, Documents Show
posted by homunculus at 10:16 PM on October 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Interesting, Nickyskye, and I agree with your take.

I've been noticing another verbal tic she has - it's far less telling than "tapped" but still catches my ear whenever I hear it, which is basically every time she speaks. It's her habit of using "that" as the article before a noun phrase where most people would use "the" or "a" or "an" or even an implied article. I'm sure it's a regionalism, but it has an odd effect: that of creating a sense that we all know what she's talking about, that she's reminding us of a concept we're already very familiar with, something we all share and agree upon.

He sounded that warning bell.

wouldn't go towards that reform that was needed then

I've had that track record of reform.

not having that proof for the American people to know that his commitment,

Americans are craving something new and different and that new energy and that new commitment

Let's do what our parents told us before we probably even got that first credit card.

the rescue plan has got to include that massive oversight that Americans are expecting and deserving.

posted by Miko at 10:23 PM on October 3, 2008 [6 favorites]


More on finances. Especially interesting is this:
Total charitable donations came to $3,325, or about 2 percent of total income. These included $2,500 in various non-itemized gifts and an $825 in-kind donation to the Salvation Army.
Far from tithing 10%, the Palins donate 2 % which includes bags of used clothes no doubt.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:32 PM on October 3, 2008


msalt, so what you're saying is that because the outcome of the investigation might be unfavorable to Palin, it is unconstitutional(in Alaska)? I'm not quite getting the "doesn't seem as insane and groundless" part. The whole point of the investigation is to find out what happened. If she (and her administration) acted lawfully then the investigation will show as such and the findings will benefit her, so what's the problem?

Note, I'm just saying it doesn't make sense to me. Since when is stating the findings of an investigation unfair and unjust? Not being a lawyer, it sounds like the part in the legislation is to protect the rights of those involved during the investigation. If the results can't be published then what's the point of having an investigation at all? If this petition stands then won't it undermine ANY investigation?
posted by JakeEXTREME at 10:42 PM on October 3, 2008


JakeEXTREME, what I'm saying is that my first take was, "How absurd to sue because you think this investigation is partisan and not fair! Life isn't fair, and the law doesn't require that it has to be. Can you seriously argue that the investigations of Clinton were fair and nonpartisan? Of course not, but that's not the point."

But when I looked up the section of the Alaskan constitution that they cited, well dang me, it actually says that legislative investigations have to be fair! Now I don't know how a court is supposed to determine fairness, and I'm 100% sure that they are just trying to cover her ass and stall until after the election, but there actually IS some kind of legal basis for their argument (ironically based on the excesses of Joe McCarthy in the 1950s).

And that explains why the Alaskan Supreme Court accepted the case instead of rejecting it out of hand as an absurdity. It's actually kind of reassuring, because their acceptance doesn't necessarily signal that they are likely to agree with the appellant, just that there is a real issue of law that they need to decide.
posted by msalt at 11:43 PM on October 3, 2008


BTW, the basis for their argument about fairness is the ill-advised comments by Hollis French that this might be the October Surprise that scotches Palin's chances, which made it look like he has it in for her. I don't think that proves their point, and French isn't the one doing the investigation, and yes it was approved by a 12-0 bipartisan vote, but in fairness they have SOME basis for their argument.

Luckily the Supreme Court doesn't review the fairness issue itself de novo (all over again); their standard is whether the lower court abused its discretion by reaching a decision that isn't even possible under the law. And I doubt a fair court could decide that it did, though I'd love to hear an actual Alaskan lawyer agree.
posted by msalt at 11:49 PM on October 3, 2008


Thanks Miko. I really enjoyed your observation about her use of that, which seems to imply a kind of false and suffocating intimacy, an "us-ness" in which she feels entitled, on the side of those who know about "that whatever". It feels to me like in her mindset the intimate, good us requires an alien bad them. Us, the Good Entitled vs Them, the Bad and Undeserving.

The winking, seductive twinkling, the us-against-them seem to mask what feels to me like her terrifying, predatorial and pathological charm.

That isn't to say that I don't think Biden doesn't look like a geriatric lizard of sorts with a Crest Whitestrips grin. He's a classic politician narcissist type, who knows his stuff. But her Gidget Happy Face mask barely camouflages her cold sharkiness. ugh.
posted by nickyskye at 12:20 AM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


This whole "team maverick" thing sums up the one thing I find totally bewildering about American culture...

People are sold products, lifestyles, and leaders based on the promise that: You Can Be An Individual Just Like Everybody Else.


Don't be confused -- go watch 'The Century of The Self'. It lays out the connections pretty clearly.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:46 AM on October 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


American culture... You Can Be An Individual Just Like Everybody Else.


Really, this differs from other cultures (or societies, technically) how? As Monty Python famously argued, the same sales pitch was part of Jesus Christ's con game too.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:44 AM on October 4, 2008


Or rather, the other Palin (Michael) was showing us that Christ's followers took the message that way. (Brian: Go home, you are all individuals! Crowd: We are all individuals! Man in crowd: I'm not!)
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:45 AM on October 4, 2008


Record Refutes Palin's Sudan Claim: Palin Administration Against Sudan Divestment Before It Was For It, Documents Show

Now that's just bad. She lied about supporting efforts against genocide?
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:48 AM on October 4, 2008


One of the things I noticed was how many times Palin used the verb tap. 8 times.

Maybe we shouldn't go there.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:50 AM on October 4, 2008


Really, this differs from other cultures (or societies, technically) how?

Watch all the episodes of the BBC documentary series I linked to above (and have recommended before). I'm going to suggest based on that comment that you don't really know what you're talking about here.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:43 AM on October 4, 2008


Letterman: Special Message From Sarah Palin
posted by EarBucket at 4:53 AM on October 4, 2008 [5 favorites]


Oh chill, stavros. I know what I'm talking about. I'm making a joke.

If you'd like to get into it, I'd be happy to discuss various major social theorists on the subject of individualism and capitalism. Shall we start with Durkheim and Weber? Or do we want to scroll back to the enlightenment?
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:15 AM on October 4, 2008



That said, I don't the the contemporary USA is any more "individualistic" in practice -- if not ideology -- than any other major western capitalist democracy. I'm not an American exceptionalist, and I don't much care for people saying "what's wrong with America is that its culture is too . . . . anything." American culture's individualism has direct European roots. To the extent that modern European societies are more "socialist" than the US, you'd have a point about political ideology. But if you're talking about the subjectivity and psychology of actual social agents, there ain't much difference. Freud nailed it in "Civilization and Its Discontents," and Durkheim in *The Division of Labor in Society.* American culture is also exceptionally diverse, with many communitarian and socialist aspects that dwarf comparable institutions in Europe or Australia. (I'm sticking with the west here, although a discussion of Chinese or Indian capitalism in these terms is instructive.)

posted by fourcheesemac at 5:21 AM on October 4, 2008


Oh, I'm chill. I'm positively frosty!

But I don't understand your challenge-response model here. Are you arguing that Curtis's documentary is incorrect in your invitation to 'get into it', or just pulling your epenis out here and asking us to measure it?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:21 AM on October 4, 2008


Needless to say, the core reading list would also have to include Max Weber's *The Protestant Ethic and the Sprit of Capitalism,* which argues for a religious historical origin (as among the "elect" in Calvinist doctrine) for the individuated capitalist subject.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:27 AM on October 4, 2008


I've never seen Curtis' documentary. I have no idea. I've seen plenty of other pop cultural presentations of "century of self" type arguments. I find the title revealing of the argument, which is a simple enough one and true as far as it goes about capitalist culture in general (but for far more than just the last century). My point is that "America" is no more obviously individualistic than Europe or other western democracies from the point of view of a comparative social scientist, which is what I am (an anthropologist). It is only (slightly) differently individualistic, and emphasizes (slightly) different forms of communitarianism, in its political ideology.

As for waving penises and challenge-response models, don't say that "you don't know what you're talking about if you haven't watched this BBC documentary I recommended" and then call me out for saying, you don't know what you're talking about if you haven't read classic social theory.

I quoted Monty Python in my original comment. How much clear could I have been about being flippant?
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:34 AM on October 4, 2008


(clearER, sorry)
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:35 AM on October 4, 2008


On the internet, nobody knows you're an anthropologist.
posted by Ritchie at 5:47 AM on October 4, 2008


Sorry for being testy. Just woke up, and for some reason I rolled out on the wrong side of the bed. Stavros, you're one of my all time favorite MeFites, so I really don't want to get into a sniping contest. I was *just kidding* as a way to work the Life of Brian (and Palin/Palin) jokes into a comment.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:06 AM on October 4, 2008


Seventh-grade social studies teacher Greg Howard was given a written reprimand on Wednesday for "racially inappropriate comments" he made in his clas room on Sept. 26, according to a Jackson County School Board news relase.

Howard reportedly wrote the word CHANGE as an acronym on the board and wrote an expletive with the letter "N." The phrase he wrote has been reported as "Can You Help A (expletive) Get Elected" and "Come Help A (expletive) Get Elected." School district officials did not return calls seeking comment Thursday, and Howard could not be reached.

posted by EarBucket at 6:07 AM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Re: Palin's being "annoyed" with that hard-hitting attack dog Murrowesque journalist, Katie Couric. I noticed this:
Palin said she had been "annoyed" in her interviews with CBS News anchor Katie Couric and had been caught off guard when asked what newspapers and magazines she read and to name Supreme Court decisions she disagreed with — questions Palin appeared not to be able to answer.

Her responses, Palin said, were "an indication of being outside that Washington elite, outside of the media elite also."
So, wait a second ... she claims that she does read magazines and newspapers, and can cite Supreme Court cases, as was quoted up thread. And in the same breath, couldn't come up with the any examples because she's "outside of the Washington elite"?

Even if we accept for a moment that we live in Bizarroworld, cube-shaped Earth and all that, and opening a magazine or being familiar with history on the level of a 9th grader puts you in touch with the Washington elite, it is still physically impossible to simultaneously read newspapers ("I read the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal") and not read newspapers ("I couldn't answer her because I'm outside of the Washington elite").

I used to work in a restaurant with this guy who we were certain was stealing food. One night he walked out of the walk-in, his mouth generously smeared with chocolate. "Steve", the chef asked him, "were you just eating the fudge?" Steve, shocked and appalled, snapped, "I am sick and tired of your paranoia, dude" and stormed out of the kitchen.

Steve is still a better liar than Sarah Palin.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:21 AM on October 4, 2008 [6 favorites]


I just read an interesting post on another blog (abut Rich Lowry's star struck comments) that set me a'thinking. Is Sarah Palin the first time we've seen *directly* sexual marketing employed in a presidential campaign? I mean, the winking, the vamping, the flirtiness -- did they pick Sarah Palin precisely *not* to appeal to Clinton-supporting women, a lost cause, but to mouth breathing men? I mean, I personally do not see the appeal even if I allow the mind to go there consciously (one reason the phrase is 'sex sells' is that we *all* go there unconsciously, which makes this especially brazen if true). But apparently a lot of people find Sarah Palin stimulating to look at. De gustibus etc.

If so, that is really a big story. And a deep insult to women as well. I have not seen this directly proposed anywhere yet, but it seems an obvious question: did they pick a beauty queen on purpose, one who not only had the 'looks' but the moves as well? Makes the McCain "Paris Hilton" ads even funnier, and makes a certain kind of sense given the deep 'attractiveness' (and height) deficit McCain runs against Obama.

Eeeew, right?
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:36 AM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Not to mention that it makes "which candidate would you rather have a beer with?" a rather lame-assed standard for popular appeal.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:45 AM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


And it implies a radically new approach to diplomacy.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:46 AM on October 4, 2008


Sarah Palin on freedom of the press:

"As we send our young men and women overseas in a war zone to fight for democracy and freedoms, including freedom of the press, we've really got to have a mutually beneficial relationship here with those fighting the freedom of the press, and then the press, though not taking advantage and exploiting a situation, perhaps they would want to capture and abuse the privilege. We just want truth, we want fairness, we want balance."
posted by EarBucket at 6:51 AM on October 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


fcm: Absolutely. She is the consumate trophy candidate. I mean, we've all rehashed to death her ability to fire up the evangelical base, so that part isn't new. What interests me is the layer beneath that, because in my mind her addition to the ticket definitely "taps," if you will, into her sex appeal. On some perverse level she bolsters McCain's fading virility, at least in the mind of the mouth-breathers you reference.

Furthermore, said mouth-breathers, who arguably would otherwise be threatened by a woman in power, don't have that issue with Palin because she makes a point of distinguishing herself from the "unfuckable" women in command like Hillary Clinton. Setting aside the Richelieuan aspects of Cheney's vice presidency for a second, the VP spot isn't historically regarded as one of very much authority, so putting a woman in that spot isn't worrisome to these same folks.

All of that folksy shit -- the winks, you betcha, dont'cha know, well gosh -- dilutes the perception of her power with that demographic, and when you combine that with the glossy up-do-and-heels package that she presents, you have a woman for whom the VP spot is little more than the First Lady with a fancy title.
posted by shiu mai baby at 6:54 AM on October 4, 2008 [5 favorites]


Weird--Palin's 2007 tax returns are dated September 3rd, 2008. What's up with that?
posted by EarBucket at 7:04 AM on October 4, 2008


Weird--Palin's 2007 tax returns are dated September 3rd, 2008. What's up with that?

She got extensions, the final one being 10/15. I am just doing mine now ;-(

stavros, I would recommend everyone watch The Century of Self - that is an awesome documentary. I may go watch it again now that you bring it up.

sexual marketing employed
Well, there was the codpiece incident during the mission accomplished incident. Chris Matthews was pretty orgasmic over that one.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:18 AM on October 4, 2008


But apparently a lot of people find Sarah Palin stimulating to look at. De gustibus etc.

Those people must be watching with the mute button on. She sounds like the mom from Life With Louie.

All of that folksy shit -- the winks, you betcha, dont'cha know, well gosh -- dilutes the perception of her power with that demographic, and when you combine that with the glossy up-do-and-heels package that she presents, you have a woman for whom the VP spot is little more than the First Lady with a fancy title.

Plus, these same mouth-breathers were the same ones who flat-out hated Hillary Clinton for a) not being attractive enough and b) being smarter than they were. These same guys who think Palin's winking at them aren't exactly shouting from the rooftops about how intelligent Palin is. You see words like "approachable" and "down-to-earth". There's no danger that her intelligence, accomplishments or ability is going to make these guys feel threatened, like Clinton did. Palin is more the type who makes sandwiches for the guys watching the game and discretely leaves the room when they start talking about "guy stuff". They like that.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:19 AM on October 4, 2008 [10 favorites]


Weird--Palin's 2007 tax returns are dated September 3rd, 2008. What's up with that?

She got extensions, the final one being 10/15.


So she did/had her tax return done knowing she was going to be under intense media scrutiny as vice-presidential candidate, and she STILL fudged the numbers? The woman is arrogant beyond belief.
posted by orange swan at 7:24 AM on October 4, 2008


Palin's winks and you betchas divide women of Florida -- Suzanne Goldenburg, Guardian (UK)
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:34 AM on October 4, 2008


Peggy Noonan has an OpEd on WSJ about Palin. She doesn't entirely approve.
posted by RussHy at 7:34 AM on October 4, 2008


What is Peggy Noonan on? Or is her reasoning always that messy?
posted by orange swan at 7:48 AM on October 4, 2008


Yeah, no, it's all good fourcheesemac. I've been away from the 'filter for the last couple hours. But I do recommend watching the doco, though!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:51 AM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


The comments re. "fuckable" Palin vs. strong women are dead on, and another reason why she is such an affront to any sort of progress / equality narrative.

And not to be boyzone here, but she turns it on so crazy strong that I think ANY thinking man would have his defenses way up... if a woman I didn't know met me in a bar and talked to me like this, there is no way I would follow her anywhere - I'd be certain that Rophynol and an armed male accomplice would enter into the picture once we were somewhere private.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:51 AM on October 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Wow. Excellent article (via A Sullivan) by Jonathan Raban: Cut, Kill, Dig, Drill (London Review of Books)

Concludes:

But, for the last few days, as her education at the hands of her captors has proceeded, we in the cities, with our elitist liberal ideas and our stark terror of what further harm the United States might inflict on itself and the world under a third consecutive Republican administration, have been just a little less likely to wake up screaming at three in the morning.

(And starts by linking Palin to Poujadism, interestingly)
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:53 AM on October 4, 2008


Also, line of the week last night goes to Gary Shandling on Bill Maher last night: "Biden handled Palin the way Johnny Carson used to handle Charo."
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:00 AM on October 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


What is Peggy Noonan on? Or is her reasoning always that messy?

She is a Republican. I think she is conflicted about Palin. Wants to spin her performance in a good way, but can't ignore the blatant manipulation and lies.
posted by RussHy at 8:01 AM on October 4, 2008


She is a Republican. I think she is conflicted about Palin. Wants to spin her performance in a good way, but can't ignore the blatant manipulation and lies.

God, I hate this whole business of people being so invested in a cause/doctrine that they can't see what's staring them in the face anymore. There are none so blind as those who will not see.
posted by orange swan at 8:11 AM on October 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Noonan, remember, was caught on an open mic a month ago referring to the Palin nomination as "bullshit." What she says about it in her public commentary doesn't necessarily reflect what she really thinks. She may feel a certain loyalty to the party that precludes being completely honest.
posted by EarBucket at 8:15 AM on October 4, 2008


She may feel a certain loyalty to the party that precludes being completely honest.

My definition of loyalty always includes being completely honest.
posted by orange swan at 8:16 AM on October 4, 2008


My definition of loyalty always includes being completely honest.

Well, sure. That's why you're a Democrat.
posted by EarBucket at 8:18 AM on October 4, 2008


I don't think Noonan is a neocon. I wonder how long people like her can stay loyal to the Republican party? Will there ever be a centrist backlash? Or has the polarization gone too far?
posted by RussHy at 8:20 AM on October 4, 2008


... though, I should add, lest I sound like some kind of monster, I do make a distinction between being "completely honest" and being "gratuitously honest".

And, on preview, I'm not a Democrat, EarBucket. I'm a Canadian, and I don't vote consistently for any Canadian political party either. When you start being a Defender of a Cause — any cause — you stop seeking and learning about the truth.
posted by orange swan at 8:25 AM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know what I'd like to see? A buddy-cop movie like 48 hours, but Thelma and Louise style with Palin and Noonan.

That's what I'd like to see.

PS _ Stavros, thanks. I will watch the documentary. Peace out.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:25 AM on October 4, 2008


When you start being a Defender of a Cause — any cause — you stop seeking and learning about the truth.

Yeah, I was joking. Mostly. I do think there's a grain of truth to it, though, in that Republicans (and perhaps conservatives in general) are more prone to falling in line and accepting what their authority figures are telling them. In the US, at least, liberals are far more prone to splintering, following their own personal pet issues, and rebelling against their party over (relatively) small issues. Getting even a dozen Democrats to focus on one issue is like herding cats, as anyone who's tried to run a grassroots organizing meeting can tell you. It's a big part of the reason they've had so much electoral trouble over the past few decades.
posted by EarBucket at 8:29 AM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


From what I've seen and read, that's true, EarBucket. I seem to recall a post on MeFi not long ago about neurological differences between conservatives and liberals. Some people really do just see issues in terms of black and white, because it's easier and more comfortable to do so, and because their brains just work that way. They want a formula to live by, one that will guarantee them success and happiness. And so we wind up with this divide between those who will vote in blocks and those who will not be led.
posted by orange swan at 8:38 AM on October 4, 2008


I vote Democratic, but I'm really anarcho-syndicalist.
posted by RussHy at 8:48 AM on October 4, 2008


Palin family assets top $1 million. (Anchorage Daily News)

Joe Six Pack my ass.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:55 AM on October 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


orange swan, are you thinking of What Makes People Vote Republican?
posted by cgc373 at 9:25 AM on October 4, 2008


Yes, that looks like the one I was referring to, cgc373. Though upon a quick look over, it appears to be talking more about how the Republicans are better at marketing themselves to appeal to voters, rather than that their ideology or methods are really any simpler than that of Democrats.
posted by orange swan at 9:35 AM on October 4, 2008


Maybe it's this one you're thinking of, orange swan.
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:44 AM on October 4, 2008


Barack Obama’s decision to forego public funding for his presidential campaign helped force John McCain to withdraw from Michigan, abandoning an important strategic objective, said a McCain adviser.

The withdrawal was a painful decision for Sen. McCain (Ariz.), the GOP presidential nominee, who spent nearly $8 million to advertise in the state.

McCain strategists decided, however, that they had to pull out of Michigan to keep up with Sen. Obama (Ill.), the Democratic nominee, who has been allowed to raise and spend unlimited amounts on the general election because he opted out of public funds.

posted by EarBucket at 9:51 AM on October 4, 2008


Obama hits 50% in pollster.com's trend average.
posted by EarBucket at 9:51 AM on October 4, 2008


This morning I've been wading through a whole lot of commenting and speculation about her tax returns. There are two gray areas of interest. First the per diem. Juneau is the governor's home base and therefore whenever she works elsewhere, she is entitled to charge the state. She charged the state for the 312 days she spent at home in Wasilla. The Palins contend that the per diem payments are not taxable even though for purposes of her taxes Wasilla is listed as her tax home. There are also the traveling expenses for her family which she charged to the state and pays no taxes on. For example a trip to New York City when she took her daughter and they stayed in a luxury hotel. All travel expenses were picked up by the state of Alaska because she claims her daughter was invited to the event.

The other gray area is Todd's 3 businesses- oil, fishing, and snow machine racing He writes off their plane, home for office, cell phone and 4 vehicles as business expenses--roughly $27,000 in home office expenses for a net loss of $11,000 on his snow machine business, which is how he pays no taxes on the thousands of dollars he won in prize money. When is it a hobby and when is it a business is what I would like to know.

Long before the tax returns were made available, the Palins struck me as being a couple of hustlers-- lots of balls being juggled, lots of corners being cut. So it comes as no surprise that a pair of (essentially) blue collar workers in their 40s with 5 kids ended up with nearly $2 million in assets
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:54 AM on October 4, 2008 [5 favorites]


"Hobby Loss Rule of Thumb: If a business reports a net profit in at least 3 out of 5 years, it is presumed to be a for-profit business. If a business reports a net loss in more than 2 out of 5 years, it is presumed to be a not-for-profit hobby."

(from taxtime.about.com)
posted by tractorfeed at 10:57 AM on October 4, 2008


So Todd uses their home as his office and Sarah uses the governor's office as a residence and they all get per diem whenever any of them visits their home which is actually Todd's office?
posted by leftcoastbob at 12:37 PM on October 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


As time goes by it would appear that choosing Palin was a sexist move on the part of the McCain handlers, a kind of slap those unsexy smart women who are overtly business oriented (Hilary) in the face by picking a hawt predator who does a Donna Reed wannabe act. Donna Greed.

Her act:
Palin is more the type who makes sandwiches for the guys watching the game and discretely leaves the room when they start talking about "guy stuff". They like that.

If she didn't have to diddle the tax books, I bet she'd have more servants than Imelda Marcos. She reminds me of a specific, malignant histrionic type of woman who clawed her way to the top: Leona Helmsley, Clare Booth Luce, Imelda, Martha Stewart but without their talent.
posted by nickyskye at 12:39 PM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


4pm EST: Bruce Springsteen about to come on and warm up the crowd for Barack. CNN is going to show it. Not streaming anywhere I can find.

Oh, and Sarah Palin accused Barack of "pallin' around with terrorists" today.

Fuck her.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:59 PM on October 4, 2008


Well, you can't say she needs a Weatherman to know which way the wind blows.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:06 PM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Palin family assets top $1 million. (Anchorage Daily News)

Joe Six Pack my ass.


Well. To be fair MY family assets top $1 million, too. On frigg'n paper.
Oddly Alaska is place where things have very inflated value. There are lots of red neck dudes living out of trailers up there wading through the rusted hulks of a dozen snow machines and SUV's in their yards who hace "assets" over a million.
posted by tkchrist at 1:25 PM on October 4, 2008


The Washington Post estimate is assets of up to $2.1 million
They have a very small mortgage on a house the Palins claim is worth between $500,000 and $1,000,000; their mortgage interest deduction was only $10,203.
They are said to have little credit card debt.
They have a fishing leasehold in Nushagak River, Alaska valued at $100,000 to $250,000.
Besides all of Todd's sno machines, they have the plane, the fishing boat, and more than 4 trucks. The sno machines are far from rusting hulks-- they are top of the line. Todd takes his hobby racing business seriously.
They have two vacation homes.

My point is they seem to accumulated quite a bit for a couple that started their marriage running a fishing business. A business, I might add, which Todd claims last year made $15,513. They have been married 20 years and have 5 children. But Hey! Maybe Sarah is just really, really good at clipping coupons.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:36 PM on October 4, 2008


I spend 2-3 months a year in Alaska, so I know about the price of things there.

I also don't know many rednecks in Alaska who have a million dollars in taxable assets.

(Latest numbers are making it look more like 2 million anyway).

Sorta changes the argument to say the Palins are "upper middle class." But at 250+K a year, they certainly are.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:41 PM on October 4, 2008


Oh, and Sarah Palin accused Barack of "pallin' around with terrorists" today.

Yeah, it looks like now that the debate is over and the big mystery/celebrity about Palin recedes, she'll try to stay in the press by saying the craziest shit she can come up with on a daily basis. Unfortunately--just as they do with Pat Robertson or any other kook--the media will give it plenty of attention. She seems to be paying of for them as the election-season Anna Nicole Smith.
posted by troybob at 4:01 PM on October 4, 2008


Hey Sarah Palin - a YouTube song.
posted by poxuppit at 4:12 PM on October 4, 2008


Is Sarah Palin the first time we've seen *directly* sexual marketing employed in a presidential campaign? I mean, the winking, the vamping, the flirtiness

**cough** Bill Clinton

I have not seen this directly proposed anywhere yet, but it seems an obvious question: did they pick a beauty queen on purpose, one who not only had the 'looks' but the moves as well?

It certainly crossed my mind from the beginning, but I have resisted directly proposing it anywhere for reasons of consistency - I deplored it when a valuation of sex appeal was part of a public assessment of Hilary Clinton or indeed any other woman became part of the discourse about her qualifications, so I feel that I need to be conscious of that on this side of the coin, as well. So far, there has been puh-LENty about Palin to criticize without even once resorting to the fact that she is generally considered attractive. That position makes sense when you expect to take a candidate seriously. Until now I haven't wanted to consider what role sex appeal may have played in her rise, since that can often be a way of belittling or undermining the real accomplishments of a woman ('you know how she got where she is today...'). I don't think that's fair and I try to stay beyond it, focusing on other questions and characteristics. We've had nice-looking politicians and ugly ones, and I don't think attractiveness aligns much with effectiveness.

But I think my policy begins to make less sense when applied to a candidate who regularly uses flirtatious behaviors by constantly smiling, making prolonged eye contact, winking, and - as I saw her do in the tandem McCain-Palin Couric interview, doing the 'attraction signal' touch on McCain's forearm. These things aren't just quirks - they are the classic markers that flirtation (or manipulation by pretending a flirtation) is taking place, and they've been studied thoroughly enough to produce a convincing argument that they are reliable. And flirtatious behavior is definitely not usual for women who want to be taken seriously in male-dominated professions in America. It does get you attention, even at the subconscious level: "There's something - just - so darn appealing about her! I can't put my finger on it, but I sure like it!," or as someone said here recently about Palin "her face is like food." There's a reason people cause that feeling, and often they've communicated it purposefully by doing flirtatious behaviors. Seems obvious enough, but we're so hardwired for it that sometimes we don't realize how mechanical it is even when it's happening to us. Especially when it's happening to us. You just really want to see that person and be around that person more, and you're not even sure why.

But it's a strategy of limited success for a woman to use. It might get you to a certain point, but once you become too actually powerful, actually threatening, or even just achieve your purpose and end the flirtation, your behavior may be the first thing used to punish you or limit opportunity ("she's not seasoned enough, she seems immature" "she's unprofessional," "she's two-faced - acts like that when she wants something, does that to everyone" "I can't concentrate around her, her constant flirting distracts me" "I think she's just out for herself, totally playing me") - it's sometimes even disastrous. For all these reasons and more, women in power have generally been counseled to avoid any appearance of inappropriate flirtatiousness, and our image of female power has become a largely desexed one. As (to be fair) are most images of male power. There are usually few direct sexual referents visible in the public lives of powerful people in serious professions.

But with Palin, it's visible. What people call her "charm" or "charisma" is sometimes simple charm, doggone it - warmth, personability, willingness to engage with others, as a grocery checker is charming or your grandma is charming. But sometimes it's definitely a bit more than "charm" that's being communicated - it's flirtation, a challenge to approach and a signalling of availability for intimacy. [I'm not saying she IS available, I'm saying she's sending the same signals one does when one wants to be liked a whole lot]. I think there's no question that she's used this to appeal to voters. As someone noted upthread, it's something that is easy for women to decipher (especially if you are a very good-looking woman or have ever been friends with one, and have witnessed its effectiveness firsthand), but it still seems to have a startlingly effective power over some straight men.

I'm not really interested in judging her on whether she's considered attractive or not, just as I have discouraged the pursuit of that question where other politicians are concerned. I still think it's beside the point. Politicians need to look professional and presentable and it's nice if they look basically pleasant, non-offputting. But I do think it's fair to ask whether she's consciously employing flirtatiousness and sex appeal to get ahead, and it really would be horrifically cynical if the GOP chose her largely because they believed that would be enough to convince enough voters. But to me, this is not at heart really a question of hotness or an opportunity to pass judgment on her appearance, but one of appropriateness and professionalism. Is she always appropriate to her setting, audience, stature? No. So when she's not, the interesting question is why not? Inexperience may be the whole answer, or only part of the answer.

And, if this were brought up in the public arena, the classic response to any woman critiquing Palin for being flirtatious or dressing in sexually appealing outfits is usually to be told they are just jealous and want to tear other women down. In fact, it's possible to deplore the use of sexual signalling in nonsexual arenas, and the exploitation of a power differential based on gender, without that indicating a hatred of one's own gender. But, knowing that is a subtle idea to talk about, I've resisted bringing up the whole Attractiveness Thing - when the topic is brought up, the popular narrative so quickly becomes Ugly Loser Chicks Criticize Cute Successful Ones Out of Jealousy.
posted by Miko at 4:15 PM on October 4, 2008 [35 favorites]


Interesting. Palin's making a swing through Omaha tomorrow. What with Obama opening up a new field office there, both campaigns must have internal polling showing he's got a shot at peeling off one of Nebraska's electoral votes. That would be fun.
posted by EarBucket at 4:38 PM on October 4, 2008


Until now I haven't wanted to consider what role sex appeal may have played in her rise, since that can often be a way of belittling or undermining the real accomplishments of a woman.

That's a decent way to look at it. In this case, I think the discussion of attractiveness is valid because it is part of a package of style that is intended to cover for the fact that there is little or no substance. What I dislike about much of the post-debate commentary is the repetition of this idea that Palin surpassed all expectations, considering that the only elements that surpassed those expectations were in the category of style and not substance. There must be something I'm missing about it, as I was surprised to see Amanpour on Bill Maher last night talking about how successful Palin was in the debate; this is a woman of true ability and knowledge of how the world operates, who herself would be a much better candidate for Palin's position, and she seems to be deferring to this brand of (what seems to me) superficial assessment. It makes me wonder whether the silence of the many superior-qualified and intelligent Republican women in positions of power, who have more real justification to be considered for such a position, is more than just being true to the party. To me, Palin's nomination would seem an insult to their substantive talents and hard-won respect. I would be far more comfortable with an opposition candidate whose policies differ from mine but who has the ability to think critically. What is scary about Palin is not just that she doesn't know what is necessary to do that kind of job, but she doesn't know that she doesn't know and doesn't have the curiosity to find out.
posted by troybob at 4:44 PM on October 4, 2008


Another amazing comment, Miko. You should be writing this stuff for a living.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:30 PM on October 4, 2008


Miko, they should add you to the staff as political advisor, or something. Everything that you contribute to these Palin threads is fantastically well thought out and written. Thanks.
posted by graventy at 6:44 PM on October 4, 2008


Seriously. Miko, PLEASE gather your most favorited comments and start writing a book based on them immediately. You think I'm kidding - I most certainly am not.
posted by agregoli at 6:45 PM on October 4, 2008


Hell, with a little tinkering and addition of context, she could copy the best of her comments and just slap them into a POD template and sell some books.

Hmm, with a little tinkering and addition of context, I could copy the best of her comments and just slap them into a POD template - and make billions!!!
But I have probably said too much.

posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:51 PM on October 4, 2008


Adding Zina Saunders excellently funny illustrations of Palin to this thread.
posted by nickyskye at 7:29 PM on October 4, 2008 [9 favorites]


Frank Rich is out. Ice cold.

You have to wonder how long it will be before they plead with him to think of his health, get out of the way and pull the ultimate stunt of flipping the ticket. Palin, we can be certain, wouldn’t even blink.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:48 PM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


They can plead all they like, but there's no way McCain is going to agree to walk away from this election in the next month. He wants the presidency too much.

And... I take no pleasure in writing this... but my prediction is that when/if he loses to Obama, he won't live to see the end of Obama's first term. It'll be such a psychological blow to him that it will break him physically.

And I really hate to say this, but it will take a lot to stop Sarah Palin even if the Democrats win this election. She simply does not acknowledge any shortcomings in herself or her actions. She can be thrown out of the Alaskan governor's office for abuse of office, she can be prosecuted for tax evasion, and she'll just shamelessly keep vying for political office as long as she can muster up votes. And I'm afraid she's always going to be able to do so.
posted by orange swan at 8:10 PM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


And I'm afraid she's always going to be able to do so.

That's not really that true if part of her constituency is the "boy I'd like to bang her!" mouth breathers. That same sort of person is going to lose interest once she starts looking like the grandmother she soon will be, if I gauge that market correctly. She has, what? A ten year window to continue catering to the "tap it" demographic?

Please please don't group me in with that bunch.
posted by maxwelton at 8:31 PM on October 4, 2008


Yup, Miko, you're brilliant. I really admire your writing, insight and meticulous analysis.

When Clinton was en route to being elected, the cartoons depicting his sex addiction, like the rolling bed that came with his travel plans, was part of his pitch, that whole biting his lip thing that Conan O'Brian made such good fun of.

I met a woman who'd met him at a gubernatorial ball (no pun intended) and she said he had, er, hardly danced with her a couple of minutes before he asked her to accompany him up to his room. Another told me he has an intense sexual charisma. Another said she'd known the Clintons for 12 years and he was not an ethical person, no way would she vote for him.

I didn't like or trust Bill Clinton from the get-go and was pretty astounded what an excellent Presidency he accomplished in spite of his addiction, lying, messes. But he doesn't radiate the predatorial malice that Palin does. He seems like a glutton who also has an excellent mind. She on the other hand has a praying mantis vibe, something gloating/triumphant and unevolved in her demeanor.

Frank Rich suggests that this is an Obama Palin election and as the weeks go by he may be right.
posted by nickyskye at 8:51 PM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wow, you can taste the loathing Tina Fey carries for Sarah Palin in the debate sketch.
posted by Bookhouse at 8:59 PM on October 4, 2008


thanks for linking that, 4cm. frank rich does not fucking blink! and it is the last desperate move.
posted by snofoam at 9:24 PM on October 4, 2008


oh. actually, the ultimate move is to send them out moose hunting together and have palin actually shoot and kill mccain, then lead the ticket. is mccain prepared to put country that far first?
posted by snofoam at 9:27 PM on October 4, 2008


Election trains
posted by caddis at 9:29 PM on October 4, 2008 [5 favorites]


Tina was brilliant tonight. Best line was the one (paraphrasing) about "the sacred institution of marriage as the forced union of unwilling teenagers."

Awesome.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:04 PM on October 4, 2008


SNL debate sketch (YouTube)
(limited time engagement, I/m sure)
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:07 PM on October 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Rich is totally on point with that column. When you go to McCain's website now, you're greeted by a video of Palin talking our "our team".

Oh, and this image of Palin is beyond incredible.
posted by Bobby Bittman at 10:11 PM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


From a very young age, my two favorite things have always bin Jews 'n' Cuban food, and I'm not jus' sayin' that t' pander t' Florida!
posted by scody at 10:38 PM on October 4, 2008


Jeez, what the hell was up with that debate question? Nothing quite like startin' a debate off with rape and murder!

I don't agree with Rich about her not being a sulker. Her response to the Couric interview has been pure sulk, and that "Do we have to?" response to pulling out of Michigan reminds me of a whiny teen forced to clean her room.
posted by graventy at 11:01 PM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Columbus Dispatch poll -- Obama up 7 in Ohio.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:25 AM on October 5, 2008


Palin today in Omaha:

"Our opponent though is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough that he is palling around with terrorists who would target their own country," Palin said of Obama, also calling him an embarrassment."

Oh, it's on.
posted by zardoz at 6:17 AM on October 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


The debate sketch is also on Hulu. It requires sitting through a very brief commercial, but it's worth it because the YouTube link cuts out the first 45 seconds of the sketch, which means you miss this awesome exchange:

PALIN: Hey can I call ya Joe?

BIDEN: Of course.

PALIN: Ok 'cause I practiced a coupla zingers where I call ya Joe.
posted by shiu mai baby at 6:24 AM on October 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


Even better,

PALIN: Turns out one of Barack’s earliest supporters is a man who, according to the New York Times, and they are hardly ever wrong . . . .

Oh, that means Rick Davis is on the take for Freddie Mac and McCain did have an affair with a lobbyist.

You betcha.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:55 AM on October 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Very interesting. Willie Brown says he has inside info that Colin Powell was prepared to endorse Obama several weeks ago, but that Dear Leader Resident Bush begged him not to do it and he held off. If true, it's a hell of a story. (SF Chronicle)

I'm not the world's biggest Colin Powell fan. But that would about end this thing. He must be appalled at the Palin pick.

Money quote:
By the way, remember that prediction about former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsing Barack Obama? My contacts in the Obama campaign said President Bush himself called Powell and asked him to hold off. Asked him not to embarrass the administration. We'll see - but Powell is definitely not endorsing John McCain.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:03 AM on October 5, 2008


Frank Rich is out. Ice cold.

Rich also zeroes in on McCain's health in the column:
The second bit of predebate news, percolating under the radar, involved the still-unanswered questions about McCain’s health. Back in May, you will recall, the McCain campaign allowed a select group of 20 reporters to spend a mere three hours examining (but not photocopying) 1,173 pages of the candidate’s health records on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. Conspicuously uninvited was Lawrence Altman, a doctor who covers medicine for The New York Times. Altman instead canvassed melanoma experts to evaluate the sketchy data that did emerge. They found the information too “unclear” to determine McCain’s cancer prognosis.

There was, however, at least one doctor-journalist among those 20 reporters in May, the CNN correspondent Sanjay Gupta. At the time, Gupta told Katie Couric on CBS that the medical records were “pretty comprehensive” and wrote on his CNN blog that he was “pretty convinced there was no ‘smoking gun’ about the senator’s health.” (Physical health, that is; Gupta wrote there was hardly any information on McCain’s mental health.)

That was then. Now McCain is looking increasingly shaky, whether he’s repeating his “Miss Congeniality” joke twice in the same debate or speaking from notecards even when reciting a line for (literally) the 17th time (“The fundamentals of our economy are strong”) or repeatedly confusing proper nouns that begin with S (Sunni, Shia, Sudan, Somalia, Spain). McCain’s “dismaying temperament,” as George Will labeled it, only thickens the concerns. His kamikaze mission into Washington during the bailout crisis seemed crazed. His seething, hostile debate countenance — a replay of Al Gore’s sarcastic sighing in 2000 — didn’t make the deferential Obama look weak (as many Democrats feared) but elevated him into looking like the sole presidential grown-up.

Though CNN and MSNBC wouldn’t run a political ad with doctors questioning McCain’s medical status, Gupta revisited the issue in an interview published last Tuesday by The Huffington Post. While maintaining a pretty upbeat take on the candidate’s health, the doctor-journalist told the reporter Sam Stein that he couldn’t vouch “by any means” for the completeness of the records the campaign showed him four months ago. “The pages weren’t numbered,” Gupta said, “so I had no way of knowing what was missing.” At least in Watergate we knew that the gap on Rose Mary Woods’s tape ran 18 and a half minutes.

It’s against this backdrop that Palin’s public pronouncements, culminating with her debate performance, have been so striking. The standard take has it that she’s either speaking utter ignorant gibberish (as to Couric) or reciting highly polished, campaign-written sound bites that she’s memorized (as at the convention and the debate). But there’s a steady unnerving undertone to Palin’s utterances, a consistent message of hubristic self-confidence and hyper-ambition. She wants to be president, she thinks she can be president, she thinks she will be president. And perhaps soon. She often sounds like someone who sees herself as half-a-heartbeat away from the presidency. Or who is seen that way by her own camp, the hard-right G.O.P. base that never liked McCain anyway and views him as, at best, a White House place holder.
As we are now less than 30-days away from the election, I suspect more questions will be raised about McCain's health by the MSM and blogosphere.
posted by ericb at 7:21 AM on October 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Great comment, Miko. I had to email it to a couple close friends because it's so spot-on.
posted by yeti at 7:39 AM on October 5, 2008


Using Gallup's compendium of presidential trial heat polling since 1936, I counted 16 candidates who received 50% support or higher in an October Gallup poll. Hitting the 50% mark was a very good predictor of victory. Of those 16 candidates, just two failed to win the general election--Al Gore and Thomas Dewey.

An 8% lead has also been difficult for trailing candidates to overcome. Only one candidate who held a lead of at least 8% in October ended up losing the election--once again, that was Al Gore in 2000. There were thirteen other occasions since 1936 where a candidate had an 8% lead or greater in at least one October poll, and in each case that candidate won.

posted by EarBucket at 7:45 AM on October 5, 2008


Springsteen sings "Thunder Road" at Vote for Change rally in Philly Saturday. (YouTube)
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:18 AM on October 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


And aww hell, *Shakira* has endorsed Obama!


Come on. Anyone who can line up Bruce Springsteen, Ralph Stanley, Stevie Wonder, and Shakira as major endorsers has got some major rock and roll working.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:23 AM on October 5, 2008


Oh, it's on.

Obama's new ad: McCain "erratic" and "out of touch".

Politico:
Branding his opponent as “erratic in a crisis,” Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is preempting plans by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to portray him as having sinister connections to controversial Chicagoans.

Obama officials call it political jujitsu – turning the attacks back on the attacker.

McCain officials had said early in the weekend that they plan to begin advertising after Tuesday’s debate that will tie Obama to convicted money launderer Tony Rezko and former Weathermen radical William Ayers.

But Obama isn’t waiting to respond. His campaign is going up Monday on national cable stations with a scathing ad saying: “Three quarters of a million jobs lost this year. Our financial system in turmoil. And John McCain? Erratic in a crisis. Out of touch on the economy. No wonder his campaign wants to change the subject.

“Turn the page on the financial crisis by launching dishonorable, dishonest ‘assaults’ against Barack Obama. Struggling families can't turn the page on this economy, and we can't afford another president who is this out of touch.”

Then Obama says: “I'm Barack Obama and I approved this message.”

.....We think the McCain campaign made a huge error by telling the press that their strategy was to distract from the most important issue facing voters,” a senior Obama official said. “Every attack going forward will be easy to characterize for what it is – an attempt to distract from the Bush-McCain economic record."
posted by ericb at 8:54 AM on October 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


AP: Palin's Ayers Attack "Racially Tinged".
posted by ericb at 9:13 AM on October 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Economist (which we learned yesterday in her FOX News interview Palin apparently reads): Survey: Economists Overwhelmingly Prefer Obama.

It's the economy, stupid!
posted by ericb at 9:18 AM on October 5, 2008


In other election news, Dems could hit 60 Senate seats - and wouldn't it be a particular joy to have this guy replace Coleman: Franken bypasses Coleman as voters react to attack ads.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:25 AM on October 5, 2008


Newsweek cover story: The Palin Problem -- "Yes, she won the debate by not imploding. But governing requires knowledge, and mindless populism is just that—mindless."posted by ericb at 9:27 AM on October 5, 2008


And aww hell, *Shakira* has endorsed Obama!

Well, ya know, her hips don't lie!
posted by DiscourseMarker at 9:36 AM on October 5, 2008


Palin's latest message to American women: If you don't vote for me, you're going to hell.
posted by neroli at 9:52 AM on October 5, 2008


Even the devil can quote scripture.
posted by lysdexic at 9:57 AM on October 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


Well, ya know, her hips don't lie!

(Magnificently truthful) hips aside, I have to say she is an all around impressive person, with brains to match the dancing. And her voice will have a good deal more force than Daddy Yankee's weird McCain endorsement among Latinos.

I really want to see an ad with Shakira and Ralph Stanley, dammit.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:00 AM on October 5, 2008


From madamjujujive's link posted above:

Top Republicans say they have no hope for Dole in North Carolina. “There’s no point in even counting the votes,” said a top McCain official.

posted by EarBucket at 10:01 AM on October 5, 2008


Palin's latest message to American women: If you don't vote for me, you're going to hell.

Palin Misquotes Albright: "Place In Hell Reserved For Women Who Don't Support Other Women"
At a rally today in California, Gov. Sarah Palin offered up a rather jarring argument for supporting the Republican ticket. "There's a place in Hell reserved for women who don't support other women," the Alaska Governor said, claiming she was quoting former Clinton Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

The statement came after Palin had recounted a "providential" moment she experienced on Saturday: "I'm reading on my Starbucks mocha cup, ok? The quote of the day... It was Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State [crowd boos] and UN ambassador. ... Now she said it, I didn't. She said, 'There's a place in Hell reserved for women who don't support other women.'"

Actually, Albright didn't say that. The real quote is, "There's a place in Hell reserved for women who don't help other women." (Sources made the same point to CBS's Scott Conroy.)

Palin seemed to realize that the line could be viewed as grating. As the audience cheered, she remarked: "Okay, now, thank you so much for receiving that well. I didn't know how that was gonna go over. And now, California, let's see what a comment like I just made, how that is turned into whatever it'll be turned into tomorrow with the newspaper."
posted by ericb at 10:01 AM on October 5, 2008


Damn, she's sure to go off reservation daily like this if they keep letting her talk.

Condemning other people to hell for not supporting her?

That's not Christian. That's just nasty.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:11 AM on October 5, 2008


There's a place in Hell reserved for women who don't help other women.

Like when women don't help other women have self-determination over what happens to their bodies?

I fully agree!
posted by Miko at 10:22 AM on October 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


Condemning other people to hell for not supporting her?
That's not Christian. That's just nasty.


Look, I hate this woman and think many of her actions fall amongst the "evils done in the name of God" category, but watching that clip? I think she's just trying to be cute with a line that probably would have been best left unused.

I think taking stupid lines like this out of context to make them "evil" just undermines when people try to point out the TRULY harmful, things she's done and said, the rape kit being the canonical example.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 10:23 AM on October 5, 2008


Using Gallup's compendium of presidential trial heat polling since 1936, I counted 16 candidates who received 50% support or higher in an October Gallup poll. Hitting the 50% mark was a very good predictor of victory. Of those 16 candidates, just two failed to win the general election--Al Gore and Thomas Dewey.

An 8% lead has also been difficult for trailing candidates to overcome. Only one candidate who held a lead of at least 8% in October ended up losing the election--once again, that was Al Gore in 2000. There were thirteen other occasions since 1936 where a candidate had an 8% lead or greater in at least one October poll, and in each case that candidate won.


And Al Gore isn't even really an outlier, since he did actually win the popular vote.
posted by scody at 10:32 AM on October 5, 2008


And speaking of frauds and incompetents:

''These two entities -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- are not facing any kind of financial crisis,'' said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ''The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.''

New York Times, September 11, 2003
posted by Rafaelloello at 10:33 AM on October 5, 2008


she can be prosecuted for tax evasion, and she'll just shamelessly keep vying for political office as long as she can muster up votes. And I'm afraid she's always going to be able to do so.

I predict that she will be the hot ticket on the Republican speaking circuit. Following in the wake of Giuliani's tasseled loafers, she will easily surpass his $10 million earnings because she weds Real American (small town, flag-waving, Republican Christian) values to sex appeal. She'll write have someone else ghost-write at least one memoir for an 8 million dollar advance ("God, Todd, & Me") to be followed up by books that outline her strategies for making millions, raising kids, and being happily married ("Making Money the American Way," "My Blessings From God: How You, Too, Can Raise Lovely, Chrisitian Children," and "Keep the Home Fires Burning: Sarah Palin's Frank Advice on Keeping your Man Happy.") She may even end up as a talking head on Fox News.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:36 AM on October 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


New York Times, September 11, 2003
posted by stavrogin at 10:36 AM on October 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


When questioned as to why Fannie Mae's capital had fallen below the absolute minimum level of 5%, Franklin Raines said "These investments are so riskless that the capital for holding them should be under 2%".
posted by Rafaelloello at 10:40 AM on October 5, 2008


I urge my like minded comrades to join me in flagging the troll.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:41 AM on October 5, 2008


And speaking of frauds and incompetents:

''These two entities -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- are not facing any kind of financial crisis,'' said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ''The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.''

New York Times, September 11, 2003
posted by Rafaelloello at 10:33 AM on October 5 [+] [!]



This dead horse? Did you get lost?

Do you even read your own favorites? You liked this link, which had this to say:

"....Investor’s Business Daily ran a front page story: “How a Clinton-era Rule Rewrite Made Subprime Crisis Inevitable.”

The only problem with all this: it’s completely wrong."
posted by lysdexic at 10:43 AM on October 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think taking stupid lines like this out of context to make them "evil" just undermines when people try to point out the TRULY harmful, things she's done and said, the rape kit being the canonical example.

The problem is we've got too much to criticize about the singularly, spectacularly horrible politician Palin, and only a month left to do it. We're busier than a one-armed paperhanger with fleas. Cut us some slack here when we can't distinguish between grades of ignorant, incompetent, and unprincipled as well as we should.
posted by orange swan at 10:43 AM on October 5, 2008


The writer of this post pretty neatly sums up what I've been trying to articulate for four years. Basically that the whole culture war on intellectuals is the latest turn in this moronic debate, and that's it's bringing us to the point of no return.

One of the reasons I like Obama so much is that he’s able to speak in an intelligent, nuanced way about complex topics, without boiling things down to oversimplification and slogans. While I don’t want him to adjust that, there does need to be someone on his team that can come out and say that having anti-intellectual jackasses that make their decisions with their “gut” instead of bothering to analyze trifle like facts, data, historical context, and potential outcomes has led to: The more I look at the fix we’re in, it doesn’t resemble 1990, when the the Soviet Empire crumbled due to their quagmire in Afghanistan, it looks more like the Russian Empire in 1917, when a creaking Empire run by idiots and half-breeds lost their whole country because of their complete inability and knowledge to govern. And yes, I think Cheney is the Rasputin in this analogy.

I’m somewhat gratified that polling from the Veep debate indicates that most people think that Biden “won” it. But the stuff from the media has been straight from Orwell. That she “won” because she “didn’t implode” or “surpassed expectations”? She clearly demonstrated that she had no understanding of issues, and instead of making an honest attempt to answer them, she chose to put lie after lie after lie out there, in her rambling, word salad parlance (this is how I thought adults sounded when I was 16) that was 80% incomprehensible. Again the media reinforces the complete triumph of style over substance.

The substance is that she's uneducated rube who couldn't have been bothered to educate herself about any of these issues for the first 44 years of her life, and that she sounded like an utter fool when she skirted the questions in favor of false claims and vacuous talking points. The style is that she's cute, she's vicious and she gives Republican dudes a boner ("she winked at me!").
posted by psmealey at 10:43 AM on October 5, 2008 [9 favorites]



Who in Congress defended Franklin Raines? Liberal Democrats, including Maxine Waters and the Congressional Black Caucus, at least one of whom referred to the “lynching” of Raines, as if it was racist to hold him to the same standard as white CEOs.

Even after he was deposed as head of Fannie Mae, Franklin Raines was consulted this year by the Obama campaign for his advice on housing!

posted by Rafaelloello at 10:44 AM on October 5, 2008


I urge my like minded comrades to join me in flagging the troll.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:41 AM on October 5 [+] [!]

*sigh* ok, I'll restrain the fist of death.

posted by lysdexic at 10:46 AM on October 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oh no, let's please keep the debate on the economy. Republicans who want to blame the mortgage and credit crises on minority and low income borrowers are welcome to try to let the bankers and lobbyists working for McCain off the hook. Let's see how that plays among working-class folks worried about their jobs. Run by defending bankers -- always a winning strategy.

When we look back at this during Obama's second term, we'll see a uniform judgment: the GOP ran as racist a campaign as they dared, and an increasingly racist campaign as they became pathetic and desperate.

I keep thinking they can't damage their "brand" any further, and I keep being proven wrong. This election is the end of the Republican party as we've known it, and good riddance.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:48 AM on October 5, 2008


fourcheesemac: "1164Oh no, let's please keep the debate on the economy. Republicans who want to blame the mortgage and credit crises on minority ..."

There's only one minority group blamed by Republicans:

Arkansas-born ex-presidents.
posted by Rafaelloello at 10:52 AM on October 5, 2008


Barack live in Asheville, coming up soon (still no stream, but scheduled for 2PM EST)
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:54 AM on October 5, 2008


Sunday Oct. 5 Gallup tracker: Obama 50, McCain 43, 9th straight day of a substantial Obama lead.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:58 AM on October 5, 2008


she gives Republican dudes a boner ("she winked at me!").

I feel like these are the same guys who believe that the women working at strip clubs are really, really into them.
posted by scody at 11:02 AM on October 5, 2008 [7 favorites]


Begala on CNN: McCain served on board of ultra right wing (anti-Semitic) group. (YouTube)
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:02 AM on October 5, 2008


Analysis: Palin's Words May Backfire on McCain (AP article, suggests backlash at "racially tinged" attacks on Obama) -- NY Times
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:04 AM on October 5, 2008


CNN stream now working for Obama Asheville rally. (BO.com not yet)
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:07 AM on October 5, 2008


The one sour note I can see on the horizon is if the Dems end up with, say, 59 senate seats and Lieberman holds the balance of power. Good Lord I hope they find the nuts to cut that motherfucker off at the knees.
posted by Rumple at 11:07 AM on October 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


FCM I only spend two to three weeks a year in Alaska. Oronically on a piece of property on the Nushigak River (Quicktime movie slide show of fishing trip). If there is a property on that river that's really worth $250,000 then I AM truly a rich man, seeing as I'm a partial stake holder on huge muddy spit on that river. If you watch that movie you will see what a shit hole that place is. And ironically it's also where an Alaskan "Millionaire" I know lives —the family that manages Portage Creek. A "millionaire" that has to subsistence live during the winter as guide hunting elk.

If you do spend 3 months a year in AK then you know property, assets, everything in that state is highly inflated. Fuck. A case of shit beer cost $60-65 bucks in Dillingham. And now with meltdown in real estate and borrowing there is no way anybody is getting the 2006-2007 paper value for their assets in that state.

Is Palin "Joe Average" In lower 48? Well. Fuck no. But when they say Joe Average they don't mean lower middle class they DO mean upper middle class. Everybody upper middle class and Upper Class BELIEVES they are middle class. And even those in poverty (when you examine debt) believe they are middle class. Few people in this country admit to being rich. Not many Mefites are Joe Average either. So. Really it's a weak point of criticism when there is vast smörgåsbord of things with which to nail Palin.
posted by tkchrist at 11:09 AM on October 5, 2008


Also, middle-class icon Palin has already hit it big -- win or lose, I predict a 5 million dollar advance for a ghost written book....
posted by Rumple at 11:11 AM on October 5, 2008


I loved the Thunder Road video. But check out this one of Bruce testifying at the same rally. Now, that's inspiring.
posted by Miko at 11:12 AM on October 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


NY Times today is reporting that the GOP has virtually conceded that Liddy Dole will lose in NC. In fact, they are not including NC on their list of "tossup" states any longer.

We are going to witness the humiliation of the GOP in this election. I am now sure of it. I think we will get to 60 senate seats, but even if we don't, Lieberman is such a self-serving weasel that he'll beg to be let back in. When we beat Chris Shays in Connecticut this year, making the Northeastern house republican a formally endangered species, Lieberman will get the message. He's got only a couple of more years on the taxpayer dole.

Obama walking to the stage in Asheville now.
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:12 AM on October 5, 2008


Hey, shiu mai baby said above that she got tickets to the Springsteen rally -- SMB, did you go? Any report?
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:14 AM on October 5, 2008


tkchrist, I know, and you're right. But one thing that is not significantly more expensive in Alaska (in fact it's cheaper, other than building materials) is property. (I should also mention that the time I spend there is all on the North Slope, where it costs 10 dollars to blow your nose into a tissue.)

Either way, I know a fair number of working-class Alaskans. I don't think any of them have assets in the 1-2 million range. It's a relatively fine point. Palin is less well off than Obama or Biden (by a notch in the latter case) and certainly than Richie Rich McCain. But I don't see her as "working class" in any meaningful sense.
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:18 AM on October 5, 2008


But I don't see her as "working class" in any meaningful sense.

She's certainly "workin' it" to give guys on LGF their tiny flaccid chubbies.

I think any politician that claims to be working class is pretty much a joke. But Palin sure does have a great deal in common with her base, if not income. She's a mom of un-wed teenage mom and sees no connection between that and her parenting. Her husband thinks it's awesome to spend his weekends relentlessly burning fossil fuels and we can do that forever. She believes governing takes bold emotionally driven action and not objective rational study. She is utterly without self examination. She confuses luck with accomplishment. And she has zero notion of history or context. Yep. I'd say that's to a Tee the 30% of American dipshits that decide modern presidential elections.

As for her sexual attractiveness being a part of the calculus to choosing her? Of course. She was chosen for three reasons. Her stand on abortion, her looks, and nobody knew anything about her.

With that in mind it's obvious the GOP doesn't care about governing anymore. I think they really believe the US is going down in flames, there is nothing they can do to stop it so why try, and they are just trying to stay in power so they can loot it before it all goes down.
posted by tkchrist at 11:42 AM on October 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


fourcheesemac: "1168Begala on CNN: McCain served on board of ultra right wing (anti-Semitic) group. (YouTube)"

Obama caught up in gay murder probe


"How much does he really know?"
-INSIDERS ASK

posted by Rafaelloello at 11:49 AM on October 5, 2008


SNL debate sketch (YouTube) (limited time engagement, I/m sure) // or Hulu

No need to hunt around, they have it on the NBC web site for free -- no ads even, every time. Holy crap, these are getting funnier and funnier every week.
posted by msalt at 11:52 AM on October 5, 2008


The trolls seem to catch me every time. I start out thinking, "What a great sense of humor. This guy really nails that right wing wacko stuff." After reading a little further it dawns on me that they are sincere serious. Wow.
posted by pointilist at 12:05 PM on October 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Man, I've been listening to am talk radio all week looking for any new dirty tricks, and all I had to do was come here.

All the radio pundits have to say is nothing new, Obama's a closet muslim, he's just another liberal, he's gonna kill your babies, etc. All debunked during the primaries. Yawn.

Googling "obama gay murder" nets you all kinds of reputable [insert sarcasm here] news organizations. Interstingly, it also includes the Hillary Clinton forums. But nothing shows up on Lexis Nexis.

So, all I can assume, Ravaelloello, is that you agree with me about Palin, McCain, Obama, and Biden. You have no facts, you have no logic, so you come here to tell me he's ugly and his mama dresses him funny.
posted by lysdexic at 12:05 PM on October 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


No need to hunt around, they have it on the NBC web site for free

Yeah, what's been happening is that it goes up samizdat on YouTube by about 2AM on Saturday night/Sunday AM, then comes down promptly when NBC gets it online on Sunday AM.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:08 PM on October 5, 2008


Thanks for the laugh, Rafaelloello -- I don't know what's more hilarious on the website you linked to: "This Week in UFO History," the boilerplate Jew/Illuminati conspiracy crap, or Jeff Rense's hair.
posted by scody at 12:13 PM on October 5, 2008 [6 favorites]


And wow, did Obama just bring it in Asheville. The closing focus will be health care, tested as a way to keep the economy personal, I'm sure. Riveting, powerful speech. We take it for granted now, but he's one of the great orators of our time, without a doubt. He's setting up an excellent argument that McCain's resorting to negative character attacks is desperate and erratic and unpresidential, and merely a trick to take the focus off the economy somehow. Since he is exactly right about that, it really resonates, and should make McCain's use of character attack ads pretty risky indeed. Barack also got in a fine mockery of Sarah Palin without needing to mention her by name, when he said "ya" instead of "you" twice in a row, laughed, then said "we don't need any more okie dokie . . . " Crowd roared, and he said "you know what 'okie dokie' is here in North Carolina." Just right, like his "dusting off the shoulders" bit with Clinton. Aggressive, but good humored.

When it's to YouTube, I'll post the link.

I feel sorry for McCain. He's so overmatched. And the beauty of it is we get to watch them fall apart in Grand Guignol fashion, as desperation deepens and they reach the darkest recesses of their ugly little psyches searching for mud, dirt, shit, anything to throw as they retreat.

I've waited 8 years for this. I'm going to enjoy it immensely.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:15 PM on October 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


Miko, that Bruce Sprinsteen is indeed very powerful. Love the idea of an American reclamation project.
posted by madamjujujive at 12:17 PM on October 5, 2008


What I find interesting about the trolls is how closely they echo the official talking points. This is the week to smear Obama about his past associations, so these are the links we're seeing here, and on every other popular political site, today. A week or so ago it was all about secret racists who would never vote for a black man.

Amazing order-following at the bottom, but unmatched by message discipline at the top. Next week we'll be seeing a bunch of stuff about redistribution of the wealth, or whatever else it is they are told to talk about.
posted by Bookhouse at 12:20 PM on October 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


Wow, that Springsteen oration was amazing. Thanks Miko.

And right into The Rising. Bruce!

The motherfuckers will never put this energy back in the box.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:28 PM on October 5, 2008


Bookhouse, I don't think they're exactly following orders. I've noticed the same pattern in other blog comments sections. The thing is, you can tell that many of them are really unhinged, spewing the talking points indiscriminately, not bothering to shape or polish any kind of message, dumping out contradictions with their smears. I think they are blind follower types, wired to the Borg not by direct chains of command, but by a strong need to feel like they belong to a movement that validates their hatreds and fears and desire to cause mayhem and conflict. These are the dead enders who still support the GOP, along with the evangelicals. Most of them are racists, whose beliefs are so socially stigmatized in polite society that they are frantic to find a context where they can act out their fears and prejudices. You can feel the hatred flowing from their grubby fingers when they write, the desire to destroy what they feel mocks their self-hatred.

They want us to fear them. The best response is to mock them and laugh at them. A friend once told me about a KKK rally in her college town. A whole crowd of earnest protesters showed up to shout down the KKK, and the KKK loved it, being the center of all that passionate attention. Then one guy in a clown suit started dancing alongside the hooded klansmen, and they freaked out, became furious, and left in disgust.

Never underestimate the power of a guy in a clown suit, or the value of laughing at evil.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:38 PM on October 5, 2008 [10 favorites]


Madeline Albright explains her real quote to Palin:
"Though I am flattered that Governor Palin has chosen to cite me as a source of wisdom, what I said had nothing to do with politics. This is yet another example of McCain and Palin distorting the truth, and all the more reason to remember that this campaign is not about gender, it is about which candidate has an agenda that will improve the lives of all Americans, including women. The truth is, if you care about the status of women in our society and in our troubled economy, the best choice by far is Obama-Biden."
posted by ericb at 12:53 PM on October 5, 2008 [12 favorites]


Conservatives On Palin: She Should ‘Read A Few More Books’.
posted by ericb at 12:58 PM on October 5, 2008


'he is palling around with terrorists who would target their own country,' Palin said of Obama

Say it ain't so, Sarah, there you go again pointing backwards again. Now doggone it, let's look ahead and tell Americans what we have to plan to do for them in the future.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:12 PM on October 5, 2008 [7 favorites]


He's setting up an excellent argument that McCain's resorting to negative character attacks is desperate and erratic and unpresidential, and merely a trick to take the focus off the economy somehow.
"George Will made an excellent point this morning on ABC's 'This Week.' Americans are about to get a mailing that is going to do wonders for Obama's campaign. They're going to be getting their quarterly statements from their 401ks and their pension plans. And it ain't going to be pretty. John McCain wants to change the subject away from the economy. He wants to pull the plug on the number one discussion, the number one issue of importance to every American, because he doesn't know much about economics. And Sarah Palin? Yeah. Imagine Sarah Palin being in charge of your 401k."*
posted by ericb at 1:15 PM on October 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Begala on CNN: McCain served on board of ultra right wing (anti-Semitic) group.

Heck, if the campaign is going to "smear-by-association," one need not go beyond Palin's own marital bedroom. Her husband was a registered member (until recently) of a secessionist political party -- the Alaska Independence Party. And a group Sarah Palin herself addressed at their recent convention.

Nation Alaska First!!!
posted by ericb at 1:27 PM on October 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


imagine her in charge of this country - stepping into the role of the Congress's imperial presidency. i can only imagine the day she was asked to accept the nomination for vp - couldn't she have scratched her head and said, someone wants to use me. Couldn't she have said, I am not prepared to do a job like this, gosh, I could end up president.
posted by essa at 1:31 PM on October 5, 2008


Rove Criticizes McCain's Handling Of Campaign, Gives Electoral Map To Obama
"...in a post on his website, Rove projected that if the election were held today, Obama would get at least 273 electoral votes and become the next president of the United States. The architect of George W. Bush's two presidential campaigns attributed the Democratic nominee's rise to the current economic woes and cautioned that landscape is fluid. But, he added:
'39 new state polls released in the first three days of October have given Barack Obama his first lead over the magic number of 270 since mid-July. Minnesota (10 EV) and New Hampshire (4 EV) both moved from toss-up to Obama, giving him 273 electoral votes to McCain's 163, with 102 votes remaining as a toss-up. If the election were held today, Obama would win every state John Kerry won in 2004, while adding New Mexico (5 EV), Iowa (7 EV), and Colorado (9 EV) to his coalition.'"
posted by ericb at 1:36 PM on October 5, 2008


Watch: VP Debate in One Minute.
posted by ericb at 1:40 PM on October 5, 2008


A visual example of Palin's parenting.
posted by nickyskye at 1:55 PM on October 5, 2008 [7 favorites]


I saw elsewhere that that picture was a photoshop. But that looks pretty real. Is there an original source of it somewhere?
posted by cashman at 2:12 PM on October 5, 2008


Rove ain't even close. We're getting VA and NC too, buddy.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:22 PM on October 5, 2008


fourcheesemac: Did you look at Rove's map. It's actually quite accurate and surprisingly forthright coming from Rove. He says Obama will get 273 electoral votes with 102 more still as tossup. Virginia and North Carolina are among the tossups along with Florida, Ohio, ndiana, Missouri, and Nevada.

That sounds almost spot on to me. Obama would end up with anything from 273 to 375 electoral votes. Just because it's Rove doesn't necessarily mean it's a bunch of bullshit, that's just the way to bet. In this case he is being more or less intellectually honest.
posted by Justinian at 2:26 PM on October 5, 2008


DNC has a new ad, totally nails McCain to the wall. Watch this. (YouTube)
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:28 PM on October 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


...She may even end up as a talking head on Fox News.

I'm guessing there's going to be a Mommie Dearest phase in there somewhere. As much as she pushes the whole family thing, it really feels like her family has been hired to stand behind her. She exhibits no emotional connection to them whatsoever; her discussion about having a special-needs child comes across like a talking point she has memorized. I don' t think the 'soccer mom' angle gets her much support from younger voters; anyone under like 30 remembers that kind of soccer mom, and they remember what an asshole she was. And really, the more kids she has, the higher chance one is going to be gay.

I'm guessing she'll be fairly limited to the Pat Robertson circuit; her capacity for saying stupid stuff is not going to go away, and once the Republicans stop having to eat shit in order to support her candidacy, I can't imagine they'll have a whole lot to do with her.
posted by troybob at 2:46 PM on October 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


Bookhouse, I don't think they're exactly following orders

Oh, neither do I. They're just amazingly willing to parrot talking points with no thought and no memory of what they hated last week. (Three months ago they hated celebrities and mistrusted the inexperienced. Now they love them.)
posted by Bookhouse at 2:46 PM on October 5, 2008


(I also suspect she's not going to be able to hold onto the faux-folksy speech for much past election season. I wonder if it will fade away gradually enough for people not to notice.)
posted by troybob at 2:54 PM on October 5, 2008


A visual example of Palin's parenting.

Photoshopped.
posted by EarBucket at 3:08 PM on October 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Yeah, but in England that's basically the same gesture, EarBucket.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 3:12 PM on October 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


And speaking of frauds and incompetents:

Thanks for trying, Rafaelloello! It must suck to be you right now.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:26 PM on October 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I hadn't seen Sarah Palin's special recorded message to the secessionist Alaska Independent Party. This is nuts. The video is on their site. If the secesshoe was on the other foot, the race would be over.

She praises them repeatedly, sounds decidedly pleased with them, and just in general seems completely pleased with them.
posted by cashman at 3:29 PM on October 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


Man, you gotta read the Anchorage Daily News to stay up on things these days: Todd Palin Agrees to (Troopergate) Board Interview. Hmmm.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:32 PM on October 5, 2008


I loved the Thunder Road video. But check out this one of Bruce testifying at the same rally. Now, that's inspiring.

Note, Sarah Palin, that's how you speak to American in its own language.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:35 PM on October 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


DNC has a new ad, totally nails McCain to the wall. Watch this. (YouTube)

That clip at the end where McCain disses attack ads reminds me how articulate and clear he used to be, compared with his last few appearances. Are we missing something?
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:44 PM on October 5, 2008


That young woman behind the speaker really doesn't like that kid, does she?
posted by maxwelton at 3:45 PM on October 5, 2008


Yeah MW, and McCain looks much younger in that clip (which I think is from 2000). Drives home a subtle point about how fast he's aging in front of our eyes even during the campaign.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:50 PM on October 5, 2008


Yeah, Obama is a man of poor character. (Not.)

Heartwarming story alert: not suitable for cynics.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:24 PM on October 5, 2008 [6 favorites]


Meanwhile, Springsteen is pushing a last burst of voter registration in Columbis, Ohio tonight.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:26 PM on October 5, 2008


Todd Palin Agrees to (Troopergate) Board Interview. Hmmm.

It's important to note, however, that Todd Palin has agreed to an interview with the Alaska State Personnel Board (which is comprised of Sarah Palin appointees and is part of the state's executive branch) and not the original investigation into 'Troopergate' by the Alaska Legislature which originally voted for the probe and the one in which Todd Palin has refused to testify -- even though he has been ordered to do so under subpoena.

Palin/McCain: Fuck checks-and-balances.
posted by ericb at 4:32 PM on October 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


re Springsteen in Ohio: I will pay cash money for footage of him performing "Youngstown" -- probably my favorite Springsteen song of all-time.
posted by scody at 4:34 PM on October 5, 2008


ColumBUS, as in "thrown under one."

Also, here's a transcript of Springsteen's "American reclamation" remarks in Philly yesterday, plus news about the Columbus gig.

Also, "Bobby May, McCain's Racist."

Also, you can watch Sarah Palin's Omaha rally live here. Just in case you need a dash of folksiness, doncha know?

Also, also.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:36 PM on October 5, 2008


Five bucks says that Bobby May owns an impressive set of white sheets with the words "Grand Imperial Wizard" stitched on 'em. (Also.)
posted by scody at 4:40 PM on October 5, 2008


And now, ladies and gentlemen, the lamentable fall of Senator John McCain, as told through his ten Daily Show appearances:
First interview: having fun with inner monologues

"We're so delighted he's joining us, he has a reputation as a bit of a maverick"

"We're gonna find poo-poo!"
He has jackets

Sick and tired of negative campaigning

Criticizing Bush's State of the Union (that "studying bears in Montana" joke is older than I thought, btw)

Thoughts on the Iraq war
"You're my president, from now on"

"We should view the other party as our opponents and not our enemies"

But then, some troubling shifts:

Defending Cheney on torture
Debating Iraq

"Are you freaking out on us? Are you going into Crazy Base World?"

Their banter tightens:

Sparring over the war
Arguing talking points

And at McCain's final appearance: "I'd like to see the old John McCain"
What happened, John? You used to be cool.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:20 PM on October 5, 2008 [18 favorites]


Ken Burns: This Is Not the John McCain NH Once Loved (Union Leader, yes that Union Leader)
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:24 PM on October 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Holy shit, thanks for the heads-up on that, fourcheese. As a New Hampshirite, I'm stunned to see an anti-McCain piece appear in the newspaper whose op-ed pages have mostly just served to infuriate me over the years. Wow. I can't believe they ran that.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:29 PM on October 5, 2008


Agreed. That is a very, very conservative paper. Surprising.
posted by Miko at 7:36 PM on October 5, 2008


McCain's favorability ratings vs. Obama's. This is why going negative for the next four weeks is a bad, bad move for McCain. If someone likes the other guy and doesn't like you, telling him the other guy is a jerk just makes him like you even less.
posted by EarBucket at 7:42 PM on October 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


LA Times: McCain, as a pilot, sucked ass.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:46 PM on October 5, 2008


And the Obama campaign goes there: www.keatingeconomics.com
posted by EarBucket at 7:53 PM on October 5, 2008


OK, McCain. You asked for it. You got it.

F**k yeah.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:04 PM on October 5, 2008


Ha! Great minds and all that.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:05 PM on October 5, 2008


And: John McCain's Record
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:07 PM on October 5, 2008


(Any of you living rent-free and typing away in your Momma's basement can ignore this...

...for now):

In a few weeks when we're at Dow 7500-8000 and 575,000 new jobless claims, the world will be changed. There will be distinct cracks in the cozy "Yes We Can" Obama cocoon and the US will be looking for real leadership.

If you know how to, check out where the Asian markets are right now. There will be a FED rate cut tomorrow or Tuesday, but to no avail.

You might want to Google "Deflationary Spiral" and have some cash at the ready.
posted by Rafaelloello at 10:34 PM on October 5, 2008


"As we send our young men and women overseas in a war zone to fight for democracy and freedoms, including freedom of the press, we've really got to have a mutually beneficial relationship here with those fighting the freedom of the press, and then the press, though not taking advantage and exploiting a situation, perhaps they would want to capture and abuse the privilege ." -- Sarah Palin, 10/3/08

Freedom of the press? Is that, like, in the Bill of Privileges or something?
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 10:43 PM on October 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


Well, given the choice between a deflationary spiral and an inflationary one, I'll take the deflationary one for purely selfish reasons.
posted by Justinian at 10:55 PM on October 5, 2008


I'm still stuck on the speech thing; I remember the flak Hillary caught with how she spoke in a black church a while back. Maybe it's not such a big deal, since there doesn't seem to be a lot of interest in how Palin's current speech style compared to that in past interviews (what couple I've seen) that aren't soaking in it.

Still, I'm curious if there is some kind of linguistic analysis that could be applied to determine whether her style of speech is in fact not genuine. For instance, would the patterns suggest that she does not apply it consistently, or that there are a very limited number of phrases or ways she says them that would mark her as being a fake. (From the South, I've always thought that people who try to use the term 'y'all' in a singular context can be exposed as fakes, though I've heard there's some disagreement on this even in the South. Also, a Danish friend often teases us with a phrase that only Danes can say, which was actually used as a pass-phrase in WWII, because Germans could never get it right.) Maybe the field is too inexact for this kind of thing, but I think it would be cool (if my suspicion is correct, that is) if something like that could be demonstrated to those who view the way she speaks as evidence of heartland legitimacy.
posted by troybob at 10:58 PM on October 5, 2008


Justinian: "1233Well, given the choice between a deflationary spiral and an inflationary one, I'll take the deflationary one for purely selfish reasons."

If you understand what you're saying, then that means you are financially independent and very cash-rich.

In case you need a refresher course on Deflationary spirals:

1. Jobs are lost.
2. Prices go down.
3. Repeat
posted by Rafaelloello at 11:32 PM on October 5, 2008


the US will be looking for real leadership.

What is real leadership? Is it competent management, or persuading people to follow you, or keeping a cool head in a crisis?

Speaking as an observer from another country, this is what I see.

Obama can manage a massive organisation, directing many people. I don't think that's an illusion. Show me where Obama's campaign organisation has fallen down. Contrast with McCain's floundering. He's running out of money, he changed campaign directors, he doesn't have a message any more, and his own VP doesn't even know what state's he's still active in.

Obama is the inspirational orator. You may not like what he has to say, but boy does he say it well. In fact, the "celebrity" criticism was clearly directed at this strength of his. McCain cannot draw even half the audiences Obama regularly pulls.

Who has the reputation for cool? Who is famously a hothead? Who is executing a flexible plan, who is striking out randomly?

If you believe that McCain has real leadership qualities, seems to me he's not doing a very good job of demonstrating them. Either that, or you mean something different by "leadership" than I do.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:20 AM on October 6, 2008 [9 favorites]


There will be distinct cracks in the cozy "Yes We Can" Obama cocoon and the US will be looking for real leadership.

You forgot the "whaddya expect, a teama' mavericks!" part, governor. And the wink, also.
posted by scody at 12:33 AM on October 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


I don't need a refresher on deflation, thanks. I work for myself and am very liquid.
posted by Justinian at 12:35 AM on October 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


In a few weeks when we're at Dow 7500-8000 and 575,000 new jobless claims, the world will be changed. There will be distinct cracks in the cozy "Yes We Can" Obama cocoon and the US will be looking for real leadership.

If you know how to, check out where the Asian markets are right now. There will be a FED rate cut tomorrow or Tuesday, but to no avail.

You might want to Google "Deflationary Spiral" and have some cash at the ready.


Jobs were being lost before the fit hit the shan in the credit crisis.

Googling deflationary spiral brings up a lot of stuff about Japan, mostly from bloggers. No, I'm not including wikipedia entries, because, c'mon.

Getting beyond definitions and on to reality. According to The Economist,
"Financial markets need governments to set rules for them; and when markets fail, governments are often best placed to get them going again. That’s pragmatism, not socialism. Helping bankers is not an end in itself. If the government could save the credit markets without bailing out the bankers, it should do so. But it cannot. Main Street needs Wall Street; and both need Washington. Politicians—and President George Bush is the most culpable among them (see article)—have failed to explain this."
So, basically, it's still going to get worse before it gets better, especially if the politicians and we remain blind to the true extent of the crisis, and what's really needed for recovery. On that we can probaly agree.

On the solutions, we sure don't agree and here's why: McCain/Bush policies have gotten us into this mess, and more of the same isn't going to get us out.

Oh, and the rate cut you predict? Probably right. But is it to cut off job losses, or because oil prices are coming down? Not everything has one cause.

And just to repeat for emphasis, this has more to do with predatory lenders than government pressure to loan to the "unworthy". Remember that article you didn't read? "Some 75 percent of subprime loans were made by independent mortgage banks and lenders not covered by the CRA.."

Now here's something interesting. I wonder if the Islamic financing system could be something to tap into?
posted by lysdexic at 2:20 AM on October 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


And just to break it down further: The Community Reinvestment Act: Myth and Fact.

Businessweek: CRA did not cause the crisis

The CRA has been around since 1977. It was streamlined in 1995; and in 2008, there is testimony (PDF) in the House in 2008 that:
"Reforms put into place in 1995 reduced compliance costs for all banks and streamlined CRA regulations even further for the smallest institutions. Evidence suggests the reforms worked. In 2002, the Independent Community Bankers of America surveyed its membership about the cost of CRA regulation. Although the study is designed to highlight the high compliance costs of CRA, the data reported in the study suggest otherwise."
That same testimony indicated that the CRA should have done more to combat abuses in the subprime market.

So it would seem that the CRA did not cause, and was prevented, from helping.

Go find another boogeyman.
posted by lysdexic at 2:56 AM on October 6, 2008


You know, I've noticed that some of the trolls working on the rightwing team are pretending to be economics experts too. Have y'all noticed that?
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:23 AM on October 6, 2008


However, many of them seem to think that any further regression in the economy will be attributed by voters to the democratic candidate, which strikes me as very weird since McCain's poll numbers have been pretty much following the Dow Jones index.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:25 AM on October 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Springsteen's comments at the Philly rally, which were linked above, definitely bear repeating here:
"Hello Philly,

"I am glad to be here today for this voter registration drive and for Barack Obama, the next President of the United States.

"I've spent 35 years writing about America, its people, and the meaning of the American Promise. The Promise that was handed down to us, right here in this city from our founding fathers, with one instruction: Do your best to make these things real. Opportunity, equality, social and economic justice, a fair shake for all of our citizens, the American idea, as a positive influence, around the world for a more just and peaceful existence. These are the things that give our lives hope, shape, and meaning. They are the ties that bind us together and give us faith in our contract with one another.

"I've spent most of my creative life measuring the distance between that American promise and American reality. For many Americans, who are today losing their jobs, their homes, seeing their retirement funds disappear, who have no healthcare, or who have been abandoned in our inner cities. The distance between that promise and that reality has never been greater or more painful.

"I believe Senator Obama has taken the measure of that distance in his own life and in his work. I believe he understands, in his heart, the cost of that distance, in blood and suffering, in the lives of everyday Americans. I believe as president, he would work to restore that promise to so many of our fellow citizens who have justifiably lost faith in its meaning. After the disastrous administration of the past 8 years, we need someone to lead us in an American reclamation project. In my job, I travel the world, and occasionally play big stadiums, just like Senator Obama. I've continued to find, wherever I go, America remains a repository of people's hopes, possibilities, and desires, and that despite the terrible erosion to our standing around the world, accomplished by our recent administration, we remain, for many, a house of dreams. One thousand George Bushes and one thousand Dick Cheneys will never be able to tear that house down.

"They will, however, be leaving office, dropping the national tragedies of Katrina, Iraq, and our financial crisis in our laps. Our sacred house of dreams has been abused, looted, and left in a terrible state of disrepair. It needs care; it needs saving, it needs defending against those who would sell it down the river for power or a quick buck. It needs strong arms, hearts, and minds. It needs someone with Senator Obama's understanding, temperateness, deliberativeness, maturity, compassion, toughness, and faith, to help us rebuild our house once again. But most importantly, it needs us. You and me. To build that house with the generosity that is at the heart of the American spirit. A house that is truer and big enough to contain the hopes and dreams of all of our fellow citizens. That is where our future lies. We will rise or fall as a people by our ability to accomplish this task. Now I don't know about you, but I want that dream back, I want my America back, I want my country back.

"So now is the time to stand with Barack Obama and Joe Biden, roll up our sleeves, and come on up for the rising."
posted by shiu mai baby at 5:33 AM on October 6, 2008 [7 favorites]


I've finally figured out what bugs me so much about the maverick thing, and not just the fact that they use the word to describe themselves as mavericks, (which is of course hilarious in a junior-high-'I'm-such-a-non-conformist' kind of way). It's the Team of Maverick thing. It reminds me of the beginning of the movie Airheads, where Brendon Fraser is trying to promote his band, The Lone Rangers. He didn't get that the Lone Rangers was an oxymoron.

That's what the Team of Mavericks makes me think of. They want us to vote for a duo who don't see the unintentional hilarity in essentially calling themselves The Lone Rangers.
posted by 8dot3 at 5:37 AM on October 6, 2008


SMB -- were you there?
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:47 AM on October 6, 2008


I was. It was definitely a sight to behold.
posted by shiu mai baby at 5:54 AM on October 6, 2008


Rafaelloello, you remind me of a certain neighbourhood kid from the time and the place in which I grew up. At 14, Mark weighed about 90 pounds and was one of the most annoying pains in the butt I've ever met. One time he was bragging to my brother (who was then about 19 years old and weighed 195) that he knew wrestling holds. Mark declared that he could put my brother in a lock he'd never be able to break. So he fastened his arms around my brother's neck. My brother was eating a cupcake at the time, and between bites he casually reached up and broke Mark's hold with two fingers, almost as offhandedly as he'd shoo away a fly.

So, you know, keep on trying to make an argument for McCain's fitness as presidential candidate compared to Obama's. It takes so little effort on our part to demolish your arguments that it's actually fun for us, and we'll go on enjoying our sweet, sweet cupcakes all the while.
posted by orange swan at 5:54 AM on October 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


Via Andrew Sullivan, Obama in March of 2007:

There is grave concern in low-income communities about a potential coming wave of foreclosures. Because regulators are partly responsible for creating the environment that is leading to rising rates of home foreclosure in the subprime mortgage market, I urge you immediately to convene a homeownership preservation summit with leading mortgage lenders, investors, loan servicing organizations, consumer advocates, federal regulators and housing-related agencies to assess options for private sector responses to the challenge.

We cannot sit on the sidelines while increasing numbers of American families face the risk of losing their homes. And while neither the government nor the private sector acting alone is capable of quickly balancing the important interests in widespread access to credit and responsible lending, both must act and act quickly.

Working together, the relevant private sector entities and regulators may be best positioned for quick and targeted responses to mitigate the danger. Rampant foreclosures are in nobody’s interest, and I believe this is a case where all responsible industry players can share the objective of eliminating deceptive or abusive practices, preserving homeownership, and stabilizing housing markets.


Wouldn't it be nice to have a president who sees a crisis coming and thinks we should do something about it before it gets here?
posted by EarBucket at 5:58 AM on October 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


Barack Obama is winning Georgia right now.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:58 AM on October 6, 2008


Even devoted Republicans doubt whether the Sarah Six-Pack case is the best one to make. After the vice presidential debate, a senior figure in the party, who asked not to be named because he was telling the truth, told me that Palin should talk less about being "just-folks" and more about being governor of a large state.
posted by EarBucket at 6:04 AM on October 6, 2008


orange swan: "1247Rafaelloello, you remind me of a certain neighbourhood kid from the time and the place in which I grew up. At 14, Mark weighed about 90 pounds and was one of the most annoying pains in the butt I've ever met. One time he was bragging to my brother (who was then about 19 years old and weighed 195) that he knew wrestling holds. Mark declared that he could put my brother in a lock he'd never be able to break. So he fastened his arms around my brother's neck. My brother was eating a cupcake at the time, and between bites he casually reached up and broke Mark's hold with two fingers, almost as offhandedly as he'd shoo away a fly.

So, you know, keep on trying to make an argument for McCain's fitness as presidential candidate compared to Obama's. It takes so little effort on our part to demolish your arguments that it's actually fun for us, and we'll go on enjoying our sweet, sweet cupcakes all the while.
"

More like sweet, sweet delusion. I'm sure you have an answer for this: Let's say the polls are accurate and McCain has around 40 percent of the vote. Why do you think it is that you are unable to engage virtually none of his supporters in dialogue? Maybe the polls are wrong and Obama will win 100 percent to zero?

If any of you have money, you might want to buy QID in the pre-market and write covered calls when they hit 70+ today. Better yet, just write comments to each other here.
posted by Rafaelloello at 6:19 AM on October 6, 2008


I've been having this fantasy lately. In my dream at tomorrow night's debate, Obama keeps answering questions and discussing issues in his steady, even-keel, professorial way. McCain just keeps bringing the subject back to Obama's character and away from the issues. Finally, after an hour of this Obama just stops and turns to McCain and says, "Really? John, really? You really want to have a debate with me on character?" and then he proceeds to turn and face him directly and calmly, methodically, relentlessly and profesorially tears McCain a new asshole, from fucking anything that moved leaving behind the woman that loyally waited for him to return from Vietnam, to his open association with bigots, to the S&L scandal, to Phil "Tippy the Turtle" Graham, to banging hot lobbyists and everything in between, and then when Brokaw tells him time's up, he turns back calmly and say's "thank you, Tom, what's the next question?"
posted by Pollomacho at 6:19 AM on October 6, 2008 [6 favorites]


Why do you think it is that you are unable to engage virtually none of his supporters in dialogue?

Either his supporters are incapable of enguaging in dialogue regarding actual issues or they are avoiding such subjects would be my guess.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:22 AM on October 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Mmmm...cupcakes!
posted by ericb at 6:25 AM on October 6, 2008


Why do you think it is that you are unable to engage virtually none of his supporters in dialogue?

Y-you mean, you didn't read my pretty links?

I'm so hurt.
posted by lysdexic at 6:31 AM on October 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Rasmussen this morning: Obama 52, McCain 44. In their tracking poll, it's the first time Obama's reached 52%, the first time he's had an eight point lead, and the twenty-fifth day in a row his support hasn't gone down by a single point.
posted by EarBucket at 6:34 AM on October 6, 2008


Cupcakes, mmm.

Hey, I need to go take a short position on the Republican party. Invaluable market tips in this thread, y'know?
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:37 AM on October 6, 2008


Registration gains favor Democrats -- Voter rolls swell in crucial states.
posted by ericb at 6:39 AM on October 6, 2008


Gallup -- Young Voters ‘08: Pro-Obama and Mindful of Outcome
"America's youngest voters are mindful of history and the impact on their own lives as they prepare to cast ballots on Nov. 4. Among 18- to 29-year-old registered voters surveyed for a USA Today/MTV/Gallup poll, 61% support the Obama-Biden ticket, versus 32% who prefer the McCain-Palin ticket, with Obama's voters being far more likely to be certain about their vote than McCain's."
posted by ericb at 6:42 AM on October 6, 2008


It's Over: Why Bill Ayers Won't Save John McCain
"Perpetually fretting Democrats will not want to accept it. The campaigns themselves can't afford to believe it. Many journalists know it but can't say it. And there will certainly be some twists and turns along the way. But take it to a well capitalized bank: Bill Ayers isn't going to save John McCain. The race is over.

John McCain's candidacy is as much a casualty of Wall Street as Lehman or Merrill. Like those once vibrant institutions, McCain's collapse was stunning and quick. One minute you are a well-respected brand. The next you are yelling at the messengers of your demise as all around you the numbers start blinking red and stop adding up." [more...]
posted by ericb at 6:45 AM on October 6, 2008


Rafaelloello, I'm pretty sure there are quite a few people here who would be happy to engage you in a discussion if you would ditch the pedantic and condescending attitude in your posts. Why in the world should we respect your position if you establish from the beginning that have no respect for ours?

Also, prefacing your snotty remarks with stuff like this: "Any of you living rent-free and typing away in your Momma's basement can ignore this..." is not only obnoxious and unhelpful, but it's a spectacularly shitty way to have a rational conversation with people who disagree with you.
posted by shiu mai baby at 6:48 AM on October 6, 2008 [10 favorites]


Rasmussen daily tracker: Obama now up by 8! Why can't McCain convince more than half the American voting public he has anything to offer?

The only presidential candidate in modern history *ever* to "lose" after being over 50 percent in October -- or ahead by Obama's margin in October -- was Al Gore in 2000.

And we all know he really won that election, and that is was stolen.

Not this time, motherf*ckers. Obama in a landslide. 29 days.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:49 AM on October 6, 2008


Right wing haters are textbook examples of what the shrinks call "projection." They hate themselves but project the things they hate about themselves onto other people as a means of denial. The smaller they feel, the more they lash out, and the more incoherent and ugly they sound. Right now, a lot of them are feeling very, very small. Their world is collapsing as Americans refuse to accept the usual rightwing fearmongering bullshit this time.

Rage follows, as we see in this thread, a kind of externalization of one's own denial onto the majority of people who are apparently too stupid to see things the wingnut's way. The last stage will be when we start seeing rationalizations for Obama's landslide win. Then those cockroaches will retreat to their own mommas' basements to plot their revenge in between making day trades and jerking off to interracialy-themed pornography.

Also, Palin apparently is a latte-sipping wingnut.

Also: also.

Seriously, if anyone thinks a further decline in the markets or a collapsing banking system will benefit the GOP, I want what they're smoking.

Must see for those just waking up:
keatingeconomics.com

posted by fourcheesemac at 7:02 AM on October 6, 2008


Today's GWU/Battleground poll, 50-43 Obama, total of +4 Obama since 10/2. The VP debate hurt McCain.

McCain ties if *all* the undecideds break to him at this point, which is of course not going to happen. And if old likely voter models are accurate, which we're almost sure they are not.

So McCain's only hope is to peel of Obama's committed supporters. And when you attack the character of someone people are committed to, you often engender backlash that costs you favorability with those same people at the same time.

Add to this, we are looking at McCain's last, best hope in the guilt-by-association smear strategy. If it fails, which it will by the end of this week, he's out of ammo. With three weeks to go.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:22 AM on October 6, 2008


Sarah Palin on geography:

Three days after a mostly gaffe-free debate performance, the Alaska governor fumbled during a speech in which she praised U.S. soldiers for “fighting terrorism and protecting us and our democratic values”.

“They are also building schools for the Afghan children so that there is hope and opportunity in our neighboring country of Afghanistan,” she told several hundred supporters at a fundraising event in San Francisco.

posted by EarBucket at 7:34 AM on October 6, 2008


The Obama campaign has released a 30-second spot tying McCain's involvement in the Keating 5 scandal to the current economic crisis.
Obama-Biden communications director Dan Pfeiffer:
"While John McCain may want to turn the page on his erratic response to the current economic crisis, we think voters will find his involvement in a similar crisis to be particularly interesting. His involvement with Keating is a window into McCain’s economic past, present, and future.'"
The campaign is set to release a 13-minute documentary about McCain and The Keating 5 scandal at noon today at the Keating Economics website (cited above in other comments)
posted by ericb at 7:36 AM on October 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


John McCain's candidacy is as much a casualty of Wall Street as Lehman or Merrill.

The economic crisis certainly altered the end game, but Obama has led McCain in Gallup's national poll since clinching the Democratic nomination on June 3. McCain only led Obama for a week or so after the Republican convention.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:40 AM on October 6, 2008


Also, prefacing your snotty remarks with stuff like this: "Any of you living rent-free and typing away in your Momma's basement can ignore this..." is not only obnoxious and unhelpful, but it's a spectacularly shitty way to have a rational conversation with people who disagree with you.

How dare you talk to the Puppet Master like that? He's not lashing out incoherently, posting slanderous, conspiracy-theory links and videos - he's keeping us ALL distracted from voting! And when November 5th rolls around, we will all tear out our hair, throw our keyboards against the wall, shake our fists at the monitor and scream, "Damn you, Rafaelloello! Damn you and your brilliant distractions! Because of your expert trolling, Obama has lost. If only I had left the house every now and then!" Can't you see what a web he has spun around us all? Wake up, sheeple!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:40 AM on October 6, 2008 [6 favorites]


You know, on election night in 2004, I got so carried away I almost promised that if Kerry won I would sleep with the first Kerry voter to show up at my door. This time I will not be so rash. If Obama wins, I'll bake cupcakes for the first Obama voter to knock on my door.
posted by orange swan at 7:45 AM on October 6, 2008


Rafaelloello, I'm pretty sure there are quite a few people here who would be happy to engage you in a discussion if you would ditch the pedantic and condescending attitude in your posts. Why in the world should we respect your position if you establish from the beginning that have no respect for ours?

Thank you for writing this, my earlier comment in retort to Rafaelloello was snarky and uncalled for. I'm sorry I wrote it. Shiu mai baby's comment was much more appropriate and on point.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:46 AM on October 6, 2008


Asking a moronic bully to respect people is like asking McCain to tell the truth. Impossible because of a character flaw.

Dow 9800. 401K Quarterly Statements arriving in mailboxes soon.

There is your October surprise.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:52 AM on October 6, 2008


I'm not even asking for respect from Rafaelloello. I'd like to hear a valid criticism or argument.
posted by orange swan at 7:52 AM on October 6, 2008


Here's a McCain spokesman's strange response to the Keating issue.
posted by horsewithnoname at 8:05 AM on October 6, 2008


At least you all made money this morning by following my advice. If you bought QID before the open and wrote October Calls for 8 more points when it hit 70 you now have a 13 point return on a 65 dollar investment, a 20% return.
posted by Rafaelloello at 8:14 AM on October 6, 2008


Rafaelloello, I liked your posts about RPN calculators and the town in alaska where everyone lives in one building. In this thread, though, you are just kinda pointlessly mucking things up while everyone else is mostly having a serious discussion about the election.
posted by snofoam at 8:34 AM on October 6, 2008


“I never give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it's hell.” -- Harry S. Truman
posted by kirkaracha at 8:38 AM on October 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


McCain promises to cut Medicare benefits, raise premiums. That should play really well in Florida.
posted by EarBucket at 9:01 AM on October 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


The stupid shrew just rolled into my town. Wish I'd known in advance, I could have made some special welcome signs for her to see.
posted by contessa at 9:04 AM on October 6, 2008


Why isn't the full documentary at Keating Economics available yet? Am I missing something?
posted by lunit at 9:13 AM on October 6, 2008


Obama up 10 in Virginia (SurveyUSA), including leading handily among men.

SUSA also shows Barack up 13 in New Hampshire (and winning men) as of yesterday. Likely voters.

Suffolk shows him up 12 in Virginia (10/5)

Virginia nails it down, especially if NH is off the table for McCain.

Dow 9800 should put a pretty big dent in William Ayres bullshit.
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:54 AM on October 6, 2008


[comment removed - please keep this from being a "fuck you, no fuck YOU" thread about the election. If you have issues with a particular poster, MetaTalk or email are your options. If you hate everyone here, you are welcome to not be here.]
posted by jessamyn at 9:55 AM on October 6, 2008 [8 favorites]


Full Keating 5 documentary. Pass it on! (Youtube link)

McCain is going to hold a presser today to respond. Fucking blinking already.
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:57 AM on October 6, 2008


Gallup: Obama 50, McCain 42.

All post-VP debate now. Sarah Palin did not help McCain. She lost the debate.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:06 AM on October 6, 2008


Tax Law Professors Agree: Palins' tax returns are wrong. (Tax Prof blog)

There is no serious debate (at least, none that has been brought to our attention) about the fact that at least the amounts paid for the children's travel -- $24,728.83 in 2007, according to the Washington Post -- are taxable. The campaign's tax lawyer has got at least that much of the law, and perhaps more, wrong. ... The Palins, who had their tax returns done by HR Block, simply got it wrong. And the fact that the state payroll office got it wrong, too, doesn't erase the Palins' unpaid tax liability.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:18 AM on October 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


According to FiveThirtyEight:

Odds of Obama landslide (375+ Dem. EVs): 27.64%
Odds of McCain victory (270+ Rep. EVs): 12.6%

So, an Obama landslide is now more than twice as likely to occur as any kind of McCain victory. I expect that ratio to improve with today's polling update.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:27 AM on October 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm holding off any cheering until it becomes apparent how the upcoming shitfest is going to poll.
posted by Artw at 10:34 AM on October 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Now fcm, there ya go again. We need government to just get out of our way and not go taxin' Hockey Moms and Joe 6-Pack when all they want to do is travel with their family to see the greatest country on the face of the goldarned earth. Her employer gave her the money so that she could spend time traveling while instillin' Family Values in her beautiful family and now you want to go and tax it so that you can redistribute it to families that haven't pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps?
posted by leftcoastbob at 10:40 AM on October 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


You know, in a year or two, where once there were Reagan Democrats, there are going to be Obama Republicans.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 10:54 AM on October 6, 2008 [4 favorites]


Artw: here's Nate Silver's take at FiveThirtyEight on McCain going negative:

"I am not here to dispute that this is McCain's best strategy -- in the same way that an onside kick is a team's best strategy when it trails late in the game with no timeouts left. But like the onside kick, it is fairly unlikely to work."
posted by scody at 11:18 AM on October 6, 2008


1233Well, given the choice between a deflationary spiral and an inflationary one, I'll take the deflationary one for purely selfish reasons.

Don't feed the troll.
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:19 AM on October 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


The campaign is set to release a 13-minute documentary

Every time I think the Obama campaign can't get any smarter, they do.
posted by Miko at 12:11 PM on October 6, 2008 [4 favorites]


You know, the great thing about this is, when/if McCain loses, that's the end of his career. I can't see him even running for the Senate again.
posted by orange swan at 12:28 PM on October 6, 2008


There is something (dare I say "fundamentally") wrong with this country when both the Presidential nominee and the VP nominee from the same ticket will lose their jobs and be forever banned from the field if they don't win the election.

It reminds me of a phrase I heard a while back, "When somebody is falling off a cliff, you have to ask yourself, 'how close do I want to be tied to this person?'" But in this case, I think we need to first ask ourselves, "How the hell did this person get so high up to begin with?"
posted by iamkimiam at 12:37 PM on October 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think the greater thing is what's going to happen to all those Republicans and conservative pundits who have squandered every last ounce of credibility they (ostensibly) had in their support for McCain, and particularly in their defense of Palin. The media's not so great at holding people like that responsible for what they say, but there needs to be a housecleaning of all the soothsayers and outright liars who get it wrong time and time again, and who are invariably invited back to commentary and agenda-setting.
posted by troybob at 12:40 PM on October 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Her employer gave her the money so that she could spend time traveling while instillin' Family Values in her beautiful family

One thing many of the moms are talking about on other web sites is why are the children not in school right now? The two youngest girls, at least (I guess it is already too late for Bristol) should be going to school but instead they are on the campaign trail as window dressing along with their tiny brother to be trotted out as affirmation of Palin's momminess. I suppose school can wait because education is not a "family value" like say...reviling homosexuals. Maybe Sarah is going to give them extra points for staying up late and watching the entire election play out.

freedom of the press, we've really got to have a mutually beneficial relationship here with those fighting the freedom of the press, and then the press, though not taking advantage and exploiting a situation, perhaps they would want to capture and abuse the privilege ."
I was not surprised to read that Gov. Palin thinks the press should not abuse the privilege of having a Bill of Rights. The Republicans are very fond of citing our Freedoms as to Why the World Hates Us, yet they are curiously ambivalent about allowing Americans to actually exercise these Freedoms. In fact, the ACLU is loathed by the Right Wing as an anti-American commie organization because the ACLU actually fights against government infringement on those rights. I think the Right Wing has come to see all the First Amendment Rights: Freedom of Speech, of Assembly, of the Right to Petition the Government, the Freedom of the Press and the Establishment clause; as privileges that can and should be curtailed and even removed if "abused."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:46 PM on October 6, 2008 [6 favorites]


One thing many of the moms are talking about on other web sites is why are the children not in school right now?

You mean they're not being home-schooled [cough]?
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:51 PM on October 6, 2008


the New Yorker emphatically endorses Obama
posted by Rumple at 12:52 PM on October 6, 2008


the New Yorker emphatically endorses Obama

Well, I'm just shocked. Who saw that one coming? I mean what's next the Washington Times endorses McCain?
posted by Pollomacho at 1:08 PM on October 6, 2008


Has The Economist endorsed anyone yet?
posted by Artw at 1:13 PM on October 6, 2008


Not yet it seems... but apparently Sarah Palin reads it!
posted by Artw at 1:16 PM on October 6, 2008


Public Policy (pdf): Obama up by six in North Carolina. Leading among men by three points, women by eight.
posted by EarBucket at 1:24 PM on October 6, 2008


Palin wants to help out the press by making it difficult for them to "abuse the privilege."
Today:
the media wasn't permitted to wander around inside Coachman Park to talk to Sarah Palin supporters.[...]When one reporter asked an escort, who would not give her name, why the press wasn't allowed to mingle, she said that in the past, negative things had been written. The campaign wanted to avoid that possibility Monday.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 1:24 PM on October 6, 2008


the New Yorker emphatically endorses Obama

Not unexpected but that was certainly... definitive.
posted by Shepherd at 1:52 PM on October 6, 2008


CNN/Opinion Research: Obama 53, McCain 45. LV.
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:54 PM on October 6, 2008


I would like to hear Sarah Palin's honest opinion about Eric Rudolph.

But we'll never know since she doesn't give interviews.
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:59 PM on October 6, 2008


...she said that in the past, negative things had been written. The campaign wanted to avoid that possibility Monday.

So naturally the surest way to make sure the press says only positive things about Sarah Palin is to ban them from her rallies! GENIUS move, Republicans!!
posted by contessa at 2:26 PM on October 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


The Republicans are very fond of citing our Freedoms as to Why the World Hates Us, yet they are curiously ambivalent about allowing Americans to actually exercise these Freedoms.

You have the right to free speech... as long as you're not dumb enough to actually try it.
posted by scody at 2:32 PM on October 6, 2008


From the Guardian: Flirting her way to victory: Sarah Palin's farcical debate performance lowered the standards for both female candidates and US political discourse.

Why do I have to rely on foreign journalists to deliver this kind of honesty. Jesus fucking christmas, I am sick to death of hearing even from formerly reliable journos on NPR about how well Governor Palin acquitted herself in the debate. If American journalists are still wondering why people have disowned them (on both sides) as credible sources of analysis and reporting, they have a helluva a lot more introspection to do.

As for why Palin is so "likable", I don't get that either. She's about as likable as the mean girl varsity cheerleader whose most high octane witticisms are limited to superficial remarks like "nice shoes".
posted by psmealey at 2:33 PM on October 6, 2008 [11 favorites]


So naturally the surest way to make sure the press says only positive things about Sarah Palin is to ban them from her rallies! GENIUS move, Republicans!!

It's kind of endearing, actually. The McCain campaign is being run exactly like the Bush campaigns were... that is to say, if the Bush campaigns had been run by special needs children.
posted by psmealey at 2:39 PM on October 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Why do you think she has to carry that baby around like a sack of flour? It's her control pod.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:53 PM on October 6, 2008


Hugh McColl Jr., former CEO of Bank of America, endorsed Obama in an editorial today. That'll carry some weight in Charlotte.
posted by EarBucket at 3:21 PM on October 6, 2008


You know what I want to see? A list. I want a big fat long list of names and titles, with links on the names*, of every public figure that endorses Obama. Bonus if its organized by field (ex. Entertainment, Science, History, Politics, Art, Healthcare Professionals, etc.)

I bet that would be, oh, just a little impressive.

*Preferably the links would point to their actual endorsements, and not their bios.
posted by iamkimiam at 3:50 PM on October 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


iamkimiam: ask and you shall receive ...

List of Barack Obama presidential campaign endorsements [Wikipedia - with links]

for comparison's sake, here is the same for John McCain (heh).
posted by brain cloud at 4:07 PM on October 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Interesting note: Barack Obama was endorsed by Hulk "The Hulkster" Hogan; John McCain was endorsed by Lou "The Incredible Hulk" Ferrigno. HULK FIGHT!
posted by brain cloud at 4:12 PM on October 6, 2008 [4 favorites]


A Baldwin endorses McCain?! I backed the wrong horse! Oh, wait, it's Stephen Baldwin.
posted by stavrogin at 4:16 PM on October 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


The total dick Baldwin from Celebrity Rehab? Awesome! He's probably utterly convinced his enorsement s a weighty one as well.
posted by Artw at 4:24 PM on October 6, 2008


I really love how the Obama section has to have sub categories. "Entertainers: Actors/Actresses", etc.
posted by mrzarquon at 4:48 PM on October 6, 2008


That Obama list is great, though it only includes two Native American endorsements (Crow Nation -- of which Obama was made an honorary member earlier this year -- and Fort Peck Indian Reservation). Other endorsers include the Great Plains tribes, the All-Indian Pueblo Council, the Mescalero Apache Tribe, the Navajo Nation, and more than 100 tribal leaders.
posted by scody at 4:51 PM on October 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dang, scody, I wish I had had those factoids at hand during yesterday's canvass; I got a question related to that very thing.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:34 PM on October 6, 2008


In the meantime, dirty tricks aimed at suppressing the vote seem to be underway: flyers at Drexel University in Philadelphia claim that undercover police will be present at polling places to arrest criminals, including anyone with outstanding traffic warrants.
posted by scody at 5:58 PM on October 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Fox/Rasmussen 10/5 polls. Show it closer in Virginia than the others, but a small lead in Ohio, and 6 pts in Colorado and 7 in Florida -- and up 3 in Missouri:

Colorado 10/5, 1,000 LV 3%
Obama 51, McCain 45

Florida 10/5, 1,000 LV 3%
Obama 52, McCain 45

Missouri 10/5, 1,000 LV 3%
Obama 50, McCain 47

Ohio 10/5, 1,000 LV 3%
McCain 48, Obama 47

Virginia 10/5, 1,000 LV 3%
Obama 50, McCain 48


Meanwhile, McCain is inciting crowds to scream "terrorist" and Palin is inciting them to scream "kill him" at the mention of Obama's name.

Classy, for Nazis.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:04 PM on October 6, 2008


NBC/WSJ -- Obama 49, McCain 43. (RV)
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:11 PM on October 6, 2008


Meanwhile, McCain is inciting crowds to scream "terrorist" and Palin is inciting them to scream "kill him" at the mention of Obama's name.

Not suprised that McCain rallies have devolved into two thirty minutes of hate; only suprised that it took this long.

Way to stay on the high road, Mac.
posted by brain cloud at 6:15 PM on October 6, 2008


I wonder if McCain is desperate enough to try Republican Michael Steele's dirty tricks from 2006, like distributing flyers claiming he's been endorsed by prominent democrats and posters that say he's a democrat.
posted by stavrogin at 6:18 PM on October 6, 2008


Meanwhile, McCain is inciting crowds to scream "terrorist" and Palin is inciting them to scream "kill him" at the mention of Obama's name.

Huh?
posted by leftcoastbob at 6:20 PM on October 6, 2008


I'm getting ready to donate to Obama again. I think how tomorrow's debate will determine just how much...
posted by every_one_needs_a_hug_sometimes at 6:42 PM on October 6, 2008


leftcoastbob: There is video (which I just saw on MSNBC) of the McCanallies at which people in the crowd scream "terrorist" at a mention of Obama, and people at the Palin rally scream "kill him!" at the mention of Ayers and Obama.

It is unclear whether the KILL HIM refers to Ayers or Obama. This is not much consolation to me.

McCain and Palin don't actual guide the crowds to yell these things, they just don't object and provide the respectable cover for it with the "palling around with terrorists" stuff.
posted by Justinian at 6:44 PM on October 6, 2008


"McCanallies" = McCain rallies, not some sort of portmanteau I made up.
posted by Justinian at 6:48 PM on October 6, 2008


And out west, the Montana GOP's attempt to purge 6,000 voters from the rolls in Democratic-leaning counties is so blatantly outrageous that even the state's Republican lieutenant governor is denouncing it.
posted by scody at 7:11 PM on October 6, 2008


huh?

Yes.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:22 PM on October 6, 2008


Holy crap, Justinian. How is that different than a Klan rally?

Fewer sheets amd more lipstick is about it.
posted by leftcoastbob at 7:23 PM on October 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


leftcoastbob: There is video (which I just saw on MSNBC) of the McCanallies at which people in the crowd scream "terrorist" at a mention of Obama, and people at the Palin rally scream "kill him!" at the mention of Ayers and Obama.

Are you guys serious? Can you link?

That is sick by any measure. Sick, and, in the case of "Kill Him," awfully reminiscent of some other rallies I've heard of. All that's missing are the white robes and hoods. Or some soldiers gambling for his clothes.

WTF?

Where are the reasonable people?
posted by Miko at 7:31 PM on October 6, 2008


You know, I was in Israel in '95 when some right-wing nutjob assassinated Prime Minister Rabin, after a political season in which his opponents went so far as to portray him dressed as a Nazi. The polarization was devastating,