Thursday, October 2, 2008

2008 Vice-Presidential Debate Review

It's sad, really, that Obama and McCain are both at the top of their tickets. As I mentioned in my review of the earlier Presidential debate, both candidates were my last choices for their respective parties. And after watching the Vice-Presidential debates, I'll also say that both their running mates would make better top-of-the-ticket candidates than they are.

For starters, it was refreshing to see that Senator Biden and Governor Palin respected each other. I mean genuine respect, too, not that fake respect that McCain paid to Obama, or that general condensation that Obama paid to McCain. After the debate, they even brought their families up for introductions, and while their conversations were inaudible, they seemed quite friendly. Both candidates played to their strengths, and both candidates came across as intelligent and articulate. I think both of them, while more or less selling their same old talking points, did a very good job of expressing their tickets' ideas and platforms, and even if they disagreed on the finer points of some issues they weren't really afraid to admit when they agreed on some issues. A friend of mine even said, "man, I wish we could vote for a Biden-Palin ticket." I even think that, despite legitimate concerns about the impartiality of the moderator, Gwen Ifill, the debate was moderated quite fairly.

That's not to say that it's all roses and sunshine. As I mentioned, they were more or less selling the same old talking-points. And most egregious in my opinion was when Palin stated that she did in fact think that greedy lenders on Wall Street are responsible for the financial crisis. Do people really believe that? Let's look at that idea for the moment:

1. Give money to people more money than they could possibly pay back.
2. ????
3. Profit.

Can you replace those question marks at #2 with anything that actually makes sense? I mean, imagine you were walking down the street when a homeless guy asks you for a buck, and you tell him you'll give it to you if he gives you back $1.32 (in twelve monthly installments of 11 cents). Are you really surprised that the homeless guy, who has no job and spends your dollar on a McChicken sandwich, never pays you back?

By agreeing that Wall Street is at fault, not only was she fundamentally wrong, she set herself up to let Joe Biden rail against John McCain's push for deregulation without any comeback as well as allow him to pin the blame on Bush's administration, which he and Obama have constantly tried to like McCain too. But the simple fact (as I've talked about in my earlier Presidential debate review), regulation, not deregulation, is the problem, and the government (specifically the Clinton administration) is to blame.

Coming up on an election where the economy, specifically the financial crisis, is likely to be the issue foremost of most voter's minds, it is essential that the McCain campaign place the blame where it belongs and stop leaving themselves open on the issue.

All-in-all, I felt that both candidates performed quite well... indeed, Palin may have performed better than many expected. If pressed for a winner, though, I would probably say Biden. Palin did a good job of connecting with the people and coming across as genuine, but I do feel that Biden did a better job of addressing her attacks.

Final Score: B

No comments: