This debate is normally relatively ignored. It is not considered important in general, and it usually does not draw much of an audience. This year was played up as being different.
We watched this debate, and from our vantage point, neither candidate made it worth watching. Biden was interrupting and off topic, focusing on attacking McCain and Bush rather than addressing the actual issues and the future. His personal focus was on the “little guy”. Palin was obviously nervous. She focused on her ticket’s future agenda. From a personal perspective, she focused on moms and identifying with family and people in America.
Palin was not aggressive enough or mean enough to deal with an opponent bent on negative and accusatory politics. She also does not have the background to really debate the past in Washington.
Palin did come across as a very positive, forthright and honest person. We believe America will like her and identify with her more than with Biden.
Our main complaint in Palin’s comments is she keeps on blaming Wall Street, and she should focus more on policies that created an environment that not only made bad loans possible, but encouraged them. And those policies have been in place for decades, but were most strongly pushed in the late 1980s.
We don’t see either candidate swaying the partisan vote, or even the undecided. We are not saying the debate was a waste of time, but it didn’t present anything new. The bottom line we see from both parties is they both want change going forward having learned from past mistakes. Biden seemed more bent on criticizing the past, but we find that funny seeing as he has been around for three decades. We understand though. It is the in thing to hate Bush. Other than that, it was just basically a repeat of the policies already stated in the first Presidential debate.
Palin did get a chance to call Biden on a number of his positions that now directly contradict positions he had taken when running against Obama in the primaries. Biden got to attack the “Maverick” concept of McCain.
Palin did deliver partially on arguing for tapping US resources, and it was interesting to see Biden actually move towards clean coal! But neither gives a plan we can grasp for how we get to energy independence. McCain, because he is behind, needs to grab the reigns there and provide a clear plan, because it is a major differentiator. He should also push getting Iraq to financially assist in the war. We think that would kill the Obama financial justification of a fast exit strategy.
We think Obama, going forward, should be more forthright in the hows and not the what’s. We are getting kind of sick of hearing how wrong headed Bush was, and how this is wrong and that is wrong, and this is what we are going to do differently, etc. We want to know HOW!! Do that, and you get our vote.
Biden only had one major gaffe. On a bill which Obama voted for, which would have raised taxes on people making as little as $42000 a year, Biden said McCain voted the same way on that bill. McCain did not even vote on the bill.
Palin had one gaffe, getting the name of the General in Afghanistan wrong.
Palin had some problems in knowing which bills were which in some instances. But Biden kept commenting to “go look it up”, which we find a silly debate comeback, having heard it again and again in conversations when the other party had run out of real arguments.
We think overall, Palin won. Why? Because she didn’t lose. Biden has over 30 years of experience in Washington and is known for his debating skills. Governor Palin has little exposure to this kind of debate, and yet Biden failed to convince us the Democratic ticket was the better choice. Biden should have wiped the floor with Palin lipstick, and he gained little, if any ground.
If you want more on the debates, please read this: