Nielsen: Biden Scores Big On Iraq, Palin’s “White Flag Of Surrender” Tanks
If Sarah Palin had kept up with current events here and abroad; she wouldn’t be in such a difficult position trying to play catch up-when it comes to domestic and foreign policy. These large, very obvious gaps in her knowledge are crystal clear, as millions of viewers have seen, in interviews and painfully noticeable at the debate last night. Mike and John at Politico-are not at a loss for words about Palin’s performance at the debate.
She got out alive, though there were white-knuckle moments along the way: questions that were answered with painfully obvious talking points that betrayed scant knowledge of the issue at hand, and sometimes little relevance to the question that had been asked.
But recent days have given John McCain’s team little reason to suppose that not-that-bad is good enough. The Republican ticket’s sliding polls and narrowing electoral map gave it a different imperative in her showdown against Joe Biden. That was to alter the trajectory of the race in a way reminiscent of how Palin first enlivened Republicans-it seems long ago now-when she joined the ticket in late August.
There were so many times throughout the night when she was clearly out of her depth. Palin kept backsliding into the main talking point of drilling Alaska and offshore.
To the contrary, it is hard to count any objective measures by which Biden did not clearly win the encounter. She looked like she was trying to get people to take her seriously. He looked like he was running for vice president. His answers were more responsive to the questions, far more detailed and less rhetorical.
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.
Asked which is a greater threat, a nuclear Pakistan or a nuclear Iran, Palin seemed to be stalling, or writing a term paper, when she said: “An armed, nuclear armed especially Iran is so extremely dangerous to consider.”
Biden was crisper, with a dose of realism: “Iran getting a nuclear weapon would be very, very destabilizing. They are more than – they are not close to getting a nuclear weapon that’s able to be deployed.”
The point I was glad that Biden mentioned 12 times-was George Bush. We will have another 4 years of the same failed administration with the McCain-Palin ticket. Can America really afford more of the same-Biden relentlessly slammed that point home throughout the debate.
By contrast, Palin was in much more of a survival mode, barely delivering on her advisers’ hopes that she would be aggressive with Biden, throwing gaffes and policies back at him. For the Alaska governor, it was policy as a second language – adequate, but not enlightening.
She twice referred to the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David McKiernan, as “McClellan.” Biden did not correct her.
The Obama campaign got a good laugh out of her answer about when nuclear weapons should be put into play: “Nuclear weaponry, of course, would be the be-all, end-all of just too many people in too many parts of our planet, so those dangerous regimes, again, cannot be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons, period.”
The “be-all, end-all” is already a punch line around Washington.
I found her mockery and cutesy act over the top. The blowing a kiss to the audience before the debate-not only made me cringe but-it is so unprofessional for a person seeking the second highest office in the land. It offends me when women resort to tactics like that instead of using their brains and abilities. The joe six-pack image is not something I want to even envision when a Vice-President is sent on a diplomacy mission for our country. It has no place in politics and distracts from the core issues at hand. I found no humor in it. She proved to me that she really doesn’t take this very seriously. This country can not afford to have someone not only with her attitude but her complete lack of knowledge representing the US abroad. We all thought George Bush was an embarrassment, she makes him look good.
For the rest of the review at Politico.