Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Second Debate

Was as boring as the first debate was part because the VP's went over the same, often shaky ground, the P's went over, even some of the same blatant mis-statements about the others' record. These candidates must think we don't think.

The part of me that always wants a woman to do a great job and had anticipated biting her nails to the quick if Palin continued to act like a slow High School student ended the 90 minutes with 9 nails intact. The part of me that wanted to see the Republican ticket continue to implode was disappointed and ashamed of herself.

The part of me that was a candidate last week, (Yes, I figured out a way to go ahead with my "Christine for President" sermon. It was a great hit, huge fun, and available here)
was awed at what a candidate has to go through and is glad that she suspended her campaign before any debating went on.

And the part of me that loves the truth and thinks it should be told and the rules followed was outraged more or less continually, and especially by Pailn who played fast and lose with both and did a great job of covering her lack of experience and poor education.

My son said it best. Palin won the political game. Biden won the debate.


Bill Baar said...

Palin closed with an offer for more debates.

If Biden declines, as I suspect he will, it will tell us who Biden thinks won the debate.

Christine Robinson said...

The debates are set way in advance and an new one would surely be impossible to arrange now. And while Palin might of offered...I can't say I remember that...her campaign would surely say no way.

And there are plenty of reasons besides his assessment of who "won" that Biden might think his and his campaign's energy would be better spent elsewhere.

Kelsey Atherton said...

Your son is a smart kid - he said my analysis in eight words, when at my best I can't say it in less than a paragraph.

I disagree about the excitement of the debate though - both VP candidates are gaffe prone, so that added a bit of tension. I was impressed with the whole thing - Palin exceeded the expectations that (after her last media appearances) had been set ridiculously low. Biden held his own and did a great job on foreign policy, which was a genuine relief for me, as I was hesitant about his selection up until that point.

What's interesting, I think, about the VP debate especially, is how much this campaign revolves around narrative instead of policy. Of the four, Biden has built his reputation on policy. Obama and Palin are obvious manifestations of narrative taken form, where what they represent is far more important than how skilled they are at technocratic functioning. And even McCain, who is a long time senator, has built himself into this parable of the America that fought Vietnam redeemed in Iraq. So while the presidential debate focuses on contrasts between McCain and Obama's narratives, the VP debate focuses on Palin's narrative versus Biden's policy. A fascinating contrast, like a game in which each player has the same rules, but a different way to win.

And there I go again, saying at great length what is best said in 8 words.

Christine Robinson said...

It's narrative that wins hearts. Biden also has one...the survivor of tragedy who now has a slew of family...I suppose those were grandkids who crowded on to the stage...a subtle move on the campaign's part to trump the soccer mom on that score! Anyway, he found a way to tell his story..the best moment of the debate, I thought.

Kelsey Atherton said...

I agree - Biden won my full confidence more or less at that exact moment. But Biden himself, while he has this powerful narrative, isn't running on it to anything like the extent of the other candidates. Impressive, given how good his narrative is.