Friday, October 3, 2008

"I may not answer the question the way you or the mainstream media want me to..."

Gwen Ifill is no debate moderator. The conditions of a debate are that debators agree to answer the questions posed. If they want to answer other questions, they can pay the media, or lock out the people asking pesky questions, or call on hand selected or planted "reporters." Sarah Palin was allowed to use the debate as her own commercial. Ifill never interrupted, never steered her back to the question, never called her on her evasions. Nevertheless, Palin never exceeded anything but the lowest expectations. In poll after poll, even on Fox and Drudge, Joe Biden wins. A CBS News/Knowledge Networks Poll found that 46 percent of uncommitted voters who watched the debate thought Biden won, with 21 percent siding with Palin. A CNN poll found respondents judging Biden the winner by a margin of 51 percent to 36 percent but calling Palin more likable by 54 percent to Biden's 36 percent.

NYT: Senator Biden did well, avoiding one of his own infamous gaffes, while showing a clear grasp of the big picture and the details. He left Ms. Palin way behind on most issues, especially foreign policy and national security, where she just seemed lost. It was in those moments that her lack of experience — two terms as mayor of a tiny Anchorage suburb and less than two years as governor — was most painfully evident.

Joe Biden had a command of the facts and the stage, chiding Ifill but not Palin. That way he avoids ridiculous charges that asking a woman to understand the federal government that she wants to lead would be sexist. Joe did strike a blow for equal rights when he mentioned his own parental role:

Look, I understand what it's like to be a single parent. When my wife and daughter died and my two sons were gravely injured, I understand what it's like as a parent to wonder what it's like if your kid's going to make it.

I understand what it's like to sit around the kitchen table with a father who says, "I've got to leave, champ, because there's no jobs here. I got to head down to Wilmington. And when we get enough money, honey, we'll bring you down."

I understand what it's like. I'm much better off than almost all Americans now. I get a good salary with the United States Senate. I live in a beautiful house that's my total investment that I have. So I -- I am much better off now. But the notion that somehow, because I'm a man, I don't know what it's like to raise two kids alone, I don't know what it's like to have a child you're not sure is going to -- is going to make it -- I understand.

I understand, as well as, with all due respect, the governor or anybody else, what it's like for those people sitting around that kitchen table. And guess what? They're looking for help. They're looking for help. They're not looking for more of the same.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gwen Ifill wouldn't do it, so it took Biden to point out Palin and her evasions:

"Look, past is prologue, Gwen. The issue is, how different is John McCain's policy going to be than George Bush's? I haven't heard anything yet.

"I haven't heard how McCain's policy is going to be different on Iran than George Bush's. I haven't heard how his policy is going to be different with Israel than George Bush's. I haven't heard how his policy in Afghanistan is going to be different than George Bush's. I haven't heard how his policy in Pakistan is going to be different than George Bush's.

"It may be. But so far, it is the same as George Bush's. And you know where that policy has taken us.

"We will make significant change so, once again, we're the most respected nation in the world. That's what we're going to do."