Last night was the greatly anticipated debate between Vice Presidential candidates Palin and Biden. The entire world was either waiting for or fearing Palin falling flat on her political face, repeating her dismal performances in the recent interviews conducted by the see-if-we-can-make-her-look-stupid-then-revel-when-we-do media. And Joe Biden was expected to put us all into a catatonic stupor as he talked, and talked, and talked and talked.
I did watch the debates last night, but I can’t claim to have paid rapt attention. I was playing Texas Hold ’em poker at the same time. Sue me.
There was so much hoopla surrounding a debate that really doesn’t matter all that much, and lots of people were disappointed. Why?
Both candidates did well.
Here’s what I came away with:
Sarah Palin is a hell of a public speaker. She’s eloquent, personable, and she has a way of connecting with people that makes you feel like she’s speaking directly, and only, to you.
Sarah Palin did not fall flat on her face. She shined.
Joe Biden did not induce catatonia. He showed his intelligence and experience, as usual. But he also showed warmth, vulnerability (showing that his wounds are still fresh when speaking of his first wife and daughter, killed in a long ago accident, and his seriously injured but surviving sons), respect and humor.
I do not like in the least little bit Sarah Palin’s alignment with Dick Cheney’s contention that the Vice President has more powers than any reasonable person’s interpretation of our Constitution would suggest. No, ma’am.
I hate that both Biden and Palin told incomplete truths about several of their contentions. If you are like me you know that what you’re hearing isn’t the complete truth. That what you’re hearing is spin, and that if you only had the time or the inclination you could find out what the real truth is.
Well, it’s not that hard to find out. Check out this link for some fact checking results, and while you’re at it bookmark the site to help you wade through the spin and rhetoric.
And, on a separate but kind of related note, I do not like anyone’s contention that people who are caught in the sub-prime mess should get to renegotiate their principal. I have no issue with them getting a better interest rate, but their principal should not be forgiven, even if they have to give half of the profits from some later sale of their house back to the government. That is totally unfair to all of the rest of the people whose home values have plummeted – and to the institutions who lent them the money. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong! (Okay, that wasn’t really debated, but it was part of the bailout that really pisses me off.)
I came away from last night’s debate knowing both candidates better. I’m still officially undecided, but I’m leaning one way pretty heavily at this point, and the night’s debate didn’t change that.
I lost all my virtual chips playing poker last night, but I’m not worried. In real life I’d never be so impulsive as to go all in on a pair of 2s when there’s a flush draw on the board. I’m just not that much of a gambler. I promise to be more careful than that when my money is really on the table – and on November 4th.