Friday, October 03, 2008
Say it ain't so, Joe: you lost?
I watched the vice-presidential debate in the worldwide headquarters of The McCarty Company, Inc., known to some simply as “the barn.” I, along with some crackerjack staff members of Voting under the Influence watched the debate on NBC.
I admit I started the debate with white knuckles about Sarah Palin. Any honest Republican who watched the CBS News interviews recently would have to say that they worried a bit about Thursday night’s debate. As the debate went on, the white knuckles were gone and replaced by fist pumping and statements of “yeah!”
Sarah Palin dominated the stage Thursday night. I know that the folks at CNN, CBS, and MSNBC who are in the tank for Obama are spinning their behinds off to find a way to say Palin did not win, but frankly, they are wasting their time. Their “targeted” polling, (it was argued such was loaded with Obama-Biden supporters) just does not wash.
What struck me was how in NBC’s post debate coverage, not one of their correspondents and guests could deliver a win to Biden. Geraldine Ferraro complimented Palin. The Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan said, “Palin killed.” Even the old legend Tom Brokaw said something along the lines of how Democrats are probably glad that there is only one vice-presidential debate.
The Obama political machine led by David Axelrod is perhaps the best political machine put together in the United States in years. They are surely working the phones with their journalist contacts and doing their best to spin the story. Reporters at CNN and CBS, which usually seem so overtly in the tank for Obama will likely have some story in the morning against Palin.
But, the truth is what it is. In a debate moderated by a woman who has a financial interest in the success of the Obama-Biden ticket, the so called “hick” Governor of Alaska handed the 36 year United States Senator his hat.
Palin’s performance might not be a game changer. There are so many things stacked against the Republican ticket this year. However, with so many things stacked against her, Governor Palin came out and gave an outstanding performance. It was a performance that left those media members who are in the tank for Obama scratching their heads. Where was the bubblehead they had all their talking points about?
Governor Palin’s performance in the debate made sure this race is still a race. The next two Presidential debates now have more importance. Obama does not have this thing won, as so many in the media wanted to say after tonight’s debate. Of course, they will find something to criticize Palin on after hours of spin from the Obama campaign. But, such will have a hard time sticking for those who watched Palin’s performance Thursday night.
Palin came across as a smart, middle class mom whose job is politics, and how like most Americans, is disgusted with the status quo. Senator Biden came across as the ole pol with clichéd lines that played it safe. Senator Biden never addressed the differences he had with Barack Obama on Iraqi war funding just a few months ago. Senator Biden never explained that after 36 years in the Senate, he has not come up with anything to address homeowners facing foreclosure.
The list of the things Biden was not made to answer to can go on. Palin’s only shortcoming was not pouncing on Biden for some of the things he says he wants to do but has had plenty of time to do. I blame that on the fact Palin wanted to stay on message and that she did.
As such, it was a victory for Palin Thursday night. It could have been a rout. But, it remains a solid victory. A victory that leaves Democrats, if they are honest, saying, “Say it ain’t so, Joe: you lost?”