Biden – Palin Debate: Any Feedback?

Helped by this? Tell a Friend! ---->

Just a few thoughts…interested to see what your reactions were.

It seemed to me like Palin pretty much held her own. She did appear weak in some areas where she completely skipped the question and went back to stock answers on energy policy in Alaska. Biden kept giving that goofy (maniacal?) grin. Biden seemed to have his facts down a little better than Palin just like McCain seemed to have his facts down better than Obama in the presidential debate. That all comes down to experience. By the way, I would rather the presidential candidate be well versed in the affairs of the country and the world than the V.P. so point McCain-Palin on that.

Both misrepresented the other on a variety of issues. I would all but say they lied about the other’s positions…who knows. They each say the other voted against funding the troops. How does that happen? A bill comes before the Senate to fund the troops with a timetable for withdrawal. McCain opposes the timetable but is in favor of funding the troops so he has to vote against the bill. A bill comes before the Senate with funds for the troops but with no timetable for withdrawal. Obama wants a timetable and wants to fund the troops but cannot support the bill due to lack of a timetable for withdrawal. Here is the problem. Both want to fund the troops but can’t vote for one or the other bill because of other conditions in the bill. Then each side accuses the other of not wanting to fund the troops. I am going to go ahead and say it. That is not politics. That is lying against the other candidate for political expediency. Both sides are guilty. The same is true with how they misrepresent each other’s tax cuts and tax cuts for big oil but I won’t go into those now.

Palin should have used more of Biden’s quotes against him. She should have spoke against Obama by quoting Biden. Have some common sense…that would have been brilliant if I do say so myself. She only did so once or twice. Biden shouldn’t have tiptoed around her because she was a woman. Everyone was saying he would be coached to smile big. He did. It looked kind of weird and forced to me. He should have gone right after her and her weakness on foreign policy and the fact that her inexperience would be scary if something were to happen to McCain. Counterpoint is that the Democratic ticket has the presidential nominee himself as the one lacking experience.

Another issue – why is all the news feedback and commentary all about Palin and the quality of her answers. If you analyze Biden you can find a bunch of garbage in what he had to say. I think Palin is being scrutinized and she should…but not any less than Biden is. On the Today Show this morning they had a group of “undecided” female voters. 4 of 7 voted for Bush. They watched the debate and 5 of 7 then said they were convinced to vote Obama. What a crock. I wouldn’t be surprised if they had several focus groups with several anchors and picked the one that fit their narrative. Why not have some men critique Biden? Anyway…All in all I thought they both did a decent job. I just wish they would stop lying about the other’s policies and stick with the facts. I was glad they were able to agree on issues like Darfur. Any feedback?

0 Responses

  1. I did not watch the debate because there was more important and depressing matters ocurring on television at the same time, like watching my beloved Chicago Cubs play the worst game of their season to the loosing score of L.A. Dodgers-10, Chicago Cubs-3.


  2. “Both want to fund the troops but can’t vote for one or the other bill because of other conditions in the bill. Then each side accuses the other of not wanting to fund the troops. I am going to go ahead and say it. That is not politics. That is lying against the other candidate for political expediency. Both sides are guilty.”

    Among other reasons, that is exactly why I put ZERO stock in these supposedly “objective” analyses of the Senators’ voting records. The reason being that there are a lot of bills put forward for political purposes. And a candidate may vote against a bill not because of the main purpose of it but because of what else is attached to it. Plus, the way these voting assessments analyze what is “liberal” or “conservative” is very subjective (e.g. campaign finance & integrity issues that Obama voted “Yes” for were labeled “liberal” — Voting records are almost entirely worthless statistics.

    I’m tired of the whining about the media scrutiny about Palin. It was the McCain campaign that chose her & put her at the forefront of their campaign push a month ago. And for that, they reaped some benefits in the polls. Now that she’s looking like the 2nd coming of Dan Quayle, conservatives are “working the ref’s” and complaining about the liberal media elite. She’s running for VP. She’s going to be scrutinized. Folks have known Joe Biden since 1972. Barack Obama has been scrutinized six ways from Sunday via Bill Ayers, Tony Rezko, and Jeremiah Wright for the last two years. And, as Sarah Palin noted last night, she’s been at this five weeks? She’s going to be examined. She & her cronies need to get used to this.

    Those are some bold speculative accusations to make about NBC’s Today Show. What if they did a story on the NW Church of Christ in St. Pete, covered a baptism, and also assumed the worst possible tactics & motives of you guys by saying something like, “I’ll bet they brainwashed that new follower.”

    And Biden said “a bunch of garbage?” Sometimes I think we get carried away a little here & say things that we wouldn’t ever say to someone’s face.

  3. I was so glad she didn’t just fall on her face. I think this was a reversal of what happened in the first Obama/McCain debate. McCain was expected to win, and Obama just needed not to sound like a moron. Palin just needed not to sound like she did in the Couric interview. Instead, she far exceeded anything we’ve seen from her since the convention speech.

    I thought she did a good job of going after Biden in a way that he couldn’t get too angry about. She would point out his own pre-VP nomination support of McCain and/or opposition to Obama, then compliment him on something else. I will say, too, that I came away from the debate more impressed with Biden than I had been. The grin was a little creepy, but he was cordial, and talked about issues without making character assassinations. I appreciated that.

    I think Palin has stopped the bleeding in the McCain campaign, but McCain has got a lot to do if he’s going to pull off a win in this election. Obama still has the edge, and McCain is going to really have to impress people in the upcoming debates to make any progress.

  4. Philip,

    Biden did indeed say a bunch of garbage. He said some intelligent things but also a lot of garbage. I would say that to his face. He lied about McCain’s voting record. He twisted the facts on Iraq. He contradicts his views on Obama now that he is his running mate. He even lied to say that he wouldn’t be anyone’s running mate and now here he is. I would call lies and misrepresentations garbage. Hope that isn’t too rough for anyone’s sensibilities.

    I agree wholeheartedly with you on voting records.

  5. That is a little too rough for my sensibilities. Seems to me like you’ve gotta pass some sort of threshold or earn the right in some way to have the grounds to call someone a liar. I don’t think you’ve met that standard. JMO

  6. Biden – McCain voted against funding the troops. His point is to say John McCain doesn’t support the troops.

    Palin – Obama voted against funding the troops. Her point is to say Obama doesn’t support the troops.

    Biden – keeps saying McCain only wants to cut taxes for the rich. That is false. Call it a lie? He says Obama will not raise taxes on those making under $250,000. That is an outright lie as they want to double capital gains taxes which many, many people who make under $250,000 pay annually. That is a tax increase. That is a lie.

    There are plenty of lies out there. We cannot give them a pass just because people are playing politics. Let’s call them what they are and the fault lies on both parties and candidates. Any thoughts?

  7. I agree that misrepresentations, mischaracterizations, and outright lies need to be exposed to the light of day. But that kind of work is probably better left to folks like the ones at & who are open about their strict non-partisanship. Fact-finding efforts from a partisan perspective, however, look like witch-hunts. They have an over-arching appearance of dishonesty because they put on an air of “searching for the truth” when they’re really putting down one candidate in a covert effort to prop up the other candidate (e.g. slamming Biden while complaining about Palin scrutinization — there’s an imbalance there).

    I understand that you’re reacting to the media’s treatment of Palin & your perceived imbalance in terms of public scrutiny. But if that’s the case, wouldn’t you want to be better than them? Wouldn’t you want to hold yourself to a higher standard of fairness than you perceive that the media holds for the candidates?

    And, at some point, you have to take folks at their word & give people the benefit of the doubt. Yes, you dig & investigate & judge & weigh & measure, but if someone stands up to that scrutiny, then you have to give a benefit of the doubt. At some point that “do unto others” command kicks in for us here. Because I know that I want a little benefit of the doubt sometimes, and for people to not constantly assume the worst & associate to me the worst possible motives when I repeatedly attempt to pass people’s tests.

    Basically, I think that there’s an element of respect that has to be involved here. I understand that these are politicians. And politicians operate on people’s trust. And that politicians have the ability to violate that trust. And that there are many politicians who have completely violated & abused that trust in the past. But at SOME point, after all the pokes, prodding, and testing, these folks earn a little benefit of the doubt.

    I’m glad you’re writing a little more about politics here, Matt, because I enjoy interacting with you on this subject. And on this issue especially, because I think it transcends politics.

  8. Seems like you are implying that I am on a witch hunt here with an air that I am merely searching for the truth. If you re-read what I typed I think you will find that my criticisms are a lot more even handed than that. I have problems, major problems, with both sides. I do hope McCain wins but that doesn’t mean that I overlook his problems and the times he misrepresents Obama for his own political betterment. I hope that is very, very clear from what I typed above.

    Just because you are pulling for one side or another does not mean you cannot analyze and critique what is said and try to get to the truth.

  9. I’m telling you how it reads. It reads like a witch hunt. It may feel more balanced to you. But the general impression I was left with was nit-picking about Biden’s facial features while defending poor, ole Sarah. You assail the integrity of The Today Show, and by connection NBC & perhaps the rest of the media (which puts you right in league with Palin’s assertions this week & last night of some sort of unfair, impossible media standard). You did find fair ground when you started talking about each of the candidates in terms of how they twist voting records. But, still, what is heard is, “McCain does this poorly: slap on the wrist, but I’ll still vote for him. But Obama & Biden — MY GOODNESS — they take lying to a whole other level.”

    That is what is heard. That is how it reads when you try to do this from a partisan perspective. I’m not trying to take your voice away. But I have a difficult time with weighing the accuracy, or credibility, of inflammatory words/phrases such as “a bunch of garbage” and “liar” when they are imposed exclusively on one group but not the other group.

  10. I don’t guess I’m doing a good job of explaining my dissatisfaction here. Let me keep trying…

    I should explain my views fully. I’m a moderate. Not a centrist, or an independent. A moderate. Basically, I see value & wisdom in the ideologies of both sides. If you wanted to pick a disparaging name to put me down with, “fence-rider” would probably be the best one. 🙂 I voted Bush in ’00 & ’04. I haven’t completely made my mind up here in ’08 yet, but I’m leaning Obama — and more & more every day. I’m registered Republican, and I voted for McCain in the Florida primary.

    I understand that there are folks that are on either sides of the fence. I don’t necessarily think that there’s anything wrong with sitting on either side of the fence. In other words, I’m not an elitist (“my view is the ONLY correct perspective”) moderate.

    All of that said, I just appreciate it when folks that sit on either side of the fence show some evidence of having wrestled with their bias as they also wrestle with the issues. I saw that when you talked about the two VP candidates dishonestly referencing voting records. Elsewhere, though — and this is just my opinion, others may disagree — you missed the mark.

    For example, writing about Biden saying “a bunch of garbage” … I’d like to see some evidence there of you thinking before you typed, “Am I just writing that because I’m a conservative? Or do I genuinely, outside of any political bias, think that he was exclusively spewing a bunch of garbage more than Palin to the extent that I’ll use that type of inflammatory language about him but not Palin?” I didn’t see evidence of you haven’t wrestled with that. That’s why I decided to call you on it.

    I think we’re beyond politics here. I’m sort of fighting for peaceful fighting here, if that makes sense. Holding ourselves to some mutual standard of logic, fairness, respect, etc. even if we’re already committed. So much of “news talk” does not do that. The Keith Olberman’s & Rush Limbaugh’s of the world are the worst examples of this. I can only hope that their brand of blind one-sidedness would not invade our senses of logic & reasoning. Because, I think, once we let that ethic of rationale take over our political consciousness, how else does it infect our thinking? Ultimately, I think it has the possibility of making us more selfish people.

    These are just my opinions, of course. And I don’t mean them as personal attacks. I sense some defensiveness — and I understand that, because I am being critical — but I think that this has been a healthy conversation so far.

  11. the VP debate was stunning. Palin did a decent job faking about 20% of the questions and didn’t even bother answering the other 80%.

    i couldn’t help thinking of the end of the movie Billy Madison, when the debate moderator says to Adam Sandler, “Mr. Madison, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

  12. I was hardly exclusive.

    I have said we need to call both sides to honesty and expose their lies for what they are…lies. I did that even handedly.

    I was straight forward about Palin’s lack of experience and knowledge of foreign affairs.

    I pointed out that she seemed to have a series of stock answers that she would go to when she didn’t know what to say (speculation on my part but that is how it seemed to me).

    I said Biden had his facts down better than Palin. Then I said “both misrepresented the other on a variety of issues…” I then gave an example of both Biden and Palin doing that very thing. Then I went on to say the strategies that could have worked for either of them to use – pointing out the weaknesses of both.

    Does that seem exclusive?

    And by the way you have a great point about knowing her for only 5 weeks and needing scrutiny. I agree. However, how well does the average American know Joe Biden? Can you name off the top of your head 5 bills Biden has sponsored or 5 he has pushed for? What are his accomplishments? Is that really well known even though he has been in the Senate for decades? I doubt the average American can answer those questions. I am guessing the average American knows about as much about Palin as they do about Joe Biden. So to me they both need to undergo some scrutiny and if they pass those tests trust is warranted…for both and not just for the one I favor.

  13. One other thing…I cannot tell you how many times listening to Biden I found myself saying “that just isn’t true!” or “that isn’t the whole story.” I found myself saying that about Palin a couple time but no where close to how many with Biden. That is why I feel like characterizing Biden’s content as “garbage.” Maybe that is because Palin didn’t give a whole lot of content…or near as much as Biden did. So maybe that makes it easier to say about what Biden said.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subscribe To Weekly Newsletter!

Get updates and learn from the best

Read this Next!


Defining a Miracle

One question that comes up a lot when we talk about whether or not miracles still happen is to define

Want to Plant Churches or make disciples?

I would love to hear from You!