Friday, October 3, 2008

A low bar does not equal success

The media buzz today has been all about how Sarah Palin exceeded the abysmally low expectations that people had leading up to her debate last night with Joe Biden. Is that really the standard by which a candidate for Vice President should be judged? If you don't expect much, and they don't grossly screw up, then voila! it was a success?

I watched the debate, and I thought she was bad. Perhaps less bad than in her Katie Couric interviews, but she was really bad. She avoided answering questions, she stuck to a very few carefully scripted talking points, and she boldly misrepresented Biden's and Obama's voting records. In sequential sentences, she said that government needed "strict oversight" of "corrupt" Wall Street, and then said that government needed to "get out of the way" of business. She apparently didn't understand the meaning of "Achilles' heel." And she out-Cheneys Cheney in her terrifying so-called understanding of the role of the Vice President.

By contrast, Biden sounded educated and experienced on the world stage. He understands how situations became what they are today, and that actions taken by the next administration will either exascerbate or begin to fix those situations. Further, he has a vision about what these next steps need to be, both as they relate to domestic and to foreign policy. He looked and sounded ready to lead.

In all, the debate really didn't change the fundamentals of this election. McCain's selection of Palin as a running mate was either very stupid, or very irresponsible. Either way, it's not how a President should approach major decisions.

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