Vice Presidential Debate Liveblog Posted by: Dale Franks
on Thursday, October 02, 2008
Well, it's time to get this thing kicked off.
Cover it Live went TU. Obviously, the service can't handle the load, so we press on.
1745: Initially, Sarah Palin seemed like an impressive woman. Since then, her interviews have been...well...embarrassing. I've just winced, watching those clips. Joe Biden, of course, is equally wince-worthy. But, of course, when we hear Joe Biden droning on about FDR going on nationwide TV in 1929, we just say, "Well, there goes Joe, again." The difference is that Palin is just coming to national attention, so her gaffes are newsworthy to the MSM. Biden's propensity for verbal boners is so well-known, that when he makes one, it doesn't really excite comment.
Tonight, though, both candidates really start out even-steven. It'll be regular folks, not political junkies or the press, who'll be judging the candidates tonight. The gaffes, no matter who makes them, will matter. It'll be a gaffe-watch, and it might be unintentionally amusing. The potential is there for it to be extremely embarrassing to one or both of the candidates.
1805: First question to Biden: What about that bailout?
BIDEN: It's eight years of the worse economy ever. Republican bastards.
PALIN: We haven't had oversight, and we need reform. John McCain pushed Fred and Fan reform a few years ago. Congress told him to get stuffed. But now, he'll get 'er done.
BIDEN: Two weeks ago, John thought everything was fine. Dummy.
PALIN: Obama is the same 'ol Dem nonsense. We'll clean out the stables.
1809: Who was responsible for this mess?
PALIN: Predatory lenders. Greedy Wall Streeters. We need to ensure the government protects us from the capitalist weasels. Oh, we should take personal responsibility.
Great. Republicans now think the government should be mommy.
BIDEN: Deregulation, supported by McCain. Madness! Obama wanted regulation two years ago. Now McCain wants to deregulate health care. We'll all die!
And we need middle-class tax relief.
PALIN: Yeah. Tax relief. Big words coming from a guy who never saw a tax increase he didn't like.
1817: Tax policy. Palin slams Biden for saying taxes are "patriotic".
1817: What's John McCain's health plan?
PALIN: Health care credits, affordable. And do you want the Feds to run health care? Really?
BIDEN: How does McCain pay for that Tax credit? He taxes all employer-provider health care. So, you'll have to replace a $12,000 dollar employer plan with a $5,000 tax exemption. You'll be dropped by your employer, and be screwed.
1821: What plans won't you be able to accomplish in the next four years?
BIDEN: Well, we certainly can't have all those McCain tax cuts. And no tax cuts for oil companies! But we'll eliminate spending.
Because, you know, we've done that so successfully in the past.
PALIN: Well, it was the energy plan in 2005 that gave the oil companies the tax cuts. The plan that Obama voted for.
Meanwhile, in Alaska, I cut the oil companies off the public teat.
1825: BIDEN: Well, Barack and I want to do the same sort of windfall profits tax that Palin implemented in Alaska.
1826: Would you support the bankruptcy bill that McCain supported?
PALIN: Yeah. But there've bee lots of economic changes due to the greed on Wall Street.
This is really sickening. How about the bad policy in Washington that created the greed, or as I call it, the incentives that people responded to?
BIDEN: We should be allowing bankruptcy courts to adjust both interest rates and mortgage principal. We can help people in ways that McCain won't.
1832: What about climate change?
PALIN: Climate change may have a human element, but that isn't the important thing. We gotta clean up our act anyway.
BIDEN: Climate change is undeniably caused by human activity. No doubt.
I know a number of astrophysicists who would beg to differ. And a number of climate scientists, too.
1835: Both candidates support carbon caps. Biden goes after McCain for not supporting alternte energy. because of the Global Warming.
1837: So, what about letting the gays get married. Biden loves it. Palin isn't for it, but she loves "teh gay". She's tolerant and loving. Really. Baden, jumps in to make w=sure we all know he doesn't want to make gay marriage "real" marriage. Just legally similar.
1840: So how do we get out of Iraq?
PALIN: Oh, the surge is peachy, and we're winning. We have a plan for withdrawal. Thanks to McCain. Obama, of course, thought the surge was a crock. Even Joe said so.
BIDEN: I didn't hear a plan, there. But here's ours: Drawdown, turnover to Iraqis, etc. We gotta have a timeline. Let's put out a date certain of 16 months. We'll end the war. we don't kn ow what McCain will do.
PALIN: That's just a surrender. You guys can't admit the surge worked. We'll know when to pull out whe the Iraqis can provide their own security. We're getting closer to that point.
BIDEN: Look McCain has been fundamentally wrong about Iraq.
1845: Pakistan and iran: Whats up with those guys?
BIDEN: The Paks have nukes. Very dangerous. McCain says Iraq is the central front on the GWOT. We think it's Afghanistan and Pakistan.
PALIN: Well, both al Qaeda and Gen Petraeus said Iraq was the central front. Whatever. Anyway, no nukes for Iran. Wackos.
And she can pronounce Ahmadinejad without stumbling, so there's that.
1848: All former SecStates support diplomacy with the bad guys. Do you?
PALIN: Well, diplomacy is great. But just walking in and havin the President sit down with these wackos isn't wise.
BIDEN: Barack Obama didn't say he'd sit down with Ahmadinejad.
Uh, actually, I think he did, didn't he?
1851: What about the Israelis and palestinians?
PALIN: Two state solution. But protect our ally, Israel.
Yeah, well we can want a peaceful Middle East all we want. To bad it ain't up to us.
BIDEN: Bush Administration policy in this area has been a travesty. We told Bush that an election in Palestine would result in a Hamas victory. Hezbollah is now part of the government of Lebanon. Iran has been the big winner of the Bush Mideast Policy.
PALIN: I don't think the Bush Administration has been a failure. But, whatever, that's the past. There's been blunders. But we won't repeat Bush Administration idiocy.
I guess George W. Bush is a uniter. Both parties hate him now.
BIDEN: So far, the McCain policies look like Bush policies.
1856: So, when do we nuke someone? What's the threshold.
PALIN: Nukes are bad. We won't allow nuke proliferation.
She goes on to complain about Obama's position on Afghanistan.
Which isn't, actually, an answer to the question.
Biden's response goes back to proliferation, and complains that McCain has blown the issue off.
So, he doesn't answer the question, either.
1901: Sen. Biden, you've called for military intervention in many different places. Is that really the way we wanna go?
BIDEN: *shrug* Worked in Bosnia. But we need to go in with allies. We can impose a no-fly zone in Darfur. We can rally pour allies. I voted for the war. But not really, It was a vote to give the president authority to go to war. But not to actually do it.
PALIN: Washington doubletalk. You voted for the war in Iraq. Be man. Admit it. And we can do stuff in Darfur.
1905: What's the threshold for intervention?
BIDEN: First, we gotta actually be able to do something. Second, our interests remain paramount. If a country kicks us around, or allows terrorists to kick us around, then screw 'em.
PALIN: John McCain knows how to win a war.
Although one notes he didn't win the war he actually fought in.
1907: what will you do if the president does, and you inherit the center seat?
BIDEN: I'll implement Obama's policies. Give us all health care, free college educations, and whatnot. And kill the Bush Doctrine.
PALIN: I'd do what I think best. We're both mavericks and have strong opinions. But I'd continue his good work in putting government back on the side of the people, and get rid of the greed on wall street and Washington. And get government out of the way.
Once again, it's those greedy Wall Street bastards.
A pox on both their houses. I'm voting for Bob Barr.
BIDEN: The Bushies have screwed the middle class.
PALIN: Back to the past. Let's talk about the future. More money for schools. Higher pay for teachers.
Cripes, what happened? National politicians campaigning on school board issues. Jebus.
1916: Inside baseball discourse on the constitutional prerogatives of the Vice President. Palin seems to think the VP's role is "flexible". Biden holds to a very strict view of the VPs power, and rejects the unitary executive theory.
I agree with Biden.
1919: What are your qualifications?
PALIN: Executive experience. And being a mom, and a regular American, not a Washington insider.
BIDEN: Many fundamental accomplishments. Crime legislation. Foreign policy. And I've been poor. And my wife died. I understand just as well as anyone else what problems people are having.
PALIN: But McCain is a maverick! And me, too!
BIDEN: Let's talk about this maverick crap. I love John, but he's mostly voted right down the conservative line. He's hardly ever voted for government to intrude more into the lives of Americans...uh, I mean help folks.
1924: Can you think of a single issue on which you've changed your fundamental view?
BIDEN: Yeah, I used to beleive that judicial temperament was the primary qualification for judges. But I grew to beleive that judges should hold the proper judicial, i.e., Leftist, philosophy.
Yeah. Well, I'm not really happy with that "growth".
PALIN: I've had to compromise on tactics, but in essential philosophy, not really.
1927: How do you change the tone in Washington?
BIDEN: I won't question people's motives.
PALIN: Work together with everyone. But have wise policies. Less taxes. Not like the tax-raisin' jerks on the Democratic side.
PALIN: I wish I could talk straight to the American people. Not through the filter of the MSM.
BIDEN: This is the most important election in our lifetime. We gotta change our economic and foreign policy. We base our vision of progress on whether our people can afford their mortgage. Our troops are treated with respect. That we can have health care. We're gonna help you to do that.
Gwen Ifill did a fine job as moderator. Joe Biden was very senatorial, and smooth-spoken. Palin...meh. She's not a dummy, but she clearly doesn't have the same grasp of the issues that Biden does.
Palin didn't have a deer in the headlight moment. Good for her. And Chris thinks she did a fine job, was sensitive, and cares about people.
I dunno. She didn't make any gaffes, nor did Biden. But, overall, I think Biden "won", in the sense that he had a better grasp of the issues, and seemed more serious.
Palin held her own, and did well. Perhaps with the low expectations she brought into this, just by holding her own, she won the contest of expectations.
But, overall, I'd give it to Biden, a person with whom I share almost no agreement on anything. Palin seemed to me to be giving little bits of stump speeches.
No doubt, some partisans will disagree, pointing out that the difference in tone and style is because she's been on the national stage for five weeks. And the "undecided" voters seem top think she did very well in the Luntz focus group. They all thought she was just a down-home Main Street girl, and exceeded expectations. So, the undecided voters seem to disagree with me, too.
I'm really troubled, though, by her constant reference to Wall Street greed. If that's the big deal, then I don't see any difference between any of the candidates.
But, of course, I won't be voting for either of them.
My guess is that she does better than expected, but nothing special. Biden will probably get through without making a major gaffe, unless Palin pushes his buttons. Either way, Republican’s will say Palin did great and Biden sucked, and Democrats will say the exact opposite.
I’ve wondered if the logic calling Palin a Conservative is something like
Anti-Abortion = Social Conservative = Conservative, or Evangelical (I’m stretching the term, I know) = Social Conservative = Conservative.
Because neither of those two are sufficient to be a Conservative. But I know the republican party leadership likes to apply that logic when tossing Conservatives a cookie like floating a gay marriage ban then saying they are satisfying the Conservative Base. And McCain as well. As for the rest of conservatism, they think "Smaller government, why’d would you want that?"
So far I’ll give an edge to Biden for poise. I’m not really impressed with either of them so far. I find myself wishing that Fred Thompson was cleaning Biden’s clock. It’s not over yet, but I don’t think Palin’s performance so far is going to improve McCain’s numbers.
Biden holds to a very strict view of the VPs power, and rejects the unitary executive theory.
I agree with Biden.
Actually, he was wrong, and he wasn’t addressing the unitary executive theory. Palin was correct that the Constitution empowers the VP to be "President of the Senate" and while not as "flexible" as Cheney posited, it is more than just voting in the case of ties.
Check out some surprises from unexpected quarters. Looks liek she scroed
“Those who have seen Palin debate in Alaska say she is very efficient, and you’re seeing that now. She’s taking Biden on directly, speaking at him and then turning to the camera to make her points.” (Berger, MSNBC, 8:18 pm CT)
“She’s sticking to her broader message, not getting caught up in a back-and-forth on policy that she can’t win with Biden. It’s all about energy, energy, energy.” (Martin, Politico, 8:28 pm CT)
“In a bit of an upset, Biden so far is the less loquacious debater.” (Alarkon, Hill, 8:31 pm CT)
“Nearly halfway in — where has this Sarah Palin been? She’s articulate, quick, detail-oriented tonight. Sometimes less is more.” (Klein, ABC, 8:38 pm CT)
“We knew this was coming — attacking Obama by using Biden’s own words. And the rest of the answer – ‘we’re getting closer and closer to victory, and it would be a travesty’ to quit now — was very well put. ‘Your plan is a white flag of surrender in Iraq,’ she said.” (Klein, ABC, 8:40 pm CT)
“She knows all the wedges between Biden and Obama, including their votes on troop funding, and even drops in a reference to that Jon Stewart interview where the Delaware senator said he’d be honored to run with his colleague from Arizona.” (Martin, Politico, 8:45 pm CT)
“Biden: ‘We will end this war. That’s a fundamental difference. We will end this war.’ Palin: ‘Your plan is a white flag of surrender in Iraq."...notes Biden said that BO ‘was not ready to be commander in chief.’” (Ambinder, Atlantic, 8:47 pm CT)
“Palin is adept at keeping Biden on the offensive... she answers (or doesn’t answer) the question asked of her in a sentence and then shifts to a talking point against Obama.” (Ambinder, Atlantic, 8:48 pm CT)
“Palin says Obama’s vow to meet with foreign enemies goes ‘beyond naivate, beyond poor judgment.’ ‘Diplomacy is hard work by serious people’ with guidelines and sanctions ‘before any kind of presidential summit would take place.’” (Carpenter, Townhall, 8:49 pm CT)
“The Palin response to Biden’s Bush-bashing: Too much looking backwards. But she acknowledges that there have been ‘huge blunders throughout this administration as there have in every adminnistartion [sic].’” (Martin, Politico, 8:55 pm CT)
“’It’s so obvious that I’m a Washington outsider,’ Palin says. Again, better done than said, but undeniable. This line of attack, driving a wedge between Biden and Obama, is legit, though it can seem forced at times.” (Klein, ABC, 9:03 pm CT)
“One theme Palin keeps hitting tonight is the idea that Biden and Obama are looking backward. After a riff by Biden on how McCain’s policies are the same as President Bush’s, Palin pounces. ‘Say it ain’t so, Joe,’ she said. ‘There you go again, pointing backwards. Now doggone it, let’s look again and tell Americans what we plan to do for Americans in the future.’” (Alarkon, Hill, 9:13 pm CT)
I think Joe Biden did a fine job tonight. It’s amazing to me that he’s on the bottom of that ticket when he is clearly both more substantive and mainstream than Obama. He’s one of the few Democrats left in the party that I would be okay with in the White House.
Palin was fantastic. I was watching this with a room full of women that generally vote Dem, and by a margin of 7-1 they said she won. Being man, I could confirm that they were correct :) They were not grudging in the least, either, with 3 going so far as to say they were getting Palin signs for their yards.
Palin win on virtue of swaying more opinion, which is the name of the game.
Did he misremember or is he just a liar? Ok, a liar then
1. TAX VOTE: Biden said McCain voted “the exact same way” as Obama to increase taxes on Americans earning just $42,000, but McCain DID NOT VOTE THAT WAY.
2. AHMEDINIJAD MEETING: Joe Biden lied when he said that Barack Obama never said that he would sit down unconditionally with Mahmoud Ahmedinijad of Iran. Barack Obama did say specifically, and Joe Biden attacked him for it.
3. OFFSHORE OIL DRILLING: Biden said, “Drill we must.” But Biden has opposed offshore drilling and even compared offshore drilling to “raping” the Outer Continental Shelf.”
4. TROOP FUNDING: Joe Biden lied when he indicated that John McCain and Barack Obama voted the same way against funding the troops in the field. John McCain opposed a bill that included a timeline, that the President of the United States had already said he would veto regardless of it’s passage.
5. OPPOSING CLEAN COAL: Biden says he’s always been for clean coal, but he just told a voter that he is against clean coal and any new coal plants in America and has a record of voting against clean coal and coal in the U.S. Senate.
6. ALERNATIVE ENERGY VOTES: According to FactCheck.org, Biden is exaggerating and overstating John McCain’s record voting for alternative energy when he says he voted against it 23 times.
7. HEALTH INSURANCE: Biden falsely said McCain will raise taxes on people’s health insurance coverage — they get a tax credit to offset any tax hike. Independent fact checkers have confirmed this attack is false
8. OIL TAXES: Biden falsely said Palin supported a windfall profits tax in Alaska — she reformed the state tax and revenue system, it’s not a windfall profits tax.
9. AFGHANISTAN / GEN. MCKIERNAN COMMENTS: Biden said that top military commander in Iraq said the principles of the surge could not be applied to Afghanistan, but the commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force Gen. David D. McKiernan said that there were principles of the surge strategy, including working with tribes, that could be applied in Afghanistan.
10. REGULATION: Biden falsely said McCain weakened regulation — he actually called for more regulation on Fannie and Freddie.
11. IRAQ: When Joe Biden lied when he said that John McCain was “dead wrong on Iraq”, because Joe Biden shared the same vote to authorize the war and differed on the surge strategy where they John McCain has been proven right.
12. TAX INCREASES: Biden said Americans earning less than $250,000 wouldn’t see higher taxes, but the Obama-Biden tax plan would raise taxes on individuals making $200,000 or more.
13. BAILOUT: Biden said the economic rescue legislation matches the four principles that Obama laid out, but in reality it doesn’t meet two of the four principles that Obama outlined on Sept. 19, which were that it include an emergency economic stimulus package, and that it be part of “part of a globally coordinated effort with our partners in the G-20.”
14. REAGAN TAX RATES: Biden is wrong in saying that under Obama, Americans won’t pay any more in taxes then they did under Reagan.
9.23 pm. Biden is just dreadful. He speaks in Washingtonese. She just issues the soundbites and wrinkles her eyes and tells stories. And that works. The speed and chirpiness she delivers overwhelms one’s ability to even quite absorb what she’s saying. And it has put Biden off-stride. It’s Biden who seems over-crammed.
10.30 pm. Biden’s sobriety and authority and call for fundamental change is both reasonable and solid. It will resonate, I think. As you can read, I began this debate feeling that she was steam-rolling him. She was. But it was a steam-roller coming at you on fumes, not real fuel. She doesn’t have it. Maybe one day she might. But not now. Biden’s peroration was very, very strong. There is no contest here. There was only one loser: Gewn Ifill. She was intimidated, peripheral, neutered. The rules didn’t help. But Ifill put in a dreadful performance.
The best he can do is say that Ifill did a bad job.
So Ifill is now a pig!? Dude!?! That’s not like you, shark.
I don’t know, Shark may be on to something. Ifill played the race card against her critics who had the temerity to object to her moderating the debate despite her direct financial conflict of interest in the outcome of the election. That seems pretty piggish to me. That is in addition to the fact that she is a leftist journalist at a liberal media organization. Democrats would whine like the pussies they are if John Stossel or Brit Hume were to moderate a debate. One example of Ifill’s bias was how she repeatedly allowed Biden to add a comment after Palin spoke. The coin toss established the order of the debate and Biden got two opportunities to address Ifill’s questions.
Palin is no dummy; she may have been well coached, but she was able to navigate a difficult debate on national TV and stay disciplined. I find that relieving. I was a Biden supporter in the primaries so I’m biased, but damn, he did an amazing job tonight.
I don’t know how Palin did in the eyes of independents, but I just got off the phone with my brother, who holds conservative values, hates the Iraq War, and is not a party man. He said if you didn’t hear any words, but just muffles, you would hear that Palin was optimistic and Biden pessimistic. Now I know that VPs are suppose to be attack dogs, but maybe only on the campaign trail in a small town in Iowa. I think many people heard Palin’s optimism and were attracted to it.
Man, that greedy wall street crap’s gotta stop. Same with that cap n’ crap...er, trade stuff.