I didn't really catch much of the latter half of the VP debate last night. I was totally cocked off my ass from drinking every time Sarah Palin used the word "maverick". By 45 minutes in I was reduced to taking my pants off and French kissing my TV screen while screaming "Kiss me, you hot sexy veeper, you! SLLUUUUUUURRPP!" And then Joe Biden finished his response.
Well, this was about what I expected. Palin, of course, didn't display the awkward pauses and idiotic non-answers that we saw in her interviews with Katie Couric and, to a lesser extent, Charles Gibson. Instead she displayed awkward attacks and well-scripted non-answers delivered with a wink and a smile and a "you betcha". Oh, and a whole pile of lies.
Of course, she couldn't come up with any fresh lies. She just had the ones from her note cards, which she consulted furiously during Biden's turns and even during her own. Whenever a buzzword was mentioned by Biden or moderator Gwen Ifill, the light in her head went on and she grabbed the note card with that canned response on it, regardless of whether it was really appropriate to the question or whether she had already used it.
She certainly showed that she was capable of talking, as long as she had something rehearsed. And she is undeniably charming. And forceful, when she has the aforementioned rehearsed statements. If I had watched this debate and I didn't speak English, I would have given it to her hands-down. Unfortunately for Mrs. P, I (and the rest of America) do speak English. And, call me crazy, I care about content. Her "responses" were utterly free of substance. It was, as The Idiot and his fellow Texans would say, all hat and no cattle.
Seriously, I expected overuse of "maverick" but even I was stupefied by just how many times she said it. And here's something you may not have known: she's from the middle class and she's a Washington "outsider". And, get this, a MOM! Wow! I can so relate to her! Okay, so what else ya got? Nothing? Okay. I can so relate to her!
She spoke, at least at first, entirely to the camera, which I found almost as disconcerting as McCain talking exclusively to Jim Lehrer. Mix it up, girl. (Obama did and it was effective.) And the winking? WTF? Who does she think she's talking to? Is she promising us a little roll in the hay or something? I do not care to be flirted with by my (vice-)presidential candidates, or any other candidates. There are plenty of people on the internet that are hotter than her that will be happy to wink at me. And some of them are smarter than her too. Possibly most.
If I were looking for someone for a local newscast, she's my gal. She looks good on camera and can read a cue card like nobody's business. But as a politician and potential leader? She's still a complete joke. And not a funny one. This debate, although better than her interviews, only confirmed this. There was still no actual substance there, no matter how well she sold it.
Oh, guess what? There was someone else at the debate. It's true! Joe Biden was there. Yeah, and they even let him speak. And damn, he was pretty good. A bit lumpy in the first half but he was strong, coherent, knowledgeable, and he actually responded to the questions with stuff he knew about, not just stuff from his note cards. (He did have note cards; they all do. But he can go off of them, which is unsurprisingly useful in a debate.)
He didn't say anything stupid. He's a very smart guy but sometimes he lets his mouth run off. Not tonight. I liked him more after watching this. And trusted him more to run the country, if need be. Which is good.
I was encouraged by the post-debate polls. It appears that most people considered Biden the winner. I didn't expect this. Eight years ago, I couldn't wait for America to see The Idiot in the debates against Al Gore. "Great," thought I, "they'll see what a dipshit this guy is and his numbers will crater." Gore mopped up the floor with him in the debate (on substance, anyway, and truthfulness). Then afterward everyone said the debate was a tie or even that W. had won. I knew that we, as a nation, were in deep deep shit at that moment. (Little did I know just how deep, and how wide, it would get. But that's another story.)
I fully expected the same this time around. "I like her" would trump "She has nothing to say." If we had really learned our lesson, McPain would be getting slaughtered in the polls already. And they're not. But it seems that, although we are slow learners, we are getting it bit by bit.
Keep going, America. You can make it.