By Ray LeMoine
Record audiences tuned in to last night’s VP debate, which Joe Biden so clearly won it’s sickening to hear the media giving Sarah Palin any credit. Sure, Palin’s not a moron. Despite all her flubs with Couric this week, it’s obvious that anyone who rises so fast is no dimwit. But as a politician—not a personality—Palin so lost the debate.
A democratically elected politician’s job is to take the will of the polity and create policy. Last night Sarah Palin showed so little policy understanding it was scary. In fact, she dodged one of the most important policy questions. When asked what was worse, a destabilized Pakistan or nuclear Iran, Palin answered about Iraq. Yet the media’s been calling the debate a tie, and some are even giving her high marks.
Here’s a great example of what’s wrong with American politics: On ABC.com, George Stephanopolous wrote a post-VP debate wrap-up where he judged Sarah Palin’s and Joe Biden’s “strategy,” “style,” and “accuracy.” What’s missing? Oh, how about “command of subject” or “answers of substance”? Debate is the art of “logical argument, which only examine the consistency from axiom, and factual argument,” not a strategic, style show down. On every question, save energy policy, Joe Biden had a far better command of facts. (Biden was no slouch on energy policy, rather it’s Palin’s bread and butter issue—state oil dividends literally provided every Alaskan with $3500 cash this year—and she knows her stuff.)
When “style” and “strategy” are more important than policy, is it even politics? That’s more like a talent/game show—ie America’s Most Stylish, Accurate Debater! Whatever, this country sucks.
But Joe Biden, wow, what a night. The guy’s been waiting three decades for his chance to be in the national spotlight. And it showed. He came out like a man who’d just drank eight Red Bulls and taken four Ritalins. His rapid-fire responses backed by fact-filled policy examples and recommendations were not only impressive they were often dead-on. I always questioned Obama’s choice of Biden over Hillary. But seeing Joe in Full Biden last night changed my opinion. His cordial, expert performance was a walk-off.
John McCain will not see a poll bump from the VP debate. Unless America really is dumb enough to put “style” over substance.