Friday, August 29, 2008

A Kid Gloves Debate?

Apparently there are some who believe that Sarah Palin somehow disarms Joe Biden in the Vice Presidential debate. Others are correctly skeptical. So let's pretend for a moment that the election hinges on the least important debate. (You know, the one that Bentsen clearly won by clobbering Dan Quayle, propelling Dukais into the White House....)

Biden doesn't have to go into pit bull mode against Palin. At all. He's going to be going after the Bush/Mccain record, not Palin's. As for Palin, she'll be in the uncomfortable position of having to defend that record during the debate. And whatever happens in the debate, I doubt that she'll be of much use countering Biden in other contexts.

Even during the debate, Biden can still go after Palin, and I expect that he will. What if he gets into the nitty gritty of foreign policy issues, or even federal domestic policy issues? Even if Palin crams from today through the date of the debate, will she be able to keep up? I doubt it. There is a strong potential that Biden can be every bit the gentleman, yet still make Palin look completely unsuited to take over for McCain should something happen to him.

And then there's the question of how effective a public speaker or debater Palin will be. I suspect things would be different if I watched more commercial television, but to date I don't even know what her voice sounds like. Some conservative voices are unimpressed.

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