I finally got round to watching the Vice-Presidential debate between Senator Joe Biden and Governor Sarah Palin, courtesy of More 4.
The comments I'd seen about the debate earlier on today (checks clock on computer, realises it's yesterday now) had led me to expect that while Biden had done better, Palin had at least performed creditably.
But that wasn't how I saw it. If that was a decent performance by Palin, I'd hate to see her on a bad day. Actually, that's wrong, I'd love to see her on a bad day. It would be the ultimate car crash TV.
Palin very rarely gave an answer to the question put to her, whether on healthcare, deregulation, nuclear weapons or the role of the vice-presidency. She relied almost totally on pre-prepared statements, which were sometimes only tangentially related to what was being discussed. And she didn't even read them well. If any actor read lines that badly, they'd soon find themselves doing far more waiting on tables than waiting to go on stage.
On just about every measure I can think of, Biden was better. To illustrate, I'm going to answer some fairly standard polling questions.
Who has the greater knowledge of the issues facing America? Biden.
Who has a greater understanding of the issues facing ordinary American families? Biden.
Who has the greatest experience needed to be Vice-President? Biden.
Who has the greatest experience to take over as President if necessary? Biden.
Which of the two candidates for Vice-President did a better job of setting out a vision for the future of the country? Biden.
Who has the greatest understanding of the economy? Biden.
Who has the greatest understanding of foreign policy? Biden.
Which of the two would you be most comfortable with as Commander-in-Chief? Biden.
Which of them did a better job of answering the questions in the debate? Biden.
Which of them did a better job of thinking on his/her feet during the debate? Biden.
Which of them did a better job of attacking the opposing Presidential candidate? Biden.
I could go on, but I won't. Biden was a clear winner of the debate and it wasn't even close.
It's just a shame that the Veep debates rarely if ever affect the outcome of the presidential race. But maybe this time it will be a bit different, given that Sarah Palin is so obviously unsuitable to be anywhere near the presidency, let alone a heartbeat away.
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