I think that people basically went into the debate with their minds made up. I will say that Sarah Palin did much better than I thought she would, based on the very sad interviews she did earlier in the week. Having said that, I came away from the debate feeling that she was aptly coached. Which, given the history of the Republican party and it's affection for likable but malleable puppets (Reagan and Bush), she will most definitely be the front runner for 2012. It was, for the most part, sound bite after sound bite. When she didn't have an answer, she didn't answer the question and whipped out another sound bite that usually had nothing to do with the question. Energy got a lot of play. Someone said last night on CNN that she'd make a dynamite Interior head during a Republican administration and that's probably true. It seems to be the ONE area that she spoke with any confidence that didn't feel rehearsed.
Biden did much better than I thought he would. He reined in the snide, had complete command over his answers. I have to agree with David Gergen on this. They both won in that Biden showed his command of the issues and she didn't blow it.
I will also say one thing that I find extremely irritating to the point of reaching for sharp pointed objects and wanting to impale my television. WHY IN THE HELL do Republicans constantly trot out this "faux" hatred of government? This goes hand and hand with their hatred of Washington. Then why in the holy fuck are they so eager to get there! This was a running mantra in George Bush's first campaign, and Sarah Palin rolled this out again. This mistrust of government, this hatred of it. It's inherently evil.
You know what? It paves my streets, puts cops on my street corner, and educates my children. I LOVE GOVERNMENT. I LOVE DEMOCRACY. And it fries me to no end to hear this constant snide against government by politicians. Is all government good? Well, no, it is not. And this last administration is an excellent example of that. That's why we have a system where you vote people in and out. But government itself is NOT bad. And if you think it's bad, then please go home. Because I want people there who believe in the system. It is clear that George Bush's coven of trolls HATES government, because it got in their way. Gee, we can't wire tap citizens without congressional approval? Gee, water-boarding is torture? Gee, we're holding prisoners of war (oh, we can't call them that, oops) without due process? Gee, we can't FIRE federal prosecutors because they're not voting the way we want them to vote?
Stand on notice! I WANT people who love this system to be in Washington. I am sick of all this bullshit talk about how I love this great land, blahblahblah, and then do they do their damndest to undermine it. You want to change things? Great. It's all there, a system of checks and balances (Governor Palin, brush up on your Civics 101 so that you know exactly WHAT the Vice President is supposed to do) so that no one entity is in a position to abuse the other. Cheney did his level best to completely undermine the Constitution, and I hope that the next government restores the safeguards that he so callously whittled away over the last eight years.
You know another thing that bugs the shit out of me? This concept that if you've been in Washington for a while, you're an insider. You're tainted. I don't know how John McCain squares this with his long years of service in the Senate. You know what? I WANT someone with experience there. I want someone who knows how to get the bills out of committee and on to the floor and put up for votes. In short, I want people who know what in the hell they are doing! It absolutely boggles my mind. If there was a job description for the Vice Presidential office and Joe Biden applied for the job and Sarah Palin applied for the job, who do you think, just based on their relative experience levels, would get the job? Just based on experience and not political party. Hands down it would be Biden. And yet those years of experience are seen as a negative by the Republican faithful (although they certainly don't have a problem with John McCain's years of service).
She's young! She's fresh! Uh yeah, but she has the experience of governing a state with less than a million people and 75% of those people are white! Will people get a brain! Sarah Palin might be one of the most brilliant POTENIAL vice presidents to come down the pipe. But not yet. Give her something, like Secretary of the Interior, with a tad more exposure to what is the reality in national governance. Get her involved in negotiating with other states. But someone who does not even KNOW what a Vice President does is not qualified. Call me picky!
I want experienced people there. It's like going to a doctor with a serious problem and you're given a choice of the guy whose had twenty years of experience operating on this sort of thing, OR you can have the intern who has gloved up three times--all in the last week. Again, I WANT someone who is experienced and knows a thing or twenty about how the Senate works. Because they are presiding over the Senate
But most of all, I want people who believe in government to be there representing me.