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Alaskans Cheer and Jeer Their Home Town Guv

Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden and Republican vice presidential candidate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin take part in the vice presidential debate at the Field House of Washington University's Athletic Complex on Oct. 2, 2008 in St. Louis. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

By Matthew Mosk
ANCHORAGE -- There were a lot of zingers and winning lines in the vice presidential debate, but home town Gov. Sarah Palin's best moment may have come with her "shout out" to the children of Gladys Hill Elementary School.

"That's cool," said one woman, who had written "Barack" in large black letters on her forearm. "I like that."

The crowd of 400 Alaskans at the Bear Tooth Theater Grill, a dinner theater here that broadcast tonight's vice presidential debate on a movie screen, cheered and jeered for 90 minutes. The debate didn't change many minds, accept among a handful of Democrats who said they were expecting Palin to fall on her face.

"I was expecting Tina Fey," Democrat Frank Bonfield, 50, an oil pipeline worker, said, referring to the "Saturday Night Live" comedienne whose biting spoof of Palin has become a sensation.

But Bonfield's favorable review ended there. He did not think she won over any Democrats. Instead, he thought Sen. Joe Biden's performance might play well with his father-in-law, a Republican. "What stood out was the contrast," he said. "He was solid. No B.S."

The crowd at the theater appeared to lean heavily towards Biden. There was a roar when Biden said, "I call that the ultimate bridge to nowhere," and laughter when he referenced the Bush Doctrine. Joy Biedermann, 37, a Republican, said the audience did not reflect the political landscape in Alaska, where Palin has maintained very high popularity numbers.

She thought the majority of Alaskans would see Palin as a victor, no matter what the outcome of the election.

"I think America got to see why we love our governor," Biedermann said. "She's positive, not doom and gloom."

By Web Politics Editor  |  October 2, 2008; 11:13 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Joe Biden , Sarah Palin , The Debates  
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Next: A Night with Three Victors


Well said gnR8NnXt!

Who here thinks that Sarah Palin knows what "Achille's heel" means?

I sure don't. Her answer to that question was hysterical.

Posted by: dpc2003 | October 3, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I watched the debate and saw nothing to change my mind. Palin can memorize her lines, or at least some of them. She didn't answer a majority of the actual questions and she had notes on the podium. The only reason she did as well as she did is she only talked about what she had memorized. She showed no real understanding of the issues. And she wants to expand VP powers? God help us all if she ends up a heartbeat away from the presidency.

Posted by: alaskan2 | October 3, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

she didn't slobber on herself and some will think that's great, and it is for her.she's cute and perky ,so is my yorkie,and she should not be vp that's over let's get to the real job of electing the best team to lead us out of this living nightmare.
Go obama and Biden '08

Posted by: ninnafaye | October 3, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

The response of most republicans seems to be,"She lost,therefore she won."
It seems like that was the idea with the last two presidential elections as well.

Posted by: rooster54 | October 3, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Democrats for John McCain and Sarah Palin in 2008

Posted by: hclark1 | October 3, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Once again we saw Palin the parrot with her GOP cheers and jeers, often with her cutsy dialect that reminds us of Marge Gunderson from "Fargo." Four years of that?!?

If she can't answer the questions asked by the media how will Palin handle those that are asked of a President?

Posted by: nlersch | October 3, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Gov. Palin is another republican puppet, just like bush.
A vote for the GOP = more of the same.
If you regret voting for bush/cheney, don't repeat your error.

Posted by: jama452 | October 3, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Biden impressed and he would be a great President if, God forbid, it were to come to that. Palin is just Palin. She is nothing else and she did not stand out. If the debate were against her and Hillary then Hillary would have 'creamed' her. But since Biden was debating her he had to take it easy even when we knew she was making mistakes and NOT answering the questions.

The only reason we think Palin did 'well' was because she set very ver LOW expectations. I think we have dumb downed this role and Palin followers need to get a clue. This woman cannot run this country! I say thanks....but no thanks.

Posted by: LisaM1 | October 3, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I just wish that all the debaters would actually answer the questions; how else do we get an idea where they stand. Also this "golly gee""joe sixpack" is wearing thin.....

Posted by: woodard3 | October 3, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Palin won if and only if people's standards are low enough.

Posted by: PaulSunstone | October 3, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

peeeuuu Palin did not answer any questions only have vague and simplistic answers that made no real differences between McCaint and Bush2 policies.....

Biden clearly had a grasp of the issues and peeeuuu Palin was grasping at his pant leg....

The only thing I heard from peeeuuu Palin was her desire to change the US Constitution for VP control of votes...

In the history of the United States has there ever been a least understood, most ridiculed, and most often ignored constitutional office in the federal government...and she wants more control over HOUSE votes?

Two were never elected by the people.
One was the target of a failed assassination plot.
One was mobbed in his car while on a goodwill mission.
Seven died in office — one in his room in the U.S. Capitol and two fatally stricken while on their way to preside over the Senate.

And one piano-playing vice president suffered political repercussions from a photograph showing him playing that instrument while famous movie actress Lauren Bacall posed seductively on top of it.

The Vice president "shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be evenly divided" (Article I, section 3). In practice, the number of times vice presidents have exercised this right has varied greatly. John Adams holds the record at 29 votes, followed closely by John C. Calhoun with 28.

Since the 1870s, however, no vice president has cast as many as 10 tie-breaking votes

Palin appeared to be just like a "Chatty Kathy" doll, pulling the string on her own back and spewing the same old rhetoric and crapola.

That "By Gosh" demeanor came across as nothing more than a pageant queen's way of trying to win a crown.

She is what I have described in other blogs as an "Empty Bag" filled with a steaming pile of crap filled up almost to bursting with all of the pathetic McCaint talking points but made no discussion on how they are in tune with the needs and diesires for change for this nation...

As for the debate, No contest. Biden is intelligent and obviously cares about people, like most liberals, while Palin is your typical racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-intellectual who uses GOD, War, and economic lies in the same sentence and can barely walk and chew gum at the same time.

She obviously didnt know what she was talking about and didnt answer most of the questions.

But she does know foreign policy, cause, gosh, she lives next to Russia!!!

Oh, and why are we not hearing more about Palin and her witch hunter pastor?

I know it wont make a difference to many conservatives out there, but I've just been wondering we had to hear about Obama and his pastor, why isnt the fact that Palin is really even more stupid and ignorant than anyone could possible imagine (except the stupid people like her) being reported more, and gives it another reason not to be being reported at all...


Obama/Biden '08
Obama/Biden '12

Posted by: AlexP1 | October 3, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

To nacnudbob on the subject of the definition of hubris. I always understood that hubris is "contempt for the gods".

Posted by: dajewell | October 3, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

I am definitely in the twilight zone today. We have become so mediocre over the past 8 years that we are hailing the Gov just for proving that she can recite a complete thought.

She is adorable and has cutesy, folksy ways, but we need competence and intelligence in the WH. What is all this talk about change from the Republicans? Change from this republican to that one? The policies remain the same.

Posted by: Ginny7 | October 3, 2008 8:15 AM | Report abuse

You can put lipstick on a filly, and you can trot her out to perform for the crowd. But when all is said and done, it's still just a dog and pony show.

Posted by: davemarks | October 3, 2008 7:31 AM | Report abuse

In its modern usage, hubris denotes overconfident pride and arrogance; it is often associated with a lack of knowledge combined with a lack of humility. An accusation of hubris often implies that suffering or punishment will follow, similar to the occasional pairing of hubris and nemesis in the Greek world. The proverb "pride goes before a fall" is thought to sum up the modern definition of hubris. In reference to someone being in hubrity: hubrity is a fulfillment of being hubristic or a continual behavior of being prideful. Victor in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein exudes hubris in order to become a great scientist, but is eventually regretting this previous desire. Faustus in Christopher Marlowe's play Dr. Faustus exudes hubris, all the way until his final minutes of life.

Posted by: nacnudbob | October 3, 2008 3:07 AM | Report abuse

From "Fact of The Matter"

The debate with Senator Biden and Governor Palin was interesting yet, instructional. Governor Palin demonstrated tonight that she is really a PUPPETTED MOUTHPIECE of the Republican Party. On a personal note: I became convinced the Gov. Sarah Palin was a forced choice for VP on the Republican side, that it was last minute, and that it was totally for 'POLITICAL EXPEDIENCY'.

Tonight we saw an image, a very beautiful, dressed up, republican image, of an RNC,, SYCOPHANT. Perfect analogy. defines sycophant as a self-seeking, servile flatterer; fawning parasite. In modern terms, "A yes man/woman, flunky fawner, flatterer. Nothing more. Governor Palin demonstrated this perfectly. She in other words was the perfect "republican talking point".

Governor Palin tried to attack Senator Biden on supposedly flip-flopping on issues of which he now agrees with Senator Obama and at one point had agreed and supposedly even endorsed Bush/McCain's war strategies. This accusation led Senator biden to trounce the policies of Bush/McCain by pointing out the failures of hese policies especially our position in NATO as to not be a dictatorship, as Bush/McCain have allowed and endorsed as diplomatic policy. It was a wonderful moment of silencing a someone parroting a republican lie. I loved the fact that Senator Biden used the term of the title of this blog "Fact of the Matter." The Fact of The Matter is Governor Palin came out on the stage to Parrot Lies.

One of the most defining arguments occurred when Governor Palin endorsed The Bush Cheney, idea of what is the job of the vice president. Senator Biden pointed it out that the Constitutions latitude for the Vice President was very smaller than that of which Cheney abused it's powers as. The defining job of the Vice Presidents role is two things, in the unfortunate event that the sitting President dies the Vice President then steps in to that office. the other definition of the office of Vice President is too be the tie breaker in the senate vote. Biden knocked that one out of the ballpark.


One final comment I have is this the title, "Maverick", which the Corporate Media has invented for John McCain, was thoroughly undone when Biden went down the voting record of a POLITICAL YES-MAN that is McCain's TRUE record. Many things which have adversely affected our economy, our standing in the world, but especially Main Street. John McCain has shown non support for the regular American person, which would constitute a Maverick standing. It was pointed out that McCain sided with Bush on all of the failed policies of this Administration. I LOVED IT.

I have felt that the Corporate Media and Senator McCain use that title as well as his supposed Hero status much too loosely. General Wesley Clarke pointed out RIGHTLY that getting shot down while in an airplane doing illegal maneuvers, and becoming a POW was not the LITMUS TEST for Presidential readiness.


In Bidens final statements he brought up this point about what the RNC and John McCain has been engaging in during this campaign. He said He, like Senator Obama would NEVER question the motive of someones ambition for the office of public service. John McCain has engaged in this UGLY STYLE OF CAMPAIGN EVEN AFTER HE PROMISED HE WOULD NOT. Governor Palin in her attacks endorsed john McCain and the RNC's political strategies. She in a sense said, "John's lying and being very ugly and demonstrating political immaturity, I'm Governor Sarah Palin and I approve this propaganda style campaigning."

Now for the facts from Factcheck the Wire :

Troop Levels Off
Palin got her numbers wrong on troop levels when she said that troops were now down to “pre-surge” levels. The surge was announced in January 2007, at which point there were 132,000 troops in Iraq according to the Brookings Institute Iraq Index. As of September 2008, that number was 146,000. President Bush recently announced that another 8,000 would be coming home by February of next year. But that would still be 6,000 more than when the surge began.

Posted under

This post was written by Justin Bank on October 2, 2008

Killing Afghan Civilians?
Obama did say that troops in Afghanistan were killing civilians, a claim that Palin calls “untrue.” Here’s the whole quote, from a campaign stop in New Hampshire:

Obama, August 2007: We’ve got to get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops so that we’re not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous problems there.

The Associated Press fact-checked this one, and found that in fact U.S troops were killing more civilians at the time than insurgents: “As of Aug. 1, the AP count shows that while militants killed 231 civilians in attacks in 2007, Western forces killed 286. Another 20 were killed in crossfire that can’t be attributed to one party.” Afghan president Hamid Karzai had expressed concern about these civilian killings, a concern President Bush said he shared.

Posted under

This post was written by Jess Henig on October 2, 2008

2005 Energy Bill Deja Vu
Palin threw out an old canard when she criticized Obama for voting for the 2005 Energy bill, saying, “that’s what gave those oil companies those big tax breaks.”
It’s a false attack Clinton used against Obama in the primary and McCain himself has hurled. It’s true that the bill gave some tax breaks to oil companies, but it also took away others. And according to the Congressional Research Service, the bill created a slight net increase in taxes for the oil industry.

Posted under Barack Obama,

This post was written by Justin Bank on October 2, 2008

The Iraqi Surplus
Biden said that Iraq had an “$80 billion surplus.” Obama said the same — $79 billion — in the last debate, and we called him on it then. Seventy-nine billion is an out-of-date projection. The Iraqis currently have $29 billion in the bank, and could have $47 billion to $59 billion by the end of the year.

Posted under

This post was written by Jess Henig on October 2, 2008

Obama Voted Against Troop Funding?
Palin repeated the claim that Obama “voted against funding our troops.” The claim refers to a single 2007 vote against a war funding bill. Obama voted for a version of the bill that included language calling for withdrawing troops from Iraq. President Bush vetoed it. (McCain supported that veto, but didn’t call it “vetoing support for our troops.”) What Obama voted against was the same bill without withdrawal language. And he had voted yes on at least 10 other war funding bills prior to that single 2007 no vote.

Posted under

Posted by: need4trth | October 3, 2008 2:42 AM | Report abuse

JakeD: says "Which debate were you people watching?"

Those aren't people, they're robots:

Now, I have no proof that anything like that is involved, but all of the WaPo posts have an avalanche of scripted, monotonic responses larded with talking points.

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | October 3, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Palin exceeded expectations. Answered those questions she was prepared for with well scripted and delived answers, and deflected or ignored the questions she had no clue as to the politically correct way to answer. She may have lost the debate, but certainly she cannot be blamed for the coming landslide. That is all McCain's work

Posted by: fstone | October 3, 2008 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Alaska my sympathies are with you. I agree this is a delightful, spontaneous upbeat woman. She is so wonderful that I don't see how you could bear to part with her.
Well golly, after November, you betcha you will be getting lil Sarah back. Then you can sort out your business with her abuse of power tendencies.
We really don't deserve the kind of government you have up there, nosiree.

Posted by: seemstome | October 3, 2008 12:10 AM | Report abuse

She quoted the question and answered it. Which debate were you people watching?

Posted by: JakeD | October 3, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Master of the non-answer, of the glittering generality. A master-debater is Palin.
Andrew Halcor must be laughing at Biden. He called it to a tee. He debated Palin at least 20 times and he knew there was no defense except to ignore her.
She never answers a question. She tells folksy stories not relative to the point.
She attacks then hides behind femininity.
She lies whenever it suits her and it suits her a lot. She even stated that there would be no more press interviews.
In addition, Palin thought that Dick Cheney was acting constitutionally as vice president and if elected she would expand upon his power. Hopefully Palin said this
as a result of her ignorance of constitutional law.
One good thing about no more biased press conferences or interviews from the wicked leftist media is this - we won't have to listen to Bullwinkle the ignoramoose anymore.

Posted by: schmuckduck | October 2, 2008 11:52 PM | Report abuse

As she admitted, she's not prepared to answer the questions of the moderator. She was well-stuffed by her preparers, but her performance amply demonstrated that she doesn't understand

1. the legislative process
2. international relations
3. the economy
4. the role of the vice president under the Constitution

she would be a disaster, either as a vice president or as a president.

Perhaps McCain's partisans are less concerned about her now, but I think most American citizens want somebody who actually understands the issues.

Posted by: thaimex | October 2, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Palin steadily defaulted to repeating campaign talking points and stump comments while avoiding direct responses to the modrator's question. The absence of depth in her responses was most apparent. The "folksy" style expressed by Palin sounded more attuned to the planning of a PTA cookie sale.

Biden was knowledgeable and strong in his responses thereby expressing a leadership capacity that is ready to serve in the VP position.

Posted by: louismraskin | October 2, 2008 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Most People are saying Biden Won the debate, to participate in a national poll go to

Posted by: pastor123 | October 2, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

After watching Hillary spend 35 years re-building the image of a female politician as experienced, hard-working, and intelligent, it pains me to watch Sarah Palin tear that down. The most unfortunate affect of the Sarah Palin VP nomination is that America's image of the female politician will be Sarah Palin, and not the far superior Hillary Clinton.

Hillary put 18 million cracks in the ultimate glass ceiling, and then here comes Sarah Palin, with her bottle of super-glue, trying to reverse the progress that has already been made.

If John McCain was going to pick a moron, he should have picked a man--that way it wouldn't have tarnished the reputation of females across the US.

Posted by: gnR8NnXt | October 2, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Palin proved that she's still unable to answer the questions posed to her, but she also didn't fall flat on her face. And in the ridiculously depressed expectations for the governor of Alaska, she didn't crash and burn. But she didn't need to maintain the status quo. That's toxic territory for her. She needed to prove that she could get beyond pre-packaged talking points to demonstrating some capacity for analytical thought. In that regard, she failed again.

Posted by: DrainYou | October 2, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

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