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The VP Debate: She Won Fersure, Also

Well, darnit all, if that dadgum girl (wink, wink) didn't beat the tarnation out of Joe Biden. Maverick Sarah Palin fersure surpassed expectations and said everything under the sun, also. And Biden smiled and smiled.

Palin is a populist pro. She hit all the notes that resonate with non-elite Americans: family (Hi Mom and Dad!), "Can I call ya Joe?" personal responsibility, Wall Street greed, children with special needs. Her most effective technique was speaking directly to the American people and letting Joe know that's what she was gonna do, doggonit.

Stylistically, she used the language of the people to great effect. And, you know what? If you want to know what the American people care about, you can go to a kid's soccer game on Saturday and ask parents how they feel, and "I'll betcha you're going to hear some fear."

I'll have to go to the transcript to figure out what Palin actually said and try to figure out whose facts were right. But there's no question: She won the debate on popularity. She did her homework, studied hard, and delivered with spunk. Still, I had the uneasy feeling throughout that I was witnessing a data dump from a very appealing droid. Even the winks and jaw juts seemed slightly programmed. And the question remains: Is she ready to be president should the need arise?

By Kathleen Parker  | October 3, 2008; 12:05 AM ET
Categories:  Parker  | Tags:  Kathleen Parker  
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Comments

ANOTHER WIN FOR OBAMA/BIDEN
ANOTHER FAILED TEST FOR PALIN

I know debate expectations for Sarah Palin were low, like "2000 Leagues Below the Sea" low, but I expect a little more substance from the person who is running to be one 72 year old heart beat away from the presidency.

Palin offered zero policy differences from the Bush administration. Her reasoning for this, apparently, was that the past is not important.
Palin did not display the ability draw upon her own experience or apply knowledge in her responses. She merely came across as a robot who spouted trained "stock" replies. She simply recited Republican talking points and right wing catch phrases that any Fox News employee could regurgitate on command.

In fact, the only win for the McCain/Palin ticket tonight was having a debate moderator who did not push for specific answers to her questions.
I cannot count the number of times Palin gave a response that had absolutely nothing to do with the question. Sometimes she
even gave an answer that was the opposite of what was asked. For example, when asked to list her "Achilles heel," instead of describing just one single weakness, Palin gave a memorized list of her "strengths." Reminds me of 2004 when Bush said he could not think of any mistake he ever made as president!

On a personal level, I was turned off by her shrill tone and twisted attacks at Joe Biden. And her transparent attempts at folksiness came across as down right corny. Is this how she would answer the 3am call? "Say it ain't so, Iran has nuclear weapons, well doggone it, don't those folks over there know that I'm a maverick who isn't afraid to give ya some straight talk?"

In short, Sarah Palin failed the "is she ready" test tonight. I find it impossible to imagine her in the White House.

Biden, on the other hand, displayed a mastery of the facts and the real issues facing middle class America. And, he was nice enough to actually answer the question he was asked. I can easily see Biden as President of the United States.

Posted by: jgarrisn | October 3, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

You are right-on with your observations/analysis regarding Sarah. I will seriously weep for this country if after 8 years of George W Bush, Sarah Palin is the next best thing. The terrorists can simply go into retirement because America will do herself enough damage.

Posted by: IpiTombi | October 3, 2008 12:20 AM | Report abuse

Hey, what a terrible article. I thought you were being sarcastic for most of it but it turns out you were more interested in furthering this horse race politics of the cult of personality that accomplishes absolutely nothing for the country. Congratulations, you're a talking head. Your rhetoric is empty and does nothing for anyone.

Posted by: russhulltx | October 3, 2008 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Personally, I felt Biden came off as the more likable of the two. Plus, he was not quite as full of crap as Palin.

Posted by: synykyl | October 3, 2008 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Parker is certifiable. Robinson has a legitimate analysis, as opposed to Parker's agitprop. The basic problem is that Palin said "trust us" which is what W. said 8 years ago. The Supreme Court (though not the American people) did and it got us war abroad and penury at home. Why is Parker even allowed on WaPo?

Posted by: garbage1 | October 3, 2008 12:26 AM | Report abuse

We have already seen what it is like to have one President who pretends to be a cowboy and boasts about not being very complicated in his thinking. Are we really going to fall for that again? All you have to do is read the real story of what has gone on behind the scenes in Alaska with Palin when she was mayor and Governor and it is clear that she is a fake. She didn't want to answer the questions that Gwen Ifil had for her? Well, I am an a simple American and those were the questions I wanted answers
to !

Posted by: khalsamail | October 3, 2008 12:27 AM | Report abuse

This common ordinary person didn't find Palin's common ordinary language that appealing. She did show she can debate well with generalizations, but she didn't really include any substance or specifics.

Palin would still botch her next Katie Couric like interview (if they ever let he interview again)when asked to provide specifics behind her sweeping generalizations and buzz words.

I feel a bit uneasy that the people of the US would reguire language this dumbed down and not language that is specific and intelligent. Maybe I've got most Americans wrong.

Scarey, Scarey

Posted by: tazmodious | October 3, 2008 12:27 AM | Report abuse

"also", I love you just for that! I was thinking if I was the only one who thought it as unusual. And she's really infected with Bush's "nucular".

Otherwise, pretty disappointing to see no blow ups, I guess because there were no follow ups. I like Ifill better in news hour.

Overall, I agree with Biden on most issues, so I call it for Biden, but Palin stuck to her script, but definitely she was far less effective than say her convention speech. Let's see how the independents react. I think people (independents) are just looking for excuses to vote Obama/Biden, they are just not sure (since Obama is new etc.) I think the debates will go a long way.

McCain is already ceding Michigan, WI and MN will follow.

Posted by: dyutimandas | October 3, 2008 12:27 AM | Report abuse

If you think everyday people talk like that, you are woefully out of touch.
Fersure

Posted by: kreator6996 | October 3, 2008 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Vanessa's a fembot! With machine gun jublies!

Posted by: tjh1 | October 3, 2008 12:32 AM | Report abuse

THANK YOU. I was wishing she would get an electric shock every time she said "also." But that was just the tip of the iceberg. Palin is just an eyerolling, mugging, grinning robot programmed to repeat talking points in various combinations. And OMG her voice. My ears bleed.

I've always liked Joe Biden but I like him even more now since every time he opened his mouth he gave me a break from her.

Posted by: ccatmoon | October 3, 2008 12:32 AM | Report abuse

She is a lovely woman, but I have visited many Main Streets over the years and the emphasis on home-spun grammar and simple- minded folk wit is something out of an old Andy Griffith Show, Beverly Hillbillies, or Hee Haw rerun. Main Street is plugged into the World Wide Web, reads the Wall Street Journal, and has an IQ above 50. Forrest Gump they are not. I think it demeans them the way they are portrayed by the Republicans, not by the Democrats.

Posted by: hakafos44 | October 3, 2008 12:32 AM | Report abuse

She said, Nukular.

Aggghggh, LAglalala. Beer

Posted by: tazmodious | October 3, 2008 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Here comes the usual cult of Obamanations.

She's just more likable and down-to-earth than cranky old Joe. You could see him about to pop a vein at one point.

The "no one took you serious about running for President" line was a show-stopper.

And Biden's assertion that Obama wants to put NATO in Lebanon?! For someone who is supposed to be an expert on foreign policy, Joe Biden is sure a moron.

Posted by: rahaha | October 3, 2008 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Wow, spoken like a true Valley girl! Call me an elitist (with middle class income), but I "kinda" want someone in the v.p. slot to actually have critical thinking skills, not memorizing skills.

Palin did not drool. She vomited out talking points and because the bar was so low, she won? "oh my gawd! Gag me with a spoon!'

Posted by: sandnsmith | October 3, 2008 12:35 AM | Report abuse

I love Joe Biden. He was beautiful tonight and I thought the clear winner of the debate. Sarah Palin, thankfully for her self esteem, did redeem herself. I was sick to the stomach watching Palin with Katie Curic. Yet, Palin is not even close to being qualified and came across like a pageant contestent with the head tilts and winks. However, the expectations (given her recent displays of terrifying ignorance) were so low that by not talking in unfinished sentences and bizzare incoherent thoughts, Sarah did okay as McCain's programmed "pull-the-string" doll. Funny how some of her positions are not McCain's but that's okay too. For many reasons I hope that Palin stays far from the presidency. I think that Palin's beautiful newborn son deserves and needs the full attention of his mom way more than America needs Sarah Palin.

Posted by: collette0779 | October 3, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Viewers of the debate will see only what their minds are open to seeing in the candidates' performances. I thought Biden was polished, specific, likeable, with a strong command of the details. I thought Palin was less polished, less specific, but presented herself as a capable person studying up hard on national issues who believes government can be transformed to serve the will of the people. I think a lot of average voters will admire her performance despite the fact that she was not as polished. The sneering know-it-alls in both parties will pick apart the performances of their opponent, but as a truly undecided voter (and registered Dem), I'd have to give the nod to Palin if only because the stakes were higher for her (thanks to the sneering know-it-alls in my own party).

Posted by: krab76 | October 3, 2008 12:38 AM | Report abuse

When Palin didn't answer what her Achilles heel was, a cold chill went through me, wasn't Bush asked a similar question? And he never answered it either. What does she think that I'm supposed to believe she's Perky Perfect Palin. Well I don't, I think she's a snake in the grass waiting to strike what ever gets in the way of her overblown self confidence. Sorry I've had 8 years of an "idiot in chief", I don't want 4 more of one in waiting.

And please don't wink at me and give a shout out to grade school kids, you are not running for a beauty contest this time.

Posted by: AverageJane | October 3, 2008 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Gee, I don't know what liberals will do to keep themselves miserable if Obama wins. They seem to relish the part so I guess they'll figure something out. If Obama wins can I borrow all your "worst President ever" bumper stickers for my car for the next four years.

Posted by: mh53ehawk | October 3, 2008 12:43 AM | Report abuse

I actually said to my wife that watching Palin speak is like watching a robot, so I agree with your droid comparison.

It is amazing that America could come to this: a programmed, ignorant, humanoid would be so close to being our Commander-in-Chief.


And ironic that in a time when Islamist Fundamentalists, North Korea, and the rise of China, are all problems that demand a serious person, it is the Republicans claiming "Anyone can be President, no matter how absurdly unprepared."

P.S. How do Conservatives know she IS conservative? Some of her answers and actions seem to me to be to the left of Obamas.

Posted by: wapoisrightwingrag | October 3, 2008 12:43 AM | Report abuse

"no one took you serious about running for President".

Is that a real sentence? I don't think that was a claim to fame.

Posted by: hakafos44 | October 3, 2008 12:44 AM | Report abuse

WatchDebate.com
See Out Takes From The Practice Debates.
http://www.mccanes.com/watchdebate.html

Most People are saying Biden Won the debate, to participate in a national poll go to http://www.watchdebate.com

Posted by: pastor123 | October 3, 2008 12:46 AM | Report abuse

Kathleen, you should try checking out the polls, which show a clear victory for Biden. Oh, yeah, that might resemble journalism, and you don't do journalism.

Posted by: PutDownTheKoolaid | October 3, 2008 12:48 AM | Report abuse

What debate were you watching? He cleaned her clock. He looked presidential, she looked like she was getting queasy delivering her speech to be Junior class president.

There is no way independents saw her as winning the debate and THAT is what mattered!

Posted by: hmfmcg | October 3, 2008 12:48 AM | Report abuse

frighteningly incoherent--valley girl. When I see people say that she did a good job I shudder at the poor job done by our country's educational system.

she was deliberately vague about whether the vp is part of the executive. It seems to me the vp presides over the senate ex officio. but she clearly signalled that she would continue the high-handed secretive cheney style.

Posted by: scientist1 | October 3, 2008 12:50 AM | Report abuse

News Flash: Nobody watched tonight's debate to listen to Joe Biden lecture the world on policy . . .the country tuned in to watch Palin. She has "it". . .Biden only reinforced why he never collected more than four votes for President-Boring. I know that infuriates the left but sometimes the truth is what it is no matter how we hate to admit it.

Posted by: mh53ehawk | October 3, 2008 12:50 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin and obviously John McCain does not understand one simple thing. CUTTING TAXES DOES NOT CREATE JOBS! How the hell can these idiots say that they'll create jobs by cutting taxes, after G.W. Bush's tax cuts FAILED to create jobs.

Doing the same thing over and over and over, expecting different results is not only stupid, it's INSANE!

Posted by: iiell | October 3, 2008 12:53 AM | Report abuse

As a not-rich middle class guy who grew up in a small town where my dad was the mayor, I am appalled that anyone takes Palin seriously. This woman is as fake as the day is long, you betcha. She's dangerous, and she's unqualified for high office.

Gosh darn it.

Posted by: NCDem1 | October 3, 2008 12:54 AM | Report abuse

I do not think she won the debate nor do I think she is ready for this job. Yes, she does the cute winks and the folksy chatter but what does she really say? She seems programmed and says the same things over and over. This is not who I want as Vice President. Our country is in serious trouble and we don't need "cute" or the "she's one of us" mentality.

Posted by: sharronkm | October 3, 2008 12:55 AM | Report abuse

NOW THERE YOU GO AGAIN!

Y'all are bein' too hard on th' lil gal. Why, she's got spunk, loves puppies, can load an AK47 quicker than most men, kisses babies and even came in 2nd in a beauty contest once!

Why back home where we'll come from its OK to ruin the environment, believe that God created the world only 4,000 years ago, kill 10 different species of wildlife into extinction, ruin the economy, take from the poor and give to the rich, strip medical benefits from our Veterans and give Billions of dollars to greedy, elite corporate executives, as long as we all smile and are nice to each other y'hear? 'Cause smilin' an' bein' sugary-nice are important family values!

Unfortunately Sarah, the United States of America has more on its mind than being cute and following the simple-minded one-liners right now.

After 8 years of Republican rule in Congress, the Whitehouse and the Supreme Court, American is on the brink of bankruptcy, involved in 2 foreign wars, has seen 4,000+ good kids die, never caught Osama-Been-Forgotten, facing foreclosures, the market is in a nosedive and the economy is worse than its been since the Great Depression. George Bush, Dick Cheney, KKKarl Rove and John McCain have driven this country into the ground.

Sarah, even YOUR wonderful smile and folksy wisdom can't turn THAT CESSPOOL around in a weekend.

Now, I *know* its hard for y'all to believe, gosh darn it! 'Cause, by gosh and by golly we *ALL* really *do* care a whole lot about so *MANY* important things such as more important tax cuts for America's wealthiest families? An' y'all are so very nice an' folksy.

Uh, yeah, right.

---

I felt like Biden was talking to *me* directly and intelligently. I'm smart enough to understand the deeper issues facing this country, and they can't be solved by a cute smile or a rambling attempt to tell me that "we need more freedom in the world".

Americans are intelligent people and Biden is talking to the thinkers of our great Nation.

Oh, and by the way, he's also talking to us regular folks back home but without the pretend Hollywood glitz. He's talking to us with sincerity. And, better yet, Sarah, he's LISTENING to us too!

Posted by: dmmgba | October 3, 2008 12:56 AM | Report abuse

What a surprise! You wanted her off the ticket a few days ago, and now she's brilliant, despite the same like of depth and knowledge (not even expertise, but knowledge) that existed when you first made your claim. Who could have predicted it? Maybe you'll get quoted on a bunch of cable news shows again, demonstrating how Palin has won over the conservative doubters! How unexpected would that be?

This is what passes for journalism in 2008. Tragic.

Posted by: dB15 | October 3, 2008 12:58 AM | Report abuse

Gee, I don't know what liberals will do to keep themselves miserable if Obama wins. They seem to relish the part so I guess they'll figure something out. If Obama wins can I borrow all your "worst President ever" bumper stickers for my car for the next four years.

Posted by: mh53ehawk

I'm sure those liberals will be worrying about your darling.
Worrin' if you're depressed or upset.
Fersure.

Posted by: edlharris | October 3, 2008 12:59 AM | Report abuse

I think Joe Biden came off as likable and as much a champion of the average person as Palin did, and perhaps even moreso, because he seemed so genuine. No forced colloquialisms, lots of honesty. When he was speaking about his family, my heart truly went out to him.

Beyond that, Biden is proof positive that you can be a normal, down-to-earth person and still be intelligent and articulate. I like that for Joe, appealing to the public apparently doesn't mean sounding like an idiot. That was the most refreshing thing for me, personally.

Posted by: katie84 | October 3, 2008 1:01 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin is trying to flirt her way through life... turns out she's just a hoe.

Posted by: iiell | October 3, 2008 1:02 AM | Report abuse

Before the DNC convention, I was for McCain. After the DNC convention, I was for Obama. After the RNC convention, I was for McCain (not only because of Palin). After the 1st Pres. debate, I was slightly for Obama (even though I believe McCain won) because of Palin's interviews. I was worried for her in tonight's debate. But lo and behold. She spanked him big time! I'm totally sold out for McCain/Palin. No more flip-flopping. Obama is self-rightehous messiah wanna-bee. Biden showed who really is - a lying politician. So what if Sarah didn't understand 'Achilles Heel'? Big deal. Go McCain/Palin. You have my vote and the vote of my whole clan of 1000 people!

Posted by: FlipFlopper | October 3, 2008 1:07 AM | Report abuse

"Stylistically, she used the language of the people to great effect"
I hope I am not the only one who finds this type of implicit attack on my intelligence offensive. Certainly, Palin's blatant disrespect for grammar/propriety is disconcerting and an affront on our intelligence in its own way, but the media's interpretation is appalling! "The language of the people". I don't think it is an accident that Ms. Parker drew a line between her language and that of 'the people. I have news for everyone who has never been to a city with a population less than 100,000 people. We talk just like you, and more specifically know when we’re being talked down to. Palin's strategy is condemnable but for the media and Ms. Parker in particular to assume that the language is at all representative or convincing is a touch more then I can take. It is just more proof of what happens when elite politicians are interrupted by elite (or at least a shameful intent) journalists. Put down Hometown folk for dummies, and pick up Chinua Achebe and learn something about the power of words!

Posted by: twin_336 | October 3, 2008 1:07 AM | Report abuse

Palins transparency was exactly what I expected. She displayed no comprehension of the topics/issues. She parroted talking points.

SNL is going to be a can't miss this week!! Palin provided plenty of comedic fodder tonight.

Posted by: houston_progressive | October 3, 2008 1:08 AM | Report abuse

I thought I was the only one who caught her constant irritating use of the word "also". Sometimes 2-3 times in the same sentence.

Posted by: diannemusick | October 3, 2008 1:11 AM | Report abuse

ACTUAL QUOTES FROM THE DEBATE FROM CARIBOU BARBIE:

"It's a toxic mess on Main Street that's affecting Wall Street."

[regarding John McCain]
"He is the man that we need to leave."

I'm Corn-vinced!

Posted by: braultrl | October 3, 2008 1:15 AM | Report abuse

Also Sarah Palin did not also say anything that I could also agree with or also understand, also. But, that is just also my opinion, also.

Posted by: IpiTombi | October 3, 2008 1:18 AM | Report abuse

you betcha, gonna, doggone it, nucular, workin', learnin', wink, nose crinkle, hockey mom... Good god, she's closer to that poor retard baby they were parading around at the end than someone fit to be vp!

Posted by: dhigginb2002 | October 3, 2008 1:21 AM | Report abuse

"Stylistically, she used the language of the people to great effect. And, you know what? If you want to know what the American people care about, you can go to a kid's soccer game on Saturday and ask parents how they feel, and "I'll betcha you're going to hear some fear.""

Reall? This is the language of the people? I'm from Minnesota -- just because the accent is familiar doesn't mean the words are. I don't hear anyone speaking so simplistically about major issues as Sarah Palin did tonight.

She may have won over the east coast pundits by using trite phrases, but the rest of us aren't fooled.

Posted by: minnesotacharm | October 3, 2008 1:23 AM | Report abuse

You betchya, darn it, also, you betchya, darn it, also, you betchya, darn it, also, you betchya, darn it, also, you betchya, darn it, also, you betchya, darn it, also, you betchya, darn it, also, you betchya, darn it, also, you betchya, darn it, also, you betchya, darn it, also, you betchya, darn it, also, you betchya, darn it, also, you betchya, darn it, also, you betchya, darn it, also, you betchya, darn it, also, you betchya, darn it, also, you betchya, darn it, also, you betchya, darn it, also, you betchya, darn it, also............

Posted by: iiell | October 3, 2008 1:23 AM | Report abuse

And with this breathtakingly superficial analysis of the debate, Parker throws away all the credibility her straight talk earned her a few days ago. Palin isn't the only one who is a data dump from a droid. Poor Parker, too bad the American people that she regards as so stupid weren't so stupid after all: They told pollsters that content-free Palin lost.

Posted by: uh_huhh | October 3, 2008 1:27 AM | Report abuse

uh_huhh wrote, "And with this breathtakingly superficial analysis of the debate, Parker throws away all the credibility her straight talk earned her a few days ago. Palin isn't the only one who is a data dump from a droid. Poor Parker, too bad the American people that she regards as so stupid weren't so stupid after all: They told pollsters that content-free Palin lost."
--

I think she's being a little sarcastic there...or I hope.

Posted by: iiell | October 3, 2008 1:31 AM | Report abuse

Well gosh golly Miss Parker, those sure are a lotta questions you got runnin' around in yer head.

Posted by: sgjerstad | October 3, 2008 1:31 AM | Report abuse

"Governor Sarah Palin may have repeatedly deflected tonight questions from debate moderator Ms. Gwen Ifill to pronouncements about motherhood and apple pie," opined Dr. Jay Layknow, Dean of the School of Journalism at Arizona State University, "but I give her credit for not saying things like 'motherhood is the shining beacon of light atop an apple pie.' So I give her an A+ in that regard."

Posted by: AMemberofHumanSociety | October 3, 2008 1:33 AM | Report abuse

From Noo Yawk I got olny dis tuh say: It's a beeyou tiful ting when a goil like Sara got as much cultcha as I got. Tanks fuh yuh time. Yuh wanna glass a ahrange joose?

Posted by: Leopold1 | October 3, 2008 1:35 AM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, I have to doubt the intelligence to anyone who believes that Sarah Palin is remotely capable of becomming the President of the US. Perhaps we lowered the bar for George Bush but she removes any bar at all. Yikes, this is really frightening me. Are people that afraid of a black man or are that many people lacking the intelligence to determine what is good sense and what is bull crap?

Posted by: lexiec12000 | October 3, 2008 1:37 AM | Report abuse

Ok, "dB15," "twin_336," and "minnesotacharm" I have to let you in on something. Parker's article is almost surely pure parody. She doesn't actually believe that Palin "used the language of the people to great effect." Like everyone in America outside of a few polygamist communities in Utah and a few anti-government survivalist camps in northern Idaho, Parker thinks that Palin is the next dumbest person in America after Dubya.

Posted by: sgjerstad | October 3, 2008 1:40 AM | Report abuse

I like what you've been saying, Kathleen. You're starting to see the light- I don't take affront at your ideologies, though I might not agree. But you're starting to see how your party has become a parody of itself.

In reply to those of you who didn't understand Kathleen's humor (she was being sarcastic!! and very funny) and think that Palin really did "win" the debate, well... She did exceed expectations for sure- the bar was set so low that just so long as she didn't wet her pants, she would be deemed winner. But she did show up as a functional human being, even likable. Presidential though? Vice Presidential? What is it with you people that want Joe 6-pack for president? I would vote for Sarah Palin- for Head Hockey Mom. But to be potentially the most powerful person in the free world? Dontcha (like Sarah would say) think that a knowledge of how the country, the world, the economy, the environment works could be useful as Vice President?

As far as the truth of the matters discussed, go to factcheck.org. Most of what Biden said was vetted. Some of what Palin said was, and much more, where there was any substance to check, was shown to be false.

It doesn't matter who "won" the debate. It matters who is on your side. The Republican, John McCain is only promising more of the same as the last Joe 6-pack administration. If you like what you've got now, the trajectory we're on, you should vote for the Republican, John McCain. You should also vote for the Republicans if you think my use of the big word, "trajectory" is elitist and too intellectual. Otherwise....

Posted by: gotalife | October 3, 2008 1:45 AM | Report abuse

It is evident that the overtime work of Sarah Palin's coaches was effective. Unfortunately, I had the feeling that the "confident" lines were too much regurgitated from her slogan notes while looking down to make sure she didn't screw up the phrase - rather than look at the camera when it counted. She did have effective candy for audience capture with her "mom" talk and glittering winks at the audience along with her physical beauty and sexy smile - when she clearly showed who she really is. It is hard not to not like her at this level. To be precise, she is a nice lady who is a decent and respectful woman from what I can tell - but on matters of serious substance related to presidential level responsibility, I have grave misgivings about her ability to lead. Her discourse mainly regurgitated republican "base" mantras. All well and good if you think like this. However, at the end, it is easy to say we don't owe any apologies to foreigners and we bomb 'em when we think they look wrong at us - when it is not you who has to make the hard calls and keep America honorable in the eyes for all to see. We do need to set the example of truth and justice, if we don't the whole planet sees the hypocrisy. They aren't so easily fooled. Overall, she was charming, avoided exposing that she really is not very bright and would be a disaster if due to circumstance was thrust into the office of the President of the United States.

Joe Biden did honorably. He demonstrated respect and courtesy to Sarah Palin (unlike her repeated personal level jabs at him and Barack Obama). He didn't need to be a shark. He constantly repeated and clearly highligted that it is John McCain who people are (and should be) voting for. Sarah Palin adds charm, that's all. So, to me, he didn't even try to trip her up (which he could have easily done). Also, he made very calm but solid reference to his experience and track record - something Sarah Palin skillfully glazed over on her part. There was a degree of class here in Joe Biden that I assume will be largely overlooked simply because people weren't looking for this from him. It wasn't exuberant over realizing he wasn't screwing up at the moment, it wasn't charm - it was stability of character that comes from the test of time and experience. Something we all could use... I particularly found his reaction after Sarah Palin's rambling about being everything as a wonder woman mom - when Joe Biden gave us a real glimpse of his personal humanity in the face of the loss of his first wife to an accident and the suffering he endured to cope with keeping what was left of his life and his family together and find a way to help get through in adversity. Honestly, Americans need to realise the crisis we are in right now needs a man like this. Sarah Palin has a way to make you forget the problems because of her sex appeal. Joe Biden resonated the inner confidence that he won't cave in when the going is going to get tougher. I give Joe Biden the victory simply because I see what was there at the deeper level.

Overall, I feel that after the media hype and spin paid for by the republicans (even though Sarah Palin's cheap shot jab at the press not being fair to her in the end was utter BS), people will come around to what is required to vote in November. Sarah Palin did well, but her inexperience will now show. It ain't over 'till it's over. Joe Biden already has been in it and knows that he's in it for the long haul. The election is still a long way off in political time scales.

Posted by: bmw6267 | October 3, 2008 1:47 AM | Report abuse

"Stylistically, she used the language of the people to great effect."

The language of the people? When's the last time anyone you know has said, "darnit," "dadgum," or "you betcha?"

What, most Americans reside in Mayberry? I thought it was incredibly transparent.

Where does Ms. Parker live that she thinks this is the language of the people?

Posted by: donuts | October 3, 2008 1:54 AM | Report abuse

"Before the DNC convention, I was for McCain. After the DNC convention, I was for Obama. After the RNC convention, I was for McCain (not only because of Palin). After the 1st Pres. debate, I was slightly for Obama (even though I believe McCain won) because of Palin's interviews. I was worried for her in tonight's debate. But lo and behold. She spanked him big time! I'm totally sold out for McCain/Palin. No more flip-flopping. Obama is self-rightehous messiah wanna-bee. Biden showed who really is - a lying politician. So what if Sarah didn't understand 'Achilles Heel'? Big deal. Go McCain/Palin. You have my vote and the vote of my whole clan of 1000 people!"

If you are evenly slightly indicative of the intelligence level or decision making process of the average swing voter, I weep for this country. Idiots voting other idiots into office is how we got into the mess we're in now.

I'm hoping you're not actually stupid, just immature. Wise up. You're not choosing your favorite sitcom. You're helping determine the direction of this country when we're in the worst shape we've been in since the Great Depression. Perhaps you should get a little better informed and try to use a little bit more rigorous decision making process.

Posted by: wpod64 | October 3, 2008 1:55 AM | Report abuse

Apparently she and McPain also believe that, like Dick Cheney, the office of Vice President can be expanded to include powers that are not implicit in Article I of the Constitution. I'm happy that Joe Biden made the effort to disabuse her of that idea but I'm not sure she understood or believed him. After all, according to her, the only thing Dick Cheney ever did wrong was to shoot Harry Whittington in the face during a hunting trip.

Posted by: WallyReed | October 3, 2008 1:55 AM | Report abuse

Apparently she and McPain also believe that, like Dick Cheney, the office of Vice President can be expanded to include powers that are not implicit in Article I of the Constitution. I'm happy that Joe Biden made the effort to disabuse her of that idea but I'm not sure she understood or believed him. After all, according to her, the only thing Dick Cheney ever did wrong was to shoot Harry Whittington in the face during a hunting trip.

Posted by: WallyReed | October 3, 2008 1:57 AM | Report abuse

Palin's bashing of the dreaded mainstream media at the start of the debate is clearly in line with the McCain campaign's strategy to continue hiding this potential Leader of the Free World from the press, and therefore from the American people. The game: Of course the MSM is biased, of course we're not going to allow Gov. Palin to sit down on Meet the Press. Of course people don't need to know who they're voting for--we'll take care of it, we're professionals.

The ruse allowed her to answer different questions than the ones she was asked ("I may not answer these questions, but I'll give you the straight talk I rehearsed 500 times, and that'll just hafta do ya"). It also serves the longer-term strategy. They'll continue hiding her, because they know if she isn't reciting rehearsed lines she'll start mumbling gibberish again. Hiding his Vice Presidential candidate from the voters is, apparently, a big part of McCain's "America First" strategy.

Hiding a (vice) presidential candidate from public examination is reprehensible and ought to be a crime.

Posted by: yogi11 | October 3, 2008 1:59 AM | Report abuse

29 of my 13 year old daughters girl friends at a slumber party make more sense than Caribou Barbie.

I mean cmon now this is serious business and we have 2 certifiable lunatics on the epub ticket running to replace the worst president in history.

Or the other choice.

Posted by: meg54136 | October 3, 2008 2:01 AM | Report abuse

Palin was absolutely effective in sticking to her talking points and speaking in the dag-gum language of the Common Folk. We, me and you, are really smart and savvy, of course, so we know that her entire performance was, well, a performance -- the result of weeks and weeks of calculations by Palin and political operatives in the McCain campaign. But just like we applaud an opera singer for hitting all the right notes, we applaud Palin for nailing the (calculated) spontaneity. But tell me: Do you know anyone stupid enough to believe that Palin's darnits and shout-outs and cutesy-wutesiness were really just Palin being Palin and not a patronizing performance? Or, is it just the Common Folk who are that gullible?

Posted by: EWade | October 3, 2008 2:06 AM | Report abuse

Palin cited Obama's pledge, since modified, to meet with Ahmadinejad and others without precondition.

Biden claimed, according to my copy of the debate transcript, “That's just simply not true about Barack Obama. He did not say he'd sit down with Ahmadinejad.”

In July's YouTube debate during the Democratic primary, however, Obama was asked if he would meet the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea without precondition, during his first year in office.

Obama said, “I would.”

Not only that, but in August 2007, in an appearance at the National Press Club, Biden said he would do no such thing, himself. “Would I make a blanket commitment to meet unconditionally with the leaders of each of those countries within the first year I was elected president?” Biden asked rhetorically, answering, “Absolutely, positively no."

I have seen much ad hominem attack here of a scurrilous, sneering and snide sort, but relatively few facts. I thought I might toss one or two in, just to see what would happen. As you were.

Posted by: majorundertaking | October 3, 2008 2:16 AM | Report abuse

Do pundits, reporters and columnists have an actual aversion to statistical data? After the last debate and now after this latest one there was polling data available immediatly after the debate was over. After the McCain Obama debate the polls showed that a large majority of voters felt that Obama "won " the debate. The more general election polls taken a few days later backed up the debate polls by showing that Obama has opened up a substantial lead. Immediately after the Biden Palin debate the polls show that a large majority of voters feel that Biden "won" the debate, yet many pundits are saying it is a draw or that Palin won by not losing or some such nonsense.

Perhaps my years as a scientist have biased me towards actual data rather than simple gut feeling, but virtually every bit of science and technology that we have today shows quite convincingly that actual data is a much more powerful tool than gut feeling. Polls surely have their issues. Unscrupulous pollsters can manipulate their questions and polling base to skew the results, but a properly done poll will have results that are meaningful and repeatable to the level of accuracy stated (usually somewhere in the 1-4% range). If a large percentage of the polled voters felt that Palin lost the debate you can bank on that being a fact, and a pundits insistance that it is just not so should be considered as the spin (or simple uneducated gut feeling) that it is.

Posted by: bjuhasz | October 3, 2008 2:17 AM | Report abuse

"So what if Sarah didn't understand 'Achilles Heel'?"

In an election in which one candidate is derided for his "foreignness", it strikes me as rather frightening that Palin may be completely unaware of one of the foundational literary references of western civilization. We have to ask ourselves if this provincial woman from Alaska is really connected to the United States and American culture in any tangible way, or if she's completely unfamiliar with the world of "the lower 48" as she calls us.

"Stylistically, she used the language of the people to great effect."

Most Americans realize that using the "language of the people" at a job interview will get your resume thrown in the trash.

Posted by: constans | October 3, 2008 2:25 AM | Report abuse

Thank you so much Ms. Parker for your honesty. I am sorry for all the abuse to which you were subjected this week.
As a lifelong Democrat, I truly believe in the core principles of our party. We stand for the "little guy" as my father would say. The preponderance of white faces at the Republican convention is very telling, I believe. And the viciousness to which Gore and Kerry were subjected is also very telling.
But still, if our party nominated a president or vice-president that was clearly inferior to the Republican, I can only hope that I would be as honest as you have been.
In fact, in some future election, if you should ever desire to change your profession and run for office, you could count on me to listen to you with the same thoughtfulness and honesty.

Posted by: zmar2 | October 3, 2008 2:29 AM | Report abuse

"I was witnessing a data dump from a very appealing droid."

Or was it "Gidget Goes to Washington?"

Posted by: mnjam | October 3, 2008 2:40 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin is not qualified to be president. Hundreds of thousands of ordinary Americans who possess enough charisma could, if extensively tutored, give a credible performance on television during a "debate," especially if they could avoid answering many questions asked. This does necessarily qualify these individuals to become president.

Sarah Palin seems to have less knowledge and understanding of most domestic, as well as foreign policy issues than George W Bush did eight years ago. A majority of historians recently surveyed, consider Bush to be the worst president ever. McCain's current positions on most issues is basically the same as Bush. He is to the right of Bush, closer to Cheney on many foreign policy issues.

A McCain-Palin administration therefore would probably be similar to if there had been a Cheney-Bush administration. A majority of people in this country are likely to agree.

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

She said, Nukular.

Aggghggh, LAglalala. Beer

Posted by: tazmodious | October 3, 2008 12:33 AM

Former Clinton Secretary of Defense, Les Aspin pronounced the word that same way. President Jimmy Carter has, too. Both of them, like a great many others, in their careers in public office or the military, had far more knowledge and expertise as to matters nuclear than has Palin. That exact pronunciation is more dialectical than it is a reliable indicator of ignorance. Have another brew, though.

Posted by: majorundertaking | October 3, 2008 2:44 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: tazmodious | October 3, 2008 12:33 AM

Former Clinton Secretary of Defense, Les Aspin pronounced the word that same way. President Jimmy Carter has, too.

The key difference is Jimmy Carter and Les Aspin are not/were not certifiable lunatics.

Posted by: meg54136 | October 3, 2008 2:50 AM | Report abuse

The fear of Sarah Palin shines through, even in the sarcasm of Ms. Parker's post.

It seems that many can't handle seeing a real person that may attain high office.

And still, no one questions the opponents even less experience.

Sarah Palin is what America needs more of, a real down to earth person, not a polished politician tickling your ears.

Posted by: lewwaters | October 3, 2008 2:51 AM | Report abuse

Now we know why the WaPo editorials are such garbage - the editorial writers can't tell folksy from fetid.

Parker, your description of Palin's pointless platitudes is an insult to actual "folks" wherever they may drink their beer. For shame.

Posted by: mateosf | October 3, 2008 3:06 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin's recital

Congratulations to Sarah Palin for such a smashing recital. It is unfortunate that it happened to be on a stage for a Vice Presidential debate and not a Miss Alaska contest. That would have been the more appropriate venue. If this performance is any indication of how she would operate in the White House, we must ask this question. Who would be feeding Mrs. Palin the lines when decisions have to be made in the White House? Given the one-in-five chance that she would become President before the end of John McCain’s term, the decisions of the country would be the same Right-Wing Republicans who have been prepping her for this position since she ran for Mayor of Wassilla with one goal in mind: Drill Baby Drill.

Posted by: info39Thsp5 | October 3, 2008 3:08 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Palin won on popularity, as you're suggesting. She insulted the debate process and the American people by sidestepping a majority of the questions and refusing to actually engage in a meaningful political discourse. Talking about how cute she is with her phony "Sarah six-pack" act legitimizes the middle finger she's giving the democratic process. She refuses to be assessed on her merits and is feverishly working to obscure her flaws so that she can effectively cheat her way into the Whitehouse. She is a disgrace to the country.
To suggest that this is a "win" for her is a pathetic marker of how far we've fallen.

Posted by: dccamp68 | October 3, 2008 3:25 AM | Report abuse

Interesting that Kathleen Parker's take suffers from exactly the same traits as Palin's performanec, even while slamming it. They both think that a bubbly vapid performance means that you "win" a debate, while as even Parker admits it was a substanceless, embarrassing string of winks and folksy expressions instead of a debate on Palin's side.

I fail to see how anyone would "score" a "win" for that nonsense, even if such terms meant anything. The story of the night was that the media actually managed to lower expectations for Biden as much as Palin, mainly just out of the misguided false equivilancy "fair and balanced" need of the still right-leaning media world. "Well, she's a complete idiot, but hey, he's a "gaffe machine" you kept hearing, as if they were equally inept.

Turns out, he's magnificent at this and the main effect of the night was letting people realize this, plus hearing a really effective destruction of McCain, for an hour and a half.

That's what mattered, and can affect the race, not the cosmetic nonsense, as Parker seems to think.

Posted by: jfburr@yahoo.com | October 3, 2008 4:20 AM | Report abuse

Arghh!

I was very much hoping Palin would come out and blow me away, allowing me to believe that the nonsense I saw in the TV interviews was just nerves or something.

Nope... I am now convinced that the campaign simply tried to dupe us Republicans by giving us a VP candidate that would mix things up and give us a reason to cheer, which is making me mad.

I follow politics quite closely during election years, and I can count at least 10 rock solid, and very qualified VP picks McCain could have selected.

But those wouldn't be as exciting, and those would getting everyone talking, so they gave us a sub par candidate who had no business being near the White House, just to spark a fire in the debate.

I'm sorry, but I cannot take even a slight chance on Palin becoming President. Not for me, my family, or my country.

If she could have came out and spoke to specific policy issues, gave details on plans, or the very least answered the questions instead of just reverting to a standard list of lines I would have been singing a different tune.

I honestly feel we would be in serious danger with her as President. I feel she would be easily manipulated by all the insiders who know the facts, and can be led in directions with ulterior motives.

She failed us miserably, and as such... I regret to say, I am either going to vote third party or Obama. I am undecided, but I am decided I cannot vote for McCain/Palin ticket and still respect myself for it.

This is just nuts, and the people who were behind this pick should be thrown out of the party for caring more about trying to round up votes than giving America a candidate who is capable of navigating us through difficult waters if that person ever has to take McCain's place.

I'm totally, utterly confused and outraged at to what these "political operatives" and "strategists" have done to OUR party!

PS- I'm an ordinary, average joe six pack, with high school education and decent paying job in Arizona.

Posted by: helpmehelpu | October 3, 2008 4:24 AM | Report abuse

Let's be real. What Sarah Palin did is what the administration has done for 8 years. The same as McCain will do. She doesn't have to follow the debate or the rules. She doesn't have to answer any questions. Tonight she gave America the middle finger with a cute friendly smile. Barracuda? More like a snake. At least Biden didn't fall for the bait.

Posted by: raduodogi | October 3, 2008 4:29 AM | Report abuse

Former Clinton Secretary of Defense, Les Aspin pronounced the word that same way. President Jimmy Carter has, too.

The key difference is Jimmy Carter and Les Aspin are not/were not certifiable lunatics.

Posted by: meg54136 | October 3, 2008 2:50 AM

•••

Carter:

Prime rate? Zenith: 21%

Unemployment? 7.1% (first and last years in office)

Iranian hostages? Feckless, impotent and incompetent response.

North Korea? Fooled completely.

One could go on, but the point is made for anyone capable of even elementary perception.

Aspin:

Refused to send to Somalia the equipment his commanders in the field repeatedly requested. Result? Blackhawk Down.

Recall why he left office? He got caught taking a woman, not his wife, to a luxurious Venetian palazzo (which involved the expenditure of a great many of the taxpayer's dimes, to house his staff, alone) while we had troops in the field. He was such a gentleman, he spared no expense, flying her home in military transport.

•••

Les and Jimmy did us a lot of harm, Meg. You are within your rights to ignore, distract from or even attempt to obfuscate that fact. It remains a fact, however, sad and ludicrous claims as to "certifiable lunatics" notwithstanding. None of the four people running on the two major party tickets are any such thing, and I think all of them are as good people as Jimmy Carter, Les Aspin, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, George Bushd and Dick Cheney. Such over-the-top disparagement as yours can only detract from the real merits of your arguments, such as they may be.

Posted by: majorundertaking | October 3, 2008 4:37 AM | Report abuse

Is this really your stance, or did your editor ask you to make some stuff up (a la Palin)?

She's an incapable, incomprehensible, idiotic woman who can't, and by that I mean is incapable of, answer a real question on real issues.

Were you expectations so low that you think she did good? Even with that, 'won'???? What a joke..

Posted by: hermes93 | October 3, 2008 4:52 AM | Report abuse

Nice to see you can still put together two sentences together, Kathleen - just like Palin did tonite very effectively.

But you're still not forgiven .... yet

Posted by: jimbob5 | October 3, 2008 5:00 AM | Report abuse

If Palin "used the language of the people," I am not proud to be an American.

Posted by: ceeveg | October 3, 2008 5:05 AM | Report abuse

I thought you were being sarcastic.
Palin in government is disaster for any country or state.

Posted by: bobbyjoe1 | October 3, 2008 5:42 AM | Report abuse

Ms Parker, a simple admission that you were wrong would have been appropriate for a person of principle.

Not that we expect such from what passes for journalists these days... but your snotty mewling says way more about you than it does about Governor Palin.
.

Posted by: gitarre | October 3, 2008 5:59 AM | Report abuse

Give me a break. The American electorate isn't that stupid to overlook the total lack of content in Palin's commentary because she talked like Yosemite Sam. Her use of colloquial was way over the top. No one talks like that except caricatures in old 1950s cartoons.

Posted by: geoffnich | October 3, 2008 6:02 AM | Report abuse

I am amazed that you think that she won the debate. Really, was anybody fooled by that hokey language? And the winks-that's a first. I come from a small town in Ohio, and I have never heard anybody talk like that. Well, maybe Frances McDormand, or whatever her name is-in that Cohen brothers movie.

And she didn't answer questions? Just how did she win? The thought of her being in national office is frightening.

She would be perfect as the cruise director of a very large ship. Perky would be a real plus there, you betcha.

Posted by: mollycoddle1 | October 3, 2008 6:29 AM | Report abuse

"She won the debate on popularity."

You have a poor view of America if you think her performance was acceptable.
Really now, since when does posing as prom queen who got hoodwinked onto the debate team and reciting script going to float the boat of anyone who gives half a thought about the issues?

Posted by: An_imp | October 3, 2008 6:32 AM | Report abuse

It is time to partition the United States. New England is more than welcome to leave, the West Coast is more than viable. Let the Southern people and many of the Western states go their own way. New England and California broke Uncle Sam morally, spiritually, and finacially. If we do not break away soon, we will be pulled into an inescabable cesspool. It may be too late now.

Posted by: TUCKERMICH | October 3, 2008 6:32 AM | Report abuse

Palin was effective - she didn't disappoint us - and I'm sure that has you quite angry doesnt it ? You should be working for the Obama rag -the New York Times. They have a 24 hour a day crush on Obama and everyone is guaranteed a rainbow and lucky charms if they jump on the Obama bandwagon. Rezko, Ayers, Odinga, Khalidi, Farrkham, Wright, Pflager, Fannie and Freddie etc are all going to work for Barrys world and there will be sunshine for everyone in the Obamanation!!! You betcha !!!

Posted by: JUNGLEJIM123 | October 3, 2008 6:46 AM | Report abuse

Miss Doolittle, I mean Ms. Parker, you do it so well, speaking like just folks!

I am with you, do Americans want Lizza Doolittle Palin negotiating treaties abroad. Or do we want to listen to her give a possible State of the Union Message before Congress.

And what was she said about the Constitution providing the Vice President more powers in the Senate. I think Governor Palin needs to watch the mini-series John Adams., to see the role of Vice President in action; because we know she did not read the book. John Adams was a real maverick and found the job of President of the Senate pretty lonesome.

Last night Governor Palin was Palin, but she looked more like Tina Fey in a SNL sketch to me.

Posted by: gmgaston203 | October 3, 2008 6:53 AM | Report abuse

Governor Palin did much better than expected, but shouldn't we deserve better than a cheerleader in a contender for vice-president? Save for her comments on energy, the only area I felt she was in command of the issue, I felt like tossing her a couple of pom-poms.

Posted by: gmanpac8 | October 3, 2008 6:54 AM | Report abuse

FERSURE!

I just learned a new American slang. I love slangs.

Posted by: cintronlourdes | October 3, 2008 6:59 AM | Report abuse

Let's be honest putting her on that stage with Biden was an insult to Biden. Being a gent he didn't mention it of course but it was inescapable. No she didn't fall on her face but neither did she demonstrate that she was remotely equipped to vp of the US. It's quite simply ridiculous.

Posted by: johnbsmrk | October 3, 2008 7:02 AM | Report abuse

Those on the right will say yes, she's qualified.

Those on the left will say no.

Those in the middle, who haven't chosen a side yet, have serious concerns are DID indeed feel they were "witnessing a data dump from a very appealing droid".

Posted by: XMEE | October 3, 2008 7:15 AM | Report abuse

I agree with the posters who've commented on Caribou Barbie's performance resembling that of a cheerleader, not a would-be VP.

I thought her scariest lines were her rreferences to how the Constitution should be interpreted when it comes to the powers the office of the VP -- she thinks Dick Cheney's take is a bit wimpy -- yikes!!!! -- and her comment about nuclear (which she mispronounced) weaponry being, "the be-all and end-all of most humans around the world, and a lot of places in the world."

Duhhhhh. No shiit, Sherlock.

Is she really as dumb as she sounds -- or is she just really, really scary? Or both?

Posted by: thesuperclasssux | October 3, 2008 7:24 AM | Report abuse

I think a lot of you have misunderstood Parker's intent.

Maybe I'm wrong, but she stated her position in the last paragraph, in which she continues to question Palin's qualifications.

Go back and read it; it balances the idea that Parker believes Palin "won".

One thing that irked me about the piece: I consider myself a "non elite" American, and Palin's "notes" most assuredly did NOT resonate with me. In fact, most irked me.

Posted by: evasdaddy | October 3, 2008 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Poor Pretty Pretend Populist Pitbull Palin President? Please!

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

I, too, thought you were being sarcastic, Kathleen. But then I got the "uneasy feeling" that you weren't when you wrote,
"...Still, I had the uneasy feeling throughout that I was witnessing a data dump from a very appealing droid. Even the winks and jaw juts seemed slightly programmed..."

Gee, Kathleen, do you really think so? Is this 'uneasy feeling' the result of watching Sarah Palin spend the entire debate dodging the questions, mindlessly reciting her talking points, going off subject and, not so long after the start of the debate, dissolving into a babbler of incoherent prattle? Was this not glaringly obvious, Kathleen? What other sagely insights can you share with us? Thanks so much for the analysis - what would we, the readers, do out here in the dark without your shining beacon?

Did you get an 'uneasy feeling' that maybe this candidate is a bad joke gone worse? Do you get the 'uneasy feeling' that because of cynical 'identity politics' this woman could theoretically be in the Oval Office? And honestly, Kathleen, do you honestly think she won, or are you desperately trying to dignify this joke of a candidate just to keep the story alive; as a sort of false defeat, to lower the guard of the other side of the debate? Maybe you are on the other side of the debate. Maybe you really did think Sarah Palin did a darn good job. Say it ain't so, Kathleen! There ya go, playin' right inta the hands of Six Pack Sarah.

Posted by: danielmacy | October 3, 2008 7:35 AM | Report abuse

The three states in America where people actually talk like Palin were already going to vote McCain.

The people in the other 47 states are still trying to get the throwup taste out of their mouth.

Posted by: wideblacksky | October 3, 2008 7:38 AM | Report abuse

"...a data dump from a very appealing droid"? You betcha!

Posted by: klosskid | October 3, 2008 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Sarah got game. Yuh know whut I mean? Like moose and stuff.

Posted by: citizenw | October 3, 2008 7:43 AM | Report abuse

WHAT? She won! She came across like a high school cheerleader that crammed for an exam. What in the heck is up with the winks. Can you see her at a summit meeting with foreign leaders and she winks at them. Come on lets have some professionalism here. Sorry Sarah time to go back to Alaska.

Posted by: Classic60 | October 3, 2008 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Is it just me, or do others question why everyone keeps saying she speaks to the average middle class American? As a single mother, middle class, I do not relate to her at all. Hailing from Minnesota, Palin reminds many of us here of Governor Ventura. Their similarities of ego driven self confidence, self serving agendas(apparently she wants the VP to have more power), and their lack of any true substance, are uncanny. Do average American's really talk the way Palin does? If so, I have never heard it.

Posted by: Irishbound | October 3, 2008 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Hey Lewwaters: Palin is a back woods hick. You can say the slang she uses in such a high powered positon. She would be emabarressing to this country.

Posted by: Classic60 | October 3, 2008 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Kathleen Parker needs to kiss some republican butt after she wrote the truth about palin last week and was verbably abusied by her readers (not at this site). She has no choice but to say palin won or she'll loose her job.

Posted by: obrier2 | October 3, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

"And I'll bet you, you're going to hear some fear in that parent's voice, fear regarding the few investments that some of us have in the stock market. Did we just take a major hit with those investments?"

Yup, that's what the middle class is worried about, our investments.

BTW, I have lived in heartland states for several decades, including the one on which the Beverly Hillbillies is based, and believe me, that is not how we talk.
All those you betchas and fersures are dad-gummed insulting to real rednecks,
doggone it!

Posted by: martymar123 | October 3, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Is she ready to be president should the need arise? No, of course not! I was disappointed in her performance - she was charming and homespun, yes. But she refused to answer the questions asked, was clearly out of her depth on several issues and demonstrated no capacity for deep thought on the issues affecting this nation. It was very disappointing.

Posted by: Toodles1 | October 3, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

"And the question remains: Is she ready to be president should the need arise?"
Kathleen, come on. In the immortal words of John McEnroe, you cannot be serious about this. What on earth do you need to see from her that you haven't already to convince you that she doesn't belong back in Alaska, NOW?

Posted by: jazzman48491 | October 3, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if anyone else had the same reaction I had when Palin said(i paraphrase here) Oh gee, well golly uh-huh(head shaking playfully) there were mistakes made in the war (Irag) and the way it run and strategy. But John McCain is the only one who has won a war???

Forget the complete lack of factual substance. The cutesy dismissal of horrible mistakes by the current administration has resulted in the deaths of our courageous citizens in uniform...and she treats it like someone spilled their dinner on the floor....Good god people....didn't that scare the hell out of you as well?

Posted by: Thatsnuts | October 3, 2008 8:33 AM | Report abuse

I don't know anybody who uses this language, and I'm from Virginia, my wife is from Indiana, and my best friend is from Missouri. We were all turned off by Palin's performance last night.

I think East Cost intellectual Conservatives (elites?) like Parker overstate the relevance of "folksiness." They're very condescending, like we are some strange species that lives in a zoo and needs to be studied.

I wanted straight answers and I sure didn't get any from Palin last night. What I got were flirtations and beauty-pageant responses to serious questions concerning a superpower in crisis. Kind of insulting, in my opinion.

Posted by: WilliamJ1 | October 3, 2008 8:33 AM | Report abuse


Uh-oh. Ms. Parker has felt the wrath of the wing-nuts (and Conservative Book Club's buyers) and is now falling back into the approved mode.

Look how they turned poor Peggy Noonan into a simpering Sarah-noid. I didn't know ANYONE could pedal that fast backwards. Peggy sounds hotter for Sarah than Todd.

But then Peggy has a book out, and you gotta have those book-club pre-orders!

The chattering class is sooooo easy to figure.

Posted by: davidg7376 | October 3, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

From Noo Yawk I got olny dis tuh say: It's a beeyou tiful ting when a goil like Sara got as much cultcha as I got. Tanks fuh yuh time. Yuh wanna glass a ahrange joose?

Posted by: Leopold1 | October 3, 2008 1:35 AM

Just in case some of yoose missed this gem

Posted by: newageblues | October 3, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Joe Stuck to the facts, maam and gentlemen.

Palin stuck to changing the subject...did not answer questions. Did the 'aw, shucks' sort of exchange.' Would I want her for president? NO Way. No How. Just as soon have the 'lipstick on a pig.'

Very unimpressed. Reminds me of trying to have a conversation about world events with a person who reads a comic book once in a while.

Posted by: wilkestraphill | October 3, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone actually buy her aw shuck Bull S**t? It's insulting to the American people and if that hadn't voted for George, the Village Idiot, Bush TWICE I'd say they could see right through her.

She proved two things - she can read her talking points and she can dodge a question.

Posted by: xconservative | October 3, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Yes, it was like watching a Stepford wife, just with slightly better software so one could not quite be sure there was a heart or a set of battery cables inside there.

Let's be honest, she performed the very best she could - and I have to give her credit for doing so, as the pressure must have been enormous and from all sides including friends, family, media, the party, the campaign, John McCain and of course herself to perform well. On that note, her local colloquialisms did inspire working class, moderate and conservative Main Street Americans and she came across as the trustworthy and common sense based soccer Mom who fought the system, gender bias and made it all the way to Governor with more than just beauty.

Of course Biden wiped her off the sidewalk in terms of Presidential related matters such as issues, details and the skills one needs beyond their local borders to run a country or help the #1 executive run this one, at least. Clearly Biden's 35 plus years experience not only qualifies him for the VP position and even President, his experience at the podium also was apparent to all.

But this wasn't about issues, was it?

All Biden had to do was not come across as a Neanderthal, not get caught up in a run on sentence and gaffe on national TV, and attack McCain which is what VP's do during campaigns and especially during debates. All Palin had to do was come across as intelligent on talking points, warm, confident and of course charming in terms of connecting with the average American who would recognize and mind meld with her value system.

On both sides each potential VP succeeded - thus one could say either Palin won simply because she didn't obviously lose, or Biden clearly won on the issues and because he didn't seriously gaffe.

My rhetorical questions about Palin's so called victory is this:

Should not the bar be raised much higher to determine qualifications for the second highly executive position in the United States? Is just surviving the debate and connecting with middle American enough, or isn't it true that beyond warmth and speaking with comfortable colloquialisms maybe issues, how our government works, and details really determine who's the best choice and the obvious maverick of change? Maybe some of us have lost touch with this and just like Palin, some of us don't look at the space beyond your back yard.

-Jim @ http://www.potomactavern.org

Posted by: JimGoldbloom | October 3, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Gidget Goes To Washington....I like that. Can't wait for her and mccain to get elected. Instead of the Easter Egg Roll on the WH lawn, we can have Easter Bunny hunting and skinning. You betcha! She sounds like a high school dropout. Maybe palin was having flashbacks to her Miss Alaska pageant days, but her answers (or non-answers) and demeanor are certainly not presidential.

Posted by: mikel7 | October 3, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Mrs. Palin is perfect for the job of POTUS, much more perfect than McCain is. A droid programmed and controlled by neo-con leadership is exactly what we all need to perpetuate the dynasty. The more robotic the better.

Posted by: moon6pence | October 3, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

After two failed wars and a global economic crisis under the "stewardship" of a folksy but thoroughly incompetent President, the bar has not been raised but instead lowered to the point that all Sarah Palin had to do was not stand there for 90 minutes drooling on herself and that's good enough? I defy anyone to extrapolate one coherent policy prescription she offered last night. She peformed as well as my 16-year-old son does on a French exam after not cracking the spine of his text book all year, which means she barely managed to conjugate a verb all night. Two failed wars and a global economic crisis and competency still means nothing?!

Posted by: NMP1 | October 3, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Wow. If Palin won the debate based on style, then this country really is doomed.

This was a VICE PRESIDENTIAL debate, not a beauty pageant.

Fortunately, I think most rational Americans can see exactly that.

Posted by: df198081 | October 3, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

"And the question remains: Is she ready to be president should the need arise?"

--No.

Question answered.

Posted by: kban495 | October 3, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

What bugged me the most was the "Well, I'm not going to answer the question you asked, but I'm going to speak directly to the American people" answers she gave. Sorry, but I've been listening to that for eight years, the Bush administration being masters of ignoring questions while spinning tales that appease the "American people". I DO NOT want to go through four more years of that.

Posted by: jjtwo | October 3, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Lady I do not know what debate you had been watching! She wants to be like "Joe Six Pack". Hello!! We are just finishing a disastrous run from "George 12 pack". What a mess he has left. This is the only idiot country that will elect a President because he or she is like someone they want to have a beer with. The hell with folksie and false bravado. Give me intelligence and competency!!She wants to be folksie and one of us, yet at every opportunity she fails to answer any questions on what her and McCain would do for the middle class. Case in point when Biden challenged her to talk about a plan for the middle class she states she will answer how she wants and goes on to talk about energy whcich appears to be the only thing she knows anything about. Give me a break, more of the same Wars and tax breaks for rich corps. Obama and Biden thats it I have seen enough!!

Posted by: BROWL | October 3, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

wow....Parker and all the other conservative "thinkers" that believe Palin speaks to the average joe need to get out more. I grew up working on a farm, and never heard anyone dropping 'you betchas'. Just because she fits a caricature of what Parker thinks a midwesterner sounds like doesn't make it true. Oh, and by the way, has anyone else noticed how in the footage of her earlier Alaska debates, she doesn't have nearly as thick of an accent? Its very reminiscent of when Bush went from sounding like he was raised on the east coast when he lost his first gubernatorial race to sounding like a life-long Texan four years later. What a phony act this all is.

Posted by: passenger0631 | October 3, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

If the country needed cutsy, Palin would win hands down. If you're looking for a VP with personal knowledge of any of the debate topics, she had none. Everyone word was placed in her mouth and it appears obvious she understood very little of what she said. Ok, she's not the foreign policy expert, however, if a followup question had been asked Iran, Iraq, Pakastan, or Israel? You would have gotten the same response. She doesn't know. The economy, does she really understand, what took place and how it happened in regards to just the mortgage loans? If asked to explain with a little detail, she has no ideal If you asked about Graham, and his part in the deregulation, she wouldn't know. If you asked about why gas prices are why, they are so high, she wouldn't know. If you asked about the process of oil, once it's pumped out of Alaska, where does it go, how long the process takes , why it goes to a refinery, she wouldn't know. Otherwise, drill baby drill, wouldn't be the end solution, nor would it simply be the first. If all the drilling we could do were taking place right now, how much difference in the price of oil would there be? She has no idea.

Posted by: vikkids | October 3, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

It's my understanding that Palin almost didn't make the debate. She thought they said "Rebate" and just mailed it in...

[rimshot]

Posted by: braultrl | October 3, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

The problem for Palin is: we're not in high school, and this isn't a popularity contest, though she debates as if it were. We had fair warning from her Republican challenger for the governorship that she's all style, no substance.
Another little problem is, for the last eight years, there's been a guy that everyone (except me, I think he's a dork) wants to have a beer with running the White House. A man who could only summon two minutes of his time to talk economic crisis with us last week over the airwaves. Gosh darn it, she sounds just like him, but with pageantry.
She has no comfort with facts and figures. And I have no comfort with someone trying to high school their way into the White House. And even less respect for the likes of McCain to put someone in that position to begin with. Furthermore, I'll go "there" and ask "where's her sacrifice of her job to be a mother?" If she were on the track for this politically (and she wasn't), whats wrong with saying "I'm not ready"?
I don't want to hear about Alaska and that they're number one in earmarks and pork. I want to hear about the rest of the country. She's no different than someone like Giuliani, who shows up in Iowa, obviously discomfited by the fact he's surrounded by farmland and non big city people....and yet, somehow, NYC is still the center of the universe while trying to talk to people in Iowa.

Posted by: SYWanda | October 3, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I'm a Republican that voted for Bush both times. Ms. Parker, you must have been watching something on the Sci Fi channel, because what I witnessed last night was an embarrassment to the Republican Party. I'm now worried about the people in Alaska.

Posted by: jdclive | October 3, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Oh for crying out loud, Kathleen, use your intelligence! You can't possibly be serious to say "...the question remains: Is she ready to be president should the need arise?"

If you are serious, then quite frankly, I would question that there's any intelligence there to be used.

Posted by: uche05 | October 3, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

An excellent post over all, except one thing. Palin did NOT win the populist test last night. One, her caricature of "the language of the people" is not recognized by people as their own. Actual people's language has much more substance and even beauty, even when it is mixed with some phrases like "darn it" and "doggoneit." Consequently, Palin's language did NOT have any life in it, and an insult to our language.
AND as you will see from postdebate polls, this exaggerated ignorace and folksiness, which worked so well for Bush, is NOT going to work for Palin, because most people do not like ignorant women the way it sometimes adores illiterate, but (supposedly) strong men. When will McCain and Palin realize that?

Posted by: motherforobama | October 3, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

i grew up in chicago area where her 'accent' is a short drive north, and even still, nobody of intelligence would pepper their speach with so many folksy phrases. she barely sputtered out anything other than talking points that often had nothing to do with the question. nice 'gal' you betcha... vp of usa?...thanks but no thanks! and yes she is being coached to ramp up the accent!

Posted by: veroman | October 3, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

SHe never answered one real question about the issues at hand today in america.

Posted by: dprhea | October 3, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Even as a commited Obama/Biden supporter I am pleased that Governor Palin held her own during the debate. There is no question that she is not ready for prime time D.C. but she definitely is well suited as a governor of Alaska or Minnesota....if speech patterns are the requirement, she qualifies. It was soooo nice to hear and see an example of "Minnesota Nice" on the national screen. Well, McCain didn't pick Pawlenty-Minnesota Boring" but she represented us(Alaska and Minnesota) well.

Posted by: setnicker | October 3, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Are you kidding? I don't know how any intelligent person could have watched that debate and thought that Palin did well, by any measure. Her answers were every bit as confused and meandering as in the Couric interviews, she failed to answer most questions in any meaningful way, and just seemed out of her league (which she is). Biden, on the other hand, was thoughtful, substantive, and well, presidential in his demeanor and answers.

Palin clearly had certain rehearsed soundbites that she was trained to constantly refer back to when she could not answer the question that was actually posed. Her lack of understanding of the major issues of the day--both foreign and domestic--was painfully evident.

Since when does being cute and folksy qualify one to be VP, especially when the Presidential candidate she is running with is very old and in poor health? Simply put, people are in denial about the lack of competence displayed by Palin. It's as if some people decided that if she didn't faint or pee in her pants, she did well. It's crazy, and stupid.

Posted by: joemomma3 | October 3, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

"I'll have to go to the transcript to figure out what Palin actually said."

Your words speak for themselves.

It's time partisan Republicans stop drinking the kool-aid. This debate wasn't even close (unless winks & "you-betcha's" count as substantial policy points).

Posted by: elcolonelo | October 3, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

I always wonder why columnists like you get so much 'space time'.
There's a ton of 'em here at WaPo.
So, you think the pit bull in lipstick won the debate? How Republican of you, Ms. C-span favorite, Parker.
She was rude to Biden and stunningly patronizing. If Biden had conducted himself towards Palin as she did him, he would have lost the debate on conduct alone.
So much for equality among the sexes.

She was actually a vicious, squawky-voiced phony. A big-deal in Alaska maybe, where there is very little competition, but not out in the real world.
And, shooting defenseless animals AND making the slaughter a piece of cake for the rest of the worlds sadists, doesn't cut it for me!

BTW, I am delighted to call myself "middle-class" and I resent like anything your labeling me an 'elite" -- the goofiest, most utterly mis-applied label you right-wingers have come up with in this election of the usual name-calling by the right.
You Republicans would have been right at home in the Third Reich.

I'm not a "hocky mom" nor a "uniter-not-a-divider" nor a "flip-flopper" (just a small sampling of the retarded, idiotic names you Republicans use to divide people.)
You Republicans and your penchant for calling names! ... where is that back-room? At the fascist ministry of fear where you grind them out - at the AEI or Fox?

Posted by: strohblumen | October 3, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

"a data dump from a very appealing droid" I love it!

I don't know which is worse - Sarah's acceptance speech, in which she acted like a pitbull in lipstick and designer glasses; her interviews, for which she crammed and then got flustered when she was asked a question that she hadn't studied for (like name a newspaper or two that you routinely read); or 'folksy' Sarah, where she answered the questions she wanted to answer and then kept repeating the answers to those same questions when she was asked other questions she didn't want to or couldn't answer.

If this 'folksy' Sarah was supposed to make me warm up to her, it failed. I caught her several times lying either about the Obama/Biden positions or McCain's. Like Biden and millions of other Americans, I grew up in a working class community, so I have absolutely nothing in comon except chromosomes with a woman who hunts caribou, shoots wolves from airplanes (now that's real sportsmanship), and has a favorite recipe for moose stew. My friends and I swap recipes for dips, casseroles and cakes, when we're not talking about the job market, rising prices and our falling retirement funds.

Finally, there's that voice! She sounds as though she's in the process of being strangled and peppering all her statements with, "youbetchas" sounded a bit contrived.

My final conclusion was that Joe Biden is a better human being than I am, because he remained gracious throughout the evening. I know if I were stuck on stage with her, I would not have.

Posted by: laSerenissima2003 | October 3, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Parker I know you are a Conservative commentator, so your job is to push the Republican brand in this election ... but if this is what you are reduced to to find a win in this debate for Gov. Palin, "I'll have to go to the transcript to figure out what Palin actually said and try to figure out whose facts were right." Reducing this election to something resembling a junior high class election ... I don't know what she said, but I like her.
Ms. Parker, you and I won't agree on much in a political discussion, but your are better than this.
Gov. Palin, is just that, a Governor, one of fifty elected officials chosen to lead the executive branch of government for a state/commonwealth in this country. There has been a lot of accusations that any criticism of Gov. Palin is sexist. Personally I think the dumbing down of expectations in regards to her performance, the acceptance that she can by on a folksy phrase and giggle, is the real sexism here. The refusal by those on the right to allow Gov. Palin to be held to the same standard we would hold any other Governor who took it upon themselves to run for this level of national office is simply insulting, sexist, and a disservice to the American people.

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

Palin is not and never will be presidential material.

What I saw last night was a dump of information, factually correct, not always, but at least she didn't set her hair on fire and lift up her dress while running screaming around the stage.

She is still the Sarah Palin that shouldn't have been picked to be vp. McCain only appealed to the base with the pick and that is all that is going to vote for her, they don't want to vote for McCain so they would subject the country to her.

Posted by: hmmmmmer | October 3, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Is Palin the first VP candidate to ever give a shout out to a third grade class in a debate?

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

I agree with Kathleen, it felt like watching a data dump as Sarah spoke. I couldn't help thinking I was watching a sequel of the Stepford Wives.

Posted by: jaqt | October 3, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Oh, she WON! Of course! On POPULARITY AND SPUNK. Because this is a HIGH SCHOOL PROM QUEEN VOTE!

Oh, wait, it's the VP debate? And she didn't answer a single question directly, only spewed out memorized lines? And she doesn't understand policy, diplomacy, or health care? And she thought making snide remarks and regurgitating Reagan lines was a good idea? She thought faking middle-class speech would make her sound authentic?

In that case, SHE LOST.

Posted by: toriatama | October 3, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I, as an ordinary American, am insulted by those who think that Sarah Palin connects with us through her misuse of the English language. I don't talk that way, and most people I know don't talk that way.

Posted by: chlind | October 3, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Is Palin the first VP candidate to ever give a shout out to a third grade class in a debate?

Posted by: bpkell | October 3, 2008 9:51 AM

_________________________________________

She's the first one to try winking and flirting her way through it, instead of answering the questions directly.

Posted by: toriatama | October 3, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Commending her for exceeding expectations is like congratulating her on not tripping over a line painted on the ground. Expectations are not the proper measure for who wins the debate. She failed to show she has any depth of understanding about the words coming from her mouth, but I was glad that she was coherent (for the most part).

It was apparent that she showed up to the debate with a memorized script that could be taylored to the anticipated questions, or forced down our ears when she didn't have an answer to the question at hand. Gwen did a good job of being objective (as if that was ever a concern for people familiar with her work), but I was disappointed that she didn't take both candidates out of their comfort zone a little more (Dick Cheney question for example).

This was Biden's to lose, and he didn't drop the ball.

On a side note, as a Minnesotan with a heinous accent myself, even I was in pain!

Posted by: scoj | October 3, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I don't want another uninformed person in close proximity to the White House. We've had enough the past 8 years. You Betcha that Palin did well enough to stop her from emploding but she just repeated the talking points she memorized. We the people are smarter than that and I feel insulted that she thinks she can just refuse to answer the questions we want!!!

Posted by: roskity69 | October 3, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Ah can I call you Kath? (Cuz in a minute I'm gonna call you a coward with a white flag, and I'd like to seem friendly.)

Palin is a double agent from hell.

Posted by: AIPACiswar | October 3, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Biden and Palin deserve a standing ovation for conducting a civil debate. It was an astonishing contrast to what we've become accustomed to. They've raised the bar for Obama and McCain.

Palin won. She doesn't talk about the middle class as if the middle class are those people out there, somewhere. Sarah Palin is middle class. And she looked right into the camera to talk to America's middle class. Biden was pretty folksy, too. But Palin was more effective.

Palin is real. That the Washington political class finds that repugnant is an unflattering commentary on Washingtonians, not Sarah Palin.

Posted by: Gidgmom | October 3, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Proof of Palin's idiocy was displayed in robotic fashion last night. Proof of "Walmart Americans" idiocy is displayed by the constant talk of her attractiveness (who are u kidding), admiration of her "folksy" speech, relating to someone of such low intellect and believing such a carefully rehearsed bimbo could EVER successfully represent our great country!
I was not going to vote for the Obama/Biden ticket, but probably will because as an intelligent female I am dismayed that we are not demanding the highest level of intelligence in any female (or male)on a presidential ticket.

Posted by: jco4life | October 3, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

There was a inexplicable disconnect between her perpetual effervescence and the dangerously serious times we are living.

Posted by: geofrumohio | October 3, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

America's repositories of the "highest level of intelligence" -- Wall Street and Washington -- have led America to the precipice of economic catastrophe.

Normal Americans, I'd call them smart, don't trust the intelligentsia anymore.

Posted by: Gidgmom | October 3, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Gov. Palin was very attractive and perky--who knew that perkiness was one of the greatest assets a candidate for elected office could offer?

If the Democrats hauled out a nominee who performed like a beauty pageant contestant, they would be rightly pilloried by people on both sides of the political spectrum. Gov. Palin's years as a television sportscaster clearly paid off, but she demonstrated absolutely no expertise on any subject she bothered to actually address. She dodged most questions with cheerful regurgitations of the talking points she'd been well-coached to spout.

Gov. Palin may have won the crown and the sash, but Sen. Biden won the debate.

Posted by: patgilford | October 3, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

"Biden only reinforced why he never collected more than four votes for President-Boring. I know that infuriates the left but sometimes the truth is what it is no matter how we hate to admit it.
Posted by: mh53ehawk | October 3, 2008 12:50 AM"

Foreign policy, trade deficits, procedural votes, budgets, securities and exchange regulation. These are boring subjects. I don't want excitement, I WANT a boring government. A boring government means everything is working as it should. This isn't freaking American Idol or Survivor, we're talking about the real world, not The Real World. Maybe you wouldn't be so bored if you understood the issues and had an attention span longer than the time between commercial breaks on Desperate Housewives. Would you rather have a boring doctor who is an expert in his field with a degree from Harvard or an exciting one who doesn't know the difference between a scalpel and a syringe? "Hey, doc, will I survive this surgery?" "You betcha! Ya know I was a member of the PTA and I know alot about oil and natural gas!" I know a lot of people who are exciting, fun, interesting... great friends but there is no way I would ever want them to run the government. So even if you conceed the personality category to Palin... who cares? I want competence. I want someone who is actually able to answer the questions (and follow up questions), not a pretty parrot who can memorize a list talking points.

Posted by: b1rd | October 3, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Gov. Palin has shown that she does a fantastic job of memorization. She has obviously memorized everything that her trainers have told her to.

But, “Where’s the Beef?”

She’s cockey, she’s definitely an extravert, but there is no depth. If you ask someone a question don’t you expect an answer to that question?

Avoiding the questions and apparently not knowing what she is being asked is not the type of person that I want to be a VP.

In this case, the stakes are even more dramatic due to Sen. Mc Cain’s age and health history.

Sorry, folks, “She just doesn’t cut it!”

Posted by: yvberj | October 3, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Parker must be relieved that Palin's mediocre performance moved her out of the conservative cross-hairs. The conservative ticket is so without any imagination that once again they see substance where there is none. As some other commentators have said: folksiness is effective when it is obviously effectively staged as by Fred Thompson or W. When folksiness becomes the only trait a candidate can muster, we're in a heep of trouble. Palin is as Parker said earlier incredibly unprepared and out of her depth and the VP debate didn't change that one bit.

Posted by: jackclumpkens1 | October 3, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

i can't believe what i've been hearing and reading post debate. i can't believe people are saying palin did so well. what? because she could talk all folksy like and down to earth?

i can't believe people are giving her credit for knowing how to basically speak from a script. a robot or tape recorder could have done exactly the same job.

it was so clear to me that she had absolutely zero original thoughts. she never directly answered any question nor did she ever directly answer any of biden's challenges.

"i want to hear what you talk about McCain's support of constant de-regulation"

"ummm.... can i talk about taxes again?"

she offers absolutely ZERO ideas of her own that aren't the most superficial Republican talking points.

after 8 years of george w. bush, i can't believe people would actually fall for someone again just because they are "just like me", "down to earth", they "talk like me".

c'mon folks. we need way more than that.

Posted by: natx1 | October 3, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

"And the question remains: Is she ready to be president should the need arise?"
----------------------------------
Seriously, Ms. Parker -- "the question remains"??? That question was answered long ago, and nothing that Miss Piggy said or did in her empty-brain but folksy performance last night changed the answer: SHE IS NOT READY, AND NEVER WILL BE READY.

Of all of John McCain's mistakes, his selection of Sarah Palin is his mistakey-est...

Posted by: gr8day4bsbll | October 3, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Uh oh Kathleen. Be prepared for another storm of hate mail from the right for not praising Palin.

Posted by: JackChit1 | October 3, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Are you kidding ? If Palin did well and fit for the VP candidate then American people need serious help and particularly this writer needs a brain change. How fragile this writer can be ? Parker is a height of flip flop.

Posted by: hbiswal | October 3, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Well by golly folks! I betcha all the money on Wall Street that good ol' Condaleeza Rice (can I call you Condi?) wouldnahavta wink at the American public and play sweet because unlike me, the moose huntin', baby makin', everyday joe sixpack lovin', hockey mom....SHE DOESN'T NEED TO!

This is not a joke and certainly not a made for Lifetime movie!! Sara Palin and her sthick is an embarrassment to all women! Imagine if Nancy Pelosi were in front of Congress acting like that. Shoot, imagine your boss speaking in a meeting acting like that. But the potential vice president??? God help us all!!!!

Posted by: misslisa1 | October 3, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

So, she rattled off the names of foreign dictators but could she identify any of them in a photo lineup?

No, I betcha.

Posted by: rmiller19 | October 3, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Not so much a hockey mum - more a pre-programmed Stepford Wife - with lipstick to match. And with those vague answers, she ain't no pitbull, fersure, also (wink wink).

Posted by: iirlane | October 3, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Parker is spot-on with her analysis. Clearly Joe Biden was debating McCain's staff, who had "dumped data" into their populist beauty queen.

It remains to be seen if the American people will buy that act all over again (remember the good-ole-cowboy-from-Texas routine?).

I'm hoping it's, "We won't get fooled again."

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

I'm waiting for Palin's first Cabinet meeting when the National Security Advisor says they urgently need to talk about Venezuela's coziness with Russia, for example, and Palin tries to change the subject to energy policy because that's the only area she really knows...Stop and think: if this is how she handles a mere TV debate, how in the world is she going to handle real life in the White House?

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

I love my country and except the wonderful diversity that it represents. There is no better place to live and all Americans should be proud to be a citizen. But I shudder when I hear someone would be vice-president (or even president) make the following assertion:
“But even more important is that world view that I share with John McCain. That world view that says that America is a nation of exceptionalism. And we are to be that shining city on a hill, as President Reagan so beautifully said, that we are a beacon of hope and that we are unapologetic here. We are not perfect as a nation. But together, we represent a perfect ideal. And that is democracy and tolerance and freedom and equal rights. Those things that we stand for that can be put to good use as a force for good in this world.”
Suggesting that Barack Obama’s position on world affairs and diplomacy is naïve and dangerous is breathtakingly ignorant and arrogant on the part of a so-called qualified candidate who can blithely make such an assertion. Clearly she understands history as well she understands current world affairs.
History is replete with examples of the disastrous consequences of one nation/peoples fervent belief that they are exceptional, represent a perfect ideal and should put those qualities “to good use as a force for good in this world”.
One only has to recall the 1920s, 30s, and 40s when the twin evils of Nazi fascism and Japanese imperialism were unleashed on the world. The Nazis were the super race – super in purity, super in strength, super in culture. The Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, etc. were untermenschen, subhuman, to be subjugated, enslaved and murdered, all in the name of spreading the Aryan ideal.
The Japanese also saw themselves as superior to all others – the Chinese who were to be subjugated and forced to work for the good of the Empire and the barbarian races of the West who were to be defeated in all out war.
Hopefully one does not have to remind Sarah and John of the disastrous consequences of their outspoken right to expand and recreate large parts of the world in their own image.
The consequences of such hubris have been with us since ancient times. Witness the Mongols, the Tatars, etc. who sacked and razed numerous centers of civilization and slaughtered countless thousands simply because they abhorred the others’ ways of life.
Lest you miss the parallels with today, consider this: absent any real issues of imminent danger (and we know that the Bush administration knowingly lied and misrepresented the facts thereon) what is different about the Bush policy of forcing democracy on sovereign nations without a single concern for the wishes of the people or the government involved (i.e., Iraq)?
One last comment; lest Sarah and John not understand the disastrous nature of their stated position. While I have particular disdain for the policies and actions of the Bush administration, we cannot forget the other recent examples of American hubris that stems from variations of the McCain/Palin “doctrine”: Teddy Roosevelt re: Puerto Rico; missionaries in China, American paternalism in the Philippines; Kennedy and the Bay of Pigs; installing the Shah in Iran; you could go on and on. Ironically enough, most of these misadventures resulted ultimately in long term problems, often of a grave nature. How about the theocracy that really runs Iran?
I repeat. I love my country. Can we really afford 4 or 8 more years of ignorant, arrogant, chauvinistic, paternalistic governance as the McCain/Palin ticket promises?

Posted by: hooksee | October 3, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

It would appear, like Bush 2 in his debates, Palin was wearing a wire. She was obviously listening to directions from afar or even close range.

Do we want another puppet in the White House?
Two are enough.

Posted by: tedjulinski | October 3, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I do not want Joe Sixpack for a VP or Prez. I want Joe Sixpack to fix my car, bag my groceries and shingle my roof. Joe Sixpack does those things well and should be held in high regard.

Joe Sixpack should not be at the helm of arguably the most powerful nation on the face of the planet. I want someone smarter and more craftier than me when dealing with rogue nations, wars and diplomacy.

C'mon America! You can do better, can't you? Stop setting the bar so low.

Posted by: ratsorizzo | October 3, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

When is Ms. Palin going to have a press conference?

What is she afraid of?

Posted by: marSF | October 3, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I really love it when a conservative columnist makes it absolutely clear that thay are an idiot. Sarah Palin in a BOOB and has no right whatsoever to be running for vice president. For the past eight years we have had a country led by the "village idiot" - now you want four more years with a VP that makes him look intelligent? This is idealogy before reason (nothin' new for you myopic conservatives, by golly, gosh and oh gee!)

We need INTELLIGENCE in Washington, not a country bumpkin! Get a collective clue!

Posted by: jeffRI1 | October 3, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Oh Ms. Parker, will you be getting the email!

Palin proved adept at reading index cards and memorizing and avoiding questions. She showed she doesn't have the depth of knowledge to be VP and potentially the President.

Wink, wink, cutesy was embarrassing to see in a woman who should want to be taken seriously. It was demdaning to every woman who strives to be recognized for her abilities and her intellect.

Would our new diplomacy involve training our diplomats in the well placed wink and how to gain the advantage with cutesy.

"Doggone it Vladimir."

Posted by: FauxReal | October 3, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

You must be joking (?) I hear these comments 'on the street' all the time from disillusioned Republicans, and that nauseating theatrical performance throughout the debate is something only a Republican could love. I'm your average middle american Independent, and believe me, that charade didn't score as many points as you think it did. Between the winks, the goofy smile, the ridiculous lingo, etc., it was truly painful to watch. Sure I'd like someone of less political pedigree, but let's be serious, she's so far to the extreme it's scary. I do think she repaired the damage she caused herself in the past couple of weeks, but outside of not appearing like a babbling buffoon, she surely didn't add any value to the ticket. Thanks for the laugh.

Posted by: pyezahn | October 3, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I had to listen to most of the debate on radio, so maybe that was the difference. But halfway through, my wife and I looked at each other and said, "Can she ever answer the question that was asked?" We embarrassed for her and after the debate, the commentators said she held her own. Did it really look better on TV? My oh my. Have the expectations of the American voter been lowered to this level of understanding?

Posted by: amaikovich | October 3, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

ratsorizzo,

Your post made me spit up my coffee, that was hillarious. If you arent a comic you should look into that field. That was the best post i have read in 3 weeks. Keep it up...

Posted by: rharring | October 3, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Palin is personable but all she did last night was stick to her well rehersed talking points. Ok voters this is the situation. John Mccain is 72 years old and has had health problems. He has so far refused to release his health records. Ms. Palin has not shown a working knowledge of U.S History, foriegn policy, Supreme court cases and economic issues other than energy concerns in Alaska. This person could easily become the President of the U.S very soon. She scares the heck out of me! We are just finishing up with a President who was really not up to the job. We don't need another like him. Ms. Palin is not ready for prime time this election cycle.

Posted by: eskieville | October 3, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Shorter Parker: "While I don't interact with them, I have it on good authority that the American public are a bunch of stupid rubes!"

It's OK, Kathleen, if I was getting death threats, I would post a bunch of garbage on the internet if I thought it would stop them, too. I sincerely hope they do stop, because no one deserves that kind of harassment (especially when they're just stating the obvious).

But if it matters, the polls show that you are spectacularly wrong in your (meaningless) assessment of who "won" the debate. Believe it or not, voters are smart enough to know when they're being insulted. You betcha.

Posted by: JakeHas | October 3, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

listening to Palin I felt like I was watching a high-school production of Fargo, and I thought it was amazing that, after the McCain campaign had worked so hard to structure the debate to minimize Palin's many weaknesses, she comes right out and says "you know, I'm not gonna answer your questions, I'm just gonna provide the answers I've memorized (wink!)." just more proof this ticket simply cannot be trusted - Russ

Posted by: rwillcutt | October 3, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Palin did okay (she didn't crash and burn like w/ Couric), but really lost it when she gave a "shout out" to a bunch of elementary school kids. Potential leaders of our country should not be giving "shout outs" like they are calling into a Top 40 radio show. There is a time and place where that is considered acceptable, but not in a serious debate of VP candidates.

In terms of substance, she gave little. Answers to the questions were rare and not deep at all. She had nothing more than talking points and few counters when Biden called her on various things, such as voting records.

Posted by: TP123 | October 3, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Democrats for John McCain and Sarah Palin in 2008

Posted by: hclark1 | October 3, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I have a theory. Palin's performance in Couric interviews was only a cunning ploy to "lower expectations" ! And it has worked! See today's David Brooks column in NYT, jubilantly titled "Palin Rebound". Brooks rejoices that she could produce "...collection of sentences with subjects, verbs, objects and, if possible, an actual meaning."
So there you are. All she now has to do is get a sentence out with a noun, a verb and a betcha, and everyone would be grateful.

Posted by: ahmedsayeediisc | October 3, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Palin tried the charm of the country folk talk but I wasn't fooled. She offered nothing of substance meanwhile Biden layed out exact details and didn't skirt around questions as much as Palin. She had her notes from advisors and she was sticking to 'em by golly. Another win for the Dems. Palin stretched the truth more than Biden while trying to charm America. Get real, we are in a crappy time and need leaders, not down home gibberygoo talking heads trying to say "you know what its like". If Palin had a point to any of her responses, I must have missed it. I noticed plenty of Biden's points.

And if I have to hear the words Maverick or the phrase oil regulator again I will go insane. She has NOTHING to offer except good looks and a stupid dialect.

Posted by: jsaindon | October 3, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Kathleen, you're delusional if you think that most Americans fell for what Sarah Palin was selling.

As always, Palin was all about pre-packaged catch phrases with very little substance. We may have swooned for her on first glance, but the routine gets more than a little tired under extended examination.

Fersure, we're two mav'ricks and we're for reform and we're gonna clean up Wall Street and get energy and bring home vic'try in Eye-raq. That's why ya want the ticket, you betcha! But I've been at this only five weeks, so I can't answer questions the way ya might want, even though I'm a mom and executive experience and a mav'rick and reform and all.

It's even worse if you read a transcript. That's when you see that Palin can't even construct a sentence.

Posted by: ANetliner | October 3, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Parker,

I am so happy for you, that you opened your eyes wide, to see the farce that Palin is. She was on that stage looking like a teenager in jr high, flirting with the quarterback! She blew off every question, stuck to her talking points and acted like a pompous ass.
She scares me, especially after when she told us what a VP's duties were. She is as bad, if not worse than Cheney!
I'm sorry to say all these things, as I don't like to pre-judge. But, look what they have given us to work with? Nobody can ask her a question, and if someone does, she either can't answer, isn't allowed to, or doesn't know.
I'm not a religous person but, God, help us all!

Posted by: MARYB2 | October 3, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Parker's statement, "she used the language of the people to great effect," implies the American people are stupid and/or ignorant. People I know, from diverse areas, when posed a question they don't understand either deliver BS or ask for it to be repeated in a way they can comprehend. Obviously this was not the case last night.

If we want to discuss something of importance, let's talk about the issue of sexism, which pervaded the air last night. This sexism is one against men and has been around for a long time. Mrs. Palin received multiple free passes on comments that had they come from Mr. Biden would surely have been viewed and commentated on as sexist and condescending. Why the double standard? Equal rights do not mean special rights? Right? And also. . . . .

Posted by: ben91aro | October 3, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I watched the debate from Australia with great interest. I’m amazed that someone like Palin is even tolerated in the USA. It all seemed to me like she was addressing a PTA meeting.

I must admit that, unlike our American friends, we Australians are much smarter when it comes to choosing our national leaders.

Posted by: Frank24 | October 3, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

After watching that debate I have come to the conclusion that Palin is as down-home and authentic as my grandma's oatmeal cookies. That is to say, Palin is to Main Street, what --fill in the blank-- is to my grandma's cookies.

Your choices:
1) The prepackaged crap with flashy graphics you find at the local 7-11 counter: Created in a laboratory and extensively tested on focus groups, but a few months past the expiration date.
2) The stuff in a tube you can find in the grocery store, preferable with a few superfluous E’s thrown into the name for marketing purposes: You can bake ‘em in the oven, and you might be able to deceive people for a while, but you will be exposed at the big event—the bake off—just like a Cindy McCain cookie recipe.
3) The real things: Actually, my grandma never made oatmeal cookies, because she had no idea how to bake anything; ergo, there is no such thing as a populist republican, so stop it already with the f’ing winks, gotcha, youbetcha, soccer games, and other BS.

Palin’s only real moment last night was her answer to the same sex marriage question. And the rest of it? For gosh-dern-sakes! I could have coached my mom to answer Gwen’s questions.

Here is the formula:
1) Remember a couple proper nouns (persons, places, things) for each question you think you’ll be asked.
2) Iraq: Surge! Obama wants to surrender. Afghanistan: Surge!
3) Maverick.
4) If you cannot remember your canned response, punt by giving an answer about the need to cut taxes to stimulate the economy.
5) Do your homework: watch Reagan debating Carter. Throw in at least one ‘Oh, there you go again, Jimmy! Er, Joe.’ during the debate.

If these idiots win this election, I think we should seriously rethink this whole democracy thing.

Posted by: bikes-everywhere | October 3, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I think Parker's analysis is right: she uses all these words and language and mannerisms that are meant to show her spunk and energy and so on, which I'm sure some people love, and yet to those of us who are skeptical it just falls flat and all you have left are the empty non-answers and weird catch phrases. It seems false, making you wonder what she's really about.

Posted by: LizaBean | October 3, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

If any other VP candidate had insisted that the rules of the debate be dumbed-down to conceal his/her weaknesses, then announced that he/she was going to ignore the questions put to him/her, and then merely delivered a canned stump speech, full of generalities and campaign slogans, just chopped into short sections, they would have been laughed out of the debating hall. If the VP candidate had been a Democrat, Parker would be laughing the loudest.

There is an apt phrase for this:
"The soft bigotry of low expectations". - G.W. Bush

Lord help me! The Republicans want an "affirmative action" hiring decision for the second highest office in the land!

Posted by: careysub | October 3, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

ABOLISH THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE!

Posted by: Conservativemindsareinshackles | October 3, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Palin's non-elite, populist shtick rings hollow. Behind the artifice is a power hungry woman.

Posted by: phughez | October 3, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I finally figure why the election is so close. There are too many voters who are delusional. Like those who expect a bit "more substance" from Sarah Palin and those who are so deluded that they think Palin is ready for the presidency and Obama is not. And those who think the only thing that matters is social cultural war. The last group will make the Taliban proud.

Posted by: steviana | October 3, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

How exactly are McCain's people a "team of mavericks"? Since when do nonconformists form teams?

It sounds oxymoronic.

Posted by: gretel1 | October 3, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Really, Kathleen? You think we should be worried about whether she's ready to be president? But you said she won based on spunk! Which matters more in our next vice president, ready-to-be-president-ness or spunkiness? Based on your column, I'm not sure. Please explain!

Posted by: TheGreenMiles | October 3, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Wow the Republican venom is suspiciously missing from these comments. Maybe that is the true measure of victory. Or perhaps they didn't get the sarcasm in the article.

Posted by: Conservativemindsareinshackles | October 3, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Palin crammed for a test and regurgitated what she "learned" regardless of the question. Is that what you expect in a leader? I expect someone who understands, thinks and gives a considered answer. You didn't see any of that from Palin.

Posted by: USneedsObama | October 3, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

The bar was set exceedingly low for Ms. Palin. The question I pose is: do we want a Vice President and possibly a President whose bar is that low? With global and economic complexities being what they are I would say no.

I think we have to remember that this was supposed to be a debate. I didn't get the sense that Palin was debating so it's hard to justify giving her a "win" on any account.

Posted by: outtacontext | October 3, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Using my wife's good judgement on the debate: Sarah Palin is not ready for Vice President. My wife is prone to worry about Obama's chances for success, however, after this so-called debate, my wife said she felt Obama's chances improved.

As I talk to young women (about politics!), many are undecided, and some say they will not vote. My wife says to these young women: think about Supreme Court nominations that are likely from Obama vs. McCain.

Joe Biden represents an excellent predictor of good judgement because he has been on the Senate Judiciary committee for years. Sarah Palin was not able to answer Katie Couric's question about the Supreme Court beyond the thin "Roe v. Wade" mantra.

Posted by: rmorris391 | October 3, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Well, Sarah did just fine in the debate last night and since you MSM elites cannot criticize her on substance, you will do it on style. I would much rather have her brand of folksy straight talk than Joe Biden's pomposity and exageration. (Get real Joe, Cheney the worse VP in history. Worse than Aaron Burr or Spiro Agnew.)

Memo to jgarrisn: Apparently, you do not have much to do other than place the same post in various boards. Obviously, you do not check your sources before putting them in quotation marks. The Jules Verne classic is "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," not "2,000 Leagues Below the Sea." Such sloppy scholarship may cost you your place in the MSM elite tree house.

Posted by: raulcarr | October 3, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Palin won at all. In fact, I found her whole act patronizing. She reminds me of a saleswoman who will say anything just to get her commission. Often these people will adopt the same speech patterns and accent as the customer just to create the illusion of familiarity. I'm not buying it.

Posted by: sunnyday1 | October 3, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Oops! Sorry, in prior post it should be "Get real Joe, Cheney the worst VP in history.

Posted by: raulcarr | October 3, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I wish Americans would mail a postcard to McCain's campaign, addressed to Sarah, saying "I *am* America. Answer the gosh-darn questions!"

Posted by: hitpoints | October 3, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I appreciated the way Sarah addressed the important issue of our need to become more energy indepenant during this particular debate. I don’t think the candidates have spoken enough about this concern that is reeking so much havoc on our economy. Our country is going to heck in a handbasket. The high cost of fuel has driven up the production and shipping cost of everything. Consumers have nothing left over after filling the tank and paying more for the necessities of life to spend on extras, save or invest. We need to get ourselves out from under our dpendency on foriegn oil. Families everywhere are wondering where else they can cut back to cover the cost of fueling up the family vehicle to get back and forth to work and take care of the necessities of life. There is no money left for relaxation and family fun. The stress level continues to rise. Most areas of the country have seen a sharp rise in their electric bill as power companies pass their increased production costs on to consumers. The price of a gallon of milk is almost as precious as a gallon of gas. The cost of every consumer product has risen sharply. Americans are stretched to the limit. Jobs are being lost, foreclosures are increasing at an alarming rate. Seems even the family pets are suffering the high cost of fuel as almost daily a sad new story is on TV about shelters being forced to euthanize record number of surrendered pets from those forced out of their homes due to foreclosure or they simply can’t afford to feed them anymore. The energy crisis in our country is far reaching and needs immediate attention. Our economy is in a sorry state of affairs directly related to the high cost of fuel. We have become so dependant on foreign oil that we have neglected to fully utilize such natural sources of energy such wind power & solar power. Along with modern technology such as plug in cars, hybrid cars, v2g technology ,and regenerative braking, technology we still seem to be floundering as a nation as to devising the best plan utilize all that is available to us and lift ourselves out of this mess we are in. We need to take o ur closest look at which candidates put our economy and energy crisis at the forefront of their agenda. I just bought a newly released book on Amazon.com called The Manhattan Project of 2009 by Jeff Wilson it is very interesting. He has been doing some interviews on talk radio etc.

Posted by: BeyondGreen | October 3, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

"Well, Sarah did just fine in the debate last night and since you MSM elites cannot criticize her on substance, you will do it on style"

There was no substance so all that was left was style and most aren't buying it.

Posted by: rmiller19 | October 3, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Follow-up question for Gov. Palin:

Governor Palin, you don't know what Achilles Heel means, do ya?

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | October 3, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

She didnt answer the questions and flat out lied about a lot of things! Of course you look good if you only answer what you want to.

Posted by: cmsatown | October 3, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I think Kathleen Parker is just being impossible here!

As a Liberal, I love Sarah Palin1

She's folksy, lovely, attractive, and likable. And, yes, colloquially trendy, too. ("It's 'drill, baby, drill,' NOT 'drill, drill, drill,' Senator," she corrected the elderly statesman on Britney Spear hip-hopness.)

This woman, I think, is ready to be our President! (should the need arise). Despite the hated and hateful Liberal Media Elitists attempt to downgrade her, make fun of her, say she's an minimally uneducated hockey mom, etc. she showed she's more intelligent than Biden, more learned... able to talk in crisp folksy ways. And those smiles, she's one hot 44-year-old governor mom-and-grama-to-be.

Never mind that Gwen Ifil asked the two candidates nothing about constitutional laws, Supreme Court cases and HOW they shape the LAW of the land, which, in their opinion, was good or not good AND WHY....

Gwen Ifil, being so afraid of being labeled a Washington elitist, simply allowed the two candidates to say whatever they want, NOT insisting that they answer the question SHE asked of them....

But, hey, Sarah is definitely ready to be President of the United States, you betcah!

She's gonna make Putin and Hu blink in "nukular" issue negotiations!

Posted by: HerLao | October 3, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

That debate was really a true matchup between a heavyweight (Biden) and a bantamweight (Palin). I really think Biden (and Gwen Ifill, for that matter) took pity on poor Caribou Sarah. She clearly knew nothing about the bailout, tax plans or health care, which is why she couldn't and wouldn't answer the questions (which by the way, you're SUPPOSED to answer the moderator's questions in a debate).

Biden hammered McCain on his votes, and Palin had no answer for them. And even when she tried to sound smart by referring to General McClellan when Biden talked about the lead General in Afghanistan, she didn't even know that General McKeiran is the top General, not McClellan).

Poor Sarah didn't even know this morning that Mr.McGoo pulled out of Michigan.

You'd have to be an idiot to vote for Palin.

Posted by: owiz | October 3, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I honestly don't understand how a person like this gets a job writing for the Washington Post. I don't like Biden, he authored legislation that makes it harder for me to throw music events. That said I watched the whole debate and he beat the tar out of Palin. He also didn't go for the throat, and there were plenty of opportunities for him to do so. Palin always changed the subject, never answered a direct question. It shouldn't surprise me, that's how all of the Republican automotons talk. Worse than that, she never offered up any specific details, and in all her "Change" "Reform" talk she sounded more like a lobotomized Democrat than a Republican. Which party got us into this mess again? I think everyone knows the answer.

Now, the landslide begins.

Posted by: pdxgeek | October 3, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Gee, I don't know what liberals will do to keep themselves miserable if Obama wins. They seem to relish the part so I guess they'll figure something out. If Obama wins can I borrow all your "worst President ever" bumper stickers for my car for the next four years.

Posted by: mh53ehawk
*******************
Golly, would ya? I kinda thinkin' the sarcastic attempts at humor is sorta what you right-wingers were gonna do to console yourselves. Maybe you can say thanks but no thanks to any benefits that an Obama/Biden administration provides for you. That will show us, ya think?

Posted by: LABC | October 3, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Kathleen, I have a new found respect for you that you are willing to take an opened eyed and principled position, unlike your colleague David Brooks at the NYT. Thanks for not giving up on your position after the debates on the un-readiness of Gov. Palin. Palin affirmatively declined to answer a difficult question--would she do that as President? Does any leader have that option?

Posted by: cargillstorch | October 3, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Finally, I've found that someone has mentioned the fact that she, like Bush can not pronounce the word Nuclear. She must have said Nuculer 20 times. 'Drives me nuts. What is it with Palin and Bush and this word? It's a common word, a short word, a word that is pronounced the way it is spelled. Is it errogance or an absolute refusal to appear smart, or simply stupidity? Also, and also and also, how many times did she say also? This whole dumb down to talk to average Americans is an insult. I can talk casually when in that sort of environment, but when in a professional, high stakes place, I was taught step up my "grammar game" in an effort to show that I am capable of doing so. She didn't implode like I thought she could have, but I suspected that she'd remember her lines like a good actress should and she did, even if she errogantly refused to answers the questions asked and told Ifil something like "she may not answer the questions asked or follow the debate rules"; as if to say, "I'm already so powerful and impressive that following the rules is beneath me". Right after that statement and her refusal to answer the question asked, Joe, politely answered the question asked. "Way to go Joe" THE MOST DISTURBING PART: when she suggested she'd like to assume more power in the Senate as VP. Thank goodness Biden quickly corrected the idea as unconstitutional by telling her and all of us that the VP is part of the Executive Branch NOT the legislative branch. She sounded like Bush in drag trying to grab power before she's even in the position to attempt to do so. They just can't get their hands on enough power. "Oh, I want Executive and Legislative Powers cuz I don't believe in the separation of powers. That's part of that pesky ole Constitution, ya know, and also." What is up with repubs total lack of respect for our Constitution and assuming that they can inject dictatorship authority into the Executive Branch?

Posted by: tspradlin | October 3, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

People seem to be forgetting the fact that Palin did not really answer any of the questions - aside from energy what else does she know? Wake up Parker, can't you see the light, doggonit!!!

Posted by: jshoiy | October 3, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I loved Palin's RNC speech. She was so in control for someone so unknown.

What I saw last night was distressing. Now I feel like I really know her, and what I know is that she is phony and disingenous. When she wasn't putting us on with her faux-downhominess, she was downright incoherent.
I cringed when I read her remarks on climate change: "We have got to encourage other nations also to come along with us with the impacts of climate change, what we can do about that".

I don't know what this means other than that it sounds vaguely positive. C'mon!! I want an ANSWER, not a SMILE. And please stop quoting Reagan. Quoting Reagan does not make you Reagan. She has not an ounce of the sincerity, humility, and clemency that Reagan had.

Posted by: buckeyebuckeye | October 3, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Kathleen,
I’m not an English teacher, but anyone who listened closely to the words of Sarah Palin on Thursday night had to be a bit embarrassed by her poor use of our language. She often failed to speak in complete sentences. A lot of her lines were vague and incoherent. She used numerous malapropisms. Much of the time it was difficult to understand what she was talking about.

And this was in addition to Palin’s inability to accurately cite facts or remember the correct names of key political figures, both American and international.

I was actually starting to feel some sympathy for Palin. But then I realized that the campaign for Vice President is not a popularity contest. It’s about proving you have the competence to do this job.

Your ability to speak, and speak clearly, is an indication of your thinking, your preparation, your confidence and your experience. Palin’s verbal confusion, her reliance on Republican talking points, rehearsed attack lines, worn-out clichés, and her inability (or outright refusal) to answer so many of the questions asked of her, gave us an indication of her readiness to assume the Vice Presidency.

Unfortunately for Palin, and for John McCain, the debate reaffirmed something most of us have suspected for a while: Sarah Palin is clearly not qualified to hold this important office.

Posted by: snesich | October 3, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Sure seemed that Biden got his clock cleaned. I might have even voted for a Biden/Clinton, Clinton/Biden. Just can't bring myself to vote for a Obama/Biden ticket. I guess it's McCain/Palin until the dems stop running far left loons.

Posted by: zoomie95 | October 3, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

But there's no question: She won the debate on popularity.

ms. parker, are you stupid?

and if your OPINION is correct then i'm living in a country full of stupid people. because that's what you're saying that people can't tell the difference between answering questions and not answering questions.

re-electing bush is justified after what the country went through after 9/11. heck i voted for him in 2004. but to elect this person UNFORGIVEABLE OFFENSE! actually not just elect her but actually THINK she is qualified is down right stupid.

and for those of you who are going to call me an obamabot, you guys are just as guilty of presumptions as people who are calling palinbots racist. they're not racist. they're just stupid.

Posted by: dealer1 | October 3, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Are you serious?? Winning? Is that what you consider a victory? Not one sentence out of her mouth made sense and addressed any of the critical issues being touched. She was constantly running around the actual topic and going off tangent. Whats up with the annoying winks and expressions? All of her attempts were lame cheap shots.. very immature approach. I was highly impressed with Joe Biden. So much more knowledge, understanding of issues, experience and common sense! Not too much to ask from a VP candidate. God save us from Palin!

Posted by: zinya_08 | October 3, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

However, your new views on Palin aren't nearly as shamelessly pandering and laughable as those of your fellow conservative, Peggy Noonan---you know, the one who said Palin "killed" at the debate last night. (Yeah, right.)

Of course, unlike Peggy, you weren't caught off guard, when you thought the microphone was off, lamenting the poor choice of Palin and how it meant this race was "over".

I'd be backtracking if I were Peggy too. After all, she has to get a job somewhere in the future.

Posted by: snesich | October 3, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Palin wiped Biden out -- his plastic, weird smile, reeked old style politics.

He even misidentified where in the Constitution the Executive Branch is located (hint, it's not Article I -- you think a guy who's been in the Senate for 35 years would know that).

Posted by: saxonthedog | October 3, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

"Can I call you Joe?" is downright disrespectful. (President Ahmadi-Nejad, can I call you Mud? Or do you prefer Mah?)

And everything about Palin's cornball earthiness, wink-wink, is contrived and pandering. I want my politicians to act like statesmen and women when they are in the political arena. How they conduct themselves at the soccer game or grocery store might be more casual, but the office and the people they represent demands decorum, not antics that fill the gossip column.

Posted by: lindaj4 | October 3, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Palin's performance was just that, a performance. It was all the illusion of soccer mom and "gosh darns" with no real substance behind it. At one point she was trying to channel Ronnie Raygun with the "there you go again." But the Republicans have nothing to offer except more of the same. I have no belief that Palin even understood how the financial crisis came about. She kept talking about wall street corruption when the primary problem was de-regulation.

Posted by: jokr8790 | October 3, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Considering Palin spent the majority of the last 5 weeks being prepped for last night what did anyone expect. She was going to talk about what she wanted, avoid questions she didn't know or couldn't defend and throw in as many zingers as possible. All of this wrapped up a real folksy approach. Ifill, who I respect very much dropped the ball last night. She made only minor attempts at keeping Palin on subject and I found that annoying.

While Biden touched on the maverick issue he could of and should of gone further. Nothing McCain has done recently would qualify him as a maverick. Based on his overall record voting for McCain is tantamount to voting for Bush's policies again. Hence, anyone who likes where this country has gone in the last 8 years and want 4 more of it vote for McCain/Palin and you will get your wish. Anyone interested in change should vote for Obama/Biden and they will also get their wish if their candidate wins.

Posted by: blund | October 3, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I noticed Palin's comment right away, that she was going to give the answers she had prepared, no matter what questions she was asked. Amazing that she told everyone right off that she was going to do that. NPR commentator Ken Rudin: Palin’s debate performance was not even up to the low standard set by Dan Quayle. Biden should have said to Palin on Thursday, "I knew Dan Quayle. I served with Dan Quayle. And you're no Dan Quayle."

My biggest complaint is the notion that anyone would take Palin seriously, given the opposing ticket of Obama and Biden. Sarah Palin criticizing Barack Obama and Joe Biden is like my last place Pittsburgh Pirates criticizing the play of the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox--absurd on the face of it!

Palindrome: Short for “Palin Syndrome”, making statements that are as nonsensical read forwards as backwards.

Posted by: pennsykid2000 | October 3, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

"I appreciated the way Sarah addressed the important issue of our need to become more energy indepenant during this particular debate. I don’t think the candidates have spoken enough about this concern that is reeking so much havoc on our economy. Posted by: BeyondGreen | October 3, 2008 1:14 PM "

http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/newenergy

Posted by: b1rd | October 3, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah and whats with the hockey mom crap? Shouldnt it be soccer mom if anything at all!!
Even though Biden clearly repeated some of the major facts, literally spelling em out.. there will be those people who will just NOT get it! They are blinded, just like Palin! We can only pray for them to come back to their senses.
And pardon me but I find it hilarious when I see comments like...Palin 'killed' at the debate last night! Yeah, she killed yet another chance of coming out a bit sensible this time... but then again considering what she actually is capable of delivering and her true potential.. well, I guess I'd agree that she survived...but then seriously you'd rather just fail straight out than survive like that!

Posted by: zinya_08 | October 3, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin is going to have a tough time working with anyone in Washington.

During the VP debate w/ Joe Biden she took an amazing swipe at "East Coast politicians." But that's a characterization that fits all of the following senators:

Richard Burr - Republican, North Carolina
Saxby Chambliss - Republican, Georgia
Susan Collins - Republican, Maine
Paul Coverdell - Republican, Georgia
Jim DeMint - Republican, South Carolina
Elizabeth Dole - Republican, North Carolina
Judd Gregg - Republican, New Hampshire
Joseph Lieberman - Democrat, Connecticut
Connie Mack - Republican, Florida
Mel Martinez - Republican, Florida
William Roth - Republican, Delaware
Jeff Sessions - Republican, Alabama
Richard Shelby - Republican, Alabama
Olympia Snowe - Republican, Maine
Arlen Specter - Republican, New Hampshire
John Sununu - Republican, New Hampshire
John Warner - Republican, Virginia

as well as these Governors:

Donald Carcieri - Republican, Rhode Island
Charlie Crist - Republican, Florida
Jim Douglas - Republican, Vermont
Sonny Perdue - Republican, Georgia
Florida M. Jodi Rell - Connecticut
Bob Riley - Republican, Alabama
Mark Sanford - Republican, South Carolina

Forget about reaching a hand across the aisle, what about reaching a hand across the Mississippi River to the members of her own party?

Palin seeks to win by dividing the country, a strategy straight from Karl Rove's playbook.

Posted by: HughBriss | October 3, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

She is just awful and ruthlessly ambitious. When she is behind a podium, she is mean and mocking and obviously repeating phrases they told her to say for a sure win.

I live in a small Wisconsin town. The folksie people here drive trucks with oversized tires, make meth in the back 40 and never say darn, doggone or dagnabbit. Their speech is peppered with a familiar word beginning with F, which they use as a noun, verb, adjective and adverb.

Posted by: foxtrot1 | October 3, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

"Well, Sarah did just fine in the debate last night and since you MSM elites cannot criticize her on substance, you will do it on style."

LOL, thanks, I needed a good laugh

Posted by: lightgrw | October 3, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

"Palin wiped Biden out -- his plastic, weird smile, reeked old style politics.
He even misidentified where in the Constitution the Executive Branch is located (hint, it's not Article I -- you think a guy who's been in the Senate for 35 years would know that).
Posted by: saxonthedog | October 3, 2008 2:02 PM"

No... Article 1, Section 3, Clause 4 DOES in fact outline the Vice President's responsibility as President of the Senate, which is ONLY to cast a vote in the case of a tie. Article II, Clause 1 defines the Vice President's office as part of the Executive branch. Biden's point was to contradict Palin's assertion that the VP should have more power within the Senate so while his answer may not have been complete (because he didn't say Articles I AND II) it was factually correct.

Posted by: b1rd | October 3, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Answer: STILL not ready!

Posted by: okjoel | October 3, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

NPR commentator Ken Rudin: Palin’s debate performance was not even up to the low standard set by Dan Quayle. Biden should have said to Palin on Thursday, "I knew Dan Quayle. I served with Dan Quayle. And you're no Dan Quayle."

My biggest complaint is the notion that anyone would take Palin seriously, given the opposing ticket of Obama and Biden. Sarah Palin criticizing Barack Obama and Joe Biden is like my last place Pittsburgh Pirates criticizing the play of the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox--absurd on the face of it!

Palindrome: Short for “Palin Syndrome”, making statements that are as nonsensical read forwards as backwards.

Posted by: pennsykid2000 | October 3, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

WOW,

I am pretty sure, from not only the title but the rest of this article, that Parker is being sarcastic. If in doubt, read it again. I did and still think she was being sarcastic.

Anyone else with me on this?

Posted by: tspradlin | October 3, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

WOW,

I am pretty sure, from not only the title but the rest of this article, that Parker is being sarcastic. If in doubt, read it again. I did and still think she was being sarcastic.

Anyone else with me on this?

Posted by: tspradlin | October 3, 2008 2:45 PM

I'm with you. I was beginning to fear that we were all wound up too tight to recognize sarcasm. Pity, as it is definitely something that goes hand-in-hand with presidential campaigns.

Posted by: Skowronek | October 3, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Parker - Are your editors aware of your obvious use of hard core hallucenogenic drugs during working hours?

Posted by: VeloStrummer | October 3, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Diehl? Racism and stupidity is alive and well. What channel was he watching? This woman didn't answer one question, talked about "Only" Alaska, not what she'd do about Education, abstinence, her future son-in-law website, how she fired staff, oh my goodness. I want someone smarter than I am but she should keep to shooting Moose. The grin and the voice. Please go to:
http://bigshow.bigfolio.com (See what the people in Alaska really think about her. If Senator Obama's daughters were older and pregnant the media would have a serious field day and even Chelsea Clinton even now if she were pregnant and unmarried. When one runs for office there is nothing off limits, not family, friends "NOTHING!" No one has commented on the debate commentator that did the Senantors debate and he was truly a McCain supporter and very bias. Ms. Gwen was respectfull - Palin was tutored hard but couldn't answer any questions and if anyone thinks this is what America wants as a VP, oh, my goodness. Senator Biden did all Americans proud. I used to be a Republican but Palin and McCain no way!

Posted by: Jean10 | October 3, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

"Palin wiped Biden out -- his plastic, weird smile, reeked old style politics.
He even misidentified where in the Constitution the Executive Branch is located (hint, it's not Article I -- you think a guy who's been in the Senate for 35 years would know that).
Posted by: saxonthedog | October 3, 2008 2:02 PM"

Biden, a professor of Constitutional Law knows, and he gave us a snipit of what he knows because he wasn't there to teach class. Palin's statement regarding her intent to grab Senate power as VP was so moronic, it only deserved a short yet bold repsonse. It must have been quite the challenge for Joe not be condescending towards her. I could not have contained myself. Personally, I prefer the grittier Senate floor version of Biden. I can not stand her "cheerleader" style and shrill voice. Hats off to Joe for being nicer than he should have been to the ever so fragile Palin. Poor Palin, she's so picked on by the media. Well, if she didn't make it so easy to find flaw in her, they wouldn't bring the flaws to our attention. Hats off to the media for not protecting her. It is their job to expose her strengths and weaknesses and have done so. I've seen her strengths AND her weaknesses. What, was I only supposed to see her spunky charm?

Posted by: tspradlin | October 3, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

New title for Palin “Miss Redneck Congeniality. FerSer

Posted by: msreginacomcastnet | October 3, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Wow. That was the worst article I have ever read. Where are you coming from and who the heck hired you?

Posted by: nwalter2002 | October 3, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

"So what if Sarah didn't understand 'Achilles Heel'?"

In an election in which one candidate is derided for his "foreignness", it strikes me as rather frightening that Palin may be completely unaware of one of the foundational literary references of western civilization.

Posted by: constans | October 3, 2008 2:25 AM
*****************

I gotta tell ya, I'm not sure Palin understood what Biden was talking about when he complimented her for for implementing a windfall profits tax on Big Oil in Alaska, even though that's waht she had just described.

Remember, folks: as good as some of you apparently thought she looked last night, this is the same individual who choked when asked the simplest of follow up questions to her scripted answers. And I want you to remember, with the exception of HW Bush, who actually is a very bright man, the other Republicans at the top of the ticket, Reagan and Bush II, were exactly the same way (Reagan at least had a little wit, I'll grant).

Don't forget that both Reagan and Bush II also severely limited press access.


Posted by: abqcleve | October 3, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Gov. Palin is really pro-choice. Doubt me? Do you really think she'd disagree with anything on this page?

http://hubpages.com/hub/For-Women-Only----A-Pictorial-Journey-About-Choice

Posted by: JackBurton1 | October 3, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Amazingly, everyone thinks Joe had command of the facts. He screwed up his middle east comment regarding Lebanon and the west bank, Hamas and NATO. He incorrectly claimed Obama and McCain voted the same on funding of the troops. They did vote the same on the bill that included a "timeline for withdrawal" but differently on the bill that did not have that clause. He claimed Obama was right regarding, the success of the surge, if not the war as a whole. He was wrong about McCains idea to, "deregulate, deregulate". True, Biden was polished, but he was inaccurate. So you have polished vs. warm and likable. Toss up in my book.

Posted by: watzinit4me | October 3, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

The following post, from a little earlier here, is worthy of a re-posting and even a masthead position in the WAPO. Bravo!!

*******************
I love my country and except the wonderful diversity that it represents. There is no better place to live and all Americans should be proud to be a citizen. But I shudder when I hear someone would be vice-president (or even president) make the following assertion:
“But even more important is that world view that I share with John McCain. That world view that says that America is a nation of exceptionalism. And we are to be that shining city on a hill, as President Reagan so beautifully said, that we are a beacon of hope and that we are unapologetic here. We are not perfect as a nation. But together, we represent a perfect ideal. And that is democracy and tolerance and freedom and equal rights. Those things that we stand for that can be put to good use as a force for good in this world.”
Suggesting that Barack Obama’s position on world affairs and diplomacy is naïve and dangerous is breathtakingly ignorant and arrogant on the part of a so-called qualified candidate who can blithely make such an assertion. Clearly she understands history as well she understands current world affairs.
History is replete with examples of the disastrous consequences of one nation/peoples fervent belief that they are exceptional, represent a perfect ideal and should put those qualities “to good use as a force for good in this world”.
One only has to recall the 1920s, 30s, and 40s when the twin evils of Nazi fascism and Japanese imperialism were unleashed on the world. The Nazis were the super race – super in purity, super in strength, super in culture. The Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, etc. were untermenschen, subhuman, to be subjugated, enslaved and murdered, all in the name of spreading the Aryan ideal.
The Japanese also saw themselves as superior to all others – the Chinese who were to be subjugated and forced to work for the good of the Empire and the barbarian races of the West who were to be defeated in all out war.
Hopefully one does not have to remind Sarah and John of the disastrous consequences of their outspoken right to expand and recreate large parts of the world in their own image.
The consequences of such hubris have been with us since ancient times. Witness the Mongols, the Tatars, etc. who sacked and razed numerous centers of civilization and slaughtered countless thousands simply because they abhorred the others’ ways of life.
Lest you miss the parallels with today, consider this: absent any real issues of imminent danger (and we know that the Bush administration knowingly lied and misrepresented the facts thereon) what is different about the Bush policy of forcing democracy on sovereign nations without a single concern for the wishes of the people or the government involved (i.e., Iraq)?
One last comment; lest Sarah and John not understand the disastrous nature of their stated position. While I have particular disdain for the policies and actions of the Bush administration, we cannot forget the other recent examples of American hubris that stems from variations of the McCain/Palin “doctrine”: Teddy Roosevelt re: Puerto Rico; missionaries in China, American paternalism in the Philippines; Kennedy and the Bay of Pigs; installing the Shah in Iran; you could go on and on. Ironically enough, most of these misadventures resulted ultimately in long term problems, often of a grave nature. How about the theocracy that really runs Iran?
I repeat. I love my country. Can we really afford 4 or 8 more years of ignorant, arrogant, chauvinistic, paternalistic governance as the McCain/Palin ticket promises?
Posted by: hooksee | October 3, 2008 11:14 AM

Posted by: abqcleve | October 3, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Kathleen,

Did she win the debate, or did she just make it easier for some people to project their own desires on to her?

Palin presented herself much better last night, no question. But she didn't win. Virtually every poll is telling us that she lost by 15-20 points. That is huge.

Conservatives are missing something here as they break into relieved cheers. Just about every woman I know, conservative or liberal, finds Palin's "cute" quicks phony and annoying. From the posts I read, Alaskans also find this act annoying because Palin is considered an urban politician there.

As the mother of a Marine recruit, I find Palin's constant smiling, winking and cheery folksiness offensive. Do I want my son risking his life for a Commander in Chief who would put such an ignoramous in line for the presidency? I don't think so.

Posted by: robin1 | October 3, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

He even misidentified where in the Constitution the Executive Branch is located (hint, it's not Article I -- you think a guy who's been in the Senate for 35 years would know that).

Posted by: saxonthedog | October 3, 2008 2:02 PM
*********************

BIDEN: Vice President Cheney has been the most dangerous vice president we've had probably in American history. The idea he doesn't realize that Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States, that's the Executive Branch. He works in the Executive Branch. He should understand that. Everyone should understand that.

And the primary role of the vice president of the United States of America is to support the president of the United States of America, give that president his or her best judgment when sought, and as vice president, to preside over the Senate, only in a time when in fact there's a tie vote. The Constitution is explicit.

The only authority the vice president has from the legislative standpoint is the vote, only when there is a tie vote. He has no authority relative to the Congress. The idea he's part of the Legislative Branch is a bizarre notion invented by Cheney to aggrandize the power of a unitary executive and look where it has gotten us. It has been very dangerous."
------------------

Yes, the Executive Branch is described in Article.......2, not 1. But Article 1 describes what? The functions of the Legislative. Note Joe's final point about the VP vis-a-vis the Legislative Branch.

Do you really want to disqualify a Joe Biden who extemporaneously blends Articles 1 and 2, or do you want to elect a VP who says this:

"PALIN: Well, our founding fathers were very wise there in allowing through the Constitution much flexibility there in the office of the vice president. And we will do what is best for the American people in tapping into that position and ushering in an agenda that is supportive and cooperative with the president's agenda in that position. Yeah, so I do agree with him that we have a lot of flexibility in there, and we'll do what we have to do to administer very appropriately the plans that are needed for this nation. And it is my executive experience that is partly to be attributed to my pick as V.P. with McCain, not only as a governor, but earlier on as a mayor, as an oil and gas regulator, as a business owner. It is those years of experience on an executive level that will be put to good use in the White House also."

Gotta love the "also."

Why do Republicans have such a pathological aversion to the whole truth?

Posted by: abqcleve | October 3, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Gov. Palin is really pro-choice. Doubt me? Do you really think she'd disagree with anything on this page?

http://hubpages.com/hub/For-Women-Only----A-Pictorial-Journey-About-Choice

Posted by: JackBurton1 | October 3, 2008 3:19 PM

Now Jack,

I went to that site and it's all about "gun choice".
What's your point? This site is your own webpage. Are you advertising or what?
My husband owns a Remington 30-30 and 270 semi automatic high powered rifle. My dad has a collection of hand guns, rifles, shotguns and makes his own amo. Bigdeal! Dad insisted I get a handgun to protect myself and I refused. I shoot them, but they don't appeal to me because if I had one, it would be buried so deep to protect my children from it, I'd never load it in time to use it. The same goes for the big guns we own. The amo is hidden, the guns are hidden. The big guns are for killing dear anyway, which we kill for food, not sport or the rack.

Posted by: tspradlin | October 3, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Short answer: No she did not win. She is still an idiot. Oh and what's with this small-town values idolatry? More people live in medium and large cities than live in small towns. We have values too, and better ones at that: respect for higher education, respect for all races and religions, to name just a couple.

Posted by: fink | October 3, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Kathy says that expectations for Palin were low, like “2000 leagues under the sea.” A league measures distance, not depth Kathy. This is to say that expectations were 6,000 miles deep. I guess you thought Jules Verne’s Nautilus went like, 60,000 miles deep.

So Kathy looks stupid, but not as stupid as her ongoing bashing of Sarah makes her look. Is she trying to convince conservatives to vote for Hussein, or just stay home? Is Biden preferable to Sarah? Is Hussein preferable to McCain? Biden has been in the senate for 30 years and is still a lying oaf. Is experience the main thing, or character Kathy? Sarah can learn in office, Biden’s character flaws are hopeless.

God help us.

Posted by: ZERObama | October 3, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin's explanation of the education policy of a McCain-Palin administration:

"Say it ain't so, Joe, there you go again pointing backwards again. You preferenced [sic] your whole comment with the Bush administration. Now doggone it, let's look ahead and tell Americans what we have to plan to do for them in the future. You mentioned education and I'm glad you did. I know education you are passionate about with your wife being a teacher for 30 years, and god bless her. Her reward is in heaven, right? I say, too, with education, America needs to be putting a lot more focus on that and our schools have got to be really ramped up in terms of the funding that they are deserving. Teachers needed to be paid more. I come from a house full of school teachers. My grandma was, my dad who is in the audience today, he's a schoolteacher, had been for many years. My brother, who I think is the best schoolteacher in the year, and here's a shout-out to all those third graders at Gladys Wood Elementary School"

Posted by: JohninDC2 | October 3, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

If the county wants Ellie Mae Clampit for the next prez, who am I to argue. She don't need no book learnin' which is a good thing since she can't remember the last time she ever read anything.

Posted by: tserena | October 3, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

If Mr. Obama wins he will at least have someone, in Joe Biden, with some idea of the current situations in Iraq, with the economy, and... With Mr. McCain there will be no one at home. So who will whisper in his ear and move his lips? The guess here is that they will be the same ventriloquist and puppeteers who give voice and pull G.W.B.'s strings.

Posted by: bordersr | October 3, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

This is a serious election. Superficiality, disassembly, evasive and inane answers are not going to be tolerated. That is why Senator Biden was stunning in his complete victory in this debate. He gave us substance and depth of understanding. He did not let Gov. Palin's false claims and campaign slogans go unchecked.

Senator Biden distinguished himself well and greatly helped the ticket.

Posted by: lpezzin | October 3, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

To all you Moonbats, get a life. If you really think you speak for all of America, you are way off!!!

Poor Abe Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Harry Truman couldn't pass muster with the bunch on this site!!!

If Katherine is a conservative, I will eat crow. She is just another shrill!!!

Posted by: rjmeagle | October 3, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

"A league measures distance, not depth Kathy.
Posted by: ZERObama"

Really? Wow... so what unit of measurement do you use to measure depth dumba$$, kilograms? ROFLMAO! Depth is a dimension, denoting a particular direction usually downward from an upper surface through an object or body of material. In order to measure QUANTITY of depth you use.... you guessed in distance... and so it follows that any unit of measure for distance can be used to define a quantity of depth.... dumba$$!

Posted by: b1rd | October 3, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

"Is she ready to be president should the need arise?"

While Palin may or may not be ready to be President, she's more qualified and capable than Sen. Obama.

Posted by: GEAH | October 3, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

You guys are hilarious. I noticed that after Sarah said "nucular" about 10 times, I believe I heard Gwen say, "nucular, uh, nuclear." I had to laugh. About 3 or 4 times when Gwen asked Sarah for her rebuttal, Sarah said, "...uh..." as if she had not been thinking of a rebuttal and had to come up with some answer in a hurry. I thought that was funny, also.

And I do believe Sarah knows what an Achilles heel is after listening to her answer. She started by listing her executive talents which to me meant that she was saying "I know what people are saying about my foreign policy experience, but here is what I do bring to the table." Gwen had explained what she meant by Achilles heel in reference to both of their weaknesses anyhow. Palin knew what she was doing.

And for all that talk about changing subjects and not giving answers, where were these people last week when Barack Obama went off on a tangent about energy alternatives. The question was about RUSSIA!!! Double standard here?

Posted by: forgetthis | October 3, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

She's just more likable and down-to-earth than cranky old Joe
_____________________________________

Maybe to narrow-minded, ignorant rednecks she's "likable" and "down-to-earth", but to the smarter populace, she's just a lying sack of sh!t.

Posted by: vmunikoti | October 3, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: b1rd | October 3, 2008 4:14 PM


So, what's a fathom measure a$$hat?

Posted by: ZERObama | October 3, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Marge Gunderson for VP!
Marge Gunderson for VP!
Marge Gunderson for VP!
Marge Gunderson for VP!

Got some nightcrawlwers there Norm?
You betcha!

Posted by: billy8 | October 3, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I am insulted and offended - as a white, Christian, middle-class American woman - that Sarah Palin and many GOP pundits think the kind of speech she uses "connects" with me. She comes across as a snarky former beauty queen, and nothing more. And I do mean NOTHING more. She didn't answer the questions, and as for the Achilles heel question, she didn't just ignore it but it appeared to me she had NO idea what the moderator meant.

Anyone of average intelligence can memorize cliche-ridden talking points and deliver them with a silly grin and a wink. Her performance last night does nothing to make up for the stupidity she exibited in the Couric interviews.

I hope someone in the media will follow up on her comments about the specifics of the job of vice president. I've seen her described elsewhere as "George Bush in drag" - even worse would be Dick Cheney in drag!

Someone above posted:

"I feel a bit uneasy that the people of the US would reguire language this dumbed down . . ."

I have to say, I feel a LOT uneasy. We can only hope that in a few weeks she will be back in Alaska and will never again venture into the lower 48.

Posted by: DESS1 | October 3, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

"And for all that talk about changing subjects and not giving answers, where were these people last week when Barack Obama went off on a tangent about energy alternatives. The question was about RUSSIA!!! Double standard here?

Posted by: forgetthis | October 3, 2008 4:25 PM"

Her dodging questions would be acceptable if she was able to show that she has extemporaneous knowledge of any issues outside the state of Alaska. All politicians dodge questions from time to time. However, in her case it is not a single instance of dodging a question, it is a pattern repeated over and over again which she uses in a attempt to cover her ignorance.

Posted by: b1rd | October 3, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Voting for candidate who uses "the language of the people..." Isn't that how we got Bush? At least she can pronounce "nuclear," but this is the "change" that Obama keeps talking about--a president who actually speaks to the people instead of condescending to them with infantile "folksiness."

Posted by: squatty418 | October 3, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

So, what's a fathom measure a$$hat?

Posted by: ZERObama | October 3, 2008 4:29 PM

fath·om /ˈfæðəm/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[fath-uhm] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation noun, plural fath·oms, (especially collectively) fath·om, verb
–noun 1. a unit of LENGTH equal to six feet (1.8 meters): used chiefly in nautical measurements. Abbreviation: fath

Posted by: b1rd | October 3, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

I agree with GEAH!

"Is she ready to be president should the need arise?"

While Palin may or may not be ready to be President, she's more qualified and capable than NObama who has been practising for the job for the past two years.

Posted by: Cantabrigian | October 3, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Further more - It turns out Gwen Ifill never told the Commission on Presidential Debates about her book,"Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama."

Ms. Ifill has failed to be impartial from the get-go, so why should anyone be surprised that the African American community want a black president as much as women want to see a woman as VP?

NObama got less votes than HIllary Clinton, but he had the VP committee.

Go Figure!

Posted by: Cantabrigian | October 3, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I can't think of the word right now but when I read this Parker's columns the term I'm thinking of starts with a C... But for the life of me I can't grasp it right now. Nothing I hate more than a wannabe elitist trying to fit in like Ms. Parker...yea that word begins with a C... but I can't remember how to say it. Oh well.

Posted by: steahoover | October 3, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Here's a lovely quote from the movie Billy Madison that sums up what I think every time I have the displeasure of hearing Palin speak:

"Mr. Madison, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."

Golly gee youbetcha I couldn't have said it better myself .....

Posted by: RightDownTheMiddle | October 3, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

"And the question remains: Is she ready to be president should the need arise?"

And the answer is...
NO!

Posted by: janeb2 | October 3, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

I for one have faith that the folks in the heartland are smarter than Sara Palin's handlers think they are. At some point in time in the near future all of these patronizing lies will come back and bite. I just hope I'm there to see it.

Posted by: bob29 | October 3, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

If you side on the policies of Obabma, Palin is irrelevant. However, what worries me are those people who side on the policies of John McCain, who must deal with the fact that the incompetent Sarah Palin goes along for the ride. Will common sense prevail and switch those votes to Obama, or will they go down fighting with their party at all costs? The race will be close if they hold their ground, but Obama wins in a landslide if they come to their senses.

Posted by: pyezahn | October 3, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Well, gosh darnit, I have a masters degree, have lived in major cities from coast to coast, including San Francisco, St. Louis, and Washington DC, and guess what? I use words like "darnit" and "dadgum". I was told recently by a west-coast linguist researcher that I have no discernable accent. Good golly, I was pleased to hear that as I have lived in the deep South for many years!
Why would I use the "language of the people" when I am clearly educated, traveled, a female small business owner, and have lived in big city America most of my adult life? It's because I love relating to people from all backgrounds and refuse to play the haughty-game with words. In addition to just plain communicating, words can both entreat and alienate the hearer. I speak the way I do in order to connect with my audience. Connecting is a requirement for human communication. I also don't care for foul language because THAT is the true language of ignorance. I am living proof that you can be a successful, educated female professional who speaks plainly and simply.
So gosh darnit, I love Sarah Palin.
If Sarah can hold her own on a national stage with the schedule she has kept and the pressure she has been under these last five weeks, she is certainly up for the task of filling the VP shoes. To those who assert that her language skills and lack of depth on issues are evidence of her incompetence, I say, lose the rule about using 50-cent words and didactic purity as the primary evidence of ability. Look instead to her endurance under great personal pressure, the consistency of her message – does she walk the walk, or just bloviate? – and her ability to acquire new information and communicate well. She passes all these tests.
In contrast, bloviating Biden's 30+ years of experience has taught him how to string together erroneous 'facts' (us plain speaking folks call those lies) and state them with an air of authority. And, now, here again, us plain folks call that bull-hockey.
Obama/Biden supporters were relieved to have a white Washington insider on the ticket who speaks like a 'grown-up' and can wow folks with his iron-clad memory and bull-hockey skills...never mind that the iron has rusted. As a white man, Biden was needed to increase confidence for all those ‘ignorant’ rural voters...the Dem committee in Missouri , I believe, referred to them as “idiots” in a recent ultra secret memo!
Obama/Biden hopefuls are willing to trust what 'sounds like' it belongs in Washington without question. Perhaps the top of the ticket selected Biden in part because of his deftness at the bull-hockey game…sadly, the recent reference to voters as “idiots” , mentioned above, suggests this is the case. If a truth meter had been used to decide the winner at last night’s debate, Palin would have won and Biden would have been exposed as the, er, um, bull-hockey expert of the century.
I'd rather have someone by McCain's side in the Whitehouse who is smart, adept at learning, calm under fire, and willing to shut up instead of fake it with well placed lies asserted with the utmost of confidence.
Talking in circles is a habit that can clearly be unlearned. Being a bull-hockey expert, however, is a sign of poor character and desperation.

Posted by: mommalynn | October 3, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Well, Kathleen, I wondered how you would react to last night's debate. I'm a little disappointed at your post, but I can't say it's an outrage.

You made a gutsy move when you called for her to step down, and you've been classy about the whole process, so I want to speak to you with the respect you've earned. I think Sarah Palin has more natural political talent than you have given her credit for. She's a radical rookie on the national stage who has been on the job for, what, five weeks? Last night she went 15 rounds with Joe Biden, anybody's definition of a pro. That deserves a LOT more credit than you've grudgingly given her here.

From what I've heard of her governing style in Alaska, she's governed from the center and has gotten a lot accomplished. That's the truest measure of her real political stock, not her speed-reading and instant recall skills. She'll come up to speed on all the "gotcha" questions eventually... probably by Inauguration Day.

She's NOT the Dan Quayle I was afraid she could be (not that Dan Quayle was the man the media made him out to be). She's a "great communicator," whether or not she has anything particularly insightful to say. That was Ronald Reagan's gift... a B-movie actor who knew what he believed and said it with a smile on his face.

I'm cautiously optimistic that Sarah Palin and John McCain might just pull it out of the tank before we're done. If they do, I expect her to do better and better over time. There's a good chance she'll wind up America's first female president--and when she does, I'll bet she puts a framed copy of your article on her wall!

Posted by: Somerschool | October 3, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

I'd much rather have Joe Biden sharing his thoughts on foreign policy with Barack Obama during trying times than Sarah Palin suggesting some ideas from her last PTA meeting to John McCain. I make the best decsions I can make given the facts as I interpret them, I do the best I can, but I'm far from perfect - as evidenced by my last two votes for Bush. If my vote for Obama turns out to be a mistake, so be it, because I will have truly made a decision I believed in, not one that my party demanded. And by the way, I have no 'party', I'm a registered Independent.

Posted by: pyezahn | October 3, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

So she avoids answering the questions and expects to get my vote? NOT!!!!

Posted by: nightifr | October 3, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

b1rd,
You are a twit. At sea, a league does indeed refer to a distance, 3 nautical miles. A nautical mile is also a distance, but one based on the radius of the Earth. One nautical mile equals one minute (1/60th of a degree) of latitude.

Since you seem to be obsessed about the topic, you'll enjoy thinking about it a little more. Think about how a unit of latitudinal distance is inappropriate for measuring depth. Then think about what an a** you've been to people who pretty much knew what they were talking about while you were just armed with dictionary.com.

Where were we? Oh yes, an election. The most important one ever apparently...

Posted by: willietanner | October 3, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Joe Biden gave no substance but lies.

Biden, a trained lawyer and long-time senator, did not know the role of VP specified in the Constitution and Senate rules.

Biden, A member of the senate foreign relations committee, forged history by saying that we kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon? He then lied about McCain opposing troop funding.

Biden (and Obama as well) needs to retake Economics 101. He lied about the cause of the current financial crisis. He did not know the difference between tax deduction and tax credit. McCain’s health care plan adds portability to health insurance without increasing the cost to people. Obama’s free government health care, on the other hand, will increase the tax burden of people or the health care professionals would have to get a big pay cut. The nurse union that supports Obama may want to check out how much their counterparts earn in countries with free government health care.

Posted by: TheUneducated | October 3, 2008 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Democrats for John McCain and Sarah Palin in 2008


Posted by: hclark1 | October 3, 2008 11:54 AM

__________________________________________

Please do not embarass the Democrats with your nonsense!!!!

Posted by: yougot2bkidding | October 3, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Kathleen apparently didn't know about the CBS snap poll of undecided voters who noted Biden's clear victory.

Well, none of us are perfet, doncha know! ; ;

Posted by: jimcummings | October 3, 2008 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin should get an Oscar for last night's performance. It was shocking to see her mouthing all of those patriotic pieties and pretending to be an "outsider" who has no clue how "they" do it in Washington. Up here in Alaska, we're watching her out-Cheney Cheney in Troopergate.

The investigator appointed by the bipartisan legislative committee is supposed to release his report next week on whether she abused her office. A group of six Republicans aided by a Christian foundation legal team tried to stop the investigation and prevent the report from being released before the election. They lost in Superior Court yesterday, so today they appealed and it's going to the Alaska Supreme Court next week.

Our attorney general, appointed by Palin, also lost his attempt to quash subpoenas in the case, including one for Todd Palin.

All this stonewalling is right out of Rove's playbook. A McCain lawyer has been up here running the show for her since she was nominated. Clearly Palin and McCain are desperately afraid of what that report might say.

Voters should look see the documents and coverage at the Anchorage Daily News at www.adn.com. Then ask yourselves how folksy and twinkly she really is. She plays for keeps.

And she lies to her constituents. "Accountable" and "transparent" my *ss.


Posted by: BlueDog1 | October 4, 2008 12:50 AM | Report abuse

She exceeded expectations, yes.

She also failed to respond to most of the questions. These are areas which a VP candidate should be able to speak knowledgeably about.

I think that answers any questions about her readiness.

Posted by: Riddim | October 4, 2008 12:59 AM | Report abuse

I am so proud of Sarah. She got up there and was the straight-talking maverick that I can tell she is...she never blinked, like I knew she wouldn't, cause you can't blink when people are playin gotcha with you, and I'm so proud of her like I am my cousin Tom in Dearborn Heights, who teaches 2nd grade and I just wanna give a little shout out to him and the kids around the country cause, you know they need encouragement, and when the tough decision somes, she'll be like the Decider and decide, and never blink, though she might wink blink which is different if you know what I mean. I mean if we are so blessed, enough so blessed, to have her and the straight-talker she's running with, come Nov 4th, be the chosen ones, well then by golly, then I see the country rising up, and blinklessly moving proudly because I'm really proud of it, and how she went up there last night and took it to him and won. God bless this great nation for courageous leaders like Sarah and for babies...and people who have babies and burp them when they need burping, and for job creation too and for white flags, and time limits to debate questions and Presidential term limits and freedom of speech and the right to heckle people who might lead (fragile people mistake prone, limited, power hungry ego centric people who hope they might do some good, really)

Posted by: stephenvvv | October 4, 2008 1:13 AM | Report abuse

When you say that her style resonates with "non-elite Americans," who exactly are you talking about? I am non elite (I work hard, I don't own many homes, I don't own a car, I don't mingle with the political power circles, etc), yet her tone during the debate irked me to no end. It made George Bush look like an intellectual. So when you say "non-elite Americans" who exactly are you talking about?

She won the debate on popularity? What exactly are you basing this information on? Post debate interviews showed that most people thought Biden won the debate. Wouldn't that be considered the popular opinion, by definition?

It is sad to see the media reacting the way it did after the debate. Everybody insisted on mentioning that, by the standards she had set for herself, the debate was a triumph for Palin.

My question is: when a vice-presidential candidate's greatest victory during a debate is not having made a major blunder, isn't it time to admit that the candidate is not fit for the most important office in the land? Shouldn't journalists be fair with the american public and judge the debate using the standards of all vice-presidential debates and not the fictitious ones this woman has forged by looking absolutely incompetent in every interview she has participated in?

Posted by: gabrielca | October 4, 2008 3:46 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Sarah Palin is in good spirits because John McCain has the astuteness and good manners to have Palin's name equal in font size to his own on campaign materials.

I am a McCain/Palin supporter, and I enjoyed listening to both candidates.

I don't agree with the platform he has adopted, but Biden seems like a nice person; not condescending. I appreciated his statement made several days ago that he would have not agreed to the clueless commercial Obama rushed out about John McCain and keyboard usage. I was relieved to see more evidence during this debate that Biden is a different sort of man than Obama is. I think that Biden knows that Palin was not fighting *him* last night, and there is likely a part of him that is glad to see her do well.

Posted by: MrsJAS | October 4, 2008 3:53 AM | Report abuse

Some of you want to vote for Sarah. Well, consider this scenario:

WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:
I regret to announce that last night President John McCain passed away in his sleep.

Mrs Sarah Palin has been sworn in as President. Long live the President! I call on President Palin to address you.

PALIN:
As you know I do not blink. My experience in Wasilla and Anchorage has served me well. I am ready to lead.

Tonight, Todd and I are having a BBQ so come along and have a moose burger.

My VP nominee, Homer Simpson, and his offsider, Barney, will organise the cookin'. They are two regular Joe Six Packs.

Posted by: robertjames1 | October 4, 2008 5:21 AM | Report abuse

Palin may have exceeded expectations of the Republicans, but we all know that shouldn't be a surprise, look at the dimwit they APPOINTED for President. You have to be pretty damn dumb to vote for another Republican in office for awhile!!!

Posted by: Rednack4Reason | October 4, 2008 6:15 AM | Report abuse

Mommalynn wrote:
"I'd rather have someone by McCain's side in the Whitehouse who is smart, adept at learning, calm under fire, and willing to shut up instead of fake it with well placed lies asserted with the utmost of confidence"

and this is a description of Sarah Palin? Beauty is, more so than usual, in the eyes of the beholder!!! More to the point, this voter identified with Palin because of personal similarities with the candidate. A self-described intelligent professional who speaks plainly rather than in the elevated
language of elites, Mommalynn is also self-deluding: we speak alike, therefore we are both intelligent, quick learners who handle pressure well.

Yes, let's fotget the well-handled pressure Palin exhibited in the Couric interviews.

And so we rush in to elect another idiot [potential] president and pass-up, with all manner of twisted logic, the clearly able to think and articulate at the same time, clearly calm under pressure--even on Meet the Press and other interview shows, clearly qualified candidate.

Signed,
Clearly irked at whatever is in the drinking water of some voters. We need to get this stuff checked for contaminants!

Posted by: Ollie4 | October 4, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Palin's debating skills of TRICK AND SKIP ANSWERS did nothing to garner increased support for McCain; and in many cases, only further cemented our choice for Obama. Her BS theatrics of 'folksy and cute' [which has carried her through life to this point], along with her ability to MEMORIZE McCAIN TALKING POINTS with the ABILITY TO REGURGITATE THEM left most of our electorate NO DOUBT that she is completely devoid of original thought, wisdom, intellect, or knowledge. She is still the identical person the public saw several days ago being interviewed by the press where she PROVED her IGNORANCE, INCOMPETENCE AND TOTAL LACK OF CURIOSITY AND QUALIFICATION for VP, and most especially POTUS. She would absolutely put our country in ever-more increasingly perilous positions on all fronts, i.e. economy, wars, environmental policy, global reputation, etc.

I can only pray that our electorate is smart enough to see through the "charade and facade" of Palin. We have had enough "FAKES, FRAUDS, AND OPPORTUNISTS" lead our country to the brink of disaster!

I say, "thanks, but no thanks for this bridge to another 'slick dick' [Cheney] VP". And you betcha, with also and too in the same sentence, she is POSITIVELY NOT READY FOR VP OR POTUS AND NEVER WILL BE!

Posted by: ObamasLady | October 4, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Catherine,
Those right wing stalwarts really scared you didn't they? Well...do what you must, but don't believe for a minute that what you are now pedaling is intellectually honest.

Posted by: williammlee | October 4, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Quote: "Palin offered zero policy differences from the Bush administration. Her reasoning for this, apparently, was that the past is not important."

Of course... Palin is "Joe Six Pack," "White House Barbie"... she is proud that she is not part of the "elite."

Of course "elite" simply means... the BEST of any group.

If she were the best (elite), then maybe she might remember this quote from the "elite" Albert Einstein..

“We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

SURE the past doesn't matter.... Don't look back there... HERE is the bright shiny object (wink, wink).

Posted by: DebtFreeNow | October 4, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

You can bet that when all is said and done, McCain Palin will be elected.

Obama scares the hell out of people like me when we stand before the ballot box,weighing and considering his dubious associations with shady characters and terrorists such as Ayers, Rezko and the anti-Christ, Rev. Wright!

The fact too that 93% of blacks are rooting for Obama too makes me question whether their judgment is based purely on race! This makes this election the most "racist" in American history, and you can bet that the ballot box will reflect the reaction of ordinary Americans to this covert racism!

Posted by: frankinlaw | October 4, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Even before Sarah Palin was selected, it seems that all political contestants where competing in a beauty pageant. Have you ever noticed that they all aim to "Save the World" or "Bring World Peace?" These have become very cliche statements. Who are these people anyways? Jesus Christ?

The views on health care are frightening on both sides. One wants to keep hospitals from competing---which means they'll continue to raise expenses without cause. The other party wants to centralize health-care costs under a "I'm smarter than you so make me king" type of management.

How about a recall for candidate selections? We don't need the heavy hand of federal government OR corporate dictatorship. Any ideas?

Posted by: darinews | October 4, 2008 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Tina Fay just slaughtered Palin AGAIN in the debate skit on SNL!


Posted by: Ogredaddy | October 4, 2008 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Palin won by popularity because what is coming out of her mouth is literally unbelievable. Poeple are left scratching their Heads in disbelief that a major potential future president would pick such an incompetent person for his VP and then try to sell it to the american people. Does McCain really think that people are at this low level of comprehesion. Does Palin really think people are dumb asses as she presents hersalf as connecting with the average Joe.

Posted by: visionpower924 | October 5, 2008 2:15 AM | Report abuse

To the extent that, even in our most optimistic moments, we must expect at least 90% of Americans to vote for the principle of PREEMPTIVE WAR whether you choose a younger rookie chicken hawk like Obama or a disabled aging veteran like McCain, we can say that the Republican stance on war will be preserved DESPITE the anti-war sentiment which was cleverly siphoned off by Obama's little speech way back when. We are all -- except the 10% who will hopefully vote for some 3rd party candidate -- Republican.

Republican is getting harder and harder to recognize when one considers that a Republican president had to prod a Democratic Congress to put through a bill that will introduce major government intervention in our financial system, which is normally a Democratic move. Whoever gets elected will have to abide by that move.

This is a presidential year when people can take the luxury of looking at those small party candidates and having the moral satisfaction of not having contributed to electing either Obama or McCain, each of them in their own way "more of the same."

Posted by: Karegi | October 5, 2008 6:34 AM | Report abuse

To the extent that, even in our most optimistic moments, we must expect at least 90% of Americans to vote for the principle of PREEMPTIVE WAR whether you choose a younger rookie chicken hawk like Obama or a disabled aging veteran like McCain, we can say that the Republican stance on war will be preserved DESPITE the anti-war sentiment which was cleverly siphoned off by Obama's little speech way back when. We are all -- except the 10% who will hopefully vote for some 3rd party candidate -- Republican.

Republican is getting harder and harder to recognize when one considers that a Republican president had to prod a Democratic Congress to put through a bill that will introduce major government intervention in our financial system, which is normally a Democratic move. Whoever gets elected will have to abide by that move.

This is a presidential year when people can take the luxury of looking at those small party candidates and having the moral satisfaction of not having contributed to electing either Obama or McCain, each of them in their own way "more of the same."

Posted by: Karegi | October 5, 2008 6:34 AM | Report abuse

Kathleen,

Thank you for taking the courage write your feelings about Sarah Palin as McCain's VP pick. Her answers to the Katie Couric interview were painfully weak. And Gov. Palin didn't answer a lot of the questions in the debate.

When McCain made one of his first important decisions to pick her as the Presidential nominee, I thought to myself, there must be 1,000 better choices. Now, I wonder if there must be at least one million better choices.

Posted by: ride525 | October 5, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Parker,

I am 100% in agreement with you! Please continue your very important work to expose Palin--no human in history has been more UNQUALIFIED for the VP position.

This angry defense of ignorance suggests the mindset of people during in WW2 when they could smell the buring bodies, and yet, still followed Hitler. Palin is the scariest person "who could be in power", next to McCain & Hitler.

People, do not fall for that wink. She's a smiling snake and she WILL bite you.

OBAMA-BIDEN 08!!

Posted by: dematheart | October 6, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

This comment is for wpod64, where did you do your research that indicates Biden lied about anything. I am a retired from the US Air Force stationed in Germany, who happens to be Republican. After the debate, I went to fact check and found that most (not all) of what Biden was saying was actually the truth. On the other hand, most of what Palin said was an absolute lie.

The moderator should have pushed her to answer the questions, but, she was intimidated as she did not want to come off as being one-sided.

I was a McCain supporter, but, if anyone has any sense, you cannot even try to make the case that this young lady is VP material, as bad as that hurts me to say.

A respected Senator, Hagel, has even come out and stated that to say she is ready to be President of the US, is a stretch.

Also, being from South Carolina, the gee yawl, and stupid grin, was actually a put down. Sorry, but small town folks have evolved. We have schools and learn proper english.

If Obama, would have come on TV talking ebonics, you would be hammering him for it. So lets stop the nonsense and hate mongering.

I have voted Republican all my life, but, I will now vote for Obama.

PS: The latest "lets discredit him" campaign also has influenced my decision. If you can't run on your ideas for America, then, bow out.

Posted by: sputnee | October 6, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

A little late with the comment ... but I really got uncomfortable being winked at by a major party nominee, repeatedly. Did she want my vote or a date? Tina Fey, once again, nailed it on Saturday Night Live. All we were missing from Gov. Palin Thursday was the swimsuit competition for she seemed much more a contestant than candidate. God help us all if polls turn yet again and she and the $100 Million Man end up in office.

Posted by: Omyobama | October 6, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Kathleen Parker was getting slammed by HER base for being one of the first conservative columnists to flat out admit that Palin was Just.Out.of.her.League.

Parker then faced the WRATH of the right-wingers who even gave her death threats. So read between the lines here -- I don't believe for ONE SECOND that Kathleen Parker thinks Palin won. I think she caved, though, and didn't want to be too critical of Palin; but couldn't quite bring herself to admit she was good -- hence the weird, sarcastic article -- mocking the speech & robotics.

The real answer to Parker's last question -- is she ready?--is, clearly, NO.

Posted by: tokitoki | October 7, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

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