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The VP Debate: A Victory -- of Sorts

Neither of the candidates embarrassed themselves -- which was a victory of sorts for Sarah Palin -- but the debate itself was hardly a pleasure to watch. At their best, both candidates made effective points that served their running mates well. But what I saw tonight was often a contest between the annoying and the awkward.

Joe Biden won most of the questions based on debating points. He drove home a series of specific attacks on John McCain's record that often went unanswered by Palin. But Biden generally adopts the charmless manner of the Senate floor debate. And his habit of exaggeration is wearing. It is not enough for an election to be important; it must be the most important election of our lifetime. Failures are always abject, absolute, historic, astounding or unprecedented. Vice President Cheney is not merely wrong but the most dangerous vice president in history (including Aaron Burr?). After a while, one begins to wonder whether all of Biden's arguments, facts and figures might be stretched and exaggerated. At one point, he admitted, "I'm paraphrasing." I suspect that is often true.

Palin did not counter-punch effectively. She has no ability to stall for time while sounding intelligent (which is not, by the way, the same thing as lacking intelligence). It was strange to hear the possibility of a nuclear war described as "the be all, end all of just too many people." But her manner was cheerful, more confident over time and occasionally quite tough. She described Obama's Iraq policy as a "white flag of surrender," and promised, concerning Israel, to "never allow a second Holocaust." And I give her credit for saying Ahmadinejad three times fast.

People who deal with words for a living will probably find Biden's performance more professional. But the most consistent goal of the candidates tonight was clearly to be seen as the Main Street populist. And here Biden simply cannot compete. For all his talk of Scranton and Home Depot, he is a senator playing at being an average person. Palin -- on the evidence of "Yah," "Doggonnit!" and "Darn right!" -- is an average person. That may not be the best qualification for high office. But I suspect that many Americans find it attractive.

By Michael Gerson  | October 2, 2008; 11:39 PM ET
Categories:  Gerson  | Tags:  Michael Gerson  
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Comments

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.

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

Biden and Palin Proved the Tickets need switched around.

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 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Home spun wit and "aw shucks" charm may be fine for the PTA meeting and the church social, but I expect more from the people who stand between World War III and the United States citizenry. And while it may work for the Main Street of fifty years ago, it does not apply in the modern era of nuclear warfare, terrorism, and global financial meltdown. Main Street is far more sophisticated than that now.

I would hope that the person meeting with highly intelligent and well-educated world leaders would have more to offer than "Doggonit", "Yah", and "Darn right." I studied at Oxford where I was a member of the debate society that grooms future politicians, and ENA in France that grooms their political elite. If she were to bring that to the table they would politely excuse themselves and leave.

Posted by: hakafos44 | October 3, 2008 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Do you actually think that Aaron Burr was the most dangerous Vice President in US History? Because if you think that he's more dangerous because he shot someone...well...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/13/AR2006021302163.html

Posted by: thepaulshea | October 3, 2008 12:18 AM | Report abuse

"But I suspect that many Americans find it attractive.."

I'm sorry. But I'm from the 'middle of this country' and I'm very tired of this type of dumbing down of America. It is the responsibility of our journalists who are educated in America's finest schools to explain why we should aspire to higher values. It is not beyond the reach of those with lesser education. Yet, if talked down to, which this sentence so blaringly does, it is only human nature to defend one's self. Palin is not exemplifying the 'average person' as you so elementary stated, but only glaringly exemplifying the sad state of the our education system which has left so many (knowingly) left behind. What would you do if labeled so frequently by such "elite" (to use the Republican word) journalists? You would be human and defend yourself. And, unfortunately, that would mean supporting those who don't belittle you. Stop categorizing and start using your education to further along the debate by further explaining the questions and answers. This response to a debate regarding our highest office belongs in the garbage can.

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

Mr. Gerson does the American people a disservice by assuming they are so simple-minded as to be decieved by a folksy manner and "aw shucks" verbosity. Mrs. Palin's performance was poor at best. The fact that she didn't run screaming from the stage in the first 15 minutes does not constitute a "win" for her, it merely shows that she is willing to publicly humiliate herself in order to become Vice President. Nobody in my household was impressed or fooled by her performance. A trained monkey could have done as well.

Posted by: mrobertb | October 3, 2008 12:31 AM | Report abuse

... Joe Biden won most of the questions based on debating points ...

I think Biden came off as more likable as well.

Posted by: synykyl | October 3, 2008 12:31 AM | Report abuse

"But I suspect that many Americans find it attractive."

Come on, Mr. Gerson. Do you think so little of our judgement?

Governor Palin is quite well off-- check recent coverage on her wealth in the Alaska papers. After Bush and McCain, she is merely another Republican plutovrat posing as a populist. Her constant invocation of Main Street was far, far too much.

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

Americans are not stupid enough to fall for her faux-folksy crap, to cover up lack of competence and knowledge.

Sheesh.

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

This whole mess started when the "average Joes" voted thumbs down to physicist/farmer Carter and thumbs up to Hollywood screen actor Reagan. Obama and Biden are the first team to present themselves to the American public who are actually intelligent and ARTICULATE. The last eight years this country has been run by a president who has the internal density of a pea.

I wouldn't want the McCain/Palin team to be the CEO's of the company I work for.

Posted by: eclecticelder | October 3, 2008 12:34 AM | Report abuse

In the shadow of the blatant and stunning sexism launched against the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign by Barack Hussein Obama and the liberal media, democratic Hillary supporters were thrilled to hear John McCain announce Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, because, she offers Americans a chance to vote for someone who is her own woman, and who represents a party that, while we don't agree on all the issues, at least respects women enough to take them seriously.

Having a woman in the White House, and not as The Spouse, is a change whose time has come, despite the fact that the media and Democratic Party leaders have decided otherwise. But with the Sarah Palin’s nomination, Clinton voters, in particular, have received a political wake-up call they never expected. Having watched their candidate and their principles betrayed by the very people who are supposed to be the flame-holders for equal rights and fairness, they now looking across the aisle and see a woman who represents everything the feminist movement claimed it stood for. Women can have a family and a career.

The democratic party’s bullying of the Clinton candidacy during the primary season was the first revelation of how misogynistic and sexist the democratic party has become. The democratic party has moved from taking the female vote for granted to outright contempt for women. That's why Sarah Palin represents the most serious conservative threat ever to the modern democratic liberal claim on issues of male cultural and social superiority.

The time is now for a woman to be in the White House as an equal partner in governance.

The time is now for John McCain/Sarah Palin.

Country First! McCain/Palin

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

Palin didn't embarrass herself, but repeating points she has memorized, regardless of the question, and her "ah shucks" answers would be extremely embarassing to the US. Can you imagine that, and the winks, in meetings with world leaders? Who could possible take her seriously.

Posted by: janw20165 | October 3, 2008 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Are you seriously saying Biden didn't connect? He didn't just hear the fear in the voice of soccer moms. He spoke directly about those exact fears; losing health care, putting kids through college, etc. And when the subject of losing one's child came up, in those brief seconds when he coked, millions of women connected with him.

Posted by: DCX2 | October 3, 2008 12:41 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. Still, 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 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Biden won hands down. He did not exaggerate. Palin saved face. But she is still not qualified.

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

Palin is not an average person. I strongly doubt if her annual household income qualifies remotely as being an average person.

I do not know anyone who uses the "quaint" expressions she often says in her speeches and answers to questions. Whether this was a purely political attempt to appear populist in certain ways or reflects her genuine background, as well as personality, is something I cannot answer.

Joe Biden was not annoying in the least. He showed he has a thorough understanding of important domestic and foreign policy issues. His performance, unlike Sarah Palin's was not largely scripted lines to be stated by her, regardless occasionally of the question asked.

Sarah Palin seemed less awkward than most people expected. I appreciate the civility both Biden and Palin displayed toward each other. This was a strong contrast to McCain's self-righteous, condescending, rudeness toward Barack. The only annoying performance by anyone so far as been John McCain, who apparently offended the majority of independents with his lack of civility toward Barack Obama.

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


Must admit, when she started the winking at me, why, -- that was irresistable.

Oh I will SOOOO vote for her....

Posted by: T-Prop | October 3, 2008 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Hello?! Sarah Palin's MAJOR gaffe: she doesn't have any concept of our Constitution and how the founders of our country set up our government to ensure checks and balances on power. The executive, legislative, and judicial branches are SEPARATE. NO, we cannot be "flexible" or expand the power of the Vice-President to the legislative branch. This is a BIG EXAMPLE OF IGNORANCE in Palin. She's no Cheney, but sometimes dumb can be just as dangerous as stealthy. She evidently didn't remember this from high school.
There should be a major outcry over her air-headed remark about expanding the powers of the V.P., good God!
No more seat-of-the-pants cowboy ad hoc off-the-cuff ruling by executive fiat with no respect for the law! I want a President and Vice-President who have a deep understanding how our democracy came to be and who will safeguard it against ignoramuses! Palin is another Bush: likeable at a barbeque and no clue about the weight of power and law. Not again!

Posted by: yihe94703 | October 3, 2008 12:44 AM | Report abuse

It is extremely worrisome that Sarah Palin wants to expand the powers of the Vice President's position. Apparently Sarah Palin and the Republicans don't think poor old Dick Cheney has enough power or clout in the last eight years. She is a nut bag and she is sadly mistaken to think that ordinary voters aren't concerned about the overreaching power of the executive branch and the damage that has been inflicted on the constitution while Dick and George have been at the helm.

Posted by: gb1969 | October 3, 2008 12:44 AM | Report abuse

You Libs are unbelievable!!!

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

Actually a pea, after sitting around for a few years can achieve remarkable density.

For whatever reason in some ways I like Palin. But that doesn't mean I will vote for her.

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

Of Sorts??? Hardly a Pleasure??? God you are so bias, you should be stripped of your mighty pedestal of reporter.

Palin did Awesome, and the media will squeal as they admit it.

Posted by: mryerse | October 3, 2008 12:47 AM | Report abuse

I really doubt the American public felt threatened by Aaron Burr. (OK, I really doubt most Americans knew who their vice president was at the time, but nonetheless...)

Van Buren's VP, Richard Johnson, was probably the most ignorant. (He thought the Earth was hollow.) Agnew was probably the most disgraceful--certainly the most disgraced--and Calhoun was a danger to the Union, pushing South Carolina to want to secede. But I think you'd be hard-pressed, Mr. Gerson, to find a vice president who terrifies as much of the American populace as Dick Cheney.

And do you really think that most "average Americans" you reference, even those who like Sarah Palin, think "Doggonnit!" sounds natural? I don't, and I think it sounded like folksy posturing at best and Bushesque fakery (complete with "nu-cu-lar") at worst.

Posted by: ProfOrganizer | October 3, 2008 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Palin's Achilles' heel is obviously her inability to hear questions.

Actually, I thought she had two clever strategies.

First, she kept explaining that she wanted to connect directly to the people without interference from the Mainstream Media. In this way, she made a virtue out of ignoring questions she didn't want to answer.

Secondly, she stressed her respect for Biden on many issues, comparing his record to Obama's. Biden put in an excellent performance, but Palin's sub-text was 'Why is this guy playing second fiddle to Obama? He's so much more presidential.'

The McCain/Palin team may be down in the polls, but they have some pretty smart thinkers.

Posted by: bmurphy6 | October 3, 2008 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Hi! I've seen so much of Palin in the media that I wasn't really as interested in what she would say. I did watch, however. What I discovered was that I didn't know very much about who Joe Biden was. I was especially touched when he talked about his first wife and children. It really choked me up. I could see that under all that Senate room persona to human side and that he has struggled through his own personal challenges. I hate to base my vote on that, but since he has a lot of experience I don't feel unjustified.

Posted by: jenniferjl | October 3, 2008 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Biden made Pitbull stay away and chew only on training toys.

Posted by: ElMugroso | October 3, 2008 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Gerson, I usually disagree with everything you say, but I must say 'Thank You' for not GUSHING over Sarah.

I was actually surprised that she kept on going, like the Energizer Bunny.

However, I think someone running for such a high office needs more substance than a toy bunny. Maybe she could just teach an aerobics class instead?

Sarah annoys me to no end. She can't pronounce "INFRASTRUCTURE". She says it like this: "INFA-STRUCTURE". Stuff like that bothers me... reminds me of George Bush.

I'm tired of having *doofus people* in high office. I want somebody educated who talks with eloquence and who can think on his (or her) feet without memorizing notes and talking points.

Biden seemed more real and actually answered more questions.

Posted by: mavisdarling | October 3, 2008 12:49 AM | Report abuse

It is a problem of expectations. It would only be a good debate if Palin messed up. She didn't, but of course Biden didn't ask her about the time when humans and dinosaurs roamed the Earth.

I am not saying that Palin believes it. But like all of her supposedly conservative Christian beliefs, it is only implied so she can fulfill her role of placating the religious wing of the Republican party. However, she gets none of the ridicule for having to say it out loud.

Unless someone finally asks ...

Is she really for criminalizing abortion?

When announcing her daughter's pregnancy, she was happy she CHOSE to have the child.

Does she really think John McCain won a war?

Apparently no one can mention the US got kicked out of Vietnam and the obvious implication with Iraq and whatever war Republicans are planning next.

Posted by: edantes | October 3, 2008 12:50 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 12:51 AM | Report abuse

So Sarah is one of us? With all due respect, I want someone smarter than "one of us". The last "C-student average guy" president we had didn't work out so well. I want to vote for the smart guys in the room! And as a side note - it's pronounced N-U-C-L-E-A-R!! Sounds like "new-clear"; NOT nuCUlar! If you can't say the words you shouldn't have the codes...

Posted by: hesterevolution | October 3, 2008 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Blatant and stunning sexism? That's rich.

If it was Sam Palin up there tonight answering the wrong question, asking and answering his own questions, or stumbling about, stalling for time while hoping some idea would pop into his head, it would have been equally as embarrassing to watch.

America, have we sunk so low as to accept this person as our next VP? Nah, I don't think so.

Posted by: HonestHonestAbe | October 3, 2008 12:52 AM | Report abuse

Manolete,

Seriously? Perhaps you are sexist in your presumption of sexism. Palin is, well, unintelligent, and if anything hurts the woman's movement. I think if Hillary were chosen as VP it would be a great disservice. The fact that you buy into the McCain/Palin ticket on the basis of a persons having vagina and occupying spot number two in the country is silly. A woman should try again come next election as president, I mean vice president woman, big thing but to put it through your lenses wouldnt it just be another case of man keeping woman in the number two spot? Or are you hinding your racism in the shade of sexism.

Posted by: MisterME | October 3, 2008 12:52 AM | Report abuse

Joseph Biden did a great job in this debate and showed incredible knowledge and intelligence.

Though Palin didn''t flub up like she did in earlier interviews, she kept ignoring the questions that were asked and instead kept talking about energy since obviously this was the one thing that she''s really familiar with. She tried to come off as real folksy and down to earth but if you look at where she and McCain stand on all the issues you''ll see that they''re not for the average middle class American but rather are for the large oil and gas companies and the very wealthy who''ve all gotten richer during the past 8 years unlike the rest of middle class America.

Please everyone read up on ALL the issues and where the candidates stand on them. I''ve done that and from what I''ve found, Obama & Biden are the only candidates that actually care about middle class Americans.

Posted by: scout_march16 | October 3, 2008 12:52 AM | Report abuse

What is so appalling is that the standard for the vice-presidential debate was: “Could Palin ARTICULATE her (&^%$##@) arguments?” How pathetic. We are on the verge of evolution in humanity, and we’re deceived into believing this kind of trite is valid. Obama, Biden (who not so incidentally has weathered far more than freakin’ Palin), is being held accountable for a standard that has never, EVER, been met by either McCain or Bush. I’m so sick and tired of the American public who support this absurd façade! The American public should vote FOR THE PEOPLE, not for their own personal vendettas! Biden kicked Palin’s @$$ and the clear vote for a “new” America is: OBAMA. And in FACT, the “new” America is a place where we’re not cow-towing to the BS spin. McCain will lose, and we’ll have to work through Obama to move past all this primeval BS.

Posted by: primarywatcher | October 3, 2008 12:52 AM | Report abuse

"she offers Americans a chance to vote for someone who is her own woman, and who represents a party that, while we don't agree on all the issues, at least respects women enough to take them seriously."


Most of the Republican party doesn't even respect women enough to believe they should have the choice of what to do with their own bodies.

And they have enough disrespect for women to introduce someone horribly under-qualified as a potential VP, because they believe women will automatically vote for someone else with the same plumbing as them.

Picking a woman because you feel she is extremely qualified for the job is one thing; picking a woman because it allows you to scream, "Look, we like chicks, too!" is another.

Posted by: laphboy | October 3, 2008 12:52 AM | Report abuse

I don't think think most Americans want a clown who repeats "doggone it" anywhere near the White House. Based on her appearances thus far, I wouldn't want Palin running an elementary school, never mind the country.

Posted by: smc91 | October 3, 2008 12:54 AM | Report abuse

Is this how we define winning now - as something other than complete and utter failure? Sounds like the Republican party of the last 8 years all right!

Palin competed as best she could but she came across as bush-league at best. True, Joe was a little snide but you could at least tell his brain was working.

You know wanna know who's out of touch - people like Gerson and Parker.

Posted by: hmfmcg | October 3, 2008 12:57 AM | Report abuse

It always amazes me how ignoramuses can so easily talk with an air of confidence and with a smile. Sarah Palin can B.S. and not answer the question and wink a lot. By the way, it's "nuclear," not "nucular."

If you want to protect our democracy about terrorists, maybe you'd better understand what our democracy is, which is based on separation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches.

Posted by: yihe94703 | October 3, 2008 12:58 AM | Report abuse

Gerson,

You owe us "regular folk" a retraction. I'm a regular, "main street" person and I found Palin's folksiness completely contrived. Palin was the one playing the average person, while Biden came across as much more genuine. He admitted to being very well off, richer than most Americans. But he also was very convincing in explaining how his background makes him an "average guy," too. You need to get off your own high perch.

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

The most annoying moment in the debate for me was after Biden spoke of his lost children and almost choked, Ms. Palin continued with her talking points with no emotion at all..Maybe it's because I am a woman, but I expected a little human reaction from her, I saw none...maybe she was not listening to Biden?

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

Yes, Mr. Gerson, when considering the danger and damage Cheney has caused to this country, I would include Aaron Burr. On the debate, I would agree that Palin didn't crash and burn. But I was troubled by her open refusal to "play by the rules." After all of the agreements between the two campaigns regarding the debate, for her to simply thumb her nose at the moderator in this manner was troubling.

There were several instances when she simply refused to address the question that was asked and went off on a campaign speech, generally about energy and Alaska when not directly attacking Biden or Obama. And when asked about her "Achilles heel," she either doesn't know what that term means, or she must consider herself in league with Mary Poppins, "nearly perfect in every way."

Then there was her assertion that she felt the office of the Vice President should have even more legislative powers than it now does under Cheney. Combine this desire for power with her apparent disdain for even agreed-to rules, and you have someone who seems well prepared to continue the Cheney Vice Presidency. I do not find that at all reassuring.

I'm sure she appealed to her already supportive base, and I will at least give her credit for answers that didn't make my head hurt, as was the case with the Couric interview. Still, based solely on the premise that the Vice President must be ready to step up to the Presidency from Day One, I don't think she demonstrated in any way that she is ready for the position.

Posted by: alert4jsw | October 3, 2008 12:59 AM | Report abuse

I think Aaron Burr and Cheney were probably equally dangerous- by all accounts, when Burr shot his pistol he aimed to miss but instead hit. Cheney, it turns out, had just as bad aim. Burr also never condoned torturing anybody or invaded a hapless country leaving chaos in his wake.

Posted by: davidgoodman76 | October 3, 2008 12:59 AM | Report abuse

hakafos44, I too am a member of the Oxford Union, one of the debate clubs you mention. I hope that, if Palin were speaking at the Union, nobody would be so impolite to walk out because a speaker chose to pepper their speech with colloquialisms.

A better response to such cheap rhetorical tricks is to ignore them, and focus on the substance of the speaker's remarks.

There's plenty to criticise about what Palin said (and didn't say) without being distracted by such superficialities, and reinforcing stereotypes about elitists.

Posted by: bmurphy6 | October 3, 2008 1:00 AM | Report abuse

Sorry Sarah. Out of your league. We need the Varsity playing the next 8 years, not the high school JV.

Posted by: thebobbob | October 3, 2008 1:00 AM | Report abuse

Biden says that Cheney is the most dangerous vice president in American history, and Gerson asks "including Aaron Burr?" to support his argument that Biden is full of exageration. That's just bizarre. So is Gerson's argument that Cheney is only more dangerous than 44 of the other 45 vice presidents, and therefore Biden is full of hyperbole? That's a feeble argument.

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

I'm an average person, from East Tennessee. I do not use the words
"Yah," "Doggonnit!" and "Darn right!", and I definitely do not think it is a sound qualification for V.P.

Posted by: alyd69 | October 3, 2008 1:02 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Garson, I beg to differ with your analysis. Why should anyone be declared a winner on a poorer standard than what the office is demanding? You should be smart to also state that Yaa and Doggonit are not the qualifications for being a VP. You can see that Gov. Palin is like a new student who is being schooled. America had better be careful. Joe Biden did excellently at 95 percent. Palin, thank God that she did not emberrass herself or anybody, she scored about 50percent. Biden is almost perfect in all the answers to the questions. Biden is a clear winner both in the debate and in being a gentleman.

Posted by: strongblood1 | October 3, 2008 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Biden spoke to the politicians. Palin spoke to the average voters. When Palin was unfamiliar with a topic, she started sounding like a politician. Palin did not answer the questions many times, but seemed to have an agenda instead. Biden relied upon his experience to come across as more capable. Palin was more prepared for this debate. Biden will not make that mistake next time. Let’s get rid of this two party system and return to a democracy.

Posted by: tmdemko | October 3, 2008 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Palin didn't show any comprehension of the issues, she just provided a steady stream of snark, evasiveness and the abilty to recite talking points.

I could live with watching her anchor the evening news, but Vice President? Are you kidding me?

Posted by: houston_progressive | October 3, 2008 1:04 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin is still uninformed on issues and current events, though she can deliver a prepared delivery well.

As for the "common man", ordinary Joe image, not too many people can relate to going from a beauty pageant to sportscaster to PTA president to hockey mom with or without lipstick, to Mayor, to Governor of a state that is so isolated and out of the mainstreadm and obviously has no economic issues that prevent the Governor from making domestic issues part of her agenda, to Vice President and then President of USA. Not many middle class folks are worth $1.2 million dollars, as has been reported, are reimbursed per diem for performing their job in their own home, have tanning beds installed in their office, own a plane, and can be excused from the accountability of words that exit from their mouth as being a "filtering of the media" or a "gotcha moment".

And yet, Wasilla has problems with water potability, sewage management, a dead lake in her back yard, health care issues, educational issues, high substance abuse issues among teens, with no action taken on any of these issues and, it is reported, no interest from their Palin Mayor during her tenure. Ditto for the Governor's administration. With all the revenue they receive from oil and gas, they ask for earmarks to build bridges and roads to nowhere and study the DNA reproductive activity of some animals that they are not killing off, instead of studying the reproductive activity of the teen aged population.

As far as her "diverse family", I wonder just what she means by that....that she is married to a man who has a minutia amount of Eskimo blood? Alaska, she says, is not a foreign country, ya know, it is a microcosm of America, she says....I find that hard to believe as there does not appear to be many racial diversity and the predominant religion appears to be Pentecostal. I do know that there is a spot from which one can see Russia---and it is not her house---a tiny island where native indians live that looks to be worse than a shanty town with not even garbage pick up services that she has never visited once and whose inhabitants testified that they have never seen any planes rearing their heads over their air space, much less Russian ones.

The Republican base likes her because she is a good candidate, they say. She is electoral bait for a man who needed his base. Although I am relieved that she did not make an embarrassment of herself, she remains uninformed, incurious, and a good manipulator. She still does not know what she doesn't know and when the "filtering of the press" is finished, her success in this debate is that she saved herself. She is dangerous and so are the people who will be advising her should she become the VP or the President.

Posted by: nana4 | October 3, 2008 1:04 AM | Report abuse

I happen to agree that this is the most important Election in the history of this country. The "great neo conservative experiment" is undeniably a failure on all fronts and the American people must not only keep the neocons out of the White House, they must also drum them from both houses of Congress.

Posted by: miker2133 | October 3, 2008 1:04 AM | Report abuse

A real person wouldn't say doggnnit, that would say damn it or goddamn it and they wouldnt say "Darn right," they would say "damn right," or even "you bet your ass".... can you say REHEARSED! There was better voice acting in resident evil 1, and I believe those characters more than this one

Posted by: MisterME | October 3, 2008 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Gerson, with due respect (which is little), I say you are ABSURD. Since when does the use of "Gotcha" and "You Betcha" qualify someone to hold the second most powerful position in the world? Are you kidding me? Why is this even an issue? People loose their homes, retirement funds, jobs, LIVES when the president and his croonies make disastrous mistakes. And YOU'RE evaluating potential candidates on their mastery of colloquial English? Please. Give your profession some credit.

Posted by: JWalkerCitation | October 3, 2008 1:06 AM | Report abuse

FlipFlopper: What you don't understand is that in politics, rhetoric and metaphor are part and parcel of the whole scenario. Palin didn't understand 'Achilles Heel', and there is a LOT more she doesn't understand. Her ignorance is dangerous.

She is SO far out of her league that she would get eaten up by Washington if she is elected. She just flat-out doesn't have the BRAINS for the job.

That all might be moot anyway... the abuse of power investigation against her is going full steam ahead in Alaska. The judge up there said "proceed".

I think above all, Sarah is dishonest. VERY dishonest. She isn't "one of us"... she's another lying politician, for Gawd's sake, yukking it up all folksy-like so you fall for her lies!!

Face it. All politicians have a certain character flaw that propels them to seek office. If we MUST vote for a politician, I want one who is an intellectual
and who has some RESPECT for our Constitution. Sarah fails miserably on both of those counts.

Posted by: mavisdarling | October 3, 2008 1:09 AM | Report abuse

Good grief, if talking nonsense all the time is all the US demand of a VP or president then I guess you have had that for the past 8 years and we in the rest of the world have been bankrupted in the process.

Just because Palin is a woman doesn't mean she is qualified for anything at all much and I note she brought up the big lie of the gas pipeline again.

If anyone who seriously has an IQ over 45 thought that Palin actually said anything they have just been listening to Dubya for too long.

Posted by: shepherdmarilyn | October 3, 2008 1:09 AM | Report abuse

Two major things in Palin's performance in the debate: 1. "May I call you Joe?" and not once she did. 2. "I may not answer the question the way you want to hear, but I'll talk straight to the American people and let them know my track record also,". Considering that ever since she was nominated to be the running mate of McCain, she never expressed herself in straight talk. Always generalities and most of the time her replies were not connected with the questions. The moderator during the debate was very kind to her by not insisting on answers to the questions. He is always saying that she is from middle class America. Is she? What is her wealth?

Posted by: fibonacci2 | October 3, 2008 1:09 AM | Report abuse

People and Mr. Garson, the character and nonverbal actions of Palin show a child in a serious adult discussion. The debate was not interesting because Joe Biden had no one to debate with. I am a Christian conservative and I like Gov. Palin, but winking and lack of knowledge of major issues cannot do well for the America. McCain-Palin will be a dissaster for America. Biden won the debate clearly.

Posted by: strongblood1 | October 3, 2008 1:10 AM | Report abuse

Hey guys, remember that shout out? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH... but seriously, HAHAHAHA

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

She is HOT! That naughty Sexy librarian look …. and I loved it when she looked straight at me and winked.
I especially enjoyed when the cameras panned from behind so i could check out her nice legs and her high heel pumps.

Oh ya and there was that “there you go.. Joe” guy there too …blaa blaa

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

Gerson your opinion and that of many others why Palin is a good VP and how she went on the debate - appealing to what we call O/S - and yes I am from a loyal Allie (who is getting pretty damn sick of your dumbass Govt and Politicians) DO NOT WANT another 4 years of Idiocracy (Great B grade cult movie which sums where you guys are going) cannot work out why you would rather a dumb Govt then a Good Govt - so vote them in again and we will see the US continue to decline and fall into its self created hole of ignorance.. Go for it and we will all wave Bye Bye and watch a once great country become the joke of the world - sad but true... after 8 years of this you want a Folksy down to earth dumb downed Party in power....maybe tahts what you need another 4 years of disaster so you yanks wake up and have a good look at the stupid politics you are following...

Oh and one last thing is the Joe six pack Palin and co go on about - is that Joe Biden - is that why she kept winking - she has the hots for Joe....

In fact Joe Biden showed up Mc Cain in this - if you want a old man experinced insider that at least sounds logical and looks like he isnt needing a top up with medication..

Posted by: colinemery | October 3, 2008 1:16 AM | Report abuse

shepherdmarilyn: I don't know what country you are in, but if Palin becomes Vice President, I might have to move there!! You are SOOOOOO right!!

Seriously, I doubt very much that McCain will be elected. Sarah IS a prolific liar. We have not heard the last about her BIG ethics problems in Alaska, I promise. What she says and what she has done are two very different things. The only people that believe her are IGNORANT people, I promise.

I like to believe that we Americans are really NOT that stupid, as a whole.

Only time will tell. In the meantime, I better get a passport!!

Posted by: mavisdarling | October 3, 2008 1:17 AM | Report abuse

What a load of crap, Gerson. Palin acted as if she was on recital remote control. If she didn't have a rehearsed answer to a question she didn't answer it and changed the topic, mostly to energy. She exposed her lack of foreign policy skill by proposing that the United States destabilize the middle east more than the Bush administration supported by McCain already has by relocating the American embassy to Jerusalem. She proved she hasn't the slightest idea of what the role of the Vice President is and what the constitutional limitations on that office are when She proposed following the Cheney example of expanding the powers of the vice president. All of this while she advocated change. What a phony fraud! Both her and her "runnin" mate. The polls have it right.

Posted by: hossplay2 | October 3, 2008 1:17 AM | Report abuse

She is HOT! That naughty Sexy librarian look …. and I loved it when she looked straight at me and winked.
I especially enjoyed when the cameras panned from behind so i could check out her nice legs and her high heel pumps.

Oh ya and there was that “there you go.. Joe” guy there too …blaa blaa

Posted by: titopue | October 3, 2008 1:17 AM | Report abuse

What a load of crap, Gerson. Palin acted as if she was on recital remote control. If she didn't have a rehearsed answer to a question she didn't answer it and changed the topic, mostly to energy. She exposed her lack of foreign policy skill by proposing that the United States destabilize the middle east more than the Bush administration supported by McCain already has by relocating the American embassy to Jerusalem. She proved she hasn't the slightest idea of what the role of the Vice President is and what the constitutional limitations on that office are when She proposed following the Cheney example of expanding the powers of the vice president. All of this while she advocated change. What a phony fraud! Both her and her "runnin" mate. The polls have it right.

Posted by: hossplay2 | October 3, 2008 1:18 AM | Report abuse

Garson: Were you paid by someone to write this article? Poor observation and analysis. If American people vote for Palin based on this performance, then America has every reason to keep going downhill till it gets drowned. I feel sorry for HJoe Biden. He had no one to debate with. McCain is to be blamed. McCain will be the worst CEO and Commander In Chief of this nation if elected. He has no respect for management principles and approaches. His choice of a running mate is just one of the reasons. If many people are not bugged down by the color of Barack Obama, he would be leading in the polls by over 15 points margin on the average. Biden won the debate.

Posted by: strongblood1 | October 3, 2008 1:19 AM | Report abuse

It was congress, including Obama, Biden and McCain who have brought us one step away from a depression today. A recent attempt to show Palin as being rich to counter a revelation of Biden's wealth only revealed that she and her husband had financial responsibiity that congress lacks. While she actually had her own children attend the schools that her legislation affected, all the other three congressmen have sent their children to private schools showing the lack of confidence they had in their own legislation. Obama, Biden and McCain are the products of the culture corruption that permeats capitol hill, Palin is the closest thing to change of the four.

Posted by: sangjmoon | October 3, 2008 1:19 AM | Report abuse

So it’s all about change or more of the same? Let’s see, so Washington is full of lawyers that have become professional politicians.

So our choices are: 1. a couple of lawyers that are professional politicians, neither with any Executive or leadership background. OR 2. An Ex Navy officer, business owner and politician. A Governor, ex mayor, and politician with a Communications/Journalism background. Both with executive and leadership background.

So which ones are for change and which are for more of the same old same old.

Posted by: boydks | October 3, 2008 1:20 AM | Report abuse

sangjmoon , you idiot, my parents sent me to a private school, though it was thick with religion. One it saves tax payers money and secondly, wouldn't you want the best for your kids if you could afford it? Dumbass

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

Seriously She is HOT!


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

Titopue

Have you ever considered Sex Addicts Anonymous?

Posted by: hossplay2 | October 3, 2008 1:22 AM | Report abuse

She has an awesome pair of legs

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

Ummmm, Sarah's kids aren't IN school. They're jet-setting all over the country with her.

She is NOT "one of us". No way, no how.

Do not be duped, people. She is in this for herself. For the power. For the glory.

You little people mean NOTHING to her. She is the biggest pile of B.S. to come down the pike in quite some time.

Posted by: mavisdarling | October 3, 2008 1:24 AM | Report abuse

I am going to comment about what you perceive and what seems genuine or false. I grew up in a small conservative county in Ohio. I had friends who had no money but my family being luckier didn't make anyone begrudge anyone. You just didn't act snobby or flaunt what you had. But you also didn't speak in hokey or corny terms. Palin "you betcha's" and eye winks are what we could call "hokey:" cartoonish stereotypes of being "country." It is discomforting to see her taking on this air of pretentiousness, considering that she claims to be middle class but with her husband is earning about $182K. It also borders on condescension, as if the great American public could not desire grammatically proper, and more restrained but eloquent "Presidential" language, be it from Lincoln, Reagan, Roosevelt, Biden or Obama. What I see as hokey, in my estimation, is no substitute for what our country needs. It is no substitute for her cramming about the economy and foreign policy, for her giving glib and "glittering generalities", for her avoiding answering the hard questions, and for lacking the courage to take the tough follow-up question from hard-working reporters who do their homework, such as Katie Couric. Such complaints are not elite. All I'm asking is for someone to act like an adult instead of a caricature.

Posted by: prcmd | October 3, 2008 1:24 AM | Report abuse

This woman is a total imposter. Gosh darn it you betch she is. She is also a liar of extraordinary ability. She memorized her talking points and Joe, being the ever cautioned gentleman - don't be too hard on her - held back.

Maverick maverick, also and also, and yahdah, yahdah, doggoneit,wink, and also.

I wish Biden had smacked her darn lipstick off! From a woman who REALLY gets urked with vapid females who cheat to advance their ambitions. She has a pregnant teenager, a special needs infant, all of whom she has no problem exploiting to further her ambitions. IF she has the intelligence to know she's not anywhere near qualified and is going ahead anyway - shame on her. IF she get's away with it, shame on us.

Ps. Pity those little ones she is using as props to further said ambitions.

Posted by: debsmyth | October 3, 2008 1:25 AM | Report abuse

Nice legs,sexy VP-MILF vs balding dude

She gts my vote

Posted by: titopue | October 3, 2008 1:26 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, right. Palin is Joe six pack hockey mom Mrs. main street with a lakeside mansion and an airplane.

Posted by: hossplay2 | October 3, 2008 1:27 AM | Report abuse

Jeepers, folks, dagarnit, I thought Gov Palin(wink) did a great job in the debate (nose scrunch). She's like me, don't ya know, and she'll be a great VP, you betcha!

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

Its better to look Hot than Not

She wins

Posted by: titopue | October 3, 2008 1:28 AM | Report abuse

hossplay2
you forgot to mention She's hot!

Posted by: titopue | October 3, 2008 1:30 AM | Report abuse

Dear titopue and like friends: Please, PLEASE, try hard, to think with the area between your ears vs. the area between your... you know where.

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

PALIN WON BIG! ... BIG!!
Biden came off as a career-politician and a su*ck up to Obama!

Posted by: paris1969 | October 3, 2008 1:32 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Garson, you need to go read your collegue's analysis. See an excerpt:

And for all this, Sarah Palin was rewarded Thursday Night with a resounding vote of Most Improved. She didn’t get lost in the Bering Strait, as she had with Katie Couric. She had memorized her answers, even if they weren’t the answers to the questions Gwen Ifill posed. Fully 84 percent of debate-watchers in CNN’s poll said Palin had done better than expected.

But they also said Joe Biden won the debate by a margin of 51 percent to 36 percent. The CBS poll had it Biden 46 percent, Palin 21 percent. No, she didn’t look like a deer in the headlights, because she never once paused to look around, or, for that matter, to think. But she didn’t remotely look like a president, either, like the person we trust with decisions of war and peace and life and death.

Biden, meanwhile, was having the night of his life. In fact, he did two things that Barack Obama didn’t do nearly as well in the first presidential debate last week. First, he put the middle class at the center of his case for the Democratic ticket and delineated a pro-middle-class economics quite distinct from the Republicans’ trickle-down. Second, he relentlessly attacked John McCain’s voting record, and linked it to the policies of the Bush administration. Biden, we should remember, is a scrappy lawyer with working-class roots, and he came across Thursday night as a more effective, plausible, nuanced but no-nonsense populist tribune than the Democrats have had in years. Given the current zeitgeist, he was just what the Democrats needed. Serious times need serious leaders, and Biden was surely that.

Posted by: strongblood1 | October 3, 2008 1:32 AM | Report abuse

Biden was good, but Palin was the eye opener. She still has an magnetic personality, a rare find in today's political circles. A polished beltway gal, she is not. But heck, neither is Sen. Obama. The guy can hardly carry on an eloquent conversation. An English tutor might help. Do we really want a president that mumbles. But Palin can surely spice up the White House when it comes to meeting foreign dignataries. We recently witnessed this from that Pakistani fella, during the U.N. circus. Israel's Livni should call her promptly to wish her well, and promise a future meeting of the minds. ROCK ON PALIN.

Posted by: zinger1usa | October 3, 2008 1:33 AM | Report abuse

I respect the post in a fashion, but I also perceive that it does not represent the people of America. Nor does it represent what can be considered objective journalism. So this represents my position. Palin was a breath of fresh air in the musty halls of bureaucracy and institutional cronyism that passes itself off as representative of America today. "Can I call you Joe", her opening remark was classic textbook for how to move into a culturally biased interpersonal exchange on equal footing. She spoke to issues, not with the politically savvy retorts and commentary of a beltway insider, but instead from the point of view of an American heartland. The heartland of America doesn't reside in the confines of a territory, but in the ideal of what America is about in the hearts of Americans. Palin represented the voice of soccer mom's and hockey moms and Detroit auto workers and Latin agricultural employees and the rest of us who get up everyday trying to do what we can to earn a living and support our families and strive for the next level of goodness. Biden spoke of partisanship, and inside the beltway institutionalism and the requisite privilege that 35 years in that lifestyle provides. He presented little more than political protectionism. America is not and must never be about politics, it must remain as it always has been, about the ideals of America and the people that make us great. He was the communicator of platitudes and power. Palin was the voice of possibility and promise that things can change for the better. That things can change from the entrenched servitude and favoritism that defines our current political positions to something new and better. Palin, nor I, might not be able to fully describe exactly what that 'new' looks like. But I am for just about anything that breaks the decades long cycle of beltway insiders who issue edicts from the imperial palace of Pennsylvania avenue to placate the masses while we do the daily bidding that provides the grist for their mills. Palin spoke to my heart and my mind about a change to old politics, the entrenched administrative processes, and a change to the inefficiencies of a government that no longer goes to work everyday asking, 'How can I better serve the people and the ideals of America', but instead functions each day to draw the human capital of the American public into deeper servitude of the imperial designs. I like Palin, and I think if the reformers of 40 years ago would objectively look at the scenario in front of them, they would as well. Exactly 40 years ago this year we had woman in this country burning their bras and protesting for equality throughout this nation. Those feminists forty years ago would have considered themselves self actualized if in 1972 they could have had a Sarah Palin doing what Sarah Palin did tonight. A woman of the common people standing on the national stage facing down a WASP male politician bred for 35 years in the establishments form, and she stood there proud and represented well. Yet today those same feminists, probably more for reasons of psychology than objectivity, have become her detractors and have failed to rally to her, our american, cause. Gloria be damned, I like Sarah and she represents the good of this country's ideals and the promise for the future.

Posted by: existentialed | October 3, 2008 1:34 AM | Report abuse

Titoque - you have low standards - she has legs like a mule and a butt that would go down well on Jennifer Lopez - but then again the USA has become the world super power in Obesity so you would be easily pleased....but if you just want a VP who is good looking Mc Cain should have just gone and got a real hot women like Jessica Alba - but then again she would make Palin look like a mental dwarf and sure isnt a neocon poppet

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

Whooaa.
Seeing Palin smiling and talking confidently makes me feel all the more urgent about improving public education in this country.
How easy it is for ignoramuses to talk in a sunny, folksy manner with no clue about the weight of power and the law. And how easy to like to follow like. It's the blind leading the blind.
Seriously need to improve public education for our democracy to survive. Palin doesn't even understand the separation of powers of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Oh, hey, yeah, sure I'd like to be a little flexible about power as V.P. Yeesh, scary!

Posted by: yihe94703 | October 3, 2008 1:37 AM | Report abuse

debsmyth

I'm tryin, but Palin got me so worked up I bought my wife a set of her glasses so we can role play
Those cameramen should not have panned behind her... They had to be guys working the cameras.

Posted by: titopue | October 3, 2008 1:37 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 1:40 AM | Report abuse

Biden's debate performance was solid throughout, while Palin's was halting, tentative, and ill-conceived. She still isn't ready for prime time.

I found striking Gerson's comment that "average ... may not be the best qualification for high office." I wonder if it was his experience in the Bush White House that taught him that lesson.

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

colinemery

Now you are right Jessica Alba is more attractive. Jessica Alba is a babe but lets see what she looks like at Palins age and after all those kids!... She is still HOT! Sara, Obese ... please

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

Dear zingerfusa,

You are undoubtedly unfamiliar with the english language and elogquent conversation. Gosh, darn, youbetcha, also, also, wink, yah doggoneit, also, etc., are not considered proper examples of the english language - merely colloquialisms. Furthermore, I would not refer to that "Pakistani fella". Are you by any chance Mrs. Pallin's Joe six-pack?

As far as spicing up the White House - do you REALLY think that'ss paramount at this time? Maybe you've spent too much time watching those "spicey" videos? Sweetie, this is WAY more important that that. Do you wish to still be able to get a job and live your life as you know it? Get informed - not inebriated.

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

And compared to having to look at Hilary for all these years.... Palin is Hot

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

colinemery

You're mean

Posted by: titopue | October 3, 2008 1:49 AM | Report abuse

existentialed - Palin is a WASP, White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant. Biden, on the other hand, is Catholic.

Posted by: bmurphy6 | October 3, 2008 1:50 AM | Report abuse

I do like the role playing Idea - I may get my wife some of those glasses as well...just wonder if she can blink as fast as that whilst Im busy working her over..

Hey existentialed at 1.34 You like the way she said Joe at the start - how come you and others after the Mc CAIN and Obama debate defended Mc Cain inability to look him in the eye(and again in the senate on the vote) you said Obama was being rude in calling him JOHN not SENATOR MC CAIN... you cant have it both ways....but then again thats standard proceedure for you wimps - winging all the way into the debate about bias and gotcha questions... etc - MC CAIN is going down like his plane in Vietnam (and the other 4 ) breath of fresh air what a joke - hand picked by the Neocons who John had to succumb to in his selection - weeks of training - she is a puppet/poppet of the Cheney neocon club - and a complete marketing ploy to get the same odl song and dance team back in power - the same idiots who have destroyed your once great country - you clowns just dont get it do you.....thats why your standing in the world and your economy is going down the toilet..Get this lot out and bring back the true republicans..

Posted by: colinemery | October 3, 2008 1:53 AM | Report abuse

I guess if Palin winks at Gerson, he'll drop his trousers.......

Brown-noser

Posted by: bhuang2 | October 3, 2008 1:54 AM | Report abuse

debsmyth

You are so mean in your 1:25 rant... you must be jealous... because Palin is so much better looking that you... She's Hot!

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

Bmurphy:

The members of the Union must have improved their manners since I was there because they would go so far as to hiss and boo. And let us not forget the riot recently:

"A debate on free speech at the Oxford Union descended into chaos last night after scores of demonstrators broke through a security cordon and staged a sit-down protest in the union's famous chamber.

"Scuffles broke out in the hall as the demonstrators - there to voice their opposition to the presence of discredited historian David Irving and BNP leader Nick Griffin - clashed with organisers and security guards."

I recall expletives were used when the Ambassador from Russia spoke.

I think a polite retreat is the least of what we were capable of doing.

As for elitists, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, FDR, and the other usual suspects could easily be called that and they did a fine job as president.

I believe it was Edward Albee who said "In American you can have anything you want but you get what you deserve."

I have no horse in this race, I am moving to Canada in January.

Posted by: hakafos44 | October 3, 2008 1:55 AM | Report abuse

titopue,

Grant you there were guys working the "behind" cameras, but seriously, do you live in the old USA? My husband would probably share your adolescent "views". But - no pun intended - this is important. Perhaps you should have bought yourself some glasses - the kind that allow you to consider the future of your children/grandchildren. Play around - you and Mrs. titopue - I salute you. If you have no roof over your head, nor job, nor healthcare, nor food to eat, and are living under a bridge, how fun will that be?

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

This is a very dangerous game the MSM is playing. The Liberal media have already chosen a candidate and are propping him to win. All the polls and opinions praising him, the ONE. On the other hand, totally degrading McCain/Palin and nothing they do will ever be good enough. MSM better make sure the Messiah wins, because if he should lose, America will be split into two Americas - not John Edward's rich and poor Americas, but the Black and White America. If the Messiah loses, police, firemen, and the National Guard better be on hand and prepared. I see another "OJ, Rodney King" ordeal happening, except this time it will be all over the country. And there will be no one to blame but the MSM for propping the Messiah to win!

Posted by: candida1 | October 3, 2008 2:00 AM | Report abuse

BMurphy:

In conclusion regarding the Honorable Members of the Oxford Union:

"At the end of the event Union president Luke Tryl, who had invited Griffin and Irving, said his only regret was that some people had been intimidated. "At the end of that David Irving came out looking pathetic ... I said in my introduction that I found his views repugnant and abhorrent because I wanted that on record ... I think the principle has been proved," said Tryl."

Praise God Ms. Palin did not have to debate there.

Posted by: hakafos44 | October 3, 2008 2:01 AM | Report abuse

Deb,
I'll still have my palin fantasies... and not under bridge... get a life and stop being such a hater... Things for this country will not change that much with either party in the white house.
Do you think Obama will pull out troops imediately like he originally promised... I hope he wins but please... they are all politicians... At least Palin will be much nicer to look at

Posted by: titopue | October 3, 2008 2:04 AM | Report abuse

Titopue,

I'm not mean, and not jealous - no reason to be. Just throwing in my two cents worth, because it matters to me - that's all. I hope it matters to you beyond what makes your eyes... happy. Good evening..

Posted by: debsmyth | October 3, 2008 2:05 AM | Report abuse

you know, I grew up in a middle-class home and I find Palin's non answers and "aw shucks" pose to be even more annoying than Bush's. I'm a little insulted that Gerson's estimation of middle class values suggests that we care more for beauty pageant stylings of a soccer mom out of her league than a statesman with actual ideas and a plan.

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

"And I give her credit for saying Ahmadinejad three times fast."

Mr. Garson: You are coming across as one of those people who do not care about messing up the American public for as long as you partisan for your candidate or get what you want. You article sounds almost idiotic. You are actually ruining yoursels as a pundit.

Posted by: strongblood1 | October 3, 2008 2:07 AM | Report abuse

Titopue,

Ps. I'm no "hater" as you put it. I find that an emotion that I absolutely do not allow myself - takes up too much time and engergy - not good for your health.

This is why I'm so very strongly voicing my opposition to a continuation of same - from those who run the government, etc.

After eight yrs. of complete lunacy - I'm just asking for a little intelligence/compentence in those who assume the position. Is that too much?

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

Saying Cheney is the most dangerous VP ever is putting it lightly. And if Michael Gerson does not believe this, I would like to know what rock he has been living under. I really don't see where this was a big exaggeration. Cheney has been behind some of the most devious, lawbreaking, cynical schemes this country has ever seen. I just need to say one word about it: Haliburton

Posted by: McSameChalin | October 3, 2008 2:24 AM | Report abuse

hakafos44, I haven't attended a Union debate since the 1990's, but yes, bad language was common, as was booing and hissing. However, my point is that an audience used to hearing all kinds of profanity would hardly be offended by Palin's 'doggonit', certainly not to the point of walking out. I was present when a speaker had a Janet Jackson style wardrobe malfunction - nobody walked out in disgust at this memorable mammary incident, would they walk out in disgust for 'doggonit'?

The David Irving incident is hardly a fair test of how Palin would be treated. He is someone notorious for denying the Holocaust. Also, how many of the protesters were actually members of the Union? I do know that there were many members of the Union strongly opposed to inviting him, but were they responsible for the riot?

Posted by: bmurphy6 | October 3, 2008 2:31 AM | Report abuse

And we're gonna end the world's water problems by sending them dehydrated snow from Alaska, and of course the rescue will benefit those who are in most pressed need for reassessing the health insurance, you know for if and then when the energy problem is shored there will be times, of course when we can get the kids to college and the hockey moms are showing fear when you ask them how they've been ...
.. and, I've been here only six weeks but I'm ready on Day one!

Posted by: ElMugroso | October 3, 2008 2:37 AM | Report abuse

Before I became a liberal West-Coast elitist, I was a corn-fed Midwestern country boy, surrounded by farmers and deer-hunters and all manner of god-fearing no-nonsense people.

Those people may have used 'folksy' expressions like doggone and darnit. On occasion, they may have mispronounced words like 'nuclear', got their facts wrong, or tended towards simplistic Biblical frames when describing complicated issues.

Yet their thoughts and words were authentically their own--or else they were handed down from parents and pastors and then lived in until they were second nature.

That's why Palin will NEVER sound like "Joe Six-pack" or any of these condescending made-up demographic stereotypes.

She won't, because none of those actual Middle Americans I knew ever went around cramming and regurgitating paragraphs of talking points on topics they didn't remotely comprehend. They didn't manipulate their dialect and facial expressions as if they were pressing a series of buttons. They didn't clumsily and obviously maneuver the conversation so they could land some insulting new 'zinger' they just learned.

Those people I knew weren't simply unpretentious: they were also the most **unselfconscious** people you were ever likely to run into. And Sarah Palin, in her jerky, perky recitation of her rote non-responsive debate game-plan, was glaringly, jarringly self-conscious every step of the way.

Despite Gerson's hopes, few among the target audience are fooled, although they may well feel patronized and insulted.

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

On the evidence of "Yah," "Doggonnit!" and "Darn right!" Sarah Palin didn't come off as an average person. She came off as a phony. And Michael Gerson lapped it up like a dog with its own vomit, unable to see how unappealing and undigestable it is to those of us with a little critical perspective.

Posted by: sjlinnyc | October 3, 2008 2:43 AM | Report abuse

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

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

I can't believe what I am reading on this blog that supposedly passes for intelligence. There are so many that sound like they are written by self-important prigs.

No matter the outcome of the election, I’m encouraged by the fact that there are real people taking up politics as a career.

I’m tired of the “professionals” who have gotten so out of touch with real people that they actually believe they can best serve the people by staying in Washington DC for 20 or 30 years when all they are really doing is lining their own pockets and the pockets of their friends with the money of the taxpayers they pretend to serve.

Go get ‘em Sarah!!

Posted by: CapitolaLeon | October 3, 2008 2:47 AM | Report abuse

Titopue - me mean??? just having some fun in this "Idiocracy" 2008 election - which I suspect you are also having....you want mean have a look at - candida1 | October 3, 2008 2:00 AM ... but I agree with you re Palin is hotter than Hillary....I do actually think Obama not picking Clinton may have lost the "Ovary" voting block but was a wise move longer term - she just thought because she was a women and had put up with Bill she had a right to the White House ....okay re Palin obese - I might be biased as my wife has had 5 children (two in one pop) and she's still a size 8 so Im spoilt - also if she had 3 weeks coaching on any topic I think she would run rings around Palin in a debate and she didnt go to 4 or 6 Universities - as I cant ever remeber winning a argument or discussion on anything with her...

But I think she still has the hots for Joe "Six Pack" Biden - those winks - the body language....?????? wouldnt that be great if they had an affair whilst all this was going on - but then again that might be what John had in mind when he agreed to the selection...Cindy's moving on a bit these days - Mutton dressed up as lamb...

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

The politics-lite fixation on the fact that Sarah Palin could possibly charm people who are less sharp on the issues is a disgrace to the United States and democracy as a system. As a nation we are interviewing for the second most powerful post in the nation. The press and the nation should take it seriously and quit screwing around with speculation on what the lowest common denominator might be fooled by.
This type of indulgence of incompetence is what got us to the frightening place that we are today.

Posted by: dccamp68 | October 3, 2008 2:53 AM | Report abuse

Hey CapitolaLeon | October 3, 2008 2:47 AM

Go check the Palin's pockets out - if thats the regular guys pockets the economy wouldnt be falling apart due to mortgage foreclosures...another filled with black gold from the Bush/Cheney OIL machine...have to keep filling those pockets before people wake up one day - blood money...

Posted by: colinemery | October 3, 2008 2:53 AM | Report abuse

"But the most consistent goal of the candidates tonight was clearly to be seen as the Main Street populist. And here Biden simply cannot compete. For all his talk of Scranton and Home Depot, he is a senator playing at being an average person. Palin -- on the evidence of "Yah," "Doggonnit!" and "Darn right!" -- is an average person."

Do you think those were genuine and not entirely scripted? Are you saying these folks on "Main Street" aren't sophisticated enough to get it?

And by the way, her choice of when to use the "I'm not talking to you elite moderators or fellow candidates, but to the American people" card wasn't really timed very well.

Posted by: mqduck | October 3, 2008 2:56 AM | Report abuse

Wow: Despite intense attacks on Gov. Palin throughout the last two weeks by 90% of the "main stream press" Gov. Palin delivered a clutch home run with two out in the ninth. Up to now, the game has been stacked against McCain/Palin. In the six decades I have been observing politics in America, I never seen the press so one-sided in favor of a candidate. And, no surprise, that candidate is Obama.

McCain and Palin know they will not get a favorable review by most of the press. "Get" the Republican has become the favorite game of newspaper, magazine and TV. Only the radio and to some extent Fox news offers a counterweight to the drum beat to demean Palin and McCain. Sadly, the deck is stacked. And yet, John and Sarah have continued to speak directly to the American people (every chance they get--which is not often in today's "news coverage"). Some days they do great—others not so well.

That written, did you actually watch the debate? By any objective standard Sarah did a better job of connecting with ordinary folks. Yes, Joe was technically better in many ways, but folks it doesn’t matter. Why? Simple-- she is one of us. Gov. Palin doesn't have to make it up. It was so painful watching a 30 year Senator trying to sound like he understands our pain. Sorry Joe--you are a Washington insider. Yes you take the train home to your multimillion dollar compound every day, but you have been a Senator since you were 30. Don't pretend you understand what average Americans are feeling. You have never had to change jobs or change healthcare providers (or to go without) for the vast majority of your adult life. And, yes your early life was from humble roots, but, Senator, that was a very long, long time ago.

Senator, you have never worked two or more jobs to feed your Family. Don't get me wrong, you are an honorable and decent man. But Senator you are part of what is so wrong with America. You and most of your fellow Senators and Congressmen/women are the best politicians money can buy. Yes, Democrats and Republicans, most of you have voted for your supporters, not regular folks.

It is time to throw most of you out--yes, both parties. Cull the herd--now. Frankly we would better better-off with rookies than what we have now.
Want accountability America? Vote in the November election like you mean it.
Change--you bet--my heart is with John and Sarah. Doesn't matter what I think--where is your heart? Get the facts people and vote for the future of America. Ignorance and skilled marketing is what politicians count on to be elected/reelected. Study hard America--your future and that of your children depend on all of us becoming the "greatest generation" of the 21 century. Work hard to understand the facts—believe me they are hard to come by these days. There is just so many lies. You must read widely, watch more than one channel on TV and talk with people of diverse opinion and backgrounds. Understand, “birds of the feather….”
Wake up America—our time may be short-- unless you really start paying attention. We have five weeks—make them count.

Please make a difference.

Warm Regards,
Mike

Posted by: frommike06 | October 3, 2008 2:57 AM | Report abuse

Palin is dumbing down the second highest office in the land. There's nothing "folksy" or charming about that. It should be degrading and embarrassing to all Americans. I can't believe I just watched a national debate with our Vice Presidential candidates and witnessed one of them give a "shout out". Did she mistake this for an MTV Spring Break broadcast? Palin is so hopelessly under-qualified for the job of Vice President, she's attempting to lower the requisites required. This is NOT a "Joe six-pack" job, for God's sake.

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

Most of America watched the debate and then went to bed because they have to go to work in the morning .
Democratic bloggers hoping that Obama will re distribute wealth their way stayed up into the dawn criticizing Palin like a clique of little girls in the corner school yard.
She kicked his a - - .

Six billion people on Earth will know her as just "Sarah" for the next twelve years.

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

Ifill's performance does NOT prove she was objective nor free from making an unethical decision. None of us know what this clear Obama supporter did (or didn't do) behind the scenes! For all we know her bias motivated her to give Biden a look at all her questions before the debate or she coached him on how to respond. We don't know! But her objective performance does not prove that she was the right person for the job. She is an author of a book about one of the candidates and she lied about her book to the Commission...she was the WRONG person...and we'll never know how her position of great power changed the dynamics of this debate!!

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

And while it may work for the Main Street of fifty years ago, it does not apply in the modern era of nuclear warfare, terrorism, and global financial meltdown. Main Street is far more sophisticated than that now.

Posted by: hakafos44 | October 3, 2008 12:18 AM
-------------------------------
50 years ago, people actually knew how to read. Moreover, they got their news by reading newspapers.

In that age, Sarah Palin would have been considered laughable -- a non-starter.

It's only in our present post-literate, sophisticated-not society that someone like her could be nominated for vice president.

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

What startled me was Sarah Palin’s complete indifference when Joe Biden related the touching and revealing story of what he felt, when he lost his wife and daughter;

It showed insensitivity or possibly just downright cluelessness that she didn’t even look at him or react to his experience. When it was her turn to speak, she just jumped into one of her rehearsed talking points that had no relation to what had just been spoken about.

The McCain campaign did not have a train wreck tonight, but it is very apparent the train is heading in the wrong direction.

I thought Joe Biden was masterful, and in touch with the values of most Americans. He will make a great Vice President.

Posted by: Luke2 | October 3, 2008 3:25 AM | Report abuse

It is incredible to me that anyone would scream "bias" when it was obvious that Palin dodged answering questions and was flat out wrong on her interpretation of the role of the VP.

Hey, Palin did better than she did with Katie Couric, but how could anyone not?

I mean, she literally said she had foreign policy experience because Alaska is near Russia.

There was nothing "gotcha" about this. She said it, she was given a chance to retract it, then she said it again.

There is nothing likable about this. This is insulting.

Finally, her "folksy" words like doggonnit and sheesh are words that people use in lieu of swear words when they are in public, or around people they don't want hearing them swear. People like Biden and Obama don't use these words because they don't go around swearing, they don't have a habit of it. They think about the questions they are asked, then they answer them.

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

I'm learning a lot about ordinary average Americans tonight.

I'm learning that if an interviewer or a moderator asks a question, ordinary average Americans don't want to hear the answer. They'd much rather receive some pre-recorded talking points on an unrelated issue of your choosing.

This is because any question for which a candidate finds herself unprepared is by definition an attack from the liberal media elite (examples: "What newspapers do you read?" "what supreme court cases do you disagree with?")

I'm also learning that ordinary average Americans are violently allergic to substance and logical consistency. If you let yourself get sidetracked from cries of "Maverick hockey-moms for the WIN in Eye-rack!!!" and onto actually explaining your plan for victory or healthcare or whatever, you're just gonna gum the whole thing up and remind people of that smart kid in grade school that everybody hated.

Yes, for red-blooded middle America it's all about Ready, Fire! Let the reality-based eggheads carp about how we either forgot or just lied thru our teeth about that whole "Aiming" part, while we gung-ho, git-er-done types get down there and find out what we hit, by golly! (If it's a moose, we'll know how to field-dress it.)

Sarah Palin--ready to LEAD (never mind where to) and ready to FIGHT (never you mind whom).

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

And if you go back and read the transcript of the debate, you can clearly see that Ifill was completely impartial and fair.

If you want to talk about bias, talk about the Saddleback Church debate, and the fact that McCain got to listen to an hour of Barack Obama's answers when we were all told before the debate that he was in a cone of silence. This was not just bias, this was lying.

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

Biden was great, primarily because he directly answered the questions posed, something Palin rarely does.

While on the topic of answering the question actually posed, I expect the VP, and certainly the President to actually be able to do this.

However, Palin either cannot or won't, and her supporters agree it isn't necessary.

Michelle Beachmann of Minnesota, for example, while on Larry King blamed the "Eastern media establishment" for ganging up on Palin and making her look bad, i.e. for asking her questions which she does not necessarily have to have the answers to, (like what supreme court cases are you familiar with).

Larry pressed Beachmann to explain who is the "Eastern media establishment." Beachmann fumbled and eventually said it was the Left-wing oriented media.

I guess that means Katy Couric is now part of the lefty media!

As for Palin's folksy style, Lincoln was folksy but also a genius.... something Palin isn't and will never be--OK--but I'd settle for her to have passed a class in Government 101.

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

It seems also that the ratio of Palin supporters to Palin non supporters was about one to one a week and a half ago...now, from looking at these comments, it is like one to three.


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

I always love when right wing elites who make more in a month than the average person in 5 years knows who spoke more to the average person. The "average" person is not stupid!

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

Boys, boys, calm down she has hot legs but not qualified to be our Vice president. She's probably good in you know, but she doesn't deserve the White House. She's an idiot and stupid. We can't afford liar in the White house.

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

I was fortunate to see Tom Hanks' "John Adams." I got a window into just how intelligent the founders of our country were. Their thoughtfulness, and profound statements through their speech as well as through their actions moved me greatly.
That said, Palin could NEVER move me. I respect her position in the world, and how hard she worked in order to get where she is. McCain plucked a goldfish out of the pond and threw it into the salt water ocean. Palin lacks the depth necessary to be on the world stage as its co-host. She's afraid of the big bad media for heaven's sake. She can't think past what she's been told to say. There's no room for this love affair with Mrs. Palin. Experience is not the issue (Barack Obama already proved that). It is about qualification.
Palin was in a political science debate, and Biden was in a debate on world issues. Clearly, they were in two different places. Winking at the audience wasn't charming, it was irritating. Folksy talk is not convincing, it is annoying. If it was genuine,I wouldn't have taken issue with it. However, I am tired of these obviously scripted actions and divisive tactics being given any validity.
When you think about how bad our current standing in the world is and how corrupt our supposed "free market," is and how gas costs 4.00 per gal, and how many people's loved one are fighting on foreign land away from their them, you should realize how responsible you must be with your vote. We cannot squander the chance to move in the right direction by voting solely on party, or personal preference. Instead think of what was passed on to you as an American. We were given a living document that even til now, gives us the blueprint for government and recognizes our rights as free men and women. This was a document drafted by an intelligent man, edited by intelligent people, during the immancipation of the US lead by intelligent people. Are these times any less diar right now. Without doubt, this is the most important vote in my lifetime. I'm voting for thoughtfulness and intelligence at the helm.
I'll go shoot a moose with Palin, or drink a beer with Bush. Maybe I'll hit the strip club with McCain. However, I want Obama and Biden in the White House come Jan 09'
Yah darn tootin!!!

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

She has a cheat, cheat paper infront of her. She is going to cheat on us if we give her a chance in the White House. She is like a ROBOT that has been program in her system, one reason why she keep going back to the same topic that she memorized over and over again. She is a disaster. People that are patronizing her tonight will wake up in the morning with Hand Over. Hopefully, they'll wake up before it is too late.

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

Yes, Dick Cheney is far more dangerous (to America, to democracy, to the rest of the world) than Aaron Burr ever was.

By any objective measure Sarah Palin is a profoundly ignorant person who has no business running for Vice President of the United States. This "debate" only made that more evident. Clearly Joe Biden is no great speaker, but he nonetheless demonstrated an understanding of history and a command of the issues that you just can't get cramming for two weeks. The average NPR listener knows more about current events than Palin does. It's absolutely pathetic that we've come to this as a nation. Sad, sad day. John, if you have any respect for the people of this country you will drop her from the ticket.

Posted by: louis7 | October 3, 2008 4:00 AM | Report abuse

"A woman of the common people standing on the national stage facing down a WASP male."

Nonsense. This writer doesn't even know what "WASP" refers to- and I'm sure that Sarah Palin doesn't either.

For your information, "WASP" stands for "White, Anglo Saxon Protestant." Joe Biden is "White," but he is Irish Catholic- big difference.

He was not "faced down" either. She simply repeated rehearsed soundbytes that had nothing to do with the questions asked.

If I hear her say "hungry for energy" one more time I am going to throw up. You don't eat oil.

It is appalling that she apparently didn't even know what the term "achilles heel" meant.

She is ignorant, clueless, a liar, and so unqualified to be either Vice President, or President of our country. The irony is that she doesn't even know it- and neither does John McCain.

The old guy has lost his marbles for sure on this one. Time to head on down to Cindy's ranch in Sedona and retire- y'all.

Posted by: Luke2 | October 3, 2008 4:03 AM | Report abuse

" Up to now, the game has been stacked " Of course it is stacked, with hand-picked audiences, no direct questioning, (news conference? HA!) Sure Mike, the deck has been stacked, but the republicans, as usual, are the ones that are doing the stacking.

Posted by: lwps | October 3, 2008 4:03 AM | Report abuse

First time voter, northern VA for OBama/biden, i think palin did a 'good job' but i wouldn't trust her to have any decision concerning the Iraq war or afghanistan, these wars are largely ethnic as are most. I say this because she comes from such a homogenous state like alaska with just white people that get along with everyone and just got her passport LAST YEAR! ~another George Walker Bush~ to-get-elected, once again i think she did well in the debate

Posted by: beltwaybandit | October 3, 2008 4:08 AM | Report abuse

Redistribution of wealth has been working great for the republicans over the last eight years. Looking for commies under the bed -- not so much.

Posted by: lwps | October 3, 2008 4:18 AM | Report abuse

Nice to read recently that the Palins are now millionaires. Also nice to know that Alaska sends each citizen a check for thousands of dollars very year -- while taking billions of federal dollars.

Posted by: lwps | October 3, 2008 4:38 AM | Report abuse

The quote, "And I give her credit for saying Ahmadinejad three times fast," tells it all about Palin. Thanks, Mike!

Posted by: Formerrepublican | October 3, 2008 5:02 AM | Report abuse

I am disgusted by the constant assertion that Palin's use of colloquialisms makes her more attractive to the American people.

Do we really set the bar that low?

I would rather have a person perceived as 'boring' in office, if he/she were well-educated and articulate, than someone who comes across as 'spunky,' yet is vapid.

Posted by: ceeveg | October 3, 2008 5:13 AM | Report abuse

"Palin -- on the evidence of "Yah," "Doggonnit!" and "Darn right!" -- is an average person. That may not be the best qualification for high office. But I suspect that many Americans find it attractive."

Palin was just a caricature of the average Jane that doesn't really exist anymore. The last time I heard folksy jargon like this was ... well, I can't remember it happening since a 1950s Bugs Bunny cartoon.

Posted by: geoffnich | October 3, 2008 5:55 AM | Report abuse

This is the first time I find myself agreeing with Gerson's points. I am either going mad or Michael Gerson is going moderate. Can't argue with who's more folksy Mikey. But you know what, folksy doesn't cut it at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. We've had almost 8 years of that and have been the laughing stock of the world. Obama brings intellect to the White House versus "I'm the decider". And forget it when it comes to foreign policy. This is where Bush and McCain-Palin completely lose it. Yes, we can establish diplomatic ties. We had a golden opportunity in 2001 after the attacks to accept help from the Iranians, yes thats right. Instead Bush snubbed their moderate President and now they went hard right, just like the US. Maybe if we elect a more moderate President like Obama, so will Iran.

Let's remember again who empowered Iran Mr. Gerson. Mr. George Bush, by destroying their primary enemy Iraq. Now we (Israel) are fearing Iranian primacy in the middle east. For a more realistic analysis from a CIA agent who covered the middle east for 20 years, read Robert Baer's book "Sleeping with the Devil" just published.

Posted by: dontblamemeivoted4gore | October 3, 2008 6:08 AM | Report abuse

Yonkers, New York
03 October 2008

Does a few-days' tutorial on huge domestic and geopolitical issues make a completely unknown and nondescipt small-town politician, whose foreign affairs credentials are severely limited to her having seen Russia from her home in Alaska, suddenly qualify her to be President of these United States--just in case?

I don't think so. And millions of American voters will very likely agree with me on that one.

The "just in case" contingency I refer to is the possibility, nay the probability, that in the event the American people make the terrible mistake of electing the McCain-Palin duo in November, and President McCain passes away suddenly and unexpectedly ten months into his tenure from a dangerous form of cancer, Sarah Palin will of course automatically be the President of these United States.

Would she then be ready and able to discharge the awesome and unimaginably complicated duties and responsibilities of that Office?

Even the average American voter knows that the office of President requires more, much more, than sharp teeth, stong jaws and a vicious temper.

Mariano Patalinjug
MarPatalinjug@aol.com

Posted by: MPatalinjug | October 3, 2008 6:35 AM | Report abuse

What a bad day for Gerson! If this is the extent of the praise this Bushie can come up with for the Ice Maiden of Alaska (not quite as cute as Tina Fey, but obviously working on it, then she didn't quite pull it off, did she?

Posted by: wleldred | October 3, 2008 6:38 AM | Report abuse

(about a nuclear attack)"the be all, end all of just too many people."

ROTHLMFAO..ROTHLMFAO

TELL ME DIDN'T SAY THAT..ROTFLMAO...


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

Well they the Republicans got what they wanted.A goog looking down to earth REAl Bumpkin.She must have srtayed up watching teh movie "A Face In The Crowd" She did well very well.I guess the good ole folks in the Hinderland are jumping with joy down in the country store.God Bless they souls. If someone like that approached me I think I would get sick ,smilin and showing her pearlies.But then again I'm only a East Coast liberal who used to be bartender and could spot a phony a mile off.

Posted by: hbetterthanahal | October 3, 2008 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Cheney is the most dangerous, the most disgraceful and the most damaging US Vice President ever. Not only has he subverted the US Constitution, doggonnit (would someone please let me know it I using this term correctly), history will probably remember him as a treasonous war profiteer and treacherous war criminal. Moreover, through his morally suspect political and corporate undertakings, he has become repulsively rich while more and more of the people he swore to serve are becoming serfs and sheeple.

Hence, Mr. Gerson, why all the baseless smoke about hyperbole? Calling Cheney dangerous is a lead in for crucial discussion we need to have about how to redress the Bush regime's crimes against humanity and how to restore Democracy.

This is the most important election of our lifetime. I am alarmed by your intimation that it is not. Are you being glib? Whatever your motive or understanding or lack thereof, given your profession, suggesting that it is not is "darn wrong" and irresponsible.

Maybe some US Citizens do not know or believe that it is yet that does not change the fact (I think that both candidates would agree that it is, and not just because they are running, but rather, because this time it is). I urge you to take your position in society more seriously and to inform people what is at stake. It is not just the economy or the environment or national security or our freedom or our values - this time, civilization as we know it is at risk.

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

Disagree with you Gerson, Palin was a complete embarrassment. Every time she spoke it was cringe inducing moment. She showed she has as much substance as cotton candy. The fact she's even in this position is frightening.

Posted by: Leofwine | October 3, 2008 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Tuthfully, I was not as surprised (but relieved) that Sarah Palin didn't embarass herself as much as I was impressed by Biden's discipline (wasn't he supposed to be erratic, prone to long-winded statements?). I thought Biden was very effective in pointing problems with McCain's positions and while he didn't score knockouts, I am not sure knockouts would have served his side well.

On the other hand, while Governor Palin showed her usual enthusiasm for John McCain, she was long on pollyanish statements and was short on policy, way too short for confort. At one point I noticed she used the word "fight" quite often (somebody I am sure kept count), sounding more like a high school cheerleader than a contender for Vice-President.

Biden won on points. I'd score it 8-5 for Biden.

Posted by: gmanpac8 | October 3, 2008 7:40 AM | Report abuse

I think you're an elitist to believe that citizens outside the beltway are impressed or charmed by cartoon bubble jargon.

Posted by: paj123 | October 3, 2008 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Only in the upside down world that the republican party has created could an extremely rightwing v.p. candidate get away with pretending to be pro middleclass. I guess there is no reason for her to do legitimate interviews since even in the debate she admits she will not answer the asked questions. How insulting is that ?

Posted by: timebanded | October 3, 2008 8:05 AM | Report abuse

hakafoss-too bad that the only thing that you apparently learned at Oxford was about debating. What a typical liberal elitist. Palin did not blatantly lie as did your candidate Biden. How do you and your Oxford buddies feel about his lack of historical facts in comments made a week or so ago? His comments about TV and FDR in 1929 were incredible. The liberal media hardly commented about his totally incorrect comments - oh, maybe because he is a Dem.

To debsmyth - do you hate all women, possibly yourself included? Your comments are pathetic.

You liberals cause me great concern and nausea. The only "change" Obama/Biden promise is that they won't give us what we have had(their words) for the past eight years. If destructive folks such as Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank remain in power, it does not matter who becomes president . . . they are doomed due to the irresponsibility of those metioned so called leaders and their friends.

Posted by: ajbianca | October 3, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin improved her image among voters last night. However, so did Joe Biden. An immediate poll of CNN/Opinion Dynamics indicated that 98% of viewers feel Biden can step in immediately to be President. They also gave the debate to Biden 51-39%. Seems these people preferred substance over style.

I like the fact that Biden answered the questions given to him directly, then expanded to slam Bush/McCain. Palin dodged the questions she did not feel comfortable with using a few talking points. So much for Straight Talk.

One pundit said she is preparing herself for 2012. Probably as good a take as any.

By the way, McCain pulled his campaign staffers out of Michigan a few hours earlier in the day; and will not show ads in the state. This comes less than a week after Palin showed up with McCain in tow.

Posted by: LeftGuy | October 3, 2008 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Biden and Palin were not the only two persons in that debate under scrutiny. If Palin had fared poorly (as expected), the Mccain camp had already positioned itself to attack Gwen Ifill. It was my observation, that difficult questions were addressed to Mr. Biden first, so that Ms. Palin would have more time to compose her response, and the easier questions were addressed to Ms. Palin first.

Posted by: bystanderinflyoverland | October 3, 2008 8:24 AM | Report abuse

I did not find Biden annoying at all. I find this observation strange... perhaps it reflects more on who made the comment?

Posted by: vtcxc | October 3, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

One wonders if there is any point to responding to Mr. Gerson's intellectually dishonest writing. I guess I don't know much about television or the voting public, but this voter found Biden every bit as likeable and not only refreshingly honest, but passionate about public service. Sarah Palin is a banana republic politician; Biden is a true professional public servant.

Posted by: dhorne1 | October 3, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

There is a difference between a "response" to a question and an "answer." A response is the mere utterance of words following a statement ending in a question mark. An answer provides substantive thought about the subject matter of the question.

Biden had answers. Palin had responses.

Palin had memorized "set pieces;" i.e., if the question has the word "energy" somewhere in it say this, or if the question has the word "taxes" in it say this.

The American people are fed up with sound bite type responses to serious questions. She and McCain simply have no answers and this so-called debate (where one party refuses -- expressly -- to answer questions) proves it.

Posted by: mewesq | October 3, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

I think you don't give the American people enough credit. We have gone through two elections now where we elected a populist President, someone you wouldn't mind having a beer with. I think that after the last 8 years the American people understand the difference between substance and talking points.
Biden clearly had knowledge of the issues; made a clear case that McCain's policies are no different than Bushes. Proof in point is the way Palin's "waving the white flag of surrender" comment went over. People want solutions not sound bites and Obama/Biden clearly are winning on that front.

Posted by: jmoubayed | October 3, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Gerson has to make things up now.
Biden was far more likable than Palin, who once again was snide with an insincere coating of, hey there, charm.

Posted by: bethechangeyouwant | October 3, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

As for Palin, 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 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Folksy? Ya? Dang? 'Scuse me- am I stupid???? Do you really think this country is full of mindless numskulls who just rollover rover because Palin was cute? Only an idiot would find her "folksy wink" in the middle of a Vice-Presidential debate in the middle of times like these, to be part of a winning strategy.

"For all his talk of Scranton and Home Depot, he is a senator playing at being an average person. Palin -- on the evidence of "Yah," "Doggonnit!" and "Darn right!" -- is an average person."

I guess you can't tell the difference between real and fake then because Sarah Palin is about as much a real person as a talking Barbie doll. She can act- I'll give her that- but I don't want an act in the white House. I want the real deal.

Posted by: sparrow4 | October 3, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Gerson must be in pain, trying to claim a victory for this brainless wonder. Doggone-it, she's a neocon wind-up doll.

Posted by: DemoDevil | October 3, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

@sparrow4:

Well said. I'll take it even a step further -- I love this country because ANY so called "average American" can obtain the Presidency or Vice Presidency. But once there, should not that person ascend in a few important ways beyond the average? What makes them a "real deal" involves using skills that range from the domestic to the international and leadership qualities that range from the back yard BBQ to the White House reception room. Think about that come November when you pull that lever, punch away that chad, touch that screen.

-jim

Posted by: JimGoldbloom | October 3, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

mr gerkin,

whit flag of surrender, a second holocaust, palin being middle class--what do you call these comments if not exaggerations? The Palins received $25,000 last year alone from government payments for Alaska's oil and gas dividends. That right there, y'all, is half the average American household income, and that's without even walkin' out the door to a joe six-pack job, such as her husband workin' for an oil company, or her government largesse. Their total income is well above $250,0000 meaning they will be taxed at a higher rate by Obama. I can't wait.
Mr gerkin' if you had any shame, you would be of yourself

Posted by: matvox | October 3, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

"Joe Biden won most of the questions based on debating points. He drove home a series of specific attacks on John McCain's record that often went unanswered by Palin. But Biden generally adopts the charmless manner of the Senate floor debate."

You are quite correct. With Biden's subtly placed misstatements and exaggerations, Palin would have been sucked into a hyper-spin bickering over votes, regulation records, etc. Biden's hyperlingual senate-prosecutorial attacks would have been hopelessly dull, mindlessly unmeaningful to ordinary voters watching the debate, and put anyone who wasn't a senate insider or CSPAN watcher at a real disadvantage.

For better or worse, Palin simply dismissed Biden's attempts to draw her onto that ground and she didn't have any other alternative counter-attack that also comprised rebutting specifics of Biden's attacks on McCain. So unfortunately, many of those attacks went unanswered.

But she did succeed in not getting pushed around and reframed, not getting pushed off message and not being driven into insecurity. It was clear during the Couric and Gibson interviews that she didn't know where some of the questions were coming from or didn't like some of the implications of the questions asked (she actually got riled up and offended at the "what papers do you read" question that Couric asked her). Her discomfort with some of the Couric & Gibson questions, and the fact that she allowed their persistence in the face of her rejection of some of their questions to get under her skin, were big disadvantages during the interviews, as they made her appear insecure and uncertain. She didn't show that last night. In the debate last night, she showed she is learning how to both turn away questions that are inappropriate or unconstructive and retain her confident facade in the face of conversational undermining.

These personal skills of how to maintain focus, message and personal bearing during the contentious conversations, interviews and debates of Washington DC should have been taught to her right off the mark, along with her briefing books and other preparation.

The McCain campaign has seriously bungled its handling of Palin. The whole personal-marketing and presentation side of McCain's campaign seems incredibly amateurish, naive and self-destructive. This seems to reflect a career-long personal flaw of the candidate himself, who is a perennial outsider arguing with the group, for which he typically overcompensated by being too open and accessible to the press. McCain's communications dysfunctions have, by virtue of an amateur and incompetent handling of Palin, become Palin's problem.

Hopefully, Palin's learning curve is great enough that she can continue to develop her skills in dealing with undermining verbal conversatiosn so that she is less naive and vulnerable to undermining tactics in interviews and debates with Washington Machiavellians, and hopefully the McCain campaign has awakened to whatever incompetence has caused it to fail to prepare both candidates for proper presentation and communication skills commensurate with this national, hotly contested campaign for world leadership.

Best positives: Palin's learning curve and natural determination and confidence.

Worst negatives: how incompetent and amateurish the McCain campaign's been re: handling Palin and the candidate himself, in preparing them to be personally coherent on tough issues on a glaringly treacherous national stage on which global attention is focused and any slipups or weaknesses creates a feeding frenzy. Palin's preparation and handling couldn't have been worse, and McCain's own message, coherence and focus is the worst too, whenever he strays outside areas of his lifelong strength (like into economics).

Posted by: AsperGirl | October 3, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

My God--could she get any more hokey! And if she winked at the camera one more time, I was going to barf.

Posted by: louis-michel | October 3, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Malapropism of the day --

"the be all, end all of just too many people"

in reference to nuclear Armageddon. Someone needs to explain to the "hockey mom" the meaning of "the be all and end all".

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

Sarah Palin did not come across as dislikable, but that is a far cry from the needed qualifications for VP. I just can not picture her in discussions with foreign leaders on topics of importance and substance.

While I would greatly prefer Joe Biden at the top of the ticket for the democrats, John McCain's age and health bother me. Barack Obama may not have a lot of experience (I really would like to see more) but we have had presidents with thin resumes before and the two things he does have that make me more comfortable are intelligence and an curiosity about the world around him. At this point John McCain seems stuck on his view without regard to changing times and Sarah Pain just does not seen curious at all.

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

This article is amazingly obnoxious and offensive to regular Americans. So Gerson believes that America people like anyone who keeps spewing out phrases like "doggoneit" and "darn right"? So we are entirely different from "people who deal with words for a living," meaning someone like himself, who can actually think? According to Gerson's logic, if you are not a journalist, we are all morons. It's amazing how these journalists continue to be this insolent and disrespectful towards their readers and get away with it. Gerson should apologize too all Americans.

Posted by: motherforobama | October 3, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

sounding intelligent might not be as gerson says, the same thing as lacking intelligence, but i would add, its a hell of a long way from being intelligent.

and as for cheney being the most dangerous vice president in history, i came to that conclusion a long time ago. he is indeed, thanks to his putative boss. had we a president worth a damn, he would be only an annoyance.

Posted by: jimfilyaw | October 3, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

I don't know about you, but I don't remember the 19th century and don't remember Aaron Burr. He wasn't around "in my lifetime". So, yes, Cheney is far and away the most dangerous VP in my lifetime. And with this the current credit crisis, and two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it's not a stretch or a gross exaggeration to say that this is the most important election in our lifetime.

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

LOL Bring on more more and more colloquialisms..that's how America speaks and thank goodness. Not too long ago, Americans were mocked for their ponderous, pompous multisyllabic latinisms and evasive euphemisms -- this is the country that still calls cocks roosters-- now found mainly in the Senate and often in the mouth of Sen. Biden, a man who's a firstrate sleeping pill.

OMG how puerile to criticise someone for not knowing what an Achilles Heel is. Gen gap as embarrassing as an open fly. Hey Grandad, know what jumping the shark means? You know - that's what Sen. Obama does....

Posted by: ginamallet | October 3, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Well...the MSM and the Obama supporters are even more anti-Palin this morning.

I expect honesty, integrity, since of justice, making decisions that are FIRST FOR AMERICAN and not just for politics.

I am a devoted Democrat.. and have been for 37 years. My family has voted Democrat for at least four generations. And I did not realize how distorted and selfish the DNC has made our election process. First it was the Super-delegates that insures that the DNC DECIDES who is nominated for President. Then it was the variations on how each state conducted the primary elections.

The DNC and the MSM have supported OBAMA at the expense of better qualified PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES. But then OBAMA fits into the image of what the Democrats are about.

Obama has played dirty in politics SINCE HE first won in his home state. In typical lawyer fashion he cares not for justice, truth, country, honor, duty.. he only wants to win… and be in power. He can not make a decision, he is like a puppet that has his strings pulled by his cronies on the hill and his rich supporters.

Big issue that can be tied directly to Obama and the democrats. Take a look at the revised TARP Bill that came out and was signed yesterday. THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT WILL TAKE PLACE IF OBAMA IS MADE PRESIDENT.

The House bill was changed and added to behind closed doors. It contains items that the Democrats COULD NOT GET through the Senate. and then they tacked on to this SAVINGS BILL???

Note the following BOND ISSUES that will actually take money out of THAT CREDIT cycle they are crying about.

Renewable Energy Bond Limitation of only 800,000,000.

Increases to Funding Black Lung Disability Trust.

National Xone Academy Bond Limitation only 400,000,000 for schools at poverty levels.

Coal project investment Tax Credit
2,555,000,000

They approved increasing the National Debt limit to 11.300,000,000.

Issued tax credit extensions for the following areas. (This is a joke.. because they hid this so well and ther are bunches more.)

Midwest Store Damage Credit
Secrue Rural Schools Tax Credit
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Credit
Child Tax Credit
Domestic Production Activies Puerto Rico
Expense advance Mine Safety Equipment
Mine Resuce Team Training
Economic Development for American Samoa
Rum Exicsit Tax for Puerton Rico and Virgin Islands.
S Corpations making charitable contributions of property.
Cost recovery for Improvements , restaurant improvement and certain retail improvements tax credit.
Expense and modification of research tax credit.
Oil spill liability fund
Futa Surtax
Green building and sustainable design products
Fringe benefits to bicyle commuters.

These SOB's in the Senate with the Democrats making these additions behind closed doors deserve to be impeached,voted out and shot at dawn.

The initial House Bill was only 109 pages..AFTER the Senate... got done it was 451 pages. The first 109 pages were almost the same as the house bill. When Dodd, Reid and the rest of their cronies got done with the bill, we are in hock for even more money.

If I remember correctly... not an accountant, the Treasury will issue bonds that will pay a certain interest. These will be placed on the open market for investors to purchase.

This means that 1,200,000,000 dollars of money that COULD BE USED FOR main street
credit will be sucked up with by the US Government. Add another 2 Trillion to that in the increase in National Debt.

And they have just 'sucked' 3.2 Trillion dollars out of the credit market.

ISSUE A 2,550,000,000 TAX CREDIT TO COAL PROJECT INVESTMENTS.

And you have a cluster if there ever was one.

The 75 Senators that voted for this Bill, in all likely hood DID NOT EVEN READ this Bill.

They just VOTED.

Now the Mainstream Media will HIDE this as well... because this is a DEMOCRAT sponsored bill.

You can not have a democrat on the hill as PRESIDENT.. that has no original thought, no experience, that listens to DODD,REID, FRANKS,PELOSI, And other democrats on the hill. Obama so far is just a puppet ...his strings are pulled by the DNC, and the ole guard on the hill.

He is now talking about going through next year’s financial budget, line item by line item. But what he is not saying is that next years financial budget was worked on and completed by Obey at the end of September. It was planned in such a manner that NO ONE had a chance to review… because it was only presented to allow 24 hours for review and then it had to be approved. (Obey was very proud that THE PUBLIC and the members of Congress DID NOT HAVE A CHANCE T REVIEW.)

Why does Obama want to spend 625 million dollars to become Messiah of the United States.

You count the reasons why..

Posted by: miller51550 | October 3, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I think Sarah Palin did a good job, considering the expectations were below sea level for her performance. Although, her answers were sorely lacking in any substance, which was problematic for a VP candidate, especially one so coddled and prepped by their campaign.

I found her "folksy" demeanor demeaning and often condescending, quite frankly. I don't appreciate the phony, down-home attitude from a VP candidate. Said again, I want my possible leader of the Free World to be a bit more polished and wordly. I would just expect much more.

As a mayor, or a PTA mom, I think she'd be fine; possibly even a Representative. But for VP? No way, no how.

I half expected Biden to turn and say, "Am I debating the Leave it To Beaver here?"

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

I watched the debate and Palin sounded unintelligent - winking makes her look like a girl who is trying to sex her way to the top. She needs to speak English to be taken seriously and most Americans do not find her interesting or capable.

Posted by: rlj1 | October 3, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

As someone from rural America, I'm insulted by Sarah Palin.

Someone who makes $250,000 a year is NOT middle class. I've never made a FIFTH of that, Sarah, so stop trying to pretend you're like me. You're not -- I actually read newspapers and I actually follow policy.

And you sound fake -- don't try to sound like us, you don't. It's sillier than a Frenchman trying to sound like an American. I don't buy your phony-balony accent anymore than I buy your empty answers.

Posted by: toriatama | October 3, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

She did well? Won? Were you looking at the VP debate? Biden knew where his party stood and answered the questions. Palin, you bet'cha, dodged many questions and continued to revert to the rehearsed talking points, the only points, she knew.

I am tired of her giving women a bad name. Hillary is a strong/brilliant woman. I would LOVE to see Hillary debate her because, we all know, Biden could not take her head on since they would then attack him.

I further tired of her "joe six-pack" comments and COME ON - I want to give a "shout-out"????? PLEASE AMERICA - I think we are being PUNK'd. Is she serious??

Posted by: LisaM1 | October 3, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

"She has no ability to stall for time while sounding intelligent (which is not, by the way, the same thing as lacking intelligence."
I would like to also add that, "by the way", it is also not the same thing as actually having intelligence.
When you move the bar so low that in becomes a limbo contest instead of a high jump contest, you've already lost the battle.

Posted by: lasker1895 | October 3, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

It was like watching a grown man debate a kindergartener while trying not to hurt her feelings. Did Palin actually answer ONE question put to her? How many times did she change the subject to rambling talking point given to her by her McCain handlers? Even my Republican wife is sick and tired of hearing the word "maverick"

Posted by: unpluggedboodah | October 3, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I am the lone liberal in my working class right-wing community. I have never heard anyone say "Darn" or "Dog-gone-it." It is more like %$#^^@ yeah!"

Posted by: foxtrot1 | October 3, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

The only victory that Gov. Palin took home last night was in convincing the world that Americans are a middlebrow society.
I am not trying to say we want to present ourselves as an elitist and arrogant society, but it is more about upholding that standards the rest of the world used to hold for us. This is not the race for local mayor or Girl Scout Troop Leader, being cutesy and folksy is not going to cut it. I do want a candidate to be likable, but I base that likability on how intelligent they are and how they present themselves as a leader. I do not want an average, every day citizen like myself to run this country; I want someone who is going to show the rest of the world that we are more than “Joe Six Pack.” I find it offensive that McCain and Palin think they need to dumb things down in order to secure votes. They should project the notion that every American should strive for more and every American can achieve great things. Instead, they are projecting that Americans should stay just where they are, and that is exactly what they want to happen.
On another note, how many winks can one person give during a speech?

Posted by: harrison4614 | October 3, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Gerson,
Your kind of commentary leaves practically nothing left to say but, "I know you are but what am I?" Talk about awkward and annoying. When you claim that Joe Biden..the least "elite" of the whole crew you've worked for ..is faking his "average guy" creds, that is the sign we all needed. The only "white flag" we'll see waving is by your people of the formally conservative base that was co-opted by right wing lunatics who think "government is the problem." Hell yeah it's the problem when it's run by people who want it to not to work efficiently or comport itself ethically.

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

Ifill missed numerous opportunities to drill into or even broach subjects (most notably, women's issues). I don't think any votes were changed as a result of this debate. Palin appealed to her base and didn't screw up. Dems wanted her to wreck and she didn't (kudos); Republicans wanted her to survive and she did. All her folksy air-headed charm and sound bites of hockey mom and joe six pack further endeared her to the Reps who were going to vote for McCain anyway. It's just that, now, they won't feel as strong a need to make excuses for her.
The scariest moment was her indication to follow Cheney into expanding powers. Obama-Biden need to drill the danger of that home in ads. (shiver).

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

Gerson writes: Palin -- on the evidence of "Yah," "Doggonnit!" and "Darn right!" -- is an average person. ********

And the above statement proves without doubt that Gerson is a total idiot.

Posted by: Jerryvov | October 3, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Did a quick count of half these posts, it's about 9 to 1, Palin negative to Palin positive, with maybe 1 unclear.

And lots of rural Americans who seem unhappy with Palin's apparent exaggeration of colloquial language.

Not a result I expected in Gerson's column.

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

I'm a little peeved at how condescending the pundits are to those of us who live in the "heartland" with our folksy ways and our mangled, colloquial language. Of course we would be swayed by someone who speaks like my grandfather. If she would just throw in an occasional "By Gum" I wouldn't be able to tell them apart. At work this morning one woman (normally fairly conservative) told me she thought Palin sounded like a cheerleader running for class president. I think many of us "common folk" would agree if we could get the straw out of our hair.

Posted by: grason | October 3, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I have never heard a single person I know use the word "Doggonnit," and my expectations for Vice President of the United States does not include the word "average."

Weren't these some of the same standards George Bush used eight years ago to win over the American people?

Posted by: SarDC123 | October 3, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I suspect that Palin helped her base, the one's who still believe that Bush is doing a good job. However, folksy language can only go so far. I expect to hear "prefessional" language coming out of the mouth of the no. 2 in government. I also expect to hear much more substance.

For the most part, Biden did what was needed to counteract the "bantam rooster" in this campaign. I have heard no one say that he was less than respectful and charitable. In one sense, Palin's presence on the same stage with Biden was a joke. I like the description that I heard when one of the commentators suggested that it looked like a wolverine nipping at the pant's leg of a senior senator. I would like to think that the senior senator shook the thing off from time to time.

The Katie Couric and Charles Gibson interviews still are very important one-on-one "ulfiltered" pieces with the person who would be no. 2.

During the debate, I was definitely under the impression that Palin was on a mission to be sure that she mentioned all of the Republican talking points, regardless of how appropriate. She sounded too much like she was giving her usual stump speech. Her flirtation with the audience was undignified. In fact, it smacked of the character "Chambis" in "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil."

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

Let me remind voters that George Bush was the folksy one. Look where folksy got us with George Bush. The bottom line was that Palin was able to avoid all the questions she did not know the answers to, by reciting her memorized talking points. And to tell you the truth, I thought her folksy was way overdone. It looked fake and does not look Presidential when we are in so serious a time. Biden, though, was passionate and Presidential at the same time. He showed us how that looks. No, aw shucks, doggone is necessary. He was great.

Posted by: LW22 | October 3, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

INCLUDING AARON BURR?????

I don't recall Aaron Burr managing to shred the constitution of the USA and deciding that an American President is above the law whenever David Addington thinks so.

The most vicious & dangerous VP in the history of this nation is Cheney, since he actually ran the government while Bush worked out and rode his bicycle. In fact Cheney and Addington kept Bush out of the loop when they decided that the USA need not abide by any treaty it has ever signed.

Cheney is about as unAmerican as any elected official ever was in the history of this country. He is a royalist at heart and wishes to become the power of a dictatorship when and if he can come up with an excuse for taking over and sending Congress packing.

Posted by: palnicki | October 3, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

So Palin beat the spread--big deal.

The spread was something like 45.

If you're picked to lose by 45, and only lose by 42, is that a victory?

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

Cheney is not merely wrong but the most dangerous vice president in history (including Aaron Burr?) well ok this might be a slight exageration I mean Burr killed the man her shot Cheney only grazed his target.

Posted by: srl51676 | October 3, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

For the person who mentioned Biden and television set development:

"1906 - First Mechanical Television System
Lee de Forest invents the Audion vacuum tube that proved essential to electronics. The Audion was the first tube with the ability to amplify signals.

Boris Rosing combines Nipkow's disk and a cathode ray tube and builds the first working mechanical TV system.

In 1921 the 14-year-old Mormon had an idea while working on his father's Idaho farm. Mowing hay in rows, Philo realized an electron beam could scan a picture in horizontal lines, reproducing the image almost instantaneously. This would prove to be a critical breakthrough in Philo Farnsworth's invention of the television in 1927...Farnsworth applied for a patent for his image dissector in 1927.

1927

Bell Telephone and the U.S. Department of Commerce conduct the first long distance use of television that took place between Washington D.C. and New York City on April 9th. Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover commented, “Today we have, in a sense, the transmission of sight for the first time in the world’s history. Human genius has now destroyed the impediment of distance in a new respect, and in a manner hitherto unknown.”"

It was out there, we just didn't have it in every home.

I still don't understand why it matters in the grand scheme of world politics and economic crisis.

Posted by: hakafos44 | October 3, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Higher primates can be taught sign language. With enough time and coaching, they can become somewhat fluent. Just because Palin was able to speak in coherent sentences, for the most part, does not mean that she's any different now than the person who dove head first into an empty pool with Charles Gibson and Katie Couric. The woman does not understand the Constitution of the United States on even the most rudimentary of levels. She showed it again last night. That's prerequisite for anyone seeking higher office. Has Bush been that successful in nulifying the Constitution for it not to matter if a person running for the second highest office in the land doesn't understand the meaning of "separation of church and state" or what the Constitution says about the Vice President's duties? She's a muppet.

Posted by: ehperkins1971 | October 3, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

There were times, when watching the Governor, I felt she was channeling the police chief from 'Fargo'. Was it necessary for her to be so inarticulate to make her relatable to the American people? Those who want to vote for her because they felt Hillary was thwarted should realize one is not the same as the other. I will be glad to see Katie interview her again and show what an imbecile Palin is!!

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

And I am sorry that Liberals give you nausea. I am an Independent by the way and would have voted for McCain in 2000.

Your confederates have given us the Iraqi war and thousands of dead and maimed young men and women, economic unrest unheard of since the Great Depression, and God knows what else is on the horizon.

If I have to choose, I prefer Liberal nausea.

Posted by: hakafos44 | October 3, 2008 11:13 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 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I wish the American people had a vehicle to speak the truth and be heard without filters from the news media. After I watched the debate last night and then heard the pundits "bull"! I asked myself, "where we watching the same debate"! Sarah Palin had only one direction she could go and that was up. She was at rock bottom. For news pundits to actual say she did as good of a job as Joe Biden is simply ludicrous! It is an insult.

Joe Biden was brilliant last night. I voted Republican in the last two elections and there is absoultely no way I will vote for the Republican party. The media has turmed this election into a ugly mess. I wish we could fire most of them and start all over again by hiring people who are more objective.

If I was a white male or a male from any race I would be screaming sexism. Why does Joe biden have to change who he is to conform when Sarah Palin can stand before America, winking and babbling and expect us to take her seriously. WHAT DID SHE SAY? she didn't even respect the process enough to answer the questions and you and others think that is cute. We don't need cute running the White House. Babies are cute. Kittens are cute.

If Barak Obama or Joe Biden had answered questions and conducted themselves like Sarah they would be having a field day. I want individuals in the White house who take the issues seriously, who don't need a script to guide their thinking and have the intelligence to demonstrate original thought. I don't want to ever see a barbie doll in the White house.

Can you PLEASE start taking the needs of "AVERAGE" Americans seriously. McCain/Palin is more of the same. Stop trying to tell americans what they can see for themselves. Palin is consciously INCOMPETENT!

It's time to move on.

Posted by: wisdombeyondyears | October 3, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Palin = Mrs. Poole

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

"In April of 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt became the first president of the United States to appear on television. The setting was the 1939 World's Fair in New York. The appearance was broadcast to a handful of TV sets in the New York area.

FDR had already mastered the medium of his time--radio. His "fireside chats" broadcast across the nation soothed Americans troubled by the hard times of the Great Depression. Radio was a perfect fit for the eloquent Roosevelt, who would have had a much more difficult time hiding the fact that he was confined to a wheelchair in the television age.

The outbreak of World War II temporarily halted the development of television, and it would be more than a decade before the new medium became popular."

Now, let's move beyond who was on television who makes us ill, and plot a course that will take us out of this crisis within which we find ourselves immersed. No matter who wins, they must reach across the aisle and call upon the best talent available.

The talented elite are what I am praying we will include in a bipartisan America.

Best of luck! I'll be in Canada.

Posted by: hakafos44 | October 3, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Haaaa, another DIM-WITTED, IGNORANT, PHONY, '' RED-NECK'' OUT TO DESTROY THIS COUNTRY, LIKE THE LAST ONE from Midland, TX !!!!!!!!

The BIG question that remains is, how much STUPIDITY and 'BS' [with all its DISASTROUS RESULTS of the last eight years] will it take, for the MAJORITY of the CITIZENS TO FINALLY WAKE UP and say ''E-N-O-U-G-H'' !!!!!!! to this NONSENSE - -

Posted by: mewindows | October 3, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Yes, to an annoying degree, she tried to out-Reagan Reagan, a "Yah," "Doggonnit!" and "Darn right!" type-a gal. In my elitist world, I frankly don't know any such golly gee characters. So, I went down to Main Street this morning to look for some. There were a few McCain-Palin supporters jumpin' up and down in delirious joy, but most people just shook their heads, affirming along the lines of (I'm paraphrasing, here, yah know) "She'd make a great Beverly Hillbilly." Doggonnit! Darn right!

Posted by: washpost16 | October 3, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Democrats for John McCain and Sarah Palin in 2008

Posted by: hclark1 | October 3, 2008 11:57 AM | 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 11:57 AM | Report abuse

There is a reason why we don't want "joe six-pack" to be Pres or Vice Pres...doggonit.

Sarah Palin is pathetic and John McCain is pathetic for picking her. The bloom is off the rose and all John McCain did was put county last.

When Joe called out John for not being a maverick, it made me think of the words of Bob Casey from the Dem Convention...

"That's not a maverick, that's a sidekick"

Joe Six-packs against Hockey moms.

Posted by: BenDog423 | October 3, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Lipstick on a Stinking Corpse....

some really great reaction to the debate at http://23-7.blogspot.com

Posted by: levison | October 3, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Palin seemed one question deep - even with answers to questions that were not asked. She critized comparing McCain to Bush but couldn't describe policy differences between the two. She kept referring to a civil war general as the Afghan commander. And the annoying "gosh darn it" references are more suited to Petticoat Junction than the White House.

Posted by: thomgr | October 3, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

frommike06 writes: "Wow: Despite intense attacks on Gov. Palin throughout the last two weeks by 90% of the "main stream press" Gov. Palin delivered a clutch home run with two out in the ninth."

The trouble is, Mike, her "Palin-McCain" team was behind by 11 points. If she had hit a few in the early innings, they might have had a chance. Sorry, you lose.

Posted by: washpost16 | October 3, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

"Joe Biden won most of the questions based on debating points."

You mean he tried to win with "facts" and not "folksiness"? How dare he! The American people won't fall for this, and will vote style over substance in 08.

Posted by: ManUnitdFan | October 3, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

The attacks on Gov. Palin continue by the left and apologists for the community organizer. Wisdombeyondyears, are you suffering from alzheimers? What a load of crap. Joe Biden has been in Congress for 36 years, and is nothing more than a blowhard. Strange that he commutes daily to DC by train! Sad that unlike his millionaire friends in the Senate, his 300K doesn't qualify him for a loan to buy a home in DC. Maybe Chris "Countrywide" Dodd or Baked Beans Frank can help out!

Posted by: nmg3rln | October 3, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

"-- on the evidence of "Yah," "Doggonnit!" and "Darn right!" -- is an average person"

What kind of sh*t is that? I don't know any person who talks like that. Especially adults! I am also a mother of 5, went to college and majored in Poli/Sci, lived in Germany a short while,(paid for it myself,Palin's family has a whole lot more money than mine EVER has) and have worked 2 jobs at a time. I'm from New England, so with a bit of a stretch, you can say I saw Canada from there.
Does all that make me elegable to hold high office? Oh, I once managed a bar, too. Does that give me executive experience? I guess my breasts aren't big enough and I can't wink and flirt as well as Sarah.

Posted by: MARYB2 | October 3, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

so after all the BS you have been shoveling about this election, you now very quietly step away from the koolaid. finally a column without your usual attacks on dems and ridiculous defenses of bush et al.

your last lines pretty clearly convey that what many Americans may find attractive you find repulsive. but you can't even say that definitely. you are a hack. a sad hack, it appears, but nevertheless, a hack.

Posted by: seattlechemfem | October 3, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Gee Mr. Gerson, you're right. VP Chaney is not more dangerous than Aaron Burr. But that doesn't change the fact that Chaney is the most dangerous person to be Vice President in over 200 years. And Burr was a better shot, having killed Hamilton in the famous duel, while Chaney only managed to wing his pigeon.
Talk about stretching the facts. Isn't just about everything Palin and McCain say a stretch beyond the elastic limit that even Republicans condemn?

Posted by: mzf123 | October 3, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Michael, you have too low a view of the average American. With our economy spiraling downward and our foreign policy in crisis, do you really think that Americans will vote on the basis of "Yah," "Doggonnit!" and "Darn right!"?

If you are correct, America is in far worse shape than I feared.

For the record, I thought that Senator Biden won the debate hands down. Biden is thoughtful, experienced and in touch with the needs of the average American to a degree that Palin could never be.

Posted by: ANetliner | October 3, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

You Libs are unbelievable!!!

Posted by: grainspector
***********************8
Thanks!! Wow, I agree! Oh, you are trying to insult libs...whatevah...

I thought Biden was smart, personable and had the answers. Palin stayed on her feet and words of a coherent nature came out. However, she did a lot of non-answers and deflecting. And Gerkin, I don't think Biden was exaggerating about Cheney - you might like kissing his wrinkly behind, but a lot of us will be glad when Darth Vadar folds up his tent and smirks off into the sunset.

Posted by: LABC | October 3, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

If I were a McCain campaign advisor I would be very careful about any comments or analysis which would denegrate the middle class voters from the heartland. Bush once spoke of the soft bigotry of low expectations. Everyone take a step back and observe how stupid these people think you are. They actualy designed a strategy where they think winks and "aw shucks" is enough to lead the free world. They think you are not smart enough to figure out Palin makes over 250K a year. This is the ultimate condensation. They really do think they are above you and are attempting to lower themselves to your level so you vote for them. If they win you will get what you deserve.

Posted by: bob29 | October 3, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Oh my Gosh, It's been bugging me all morning! Yosemite Sam! That's who she reminds me of.

Posted by: grason | October 3, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

There is one problem with your argument, Mr. Gerson. The Bush administration has earned all of the negative superlatives which are being thrown at it. Even you yourself had to reach back as far as Aaron Burr to find a worse VP than Dick Cheney.

Was Sarah Palin actually suggesting that as VP she would try to exercise some kind of imaginary leadership role over the Senate? Or was she simply agreeing with Dick Cheney that the Office of the Vice President is more powerful than the President of the United States?

You can smear all the lipstick you want on this pig, and doggone it, it ain't gonna help. Even Joe Sixpack is not happy with the idea of this unqualified candidate sitting a hearbeat away from the most powerful job in the world. Now, Katie Couric -- THERE's a woman for whom I would gladly cast my vote for President.

Here's a shout-out to the fifth-graders at Buffalo Patty Elementary School in Butte, Montana... Over and out. Cool.

Posted by: jerkhoff | October 3, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Why even have debates if one of the participants is allowed to pick and choose which questions she will answer?

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | October 3, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm a teacher. If I used the same language "folksiness" in my classroom as she does as the V-P candidate to the American electorate, I'd be laughed out of the teacher's lounge....and the classroom.
Or when asking students a question...."you betcha" is not the answer I'm looking for.
There's down to earth, and then there is condescension and manipulation. Her style falls into the later.

Posted by: collage1 | October 3, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Manolete

Two things, If you are voting for palin based on her strickly being a woman how is that different than people voting strickly based on race? If I told you I was voting for Obama and used your same post with the exception of replacing "woman" with "black" and "sexist" media with "racist" media how do you think that would sound to you? I would sound like the racist voter just as you are defeating your purpose by sounding like the sexist voter. Vote based on a persons qualifications not for the perpose of a time that has come. You seem to have given up on substance in exchange for social identity. I support a women, I like hillary, why? Because she is a person that is capable of being president based on her knowledge and leadership, not because she is a woman whos time has come. Dont your realize that every group outside in this country outside of White male can make your argument with the same conviction?

Posted by: gdavis4 | October 3, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

titopue

Vote for Pedro, dude.

Posted by: gdavis4 | October 3, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Maybe SNL could have Frances McDormand do the voice of "Sarah Palin."

You betcha! Yah! Oh, shure!

Palin to the woodchipper!

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | October 3, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I think McCain should have selected Eve Mendes. She is hotter.

Posted by: gdavis4 | October 3, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I agree that Cheney has been a dangerous VP, but I think most who have commented on this are missing Mr Gerson's point regarding Aaron Burr.

He is not (I don't think) referring to Aaron "I shot Alexander Hamilton" Burr. He is referring to Aaron "I tried to take a large chunk of the (then) southwestern US and turn it into an empire for myself" Burr. I would say that qualifies as being something of a threat to the Constitution.

That said, I don't think that Mr Gerson or any other pundit has any standing to assume they know what will play well with Middle America. Hell, I'm a product of it and I don't think I can say. Plus, I already have come to my decision, so I am not really qualified to judge what will gain a given undecided voter.

And I found that both of them avoided the questions when it suited them. It just seemed to suit Gov Palin more. From what I saw (about half), I thought Biden was superior.

Posted by: J-NC | October 3, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

How sad is it when everyone has a "low" expectation of your actions and ability. Republicans, Moderates, Independent, Democrats alike share the same views of Sarah Palin... SHE IS NOT READY TO BE VP.

!!!How can someone say she is with a straight face?!!!

Posted by: fzelaya1 | October 3, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

"Palin -- on the evidence of "Yah," "Doggonnit!" and "Darn right!" -- is an average person. That may not be the best qualification for high office. But I suspect that many Americans find it attractive."

Mr. Gerson, 'finding this attractive?' ...and, therefore ... What are you implying? This may not qualify her, but this will get her and her running mate elected? We're not discussing a high school prom queen election here. Where is your outrage that the country has sunk to this level of expectation? I recall we did this twice in the last eight years, and we have an economy that has tanked, a world reputation that is worth as much as AIG stock, and a president who is nowhere to be seen in the midst of these crises.

Posted by: rodulane | October 3, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

In the shadow of the blatant and stunning sexism launched against the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign by Barack Hussein Obama and the liberal media, democratic Hillary supporters were thrilled to hear John McCain announce Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, because, she offers Americans a chance to vote for someone who is her own woman, and who represents a party that, while we don't agree on all the issues, at least respects women enough to take them seriously.

Having a woman in the White House, and not as The Spouse, is a change whose time has come, despite the fact that the media and Democratic Party leaders have decided otherwise. But with the Sarah Palin’s nomination, Clinton voters, in particular, have received a political wake-up call they never expected. Having watched their candidate and their principles betrayed by the very people who are supposed to be the flame-holders for equal rights and fairness, they now looking across the aisle and see a woman who represents everything the feminist movement claimed it stood for. Women can have a family and a career.

The democratic party’s bullying of the Clinton candidacy during the primary season was the first revelation of how misogynistic and sexist the democratic party has become. The democratic party has moved from taking the female vote for granted to outright contempt for women. That's why Sarah Palin represents the most serious conservative threat ever to the modern democratic liberal claim on issues of male cultural and social superiority.

The time is now for a woman to be in the White House as an equal partner in governance.

The time is now for John McCain/Sarah Palin.

Country First! McCain/Palin


Posted by: Manolete | October 3, 2008 12:38 AM
______________________________________
You can not be serious!!! This woman is an idiot! She can't speak for herself, nor articulate her speaking points that have been shoved down her throat. YES I would love to see a woman in the Whitehouse, someone like Michelle Obama or Hillary Clinton, but Palin, oh gosh, golly geez, doggonit, not her. Please give us someone our young ladies can look up to, I wouldn't want my daughter to be as uneducated, and empty headed as Gov. Palin. Sorry! Obama/Biden 2008!!!!!!!

Posted by: Ward8DCResident | October 3, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I'll agree that Biden "is a senator playing at being an average person", but it's painfully obvious that Palin is an average person playing at being a leader.

If she is elected she will read her lines competently, but she will have no hand in crafting them. The policy decisions will be made by the same nameless faceless lobbyist-appeasers that have made all of Bush's decisions.

She is at best a pretty distraction. This country needs leadership.

Posted by: rwolf01 | October 3, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Ironic to read Gerson accusing Biden of exaggerating in the very same sentence that Gerson misrepresents historical facts.

Aaron Burr was no longer vice-president when he allegedly committed treason and, moreover, Burr was acquitted.

Cheney remains unchallenged as the most dangerous vice-president in history.

Biden 1; Gerson 0

Posted by: northernliberal | October 3, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Well, Aaron Burr did fatally wound Hamilton, his enemy, after challenging him to a duel. Whereas Cheney shot someone he called a "friend" without notice. Biden was not exaggerating, Cheney is definitely more dangerous than Burr.

Posted by: papito2you | October 3, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

The last paragraph of his post is ridiculous. A person has to say "Yah," "Doggonnit!" and "Darn right" to be considered average? Give me a break. The media loves to stereo-type people.

Its funny that those 3 words made her average, but he completely ignores Biden's connection of the last 8 years to the average person:

"Look, all you have to do is go down Union Street with me in Wilmington or go to Katie's Restaurant or walk into Home Depot with me where I spend a lot of time and you ask anybody in there whether or not the economic and foreign policy of this administration has made them better off in the last eight years. And then ask them whether there's a single major initiative that John McCain differs with the president on. On taxes, on Iraq, on Afghanistan, on the whole question of how to help education, on the dealing with health care."

It's ridiculous how the media loves to talk about candidates out "averaging" each other. Both seem to be average Joe's (no pun intended) to me. Personally, I want the average person who knows what their talking about rather than the one who relies on "average person" terminology to connect with people because they have nothing real to add to the conversation.

Posted by: tarman0361 | October 3, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

"And here Biden simply cannot compete. For all his talk of Scranton and Home Depot, he is a senator playing at being an average person. Palin -- on the evidence of "Yah," "Doggonnit!" and "Darn right!" -- is an average person. That may not be the best qualification for high office.

But I suspect that many Americans find it attractive."

But as the polls show, more Americans did not find it attractive.

Biden 2; Gerson 0

Posted by: northernliberal | October 3, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I'd rather be annoying, awkward or both than a internaional war criminal like you puppetmaster Cheney or an accomplice like you, Bush and Fred Hiatt.

Posted by: coloradodog | October 3, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

tcb_va wrote:
Ifill missed numerous opportunities to drill into or even broach subjects (most notably, women's issues).

Ifill was in a cage last night because of all the earlier faux bias talk coming from the republicans. Otherwise how do you explain palin not being forced to answer the questions put to her, and being allowed to digress and wonder off topic so much.

If I hear one more time about
Alaska just like I complained about one more about Texas 8 years ago. Does anybody else see the similarities. Just like the guy from 8 years ago, she doesn't answer the question, and co-opts the debate to talk to the America people. Why do we put up with this nonsense?

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


It's insulting! Why do we have to listen to the spin that she's anything but an idiot. We're detested worldwide, and now a laughing stock. How they are chortling at Palin! Our answer to PUTIN>

Wiggled her butt for two hours for the senile old coot mcCain, and oboy he bit.
How sad are you when an aging almost beauty queen can rope you in.

Makes you wonder about the nytpiece about the female Lobbyest, and other such stories.

THe only bigger idiot than palin is the similarily nasty senile McCain.

Oh God, how low we have fallen.

How in the hell did America come to this?
We thought Quayle was a joke.

Posted by: whistling | October 3, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Of Sorts??? Hardly a Pleasure??? God you are so bias, you should be stripped of your mighty pedestal of reporter.

Palin did Awesome, and the media will squeal as they admit it.

Posted by: mryerse | October 3, 2008 12:47 AM

------------------------------------------

Gerson is on your team so it's tough to say he's biased don't ya think?

And he's not a reporter.

Clearly your mastery of facts proves you are gosh darn indeed a Palin supporter.....

Posted by: RightDownTheMiddle | October 3, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

grainspector wrote:
You Libs are unbelievable!!!

Posted by: grainspector | October 3, 2008 12:46 AM

No you are unbelivable. Unbelivably stupid to fall for this nonsense again. I see the "common guy" ploy is going to work for you.

BTW libs may have negative connotations to you, but in the eyes of most Americans today, it is far more popular than the conservative brand. Why is that? 2 syllables (gw). I see you you are going to show us how smart you are and make the same mistake thrice.

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

At first, Palin's usage of colloquisms at various speaking events (the Republican Convention) were quite appealing. But after a while, it does get a litte annoying. Her tactic of "dumbing down" her speeches to target Middle America were insulting. By far, Biden emerged as my choice of candidate.

On a side note, did anyone noticed Palin's usage of expression and her overall presentation strongly resembled President Bush's? McCain/Palin ticket - one thinks like President Bush and the other speaks like him.

Posted by: lwaya2 | October 3, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone please tell me why we vehemently claim to be the greatest country on earth, yet we hail intellectual underachievement and consistently seek to make the most mediocre among us our leaders? I mean, my parents always told me that getting a "B" was not good enough. Was I the only one? Did I miss a memo somewhere?

Posted by: repubsux | October 3, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Hey, existentialed! You'd be easier to read if you put a paragraph in there once in awhile.

Posted by: chipgower | October 3, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I am so weary of the "aw shucks" facade. It comes across to me, a hick from Wyoming, as so fake and forced. We do that routine all the time here, too, but it's not really the way we talk.

I was mayor in a small town here in Wyoming and am embarrassed to report that I resorted to that "aw shucks" way of speaking from time to time when in "the big city." People responded to it and it got attention. I just don't buy that Palin is all that "homespun." It's really just a game she's playing since it plays well to the voters - or at least to a certain type of voter. She went over the top with the role last night.

Posted by: atravsky | October 3, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Ok, I just can't let this go:
"The time is now for a woman to be in the White House as an equal partner in governance."

If you honestly think that Palin will have even a little say in McSame's policies, you are seriously delusional. She will be patted on the head and sent off to do photo-ops, while McSame and the neo-cons finish the destruction of our country begun by Shrub.

Hillary had a lot more say during Clinton's time in office than Palin could ever hope, unless McSame kicks the bucket.

Posted by: Ga_gal | October 3, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and both candidates did well. I thought Biden especially was very good- he actually answered the questions!

Palin, though, is very familiar with TV. She is the master of the sound bite, which is what passes for political discourse these days.

Palin will be the first female U.S. President. She is setting herself up perfectly. What she really needs now is a two-term Democratic Administration, then she can come charging back with her message of "change" and 8 more years of experience. She'll only be 52.

Posted by: chipgower | October 3, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

For the record, me and my family use phrasing like you betcha, doggone it, and yah. (We don't say nucular because we know how to pronounce words.) But not a single one of us would use "you betcha" during a debate. It's like wearing pajamas to work. A debate isn't joking with buddies in the living room, it's the national stage and time to be serious and professional--doing any less shows that you either don't respect the venue one bit or that you're putting on a show.

This isn't a new tactic from the Republican party. I grew up only a few miles away from where Bush supposedly spent his time in Texas, and I've never heard an accent like his in my life except for in movies. That's the Hollywood-Texas accent. I know it seems like a stretch that he would put this on for so long, but I swear his speech is just not natural. It's either exaggerated or made up whole cloth. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if someone working from the same playbook had told Palin to folksy-it-up.

Posted by: schala1 | October 3, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

M. Palin's performance was at best, pitiful. Like her Mentor, she repeats the same lies, half-truths and exagerations over and over no matter how many times they are refuted. Her mugging was appalling and her George W smirking particularly offended me.

However, to her credit and unlike the Gerson/NeoCon/McCain/Jew/Israeli Cabal, M. Palin did NOT repeat the infamous misquote of President Ahmadinejad of Iran.

She said,"Iran claiming that Israel as he termed it, a stinking corpse, a country that should be wiped off the face of the earth."

Still a serious mis-quote but somewhat closer to the truth.

Here's what Gerson wrote-

Obama's First 100 Days
The Washington Post - Washington, D.C.
Author: Michael Gerson
Date: Mar 5, 2008
Start Page: A.21
Section: EDITORIAL
Text Word Count: 789

"The Israeli prime minister publicly asks, "Why is the American president meeting with a leader who calls us 'filthy bacteria' and threatens to wipe us 'off the map?'" Tens of thousands protest in Tel Aviv, carrying signs reading "Chamberlain Lives!" America's moderate Arab allies in the region also feel betrayed, assuming that America is cutting a bilateral deal with Iran that accepts its nuclear ambitions, while leaving the Sunni powers out in the cold."

Monte Haun mchaun@hotmail.com

Posted by: mchaun | October 3, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Biden's so-called exaggerations are nothing compared to the carefully parroted talking points wind-me-up-and-watch-me-go Sarah managed to spew throughout the debate.

Biden won hands down, but that's only if you're an intelligent, reasoned human being. If you're Joe Six-pack or a Hockey Mom(tm), which most of the country is, then Sarah's your girl.

Posted by: nezbangi | October 3, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Palin did not counter-punch effectively....

... because she didn't have any good arguments with which to counter-punch.

Can Michael Gerson ever write anything without his lips being firmly planted on the backside of some GOP hack?

Posted by: asd2 | October 3, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

"Palin is not exemplifying the 'average person' as you so elementary stated, but only glaringly exemplifying the sad state of the our education system which has left so many (knowingly) left behind."

Thank you. Hearing so many journalists speak of Palin's sing-song drawl as the norm for middle America was disturbing to me. Aren't they guilty of 'dumbing-down' America to suggest that this is the norm for middle-America? And am I bringing up my children to be called 'elitists' because I insist that they speak gramatically correct?

I think these journalists know that they are wrong. Will they suggest that our leaders speak in this way at international conferences? Is this how we expect to regain the respect of the international community?

Posted by: dopera2004 | October 3, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Youbetcha, how did all that work out for all you guys and gals the last two times ya'all elected a regular guy, instead of someone qualified to do the job?

Posted by: Arjuna9 | October 3, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

And, I just loved the way Palin set him up for her later jab by first asking him if she could call him "Joe." Yeah, nice one... and sooo childish. It reminded me of someone set up a friend of mine at his wedding for a very off-color and pointless joke. Yeah, that guy must have laughed all the way to his car where he found that someone had deflated all his tires by removing the valve stems. Never mess with a guy who has mechanic friends. HAHA, but I guess it was all in fun. A childish act matched by another childish act.

At least Biden was mature enough not to take Sarah Palin's bait.

Posted by: asd2 | October 3, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

yihe94703 wrote:
She's no Cheney, but sometimes dumb can be just as dangerous as stealthy.
--------------
Yes. George W. Bush proves this every day.

Posted by: bucinka8 | October 3, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

If stupid is the new smart, then Sarah did just fine.

Posted by: JoeBewildered | October 3, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

THAT's IT!

The greedy wall streeters, and the mortgage brokers, and ravenous CEO's

have only to wink, say doggone and by golly and we'll find them all Amerian and
fresh?

Don't want to think of it. But that's apparently all it takes. She is a nasty snarky by gollier, isn't she.

An ageing almost beauty queen (third runner up) is a sure bet at butt wiggling?
Apparently for doddering old politicians...

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

In Mr. Gerson's world, I guess am one of those elitist who care about and "deal with words", as well as "substance", "policy" the "constitution", and "what you would do as President of the United States". But golly, gee, Gov. Palin sure was cheerful and folksy! Your commentary is as vapid as that as Gov. Palin.

Posted by: johnt1 | October 3, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

If the best you can say about your candidate is that she didn't screw up, you have a problem.

Anyone who thinks the WaPo is a liberal rag needs to review Gerson's and Krauthammer's (and Novak's archived) columns. All I heard from Palin was rah-rah jingoism, echoing points made by her opponent, and refusal to answer the questions posed to her by the moderator. In a high school debate class, that would lose you points. Gerson makes it sound like defeat is victory. (Come to think of it, didn't Dubya claim that the Iraq war would secure the peace? Geez. How Orwellian can you get?)

Posted by: bucinka8 | October 3, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

One other thing: If I'm not mistaken, the soles of her shoes were red. Fashionistas will recognize this as the trademark of Christian Louboutin, a high-end shoe that makes Manolo Blahnik look like Thom McAn. Those pumps were probably $795 retail. Some folksy governor of the people she is.

Posted by: bucinka8 | October 3, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Michael, the reference to factual information must be very annoying to someone whose job was to cheerlead for the garbage of the last administration.

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

I found it rather pathetic that people fell for once again for Biden't woe me story at the end. He's been pulling that crying job for 20 years. Ger over it. We all have tragedy in our lives. We don't bring it up when it's convenient. Remember the outrage when Hillary dared to choke up? She was crucified. However, Biden continues to bring up that old story every chance he gets. Also, he's still lying about his plane nearly being shot down over Afghanistan when others on the flight, including Sen. Kerry stated that they were forced to land due to inclement weather. Where was Joe Biden when a comprehensive bankruptcy bill was needed. Falling on the side of the credit card companies who are conveniently located in Delaware. Oh, did he happen to say his son made tens of thousands of dollars as a lobbyist for said companies. Where was he during the Clarence Thomas hearings? As Chairman of the Committee, he turned it into a disgusting display. He also turned the Judge Bork hearings into a disaster. First he was for him until the lobbyists bent his ear. Also, he had to mention his son in Iraq. Well, his son is nothing more than a judicial associate, so I'm sure his ass is a little more protected than Sarah Palin's son whose son is on the front line. You don't see her crying about her severely handicapped child or her son who is in danger everday.... He's shown he is nothing more than a blowhard who will say anything for a chance to be president... In closing, who can believe a guy who didn't know how to properly footnote his college papers (he claims he didn't understand) and was continuous charged with plagerism..... Is this truly who you want running this country. If so, I feel very badly for all of us.....

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

I found it rather pathetic that people fell for once again for Biden't woe me story at the end. He's been pulling that crying job for 20 years. Ger over it. We all have tragedy in our lives. We don't bring it up when it's convenient. Remember the outrage when Hillary dared to choke up? She was crucified. However, Biden continues to bring up that old story every chance he gets. Also, he's still lying about his plane nearly being shot down over Afghanistan when others on the flight, including Sen. Kerry stated that they were forced to land due to inclement weather. Where was Joe Biden when a comprehensive bankruptcy bill was needed. Falling on the side of the credit card companies who are conveniently located in Delaware. Oh, did he happen to say his son made tens of thousands of dollars as a lobbyist for said companies. Where was he during the Clarence Thomas hearings? As Chairman of the Committee, he turned it into a disgusting display. He also turned the Judge Bork hearings into a disaster. First he was for him until the lobbyists bent his ear. Also, he had to mention his son in Iraq. Well, his son is nothing more than a judicial associate, so I'm sure his ass is a little more protected than Sarah Palin's son whose son is on the front line. You don't see her crying about her severely handicapped child or her son who is in danger everday.... He's shown he is nothing more than a blowhard who will say anything for a chance to be president... In closing, who can believe a guy who didn't know how to properly footnote his college papers (he claims he didn't understand) and was continuous charged with plagerism..... Is this truly who you want running this country. If so, I feel very badly for all of us.....

Posted by: lmcintyre | October 3, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I found it rather pathetic that people fell for once again for Biden't woe me story at the end. He's been pulling that crying job for 20 years. Ger over it. We all have tragedy in our lives. We don't bring it up when it's convenient. Remember the outrage when Hillary dared to choke up? She was crucified. However, Biden continues to bring up that old story every chance he gets. Also, he's still lying about his plane nearly being shot down over Afghanistan when others on the flight, including Sen. Kerry stated that they were forced to land due to inclement weather. Where was Joe Biden when a comprehensive bankruptcy bill was needed. Falling on the side of the credit card companies who are conveniently located in Delaware. Oh, did he happen to say his son made tens of thousands of dollars as a lobbyist for said companies. Where was he during the Clarence Thomas hearings? As Chairman of the Committee, he turned it into a disgusting display. He also turned the Judge Bork hearings into a disaster. First he was for him until the lobbyists bent his ear. Also, he had to mention his son in Iraq. Well, his son is nothing more than a judicial associate, so I'm sure his ass is a little more protected than Sarah Palin's son whose son is on the front line. You don't see her crying about her severely handicapped child or her son who is in danger everday.... He's shown he is nothing more than a blowhard who will say anything for a chance to be president... In closing, who can believe a guy who didn't know how to properly footnote his college papers (he claims he didn't understand) and was continuous charged with plagerism..... Is this truly who you want running this country. If so, I feel very badly for all of us.....

Posted by: lmcintyre | October 3, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

The very fact that anyone takes Caribou Barbie seriously is more evidence that P.T. Barnum was correct when he said "There's a sucker born every minute."

My favorite gaff of the night was when she said [about John McCain], "He is the man we need to leave." Never were truer words spoken.

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Posted by: virginiaharris1 | October 3, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Look, I'm one of those solidly Democratic people who is not surprised by Gov. Palin's debate performance. She was able to cram 90 minutes of info and spew it back with no follow up for further detail. But one thing that struck me, because I thought she was a lot more articulate than in her interviews, was how her performance looks on paper. When you try to read most of her answers they are not nearly as strong or cogent as they appeared when she was delivering them. Biden still did a great job and I'm glad the majority of Americans saw him as winning the debate; but if you READ her responses they're a lot more shaky.

Here's Gov. Palin on climate change:
I'm not one to attribute every man -- activity of man to the changes in the climate. There is something to be said also for man's activities, but also for the cyclical temperature changes on our planet.

But there are real changes going on in our climate. And I don't want to argue about the causes. What I want to argue about is, how are we going to get there to positively affect the impacts?

On nUKEuhlar proliferation:
PALIN: Nuclear weaponry, of course, would be the be all, end all of just too many people in too many parts of our planet, so those dangerous regimes, again, cannot be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons, period.

Our nuclear weaponry here in the U.S. is used as a deterrent. And that's a safe, stable way to use nuclear weaponry.

But for those countries -- North Korea, also, under Kim Jong Il -- we have got to make sure that we're putting the economic sanctions on these countries and that we have friends and allies supporting us in this to make sure that leaders like Kim Jong Il and Ahmadinejad are not allowed to acquire, to proliferate, or to use those nuclear weapons. It is that important.

Palin on education:
PALIN: Say it ain't so, Joe, there you go again pointing backwards again. You preferenced 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, you get extra credit for watching the debate.

Education credit in American has been in some sense in some of our states just accepted to be a little bit lax and we have got to increase the standards. No Child Left Behind was implemented. It's not doing the job though. We need flexibility in No Child Left Behind. We need to put more of an emphasis on the profession of teaching. We need to make sure that education in either one of our agendas, I think, absolute top of the line. My kids as public school participants right now, it's near and dear to my heart. I'm very, very concerned about where we're going with education and we have got to ramp it up and put more attention in that arena.

I think you get the idea. Even though with her big smile and baffling winks and smirks some of her answers LOOKED a lot better than they read. Biden's answers on the other hand pretty much read as they were delivered. He wasn't perfect in all of his grammar and there's starts and stops in some of his responses. But nothing like this. She obviously had about an hour and a half of material memorized; if Ifill had asked a follow up question to dig deeper than an inch below the surface we would have seen the real Sarah Palin. But what we saw was enough. Sarah Palin would make a great PTA president, game show emcee or daytime talk show hostess. I just can't see her winking at Vladimir Putin and having him take anything she says seriously.

Posted by: Omyobama | October 3, 2008 3:37 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 3:50 PM | Report abuse

"Americans are not stupid enough to fall for... faux-folksy crap, to cover up lack of competence and knowledge."

Maybe you missed the last two elections? Or forgot who our current president is?

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

Considering that most of the fact-checking I've seen had far more to criticize in Palin's numerous baseless claims, and Biden, with a couple of notable exceptions, managed mainly to stick to the truth, I don't see how Gerson can question the honesty of Biden's responses.

When you consider that the debate format had to be whittled down to meet Palin's lack of information and inabilities, giving barely any time for either candidate to express any nuance on policy or world events, is it any surprise Biden paraphrased a lot? Paraphrasing isn't something Palin has to worry about, because all she knows about most topics of importance are the rhetoric-laced paraphrases of Republican policy she's been trained to parrot.

I thought Joe Biden seemed human and down-to-earth, and he managed to do so without resorting to forced, hokey colloquialisms and trite, rehearsed stories about hockey moms and guys who like beer. Considering that in terms of income, Biden and Palin are on more or less the same playing field, and that Biden managed to talk more honestly and genuinely about his personal life and experiences than wink-and-a-shimmy Palin could muster, I hardly see how Palin wins with the common man.

Being a common man doesn't mean being uninformed, cloying, and saying "you betcha" a lot. Personally, I find it insulting that Gerson or anyone else thinks all normal human beings must be as ridiculous as Palin was in her little performance last night. Last night, I was glad to see a common American man who has some brains for a change. That person certainly wasn't Sarah Palin.

Posted by: katie84 | October 3, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

"The very fact that anyone takes Caribou Barbie seriously is more evidence that P.T. Barnum was correct when he said "There's a sucker born every minute."

My favorite gaff of the night was when she said [about John McCain], "He is the man we need to leave." Never were truer words spoken.

Posted by: braultrl | October 3, 2008 3:20 PM"

How's this,"John McCain knows how to win wars"? I guess M. Palin doesn't know we lost the Viet Nam War. Some people say McCain is still fighting the Nam War and maybe they are right. McCain's talk of Victory and Peace With Honor reminds me of Nixon's words as the people were falling off helicopters during the final rout.

Monte Haun mchaun@hotmail.com

Posted by: mchaun | October 3, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

First, in Mr. Gerson's defense he used the word "many." That's vague enough to cover 600 or 600,000. So, no doubt there are "many Americans who find it attractive."
Also, I'm shocked (truly) by the number of posters who actually expect to use the debates for insightful information. I cannot anticipate these as anything more opportunity to get out the team's sound bite and otherwise follow the script. I'm sure the coaches for all candidates have said "if the moderator raises Iraq (or taxes or abortion, etc), go off on this attack line. Don't answer the question."
Unfortunately we've allowed our political process to become just that - scripts and soundbites. Until we stop accepting that (and the moderators and media have the best platforms on which to start that) we will not be able to use the news or the debates for any constructive analysis of our candidates.

Posted by: klpawl | October 3, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I’m embarrassed. Embarrassed that Sarah Palin can even be considered for VP when historically there is a one in three chance she could end up a president. Embarrassed that a large number of citizens in this country think there is no problem with putting a poorly educated, uncurious, unthinking, and woefully inexperienced hick politician in line to be commander in chief in a very complicated and dangerous world. I thought there could be no worse leader than George Bush. I was wrong. There could be and some large slice of Americans see no problem with that. What must the rest of the world leaders think. Can you imagine her sitting at the table, never mind negotiating with Putin?

Posted by: gjhinnova | October 3, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

As I listened to the debate, I was impressed by Senator Biden's knowledge and understanding of the issues. I couldn't help but think about he and Senator Obama and some of the other best and brightest (think Condi Rice and Colin Powell--hey, the problems are big enough for everyone) sitting in an office discussing the issues with an open mind.

I'd put my money on the answers that come out from that discussion.

Posted by: amaikovich | October 3, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Republican and conservative pundits have honed their anti-intellectual credentials by accusing articulate politicians of being "elitist." I don't know whether Gerson consciously holds with this bogus bit of rhetoric or not, but what could be more elitist and insulting than to claim that we in middle America are so dumb as to find "Yah" "Doggonit" "Darn right" as "average" or charming in ways that would convince us to vote for Palin. We aren't the caricatured dolts that Gerson imagines, and we know (and are insulted by) a vacuous, hokey performance when we see one. Palin reminds me of no one that I grew up with in my mountain west home town and no one that I’ve met since (except maybe a few ultra-rich conservatives in Orange County, California playing at being “down to earth”). Has Gerson met the middle and working class? We want leaders that are articulate, knowledgeable, and responsible. Nothing in Palin’s performance last night spoke to any of those attributes. Yes, she exceeded expectations that had been set so low by her own poor performance a week earlier, but that doesn’t make her acceptable to us as a political leader.

Posted by: tdavies1 | October 3, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Charm gets you by for about 15 minutes, then you better know something.

Posted by: michael4 | October 3, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

I've met plenty of average people in my life, although few who would describe themselves as such. Either way, none of them has ever said "doggonit" without irony. Is it possible all this aw-shucks folksiness is a pose? Say it ain't so!

Posted by: kerrito | October 3, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

I disagree with this commentator. The debate was a pleasure to watch. Biden beat Palin at her own game. Good for him. Let the voters decide on Nov 4,

Posted by: danigo | October 3, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Uh, yeah. Cheney, with his finger trembling over the button, almost singlehandedly lying this country into war, running roughshod over the constitution, is a tad more dangerous than Aaron Burr.

Posted by: monk4hall | October 3, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Gosh Darn it,
I don't want someone who is folksy, I don't want a hockey mom or hockey dad. I want a capable VP and Pres. who looks and acts like an officer of the United States Government. I don't consider myself a "Joe Six Pack" if it means that this is the way I relate to people. If I must have a VP or a President I want them looking and acting Presidential. I'm sure Condi Rice has her problems, but you can't tell it. Now she looks Presidential and she also commands respect around a world dominated by men. Forget what the world thinks, Palin makes ME feel embarrassed.(you darn right she does gosh darn it)

Posted by: MILLER123 | October 3, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Nooo thanks, I said, yep! That's whet I sed! Youu bettchaa! Katee Couric, yep, you were justa 'lil annoying, weren't ya??

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/03/palin-on-fox-news-couric_n_131655.html

Posted by: ghuntcustom | October 3, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

No. I am an average American but I do not appreciate Palin's folksy gimmicky language nor did she fool me with the cold robotic way she regurgitated the myriads of information crammed down into her. Clearly Joe Biden is far more knowledgeable and far better equipped to be the next vice president. There are others who may favor Palin's folksy, superficial manner but that's why we're in the trouble we're in right now because those people elected Bush, not once but twice.

Posted by: pelohoki | October 3, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

her 'folksy' talk was fake. she is fake. the guys call her a MILF. they think she's hot. and they got a 'rise' out of winks.

is she ready to be vp? no. spending a few days learning politics 101 does not a vp make.

I really think she and mccain think middle america is stupid and that's why they continue to lie and talk that way.

in the debate, she reminds me of bush. he did the exact same thing.

Posted by: yellow72 | October 3, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

ONE OF US???

Would you have Joe Sixpack "One of Us" operate on you?

Would you have Joe SIxpack "One of Us" give you a root canal?

Would you have Joe Sixpack "One of US" treat the cancer in your family?

NO?

Then, ENOUGH with treating the most powerful nation on the planet as a kids Hockey game.

OBAMA/BIDEN '08

Posted by: chevychasedesigns | October 3, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

"Yah," "Doggonnit!" and "Darn right!" -- is an average person.

I think this is some of the most inaccurate and distorted conventional wisdom floating about these days. What about this is average? The majority of the US population does not live in rural communities and they did not grow up with walrus scapulas hanging from their walls (which Palin's parents currently have), and I haven't heard anyone talk like that in person for as long as I can remember (however I do not live in Alaska). Why is it a forgone conclusion that who she is is who the average American is? I'd venture to say there IS no average American so anyone claiming that title is a fraud.

Granted I live in New York City...over 8 million people. There are single residential buildings here that have more residents than the entire town of which Palin was mayor. Yet what would the reaction be if a Manhattanite politician was campaigning around claiming some by-golly gosh darn title of the 'average joe sixpack American?' Where did this myth of 'joe sixpack' come from anyway? I haven't seen this subject questioned or challenged in any way shape or form, yet it is chalked up as one of if not THE biggest positives of a vice presidential candidate. What's left if we removed this myth of the 'average American' from her arsenal anyway? Not much from where I stand.

Posted by: john267 | October 3, 2008 7:05 PM | Report abuse

I think Cheney is more dangerous than Burr was. He's so clearly anti-conservative in his interpretation of the VP role that it's jaw dropping. His activist treatment of the Office of the Executive has strained the boundaries of the US Constitution. That without mentioning the butchery he's done to the Bill of Rights.

Joe Six Pack, by an overwhelming %80+ thinks he's a dangerous jerk doing a bad job too.

So maybe this election is a bit more important than some of the other ones in the last century.

Posted by: timscanlon | October 3, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

glad that I heard the VP debate.
that helped me decide to vote for common sense responsibility, intelligence and strength:
OBAMA/BIDEN '08

after 8 years of lies and corruption from a Republican party that cannot govern responsibly or admit their errors, I've had enough.

Posted by: ddarker1 | October 3, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Oh right. And exactly what kind of Americans will have found her evasive, cutesy, phoney ways all that attractive? The same 22% that think Bush is doing a "great" job?

Posted by: buzzsaw1 | October 3, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Palin is Dick Cheney with lipstick: don't like the ethics investigation that you called for? Don't cooperate, like Palin. Don't like the debate rules? Answer the questions pinging around in your own empty skull, like Palin.

And why is "Worm Boy" Gerson once again taking up space in the Post with his stupidity? The man was a Bush speechwriting hack for crying out loud, and he has the insights of slow eight year-old.

Posted by: losthorizon10 | October 3, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

So Biden is charmless and Palin is full of '"Yah," "Doggonnit!" and "Darn right!"' and might be attractive to most Americans. So Biden "won" the debate - sort of.

However, I can't help but wonder, to paraphrase Vice President Cheney, "so"!? This election, I think, is more important than who won one, two, three, or even four debates, more critical than who has more spunk. When people in the media, including talking heads and writing heads cannot or do not wish to discuss serious issues facing the country but instead keep the focus on personal style and manner of presentation, no wonder W won twice and we are in the mess that we are in.

Posted by: steviana | October 3, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

All of you talking head, detached cats in the media, pimping one left or right side or the other are on some kind of crack we peeps on the street are not aware of. Can we get some? This stuff is stronger than PCP, 'cause you all are definitely talking a lot of smack.

How anyone with at least a bit of common sense can say Palin made sense is beyond reproach and, on the real, downright sad. This view is not based on any endorsement of one candidate over the other, it's simply one average American nervous about our direction as a society when it's apparent that stupid is now as fashionable for politicians as it is for high school dropouts. Unbelievable. You all go ahead and drown in that sinking ship.

Posted by: wrathofmugen | October 3, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to the rules on which the McCain-Palin campaign insisted, the moderator could not ask Palin to follow up. That probably was good, since Palin lacked the information and depth even to fill the time she had. If Americans think that having someone this intellectually incurious and dimwitted a heartbeat away from the presidency ... wait a minute. That's where we are now. If Dick Cheney died, George W. Bush would be president, and we would have someone as incurious and dimwitted as Palin as president. Look where that got us.

If Mr. Gerson's standard is not drooling or falling to pieces, Palin won the debate. If his standard is having a vice-president who actually knows an issue from a tissue, she didn't even belong on the same planet as Joe Biden.

Posted by: greenm1 | October 3, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Manolete... funny you posted the exact same thing in responce to other articals... I guess thinking up more then one thing to say is a bit too muach... that or you are simply a bot that should be ignored. Well if you can say it twice I guess I can give my reponse twice to.

As I said on the other web page...

Manolete.. I would also love to see a woman in the Whitehouse, but I am not stupid enough to side with and vote for Sarah JUST because she is one. I don't like her policies, I disagree with her about just about everything, and feel her conduct in office all the way back to Wasilla has been wrong on mutiple counts. Sure seeing a woman in office would be wonderful, but I truely, 100%, with all my heart believe that if that woman is Sarah Palin it will set woman back, not move them forward.

If we want a female leader who will make us proud we can't just vote for the first one... we need to make sure she can do the job, and in a way that we agree with. A lying, power abuseing, intolerant she-snake will do women no favors at all from the Whitehouse. Since I am from Alaska I can claim to have known about her conduct a good long while... and it has been shamefull. Please look into it yourself... find the truth about her book baning dreams and Troopergate avoidance. It's easy to look up.

To vote for ANYONE just because of sex, color, or party is mindless and frankly dangerous if too many people use those standards... To vote for Palin just because you want a woman in power makes who ever does that just as bad as the people who are voting against her because she's female, and only a notch better then those that are voting for her because she's hot. When will the things that REALY matter be what people think about?

Obama and Biden, time for a real change.

Posted by: GirlfromAlaska | October 3, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Joe Biden clearly carried the debate, and slammed home a large number of effective attacks upon McCain. Biden is clearly of Presidential calibre at this moment, and sold their parties platform effectivly. Sarah Palin managed to rescue her image, and came across as a stable, intelligent, though not very knowledgeable on many important subjects. I wonder if she would push for all americans to recieve that sweetheart deal with the oil companies that Alaska has and send us all checks for a few thousand dollars each year as our royalties?

Posted by: WilliamBlake | October 3, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse

If the best you can say about your candidate is that she didn't screw up, you have a problem.

Anyone who thinks the WaPo is a liberal rag needs to review Gerson's and Krauthammer's (and Novak's archived) columns. All I heard from Palin was rah-rah jingoism, echoing points made by her opponent, and refusal to answer the questions posed to her by the moderator. In a high school debate class, that would lose you points. Gerson makes it sound like defeat is victory. (Come to think of it, didn't Dubya claim that the Iraq war would secure the peace? Geez. How Orwellian can you get?)

Posted by: bucinka8 | October 3, 2008 2:57 PM

///////////////////////////////////////////////

Washington Post led the attack on Nixon that put this gang in power the last 30 years.

Nixon was a liberal populist.

Obama and Biden have my votes.

Posted by: WilliamBlake | October 3, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Last night's performance of Gidget Goes to Washington was missing one thing. I expected any minute to see Palin chewing gum and cracking it. She HAS to be Rove's idea. After all, Karl thought George W. Bush had "too much charisma for any one person."

Posted by: joy2 | October 3, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

My favorite part was when Joe asked her to support Obama's windfall sales tax on Oil Companies because that is what she did in Alaska to get her Alaskans a $1500 check per person per year...Also whenever she spoke about change, it sounded like a Infomercial for Barack Obama....GOOD JOB SARAH!!!!

Posted by: Beka13 | October 3, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

She comes across like a space alien that has learned about America by watching over and over a tape of "Fargo" and any of George W. Bush's State of the Union Addresses.

My only question is whether she is Kodos or Kang.

Posted by: steveboyington | October 3, 2008 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Michael Gerson is a commentator with whom I am not familiar. One wonders if the poor man is always so naive? He appears to thrive on seeing what he wishes to see. hearing what he wishes to hear, and drawing the conclusion he wishes to draw. One might wonder how much the Post pays one for a column reciting nothing but preconceived notions? It would be fascinating to see how he reacts to a totally new idea. Clearly, he was ideally suited to ghost speeches for the mindless president who, as a matter of high morality, rejected any and all new ideas. "Sic semper conservative" (apologies to George Mason).

Posted by: gargoyle22 | October 3, 2008 9:16 PM | Report abuse

"Palin -- on the evidence of 'Yah,' 'Doggonnit!' and 'Darn right!' -- is an average person. That may not be the best qualification for high office. But I suspect that many Americans find it attractive."

Wrong. This American found it trite, superficial and irrelevant. The small town folksiness, Palin's and others' assertions to the contrary, is also unrepresentative of the majority of Americans, who live in suburbs or big cities. There's a reason Wyoming and Alaska have only 3 electoral votes and New Jersey has 15. In fact, the "elite" on the coasts are actually the - vast - majority. Here's a good article about the "myth of rural virtue".

http://www.reason.com/news/show/129184.html


By Palin's standards, most of the country is elite. By her standard, the mainstream is outside the mainstream, and the same "mainstream media" that swooned over McCain for seven and a half of the last eight years as well as over her for the first two weeks after she was nominated for VP is now somehow not to be trusted because it turns out they're functioning independently and critically, as they're supposed to, and not as her PR firm a la TASS (google it, youngsters - chances are some of you won't even see what the problem is). What the Palinistas fail to comprehend or accept is they are the ones increasingly on the margins, out of the mainstream and out of touch. What they are seeing in Biden and Obama are people who ARE like them. They realize there are more college graduates than moose hunters, that there are more people with questions, curiosity and a hunger to exercise their intelligence than those who are in denial. And on a basic level these people understand it's better to be smart than to be dumb.

That's what Palin doesn't understand, and why she's ended up on the margins and is headed for defeat.

Posted by: treetopflyer | October 3, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Michael, I also find Biden’s exaggerations annoying, but even more annoying is his talking down to people. Three times during the debate, he said, “Let me say that again.” Biden would then repeat more slowly than the first time some none point. Does he think we didn’t understand him the first time? I’ll take folksy anytime to being patronized. Doesn’t it remind you of some who thinks people cling to their guns and religion?

Posted by: billkistler | October 3, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

We always take leaders of 3rd World nations with a grain of salt. Perhaps your point is that the Bush arrogance has led us to this point.

Posted by: somerseten | October 3, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Democrat, I'm voting for Obama, I can't stand this Palin woman.

I watched the debate thoughtfully and carefully.

I give it to Palin.

Posted by: mcdooley | October 3, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

The only thing that I can recall from Palin's performance is the persistent wink in her left eye.

It must be infectious, ... 'cause now I can't stop a nagging twitch in my eye. ;/

'/

See!

Posted by: DreadPirate | October 3, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Jeepers, golly, that Sarah sure is swell!

And she's a maverick, too, don't you know?

By the way, did I mention that she's a maverick?

Posted by: BaltimoreCotls59 | October 3, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

BTW, last time I saw Joe six-pack, he was doing weekends in jail for his third DUI.

Posted by: BaltimoreCotls59 | October 3, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Gerson, I don't know what you think we are supposed to find "attractive here." Lots of people can be primed to behave persuasively in a rhetorical situation. That doesn't mean a great deal to me. That's not necessarily attractive. Why not start from some sort of argument from definition, figure out what we might want to have in a good and virtuous President, and then see how Palin meets your criteria?

Moreover, give some consideration to how attractive it is to not be able to say what news sources you read regularly (other than whatever comes across your desk -- the sort of non-answer I get from students who haven't done the work) and then some days later have one of your flunkies claim you read the NY Times and the Economist. Do you think we folks out there find that kind of, well, let's not say it's a lie (although it's a good bet it is), let's just say, well, uh, not a lot to say about the chirpy dogggone it Ms. Palin.

Posted by: lstrauss2 | October 3, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

I didn't find Slick Sarah to be attractive in any way, shape or form.

Biden clearly outclassed her . . . without the need to wink at us.

Posted by: jimcummings | October 3, 2008 11:43 PM | Report abuse

"The democratic party has moved from taking the female vote for granted to outright contempt for women. That's why Sarah Palin represents the most serious conservative threat ever to the modern democratic liberal claim on issues of male cultural and social superiority."

Manolete, the polls tell a completely different story. And the significant lead Obama has among women will lead him to victory.

Posted by: jimcummings | October 3, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

She's average, alright. Except for the 250,000 smackers she and her husband made last year. Joe SixPack and Hockey Mom are worth about a cool million right now.
Average, my butt...

Posted by: mortshelby | October 4, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Palin showed utter disrespect for the debate and the people watching by refusing to answer questions that she didn't have prepared, rehearsed answers for.

She also kept smirking and winking. Inappropriate.

She also lied: see CBS regarding her statements that
1. Obama would raise taxes on folks making $45K. Not true. The number is $250K.

2. Millions of business owners will have their taxes raised. Not true. Only a small percentage of business owners make more than $250K/year.

3. Alaska was building an oil pipeline that was functioning. Not true. Construction is still in the very preliminary stages, and oil won't flow through this pipeline for 10 years.

She LIED, she disrespected the format of the interview by refusing to answer questions, and she smirked like the debate was a joke. Her sentences still were not gramatical - they may be sounded OK, but just read the transcripts.

All in all, she flunked the debate big-time.

Anyway, why are we paying so much attention on her when Henry Paulson and Bush just shoved through Congress the $700 billion bailout to bail out Paulson's old cronies on Wall Street that made billions by selling and repacking bad mortages?

Posted by: Liberty77 | October 4, 2008 2:53 AM | Report abuse


J-NC argued that Gerson "is referring to Aaron "I tried to take a large chunk of the (then) southwestern US and turn it into an empire for myself" Burr."

There are several problems with this.
1) This accusation is based on an allegation of the Jefferson administration for which Burr was acquitted since no proof could be found.

2) he was not VP at the time, so it should have no bearing on whether he was the most dangerous VP.

Posted by: eqbaldwin | October 8, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

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