October 03, 2008

The Palin-Biden Debate(s)

Please, Sir: Could I have more?

They're like potato chips: one is never enough. Come one, boys and girls: do a couple of town halls together. What could that hurt?

Biden did better than I expected; no major gaffes, and only about a dozen untruths (that's good for him, right?). Sarah's still playing catch-up on foreign policy, but didn't try to fake it there: she stuck to the fundamentals, and hammered away that we can we can deal most effectively with challenges from/in Iran, Pakistan, North Korea, and Russia if we seize the opportunity to finish the job in Iraq, and then double-back to Afghanistan to do some dusting and cleaning there.

The point is, she didn't utter any untruths, because one from her would have been worth 30 from Biden—and she knew it.

To my mind loses a few points for not pointing out that Biden kept insisting on timetables for our withdrawal from Iraq: she responded that we'd leave at the pace Iraqi political, law enforcement, and military leaders (with input from American/Allied generals) decide is correct. But no one should ever let the suggestion that a "date certain" is a great idea in any war; Senator Clinton certainly never let that one go by, whenever it was suggested.

Last night on Fox News Krauthammer suggested that a transcript might give the win to Biden, but anyone watching it (or hearing it) would have to give it to Sarah. It did remind me a bit of the clichés about the the Kennedy-Nixon debate, inasmuch as Biden was quite articulate, and he was able to keep his nasty side in check. But Sarah, despised by 95% of the media, did exactly what she needed to do: she went, Reagan-like, over their heads and spoke "to the American media," making it explicit that this was her intention: when Biden pointed out that she hadn't answered a moderator's question, she asserted sweetly that she had no intention of answering the questions to either his satisfaction, or Ifill's.

Peggy Noonan has now seen the light. I was pretty pissed at her for not "getting" Palin early on, but I suppose it was inevitable that any protege of Ronald Reagan's would eventually cotton to Palin's appeal. (And, yes: I've been impatient with those who didn't see it early on: I've been following her energy work, so I've known her a good deal longer than most. Palin is no Harriet Miers.)

The job that McCain is explicitly applying for (and Palin, implicitly) requires some brains, excellent management skills, the ability to to communicate with the American public even when the media are hostile to you (yes, G.W.—I'm looking at you), and charisma.

Speaking of G.W. Bush, Palin's biggest triumph of the evening—other than winking at the camera, and refusing to lose her cool, even when Biden implicitly accused her of sexism by playing the "poor widdow widdower" card—lay in her masterful ability to distance herself from the existing administration without throwing the sitting President—or his advisors—under the bus.

Biden kept handing her a tiny effigy of G.W. Bush and asking her to wear it like an albatross around her neck. Every time, she politely declined to engage in "looking backward" and "finger-pointing."

Naturally, the McCain camp produced the first comprehensive list of Biden prevarications from this event; I'll want to check some of these out at a few of the law blogs as well. They list 14. I suspect that the reality is at least a dozen—maybe a baker's dozen.

Joe Biden's 14 Lies

1. TAX VOTE: Biden said McCain voted “the exact same way” as Obama to increase taxes on Americans earning just $42,000, but McCain DID NOT VOTE THAT WAY.

2. AHMEDINIJAD MEETING: Joe Biden lied when he said that Barack Obama never said that he would sit down unconditionally with Mahmoud Ahmedinijad of Iran. Barack Obama did say specifically, and Joe Biden attacked him for it.

3. OFFSHORE OIL DRILLING: Biden said, “Drill we must.” But Biden has opposed offshore drilling and even compared offshore drilling to “raping” the Outer Continental Shelf.”

4. TROOP FUNDING: Joe Biden lied when he indicated that John McCain and Barack Obama voted the same way against funding the troops in the field. John McCain opposed a bill that included a timeline, that the President of the United States had already said he would veto regardless of it’s passage.

5. OPPOSING CLEAN COAL: Biden says he’s always been for clean coal, but he just told a voter that he is against clean coal and any new coal plants in America and has a record of voting against clean coal and coal in the U.S. Senate.

6. ALERNATIVE ENERGY VOTES: According to FactCheck.org, Biden is exaggerating and overstating John McCain’s record voting for alternative energy when he says he voted against it 23 times.

7. HEALTH INSURANCE: Biden falsely said McCain will raise taxes on people's health insurance coverage -- they get a tax credit to offset any tax hike. Independent fact checkers have confirmed this attack is false

8. OIL TAXES: Biden falsely said Palin supported a windfall profits tax in Alaska—she reformed the state tax and revenue system rather than instituting a windfall profits tax.

9. AFGHANISTAN / GEN. MCKIERNAN COMMENTS: Biden said that top military commander in Iraq said the principles of the surge could not be applied to Afghanistan, but the commander of NATO's International Security Assistance Force Gen. David D. McKiernan said that there were principles of the surge strategy, including working with tribes, that could be applied in Afghanistan.

10. REGULATION: Biden falsely said McCain weakened regulation—he actually called for more regulation on Fannie and Freddie.

11. IRAQ: When Joe Biden lied when he said that John McCain was “dead wrong on Iraq”, because Joe Biden shared the same vote to authorize the war and differed on the surge strategy where they John McCain has been proven right.

12. TAX INCREASES: Biden said Americans earning less than $250,000 wouldn’t see higher taxes, but the Obama-Biden tax plan would raise taxes on individuals making $200,000 or more.

13. BAILOUT: Biden said the economic rescue legislation matches the four principles that Obama laid out, but in reality it doesn’t meet two of the four principles that Obama outlined on Sept. 19, which were that it include an emergency economic stimulus package, and that it be part of “part of a globally coordinated effort with our partners in the G-20.”

14. REAGAN TAX RATES: Biden is wrong in saying that under Obama, Americans won't pay any more in taxes then they did under Reagan.

h/t: Captain Ed, who was faster at finding this starter Biden-debunking than I was; I'm just going to give you the main Hot Air link, though, because Ed and AllahP have a lot of good VP debate coverage on their front page; the entry I'm stealing from right now is "lies and sighs," which contains that second vid and the "Biden's Lies" list.

I pilfered the Noonan vid from Ace.

Posted by Attila Girl at October 3, 2008 07:27 AM | TrackBack

This debate was a sham, it was an infomercial. We already know who is going to win, now it is just showing to the people that there is some democratic process involved here. The deals have already been made. The prez and vice are already picked, the game was rigged before it even started.

Posted by: azmat Hussain at October 3, 2008 09:31 PM

Add one more to Biden's lies.

When he got off onto the subject of Barack Obama supporting traditional marriage, Biden didn't tell us that Barack had promised to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.

I don't recall to whom the promise was made (so many promises to so many groups), but I do remember that the promise was made - though in a pinch, Obama would probably deny it.

Posted by: on-the-rocks at October 7, 2008 02:45 AM

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