Thursday, October 2, 2008

Palin's Big Night

Whenever I watch a debate, the first thing I do when it’s over is to head off to National Review Online or Ace of Spades or Instapundit or some conservative blog, to find out who won. I can never tell—invariably, I think the candidates I like do well, and those I don’t do poorly. My opinions on these issues are never right, at least compared to the popular view.

So when I concluded tonight that Palin was getting absolutely crushed, I thought that was a bad sign. (Remember, the candidates I like never lose, at least in my mind). She didn’t do anything right—I thought her opening “can I call you Joe?” was overly saccharine, her responses awful and nonsensical, and her demeanor poor. Her whole bearing seemed to scream out that she wasn’t anywhere near ready for the vice presidency. I expected the blogosphere to be equally gloomy.

Huh? Nearly every conservative blog thought Palin won? Instapundit thought both candidates did okay, Malkin thought Palin won, Ann Althouse thought Palin won, Jim Treacher thought Palin won, and Frank Lunz’s focus group thought Palin dominated. The National Review people are in her corner too—Mark Levin, who isn’t a big McCain fan, gushed over her, Katherine Jean Lopez (not the hardest person to impress, but still) loved her, and Ramesh Ponnuru thought she did quite well.

Liberals thought she won too. Andrew Sullivan (who is perhaps the most crazed Obama supporter on the Internet) though Palin won. Even the Huffington Post seemed impressed—their Palin-bashing seemed listless and obligatory.

So I guess I was wrong—Palin won. If the conventional wisdom holds up, there will be a substantial shift in the polls towards McCain. He’ll get a bump, conservatives will be elated, and then his bounce will subside, throwing conservatives into gloom. If the pundits are right about Palin’s victory, this is good news for conservatives, and will let McCain live to fight another day.

I have some observations about the debate, but there seems to be little point in sharing them, given the fact that everybody seems to disagree with nearly all of them. So I’ll just give my perceptions of the people involved.

Sarah Palin isn’t ready for the vice presidency. In fact, judging from her performance tonight, I’m not sure she’s ready for the governorship of Alaska. Her answers were canned, empty, and often meaningless—what you would get if someone mixed up a bunch of talking points. I have absolutely no idea of why everyone thinks she won. My judgment on these matters isn’t very good—but I’ve never been this wrong before. [NOTE: As I write this, the judgments keep pouring in from the NRO people. They are unanimous in their opinion that Palin won]

I can’t help but like Joe Biden. His political positions, of course, are radically different from mine, he is gaffe-prone, and his command of reality is limited (although the press really hasn’t covered it, he has his own version of Hillary’s “sniper fire” story). But I do think he is an honorable man, and one who truly cares about America. Tonight, he reminded voters that John McCain’s sons are serving in Iraq—a classy move, since McCain rarely reveals that fact. Biden would be a bad vice president—but he’s a good man.

There was a lot of controversy about Gwen Ifill, who is writing a book about the “Age of Obama,” serving as moderator. I thought she did fine—she seemed fair, and her questions didn’t seem to favor either side.

So Palin won. That’s good, I suppose, but I shudder to think of her next debate.


At October 3, 2008 at 4:55 AM , Blogger Beth said...

If it makes you feel better, I don't think she won, either.

I don't think it's a good idea to see what conservatives think, either, it's more important what the undecided voter thinks. Now they may feel they "connected" with her, but if they wanted substance over style, I think they would have been disappointed.

At October 3, 2008 at 5:01 AM , Blogger Beth said...

I'm not alone, I just saw that a CNN/Opinion Research poll said 51% think Biden won to 36% who think Palin did.

At October 3, 2008 at 7:30 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee Beth, Just how clueless can you be.
Just because you don’t like John McCain, you can’t even see how dumb your post is!
Of course CNN is going to say that! Wake up and smell the coffee.

At October 3, 2008 at 7:41 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the Stones post above....I think the Gov did an outstanding job, but every time she mentioned greed, regulation, bipartisanship, etc and did not mention the fact that the financial problem it was a demoscum creation, I cringed. I don't think that was Sarah's true point of view, but rather McCain's . I suspect he instructed her to give those topics a wide birth. THAT was disappointing. Whenever I meet a person who looks/ acts like Joe Biden, I immediately take two steps back and check for my wallet.

Beth, you should really get a life. Your hatred for the Mccain/Palin ticket is really getting boring and your comments are really childish.
You’re supposed to be a conservative and you are quoting a CNN poll? How freaken selective you are! Geezzz

At October 3, 2008 at 8:13 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Daniel Ruwe, The biggest danger is to believe your own propaganda.

The media and many leftists had actually swallowed the notion that Palin was a hockey mom and no more, someone McCain picked up at a Wal-Mart just to crassly and cynically get the female and conservative vote.

I can understand why leftists believed this claptrap, but why did you?
As for Beth and her; CNN/Opinion Research poll. Give me a breat beth. That station is the biggest lib station on the dial. What did you expect and how can you even quote them?
Palin was incredible. There is no other way to discribe it.

At October 3, 2008 at 10:01 AM , Anonymous John said...

beth said:..."Now they may feel they "connected" with her, but if they wanted substance over style, I think they would have been disappointed."

I don't even know where to start to disclaim this INSANE assessment!
What debate were you watching? It could not have been the Palin/Biden debate.
Because if it was you are completely off the wall! Or you are a closet Liberal

At October 3, 2008 at 12:52 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

sarah palin was fantastic - she won the debate by holding her own with poise and confidence.She won hands down. more so she is young and hungry, biden has lost that eye of the tiger. he looked sombre and unpassionate. if nesessary i think think she would make a fantastic president, and would fight terror till the end.

At October 4, 2008 at 2:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Palen avioded too many questions.

At November 2, 2008 at 9:25 AM , Blogger knowitall said...

She did a good job, yet all the mainstream media refuse to give her credit. Then they're trying to declare victory for the liberal illuminati, by stating she's running in 2012.

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