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2
Oct 08
Thu

The VP Debate

I think that it’s safe to say that tonight’s Vice Presidential Debate was more eagerly anticipated than the first Presidential Debate, especially after Governor Palin’s performance in the Couric interview. I was a disappointed that I had a class scheduling conflict with the debate, but happily, our professor let us out early so I managed to catch the last half of the debate.

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Watching the VP Debate in the Law School Students’ Lounge

The student lounge was standing room only, with the turnout easily double that of the Obama-McCain debate. Obviously, being where we were, the room was overwhelmingly Democrat. Some people were playing Palin Bingo, others would yell out “maverick!” and hoot everytime Palin used the word and there was some laughter with one candidate, and much laughter at the other.

Palin’s performance was improved from her Couric interview, which was highly reminiscent of Miss Teen South Carolina’s infamous answer to a question posed to her. However, you can’t help but feel that she is out of her league. She seems to be competent as far as being a small state governor (a rich state Alaska may be, but its GDP is in the bottom 10 of all US states and its population is in the bottom 5), but when we’re talking about applying for the number 2 job in the world’s largest nation, you have to wonder. Next to Biden, who was eloquent and highly knowledgeable (and seemingly “more genuine than Obama” as I heard from a friend), she was clearly an outsider to federal and international politics. She had a habit of resorting to general statements unsubstantiated with examples, or just simply not answering the question and talking about points she had prepared in advance. She seemed to argue that her being out of Washington means she can bring change, but inexperience does not logically lead to the conclusion that you are well placed to bring change to that in which you have no experience. She was also perhaps too colloquial (did anyone else cringe when she said, “Doggone”, and gave a “shout out” to those third graders?).

Anyway, there weren’t really any major gaffes from either candidate that I observed. I came away impressed with Biden – I’ve never heard him speak at length before. Obama and him seem to make a great team. There will be massive disappointment around here if, come November 4, they don’t get elected.

I should also note that CNN was running a worm onscreen with a panel of undecided voters (split into men and women). It was pretty much useless. The worm would go up when a candidate talked about their policies, go down slightly when a candidate attacked the other’s policies and never really go deep into negative territory. Women seemed easier to impress than men.

If you missed the debate, there’s a good liveblog of it here.