Friday, October 3, 2008

Debate review

Debates are hard to score objectively. Last night's debate between Palin and Biden is no exception. Whoever you supported before the debate you probably think did very well. Flipping between Fox news (Palin) and CNN (Biden) was stark evidence of how little debates do to change already forged opinions. Pundits from both networks proclaimed decisive victories for their candidates.

How can one judge who won or lost? Both candidates accomplished their objectives quite effectively. Biden didn't make any major gaffes and Palin prepared well and overcame perceptions about her lack of knowledge and experience. Biden beat the drum of McCain being synonymous with Bush. Palin beat the drum of Obama/Biden being typical tax and spend liberals weak on national defense. Biden was polite, yet forceful in his pointed attack on McCain/Bush/Cheney (all the same to him, which is an effective strategy). Palin was charming, pleasantly plain-spoken, yet bold in her recalling Biden's quotes against Obama and Obama's alleged lack of support for the troops. Biden and his 35 years of debate experience was better on his feet. Palin was impressive, but did have to go to her written talking points on a few occasions looking a bit artificial. Biden, however, made several factual errors while Palin made just a few. I'm guessing the various fact checking media outlets will be busily at work today. (update: Fact Check)

Clearly Palin had a more difficult task due chiefly to the plentiful fodder George Bush has provided the Obama/Biden ticket and McCain's seeming connection with the same. Considering this handicap, she did very well.

Unfortunately for the McCain/Palin ticket, there is a unified perception that we are plunging headlong in to a economic recession. Such financial doldrums are never good for the incumbent party and regardless of McCain/Palin's constant self-identification as "mavericks", most people who are still swing voters see McCain as basically aligned with Bush. Keeping McCain linked with Bush was Biden's mission last night, he did it quite well.

In an earlier post I argued that Americans tend to vote based on their wallets. Before the recent financial institution failings and proposed bailout plan it seemed McCain/Palin had the edge due to their clearer plan for a short term energy solution. Now, despite the lack of a clear plan from Obama/Biden, George Bush looks culpable for the alleged recession making it is impossible for McCain/Palin to completely distance themselves from him. Americans do tend to vote based on their wallets, and right now, that's not good for McCain/Palin no matter how charming Sarah was in the debate.


Frontier Forest said...

You are certainly correct, both sides boasted of a decisive victory! But for sure Palin’s “real-middle America” appearance was not only refreshing, but makes me breathe much easier. If nothing else, she proved she can run with the big dogs!

Reepicheep said...

Woodster, your comment illustrates the challenge the McCain/Palin campaign has. You are a reasonably committed supporter of McCain/Palin. Even if Palin didn't do well, you would have still voted for them. The fact that supporters like yourself are now breathing easier, in my opinion, doesn't bode well for influencing the crucial "swing" voters that will likely determine this election.

I think she did a great job shoring up the people who would have voted for her already, but I don't know how effective she was in winning new supporters.

Mitch C said...

Voters never seem to learn that economic policy is determined more by the legislative branch than the executive branch of the federal government. Rather than blaming the Bush administration for the current economic malaise, they should aim their discontent at the Democrat-controlled House and Senate, and should be wary of electing to the White House yet another Democrat who will quite eager to sign their disastrous spending bills.

Frontier Forest said...

I remember, the night before the 2004 election, gettomg together with the Nagel's, Baker's and another couple for prayer. I vividly remember stating, "This will be the most important election in our nation’s history!" But for sure, 2004 was nothing compared to the importance of this one. Notwithstanding, the appointment of probably 3 Supreme Court judges!

Rick Calohan said...

Now by now most people know that McCain was my fifth choice in the GOP nomination process, had he had picked someone more moderate or liberal to be his VP pick, I would have still voted for that ticket, but I would not have sported the bumper stickers and the yard signs.

The problem with the McCain/Palin campaign is that they are in being the “political maverick reformers” they claim to be and distancing themselves from President Bush, shows lack of conviction. After all I am pretty sure both McCain and Palin voted for George W. Bush. I am sure they support 90 to 95% of his policies, and I am sure that if Bush was permitted to run for re-election again they would have voted for him again.

The problem with the debate format is that it is geared to “sway” the undecided voters. Well, if as an adult you do not have conviction one way or another then you should not vote.

The problem with the process is that there is so much apathy, so much disdain for the process that only mediocre candidates end up getting nominated. We do not have a Ronald Reagan, to inspire the base and convince those undecided and blue-collar working class Democrats that hey we are on your side in a John McCain, but we do to some extent in a Sarah Palin, and although she is the VP candidate there needs to be more of her on radio, where her message can get those blue collar workers who drive the trucks who pay the high cost of fueling those trucks, to the small business owner who does not have time to look at a television, but might have a radio on in the background while doing his quarterly taxes, to the yutes with their I-Pods, the elderly who can’t reach their remote who have a radio by their bedside. Radio even in the age of the internets is still a home to the masses.

Now getting back to the debate, I think Biden did well, and of the Democrats, he would have been my nominee based on policy agreements, granted I’m no longer a liberal, I’m no longer a Democrat, and I am no longer pro-choice.

You see I have never been an undecided voter, I was either too far left when I was a liberal or too far right as a conservative. In either case you win or lose voters when you stick to your convictions and message. You win votes when you stand on principle, and you win votes when you show loyalty to a cause greater than yourself.

As for Sarah, I think she resonates to the working class moms out there, who between work, school, and taking care of the yutes, who know what its like to juggle schedules, multitask, and still be a wife and mom and oh yeah Governor. To the men, what’s not to like, she’s not Hillary, she hunts, fishes, has run a business, and knows that the part of national security is energy and she comes from the largest energy state in the union. Twenty that’s 1/5 of the fuel that runs this economy comes from ALASKA! Oh and she is Pro American! All I know is that my wife liked what she saw and thought Sarah came across as bright, intelligent, and knows more about average America then Joe Biden.

So yes do the campaign stomps, but get your message out to those who can’t make it to rallies, and don’t cater to the drive by mainstream liberal media who claim to be for equality and liberation of women but continue to be sexist in their approach to female candidates. Look how treated their own, Hillary, and look how they are treating Sarah. We need to not let the polls of some 13,000 people determine the outcome of this election. We win we fight and not when we retreat, and we win we stay the course, and I think for Sarah to quote Reagan who quoted Winthrop who quoted Scripture is a resounding Amen to me.

“And that's about all I have to say tonight. Except for one thing. The past few days when I've been at that window upstairs, I've thought a bit of the "shining city upon a hill." The phrase comes from John Winthrop, who wrote it to describe the America he imagined. What he imagined was important because he was an early Pilgrim, an early freedom man. He journeyed here on what today we'd call a little wooden boat; and like the other Pilgrims, he was looking for a home that would be free.
I've spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace, a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity, and if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it and see it still.
And how stands the city on this winter night? More prosperous, more secure, and happier than it was eight years ago. But more than that; after 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true on the granite ridge, and her glow has held steady no matter what storm. And she's still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home.
We've done our part. And as I walk off into the city streets, a final word to the men and women of the Reagan revolution, the men and women across America who for eight years did the work that brought America back. My friends: We did it. We weren't just marking time. We made a difference. We made the city stronger. We made the city freer, and we left her in good hands. All in all, not bad, not bad at all.
And so, good-bye, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America”

Matthew 5: 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Reepicheep said...

Based on the track record of both parties over the past years since Roe V. Wade, I'm not sure it can be argued that a baby is safer in the womb with a republican president.

I support McCain because he will be more fiscally reserved than Obama (which isn't saying much) and he says he'll nominate constitutionalist judges, which could bode well for overturning Roe-though not for sure- Ford and Reagan thought they were doing that.

My trust is not in princes...

Reepicheep said...

Hunting has been almost non existent Jeff. I've been too busy. It's terrible..I have to get my priorities back on track before the rut.

Rick Calohan said...

Yesterday, with John in my arms walking to our mailbox I notice that Reprobates (Democrats) had posted in front of our house on our property a Re-Elect Congressmen Dennis Moore sign. I guess the Reprobates were blinded by the fact that I have three McCain Signs in my yard, or maybe because the RINOS (moderate/liberal) Republicans In Name Only in this district keep reelecting this man. I promptly removed the sign from our property. I know this congressional district since Vince Snowbarger defeat in 1998, has been in the hands of a man who is not Pro-Life. With Phill Kline’s defeat in 2000 50% - 47%, Adam Taft’s defeat in 2002 50%-47%, Kris Kobach’s defeat in 2004 55%-43%, and Chuck Ahner’s defeat 64%-34% in 2006, will 2008 be any different with Nick Jordan running?

What does Congressman Moore and Senator Obama have in common besides party affliation? They both have a rating of 100% by NARAL Pro-Choice America.'s%20guides%20pdf/2008%20Kansas%20Voter's%20Guide.pdf

“I've noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born.”
~Ronald Reagan, quoted in New York Times, 22 September 1980
"All those who hate me love death.” Mishlei (Proverbs) 8:36

I’m Rick Calohan and I approve this message.