Here’s the VP debate exactly as I remember it: Palin was cheerful, folksy, always evading the questions and changing the subject she was prepped for, and completely devoid of substance. I especially liked the introductory ground rules, which the media have taken to heart: “Due to the historically low expectations for governor Palin, were she simply to do an adequate job tonight, and at no point cry, faint, run out of the building, or vomit, you should consider the debate a tie.”
The ‘folksiness’ grates, as Patricia Williams notes — it’s a misleading proxy for authenticity, and authenticity is too often regarded as a proxy for competence and knowledge. We need leadership that actually has some skill in managing, now that we’re deep in this crisis the last folksy boob we elected led us into, and instead we’re getting a beauty queen whose major qualification seems to be the ability to drop the ending “g” from words. That would be OK if she had some ability beyond that, but nope, it’s not there.
Another example of the contrast: Biden and Palin were asked to name the past vice presidents they admire most. Palin fumbled, mentioned first Geraldine Ferraro (who only ran for VP) because she “shattered part of that glass ceiling”, and then named Bush Sr., because she liked vice presidents who went on to become presidents. (Right. Chills run down the spine, don’t they?) Biden didn’t hesitate and said Johnson, because of his knowledge of politics.
Oh, but Palin does have one other talent: she’s a well-trained attack dog. I think we can expect much more of this kind of slander from the Republicans in the next few weeks. She has come right out and accused Obama of associating with terrorists now.
Mrs Palin described Mr Obama as someone who saw the US “as being so imperfect… he is palling around with terrorists who would target their own country”.
Mr Obama served on a charity board several years ago with Mr Ayers, who is now a professor at the University of Illinois.
The White House hopeful, who was a child when Weather Underground was active, has denounced Mr Ayers’ radical past.
I expect she’ll start talking about how Obama is a Muslim who will want to be sworn in on a Koran soon. It’s all going to be lies and innuendo from the Republican side from here on out, and it might just work — especially if she says it with a dimple and a smile and a few lazily formed gerunds.