The first and only vice presidential debate was filled with talk of policy by Joe Biden, and talking points from Sarah Palin. If there was any doubt left that this woman doesn’t belong on a national ticket in any capacity, that doubt was answered tonight. Palin may have scored style points, but Biden is the person Americans should trust in the White House.
We were promised Sarah Barracuda, but instead we got an overmatched hockey mom who sounded more like the vice president of the PTA, than a potential vice president of the United States. Palin demonstrated no grasp of policy, and no policy specifics. The McCain campaign sent Sarah out there to charm America, but charm does not get a nation out of an economic crisis. Joe Biden delivered exactly what was expected of him a solid performance of a man who is ready to serve as vice president.
For example, let’s compare the two candidates’ answers on deregulation. Joe Biden brought up John McCain’s plan to deregulate the healthcare industry, “So what you had is you had overwhelming “deregulation.” You had actually the belief that Wall Street could self-regulate itself. And while Barack Obama was talking about reinstating those regulations, John on 20 different occasions in the previous year and a half called for more deregulation. As a matter of fact, John recently wrote an article in a major magazine saying that he wants to do for the health care industry deregulate it and let the free market move like he did for the banking industry.
Palin chose to talk about taxes, “I would like to respond about the tax increases. We can speak in agreement here that darn right we need tax relief for Americans so that jobs can be created here. Now, Barack Obama and Sen. Biden also voted for the largest tax increases in U.S. history. Barack had 94 opportunities to side on the people’s side and reduce taxes and 94 times he voted to increase taxes or not support a tax reduction, 94 times.
Now, that’s not what we need to create jobs and really bolster and heat up our economy. We do need the private sector to be able to keep more of what we earn and produce. Government is going to have to learn to be more efficient and live with less if that’s what it takes to reign in the government growth that we’ve seen today. But we do need tax relief and Barack Obama even supported increasing taxes as late as last year for those families making only $42,000 a year. That’s a lot of middle income average American families to increase taxes on them. I think that is the way to kill jobs and to continue to harm our economy.”
Joe Biden was solid on policy, but won this debate and showed his soul when he talked about his weakest trait and discussed the auto accident that claimed the life of his first wife and daughter, and having to raise to children alone, and said that he understands that people are hurting. He understands that people need help. Biden appeared emotional, while Palin replied with a robotic answer about mavericks. Joe Biden revealed something about the man, while Sarah Palin stuck to the script.
The McCain campaign needed a momentum changer. Sarah Palin needed to rehabilitate her image. Unfortunately, Palin’s performance reinforced the perceptions of her caused by her media interviews. The McCain campaign is trying to win this election with character and charm, without talking about issues. There was no big gaffe by either candidate, and not much interaction between the two. Palin didn’t offer anything different or new. She was big on style, but short on substance. She ducked and dodged questions, and did not look like a person who is ready to be vice president.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association