Oct 4, 2008

The vice-presidential debate and Palin's candidacy

International Herald Tribune

Opinion, Published November 3, 2008

"That choice shattered the image that McCain created for himself as the tempered, seasoned, experienced man of principle and judgment. Picking Palin was either an act of incredible cynicism or appallingly bad judgment."

"The problem with Palin's candidacy, which she underscored in her appearance at the debate on Thursday night, is not that she didn't attend a fancy school or go backpacking in Europe after college. It is her disdain for knowledge, education, experience and contemplative leadership."

We cannot recall when there were lower expectations for any candidate going into a national debate than preceded Governor Sarah Palin's appearance in Thursday night's vice-presidential debate with Senator Joseph Biden. That's a big plus: All the candidate has to do is show up, say one or two sensible things and avoid an election-defining gaffe.

By that standard, the governor of Alaska beat expectations. Biden did as well, avoiding one of his infamous gaffes, while talking confidently with a clear grasp of the big picture and the details. But this debate was more about Palin than Biden.

Just as she did at the convention, Palin showed that she can deliver prepared remarks with enthusiasm, wit and a fluency in the language of class warfare. She nearly always referred to Americans, especially middle-class ones, as "we" or "us," and tossed in references to hockey moms, soccer moms and Joe Sixpack at seemingly every opportunity..........Read more