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 No one will be more relieved than John McCain if a major crisis erupts on Thursday to overshadow the debate between the vice-presidential candidates, Sarah Palin and Joe Biden.

 

Alaska's one-term governor is hugely popular with voters, but she is also a liability for the Republican ticket, as her painful-to-watch interview last week with Katie Couric of CBS News showed. Her woeful inexperience and the yawning gaps in her knowledge of basic issues reminded voters of McCain's advanced age at 72, and sparked questions about what sort of president she would make. Read more.

Question: Is Sarah Palin a liability or a refreshing new face? And how much does a Biden V Palin battle actually matter?

Edit: As many of you will know, the interview with Couric was considered so painful that Saturday Night Live didn't even bother to change the text to parody it.

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in_tro_ wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 08:55 am (UTC)
at first, Sarah was really a refreshin' new face, cause she actually stopped 4 some time that very Obamamania. she's a beautiful women, and then all that photos appeared, and the public's attention was focused on her. I saw the polls --- she was so popular, that she was on the second place accordin' to the people's choice, when they were asked whom they would like to meet in real life. but then this wave of interest began to go down, cause nothing new of interest about her could be found.
I'm sure Biden would beat her, he's an experienced guy.
srusso1964 wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 09:20 am (UTC)
Palin is a "train wreck"
Sarah Palin is what we call a train wreck. McCain's people are doing her a disservice by not allowing her to answer more questions, as the more you answer, the better you answer. I know that you may not agree, considering the fact that she has had several tries at the Foreign Policy question and has yet to give an answer that any of us can understand, or that the Republican party doesn't have to come out and try to "explain"

She has no idea of what she's doing, and I think she was idiotic to try to tackle being a VP with so little idea of how things really work in the "lower 48"

She needs to go home and look after things there, and let McCain find someone who won't be such an embarrassment every time they open their mouth.
credendovides wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 09:51 am (UTC)
Re: Palin is a "train wreck"
But that would qualify as blinking, and she doesn't blink. (Her eyes must be VERY dry by now.)

My theory has been, from the beginning, that the republicans chose her not for her experience, or what she could bring to the table, but as a distraction for the media so they wouldn't have to face any real issues. With all the various scandals against her, she gets to play the victim, so anything more bad against her would just cause people to roll their eyes instead of consider if there is any merit.

The big flaw with the plan, of course, is that two months is a long time to keep someone under wraps. I think that is starting to come out, and no matter how much they tried to dumb down the VP debate for her, I have a feeling train wreck will be a very good description of what happens next Friday.
Re: Palin is a "train wreck" - emmyjag - Sep. 28th, 2008 10:59 am (UTC) Expand
Re: Palin is a "train wreck" - pennyann - Sep. 28th, 2008 05:41 pm (UTC) Expand
Re: Palin is a "train wreck" - srusso1964 - Sep. 28th, 2008 05:58 pm (UTC) Expand
Re: Palin is a "train wreck" - kamottle - Oct. 1st, 2008 05:31 am (UTC) Expand
Re: Palin is a "train wreck" - srusso1964 - Oct. 1st, 2008 05:43 am (UTC) Expand
fauxklore wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 09:22 am (UTC)
The importance of vice presidential picks is that they give some idea of how the candidates think about building their team. One of the most important things a president does is choose cabinet members (and, even more so as they have life appointments, Supreme Court justices).

I've never seen any evidence, however, that the general public pays much notice to who the vice presidential candidate is.
credendovides wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 09:53 am (UTC)
I've never seen any evidence, however, that the general public pays much notice to who the vice presidential candidate is.


Very true. History has shown that VP pick has never had a huge impact on the polls. But then, I'm not sure if there have been very many VPs who have drawn so much attention. She's gotten more media coverage and more interest than any of the major candidates, despite the protection from the media she has been getting.
hoppytoad79 wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 10:22 am (UTC)
My dad pays attention to the VP candidates and their debates. If she's as 'good' at the debates as she was with Katie Couric Joe Biden's going to look very, very good.
credendovides wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 11:08 am (UTC)
I'm really looking forward to Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert in a couple weeks after the VP debate, if you know what I mean.
miss_sunshine82 wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 10:44 am (UTC)
She can only be seen as a liability - due partly to her inexperience and partly to the fact that she has very uncompromising views which she doesn't seem to have the wit to temper at all. I'm not saying she should prove fickle in her views, but she has to realise that she has to govern an entire and very diverse country - not just the far right,oil-drilling, gun-toting, abortion-hating demographic. The rest of the country needs to see that she can put her personal beliefs second to what's best for the majority. There's been no evidence of that so far - it seems to be her way or the highway.

As for how much it matters - it might not if she was number two to a fresh-faced, fit as a fiddle, presidential hopeful. But she's not. I personally am hoping for an Obama victory anyway, but McCain is perhaps (for me) the best of a bad lot as Republican candidate. His age and less than sparkling health wouldn't have overly troubled me without Palin in his camp but, now that she could be a heartbeat away from the Presidency - the number twos matter more than ever.

Unless she undertakes some emergency media training and learns to live and let live when it comes to people who don't share her very narrow views, Biden's going to chew her up and spit her out.
izuko wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 11:08 am (UTC)
It's always amusing to watch the spin. What is uncompromising in a conservative is "principled" in a liberal.

Oh, and as far as living and letting live, with the exception of abortion (which I really don't care to get into right now), just about all of her "sins" have been of the "this is what I believe, but if you don't, it's ok" variety.

On the other hand, Obama wants to confiscate the wealth of the rich and of the corporations. Yeah, I know, y'all have no sympathy for them. There are good victims and bad victims I notice. He wants to disarm the population (he only switched to supporting the second amendment when the Supreme Court ruled, and his voting record sets lie to his words), and has twice tried to use law enforcement to silence his opposition.

I love watching the left resort to their old stereotypes.
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lurkitty wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 11:00 am (UTC)
Gov. Palin was the Fundamentalist's dream. She came heavily recommended by several very powerful fundie evangelicals, and she appealed to party strategists who decided that a woman, any woman, would pull in the disaffected Hillary vote.

Then she opened her mouth. People began to realize that, no matter how much preparation they did, little Eliza could not be turned into My Fair Candidate.

Usually the VP pick is of little or no consequence, however, there is concern about the state of McCain's health, so some think it is a factor. But I have heard that mostly from the DEmocratic side, not the side that is likely to vote for the ticket.

The dip in the polls may be merely a correction back to the norm. Gov. Palin caused the McCain numbers to swell. As interest in her wanes, we return to the norm where the VP candidates don't matter.

The debate is Biden's to lose. If he appears too aggressive, he'll be perceived as a bully. Too passive and he'll seem patronizing and sexist. The Republicans paint him as a gaffe artist (in reality, Palin is the current champion in this regard) and will be seizing on any flaws.

Of course, there are those who believe that Gov. Palin will suffer some family crisis and have to drop out just before the debate.
reality_hammer wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 12:48 am (UTC)
Ah yes, those all powerful "fundie evangelicals"...so powerful they can pick the VP...but not the President.

Do you actually believe what you write?

Keep lowering the bar for Palin. It worked so well when you did it for both Bush (both of them) and Reagan.
(no subject) - lurkitty - Sep. 29th, 2008 01:42 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - marta - Sep. 29th, 2008 03:51 am (UTC) Expand
izuko wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 11:21 am (UTC)
She hasn't been stellar in the debates, but she's not cringe-worthy, either. She definitely needs some polishing up, though.

The debate will be interesting because, for the first time, they won't be able to edit out her answers.

On the other hand, let's talk about the cringe-worthy things Biden has said...

  • You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking.

  • You don't know my state. My state was a slave state." [in response to why he thinks he would do well in the south.]

  • I mean, you got the first mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.
tyskkvinna wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 01:17 pm (UTC)
LMFAO. :)

Biden is pretty damn good at sticking his foot in his mouth, isn't he?
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adamwolf wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 11:42 am (UTC)
To me, Palin represents everything that's wrong with McCain's approach to this campaign. He's been leaning heavily on his experience, on his reputation as a maverick (disproven by the sudden turn in almost every major issue over the last two years, including his stance on the Iraq war) and on the fact that he's a war veteran. It's been all about who this guy is, rather than what he thinks or what he plans to do with this country.
Similarly, picking Palin as running mate, a woman he admits he barely spoke to and knew very little of, reeks of playing for personality points rather than placing an actual agenda and strategy on the table. She's young (as is Obama), she's a woman (as was Hilary) and she can appeal to the christian community that has nothing to admire in McCain himself. But she has no clear concepts of what she's dealing with.

One interesting, but I think very crucial point in breaking down the republican campaign, is the way Palin talks about Russia. There's been enough talk about how Alaska being 'near' Russia isn't enough to make her have experience with foreign politics, but that's not the real issue: the real issue is the villainisation of Russia, and the constant reference to possible threats coming from that corner and how Putin would somehow 'invade' Russia (I'm not quite sure how to take her comments on that, really). In a very unstable world, where most other countries look at the US with open wariness because of its unilateral approach to conflict, the thinly veiled superiority complex of some of its leaders and the irresponsible financial and economic policies of the past eight years leading right up to a global financial crisis; the wisest thing is not to make even more enemies.
That, and Putin isn't the president of Russia anymore. Implying that a fellow democracy with a strong grasp on the world gas and oil supply and a great influence in Europe and Asia, is actually a dictatorship looking for world dominance, is very unwise.
Both McCain and Palin have been making statements about this, and I find it worrisome that these people might be in charge for the next four years, considering the important part the US still plays (but for how long?) on the world stage.

Is she cringe-worthy? She's far, far worse than that: she doesn't have a diplomatic bone in her body.
seldearslj wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 11:55 am (UTC)
Alaska's one-term governor is hugely popular with voters, but she is also a liability for the Republican ticket

Uh, if she's hugely popular, isn't that the opposite of a liability for the Republican ticket, whether or not she can talk politics?
credendovides wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 12:33 pm (UTC)
Public opinion is a fickle thing. She needs to hold on to that popularity for another month or so. However the graph there hasn't exactly been up and to the right.
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metafrantic wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 12:24 pm (UTC)
The significance of the VP is greater this year than most, I think. On both sides. For the Republicans, there is the concern about McCain's age and health, and the thought that he might die in office and leave the presidency to Palin.

For the Democrats - and I don't know why no one seems to want to talk about this - there's the fact that a black president will be one of the biggest targets for assassination that the US has seen in decades. There was already one incident during the DNC, and although it was declared "not a credible threat", Obama would be (already is) a huge target. And if, God forbid, something did happen to Obama, Biden becomes all the more important. Regardless of how muc risk there actually is to Obama, it's something that some voters are considering.
tyskkvinna wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 01:32 pm (UTC)
I heard Obama's race described as "the elephant in the room" a few days ago and I thought it fit the situation PERFECTLY. On one hand, it's been nice that he hasn't been making it a big deal that he's black. (I think it could just as off-putting to many voters as somebody claiming to be proud of being white. He has stated about his father being from Kenya, but that comes out as being something totally different than race.) But since his campaign has basically ignored his race, they've been ignoring all aspects that go with it. I've been thinking about precisely the same risk.

And I also think that if anybody even remotely connected to the Republican party were to bring this up to the media, they'd be immediately skewered for attempting to "play the race card". Whether or not that's what they were trying to do.
(no subject) - metafrantic - Sep. 28th, 2008 01:43 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - izuko - Sep. 28th, 2008 06:23 pm (UTC) Expand
newdadin09 wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 01:43 pm (UTC)
The use of "painful-to-watch", "woeful", and "yawning" indicate to me that you only want to hear from people who agree with you. Is this correct?
only1opinion wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 01:49 pm (UTC)
Re: Palin is a "train wreck"
Is she a liability? Absolutely. Maybe she's uncomfortable. Maybe the level of scrutiny she's been under, especially in relation to the economic crisis, is more than she expected or can handle at this time. It's possible that she's just not great at answering questions on the spot. Who knows. The problem is that it doesn't matter why she's seemingly incapable of giving a straight answer, even when asked her opinion. What matter is only that the problem exists.

By definition, if McCain wins the presidential race, Palin will be in a leadership role in this country. In times of crisis and uncertainty, the American people look to their leaders for explanations and proposed resolutions. How can comfort and surety come from someone who is incapable of making the people understand what she is talking about or stands for. If something should happen to McCain, were he too ill or something to run his office, do the American people feel that being a "fresh new face" is enough to guide our country? I don't think so.

This being the case, how could she be anything other than a liability?
newdadin09 wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 01:58 pm (UTC)
Yeah -- Palin is the embarrassing one.




tyskkvinna wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 02:16 pm (UTC)
I have a very strong dislike for Palin. I seem to be one of the few people outside of Alaska who actually knew who she was prior to the VP announcement. And I did not like her then. To me, she's always come across as very condescending when it comes to viewpoints. In such a manner that suggests "I know *I* am right, but you can go on believing whatever you want, that's fine. I'm still right." I do, however, like that she has (From what I can tell) kept most of her personal views from dominating her governing. I've heard conflicting opinions on her view on sex education, so I'm not sure there.

I don't like that she is not well-travelled at all. I believe foreign policy to be very important and she has shown significant ignorance in that area. (Especially when she jumped into her "good guy, bad guy" speech during a recent interview....)

I don't like that Alaska has received the largest amount of money per-capita of federal earmarking, while at the same time she severely decreased the taxes and income inside of Alaska. She did decrease the amount federally, though, so I guess that was a step in the right direction.

But above all else, what I don't like about Palin is the same thing that will guarantee I won't vote for McCain: they're both very poor communicators. Anybody can talk from a script, and some can do it wel (both of them certainly can) but both have failed to impressive me when talking off-script. She can't convey herself well, she ends up sounding very ignorant, naive, and clueless. She'll sound very defensive and aggitated at the drop of a hat, and gets around it by jumping into a monologue that may or may not have anything to really do with the subject at hand.

If she can manage to carry her own in the debate, I'll be exceedingly impressive. And may even consider changing who I'll vote for. But communication is at the top of my short list this year, because I've seen how disastrous it can be without it.
only1opinion wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 02:23 pm (UTC)
You've made some good points about her history in relation to Alaska, and I believe your feeling that overall communication skills are a must is likely the feeling throughout most of the US. With such an overall inability to communicatte, how would either candidate, but especially Palin, be able to engage effectively in diplomatic coversations with allies or non-allies? I don't think the outcome could be favorable if, when sitting down with world leaders, the Vice President of the United States were to begin a monalogue about something entirely non related to the issue before them.
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storm_shadow_k wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 02:40 pm (UTC)
Palin is a trap, that is what McCain appointed her to be and that is what she is. She won't cost him in the polls, but if Obama and Biden attack her? They will come off as sexist and push more women into the McCain camp.
only1opinion wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 03:00 pm (UTC)
I hope you are wrong in your final statement. As a woman, I have to believe that there are more women, like me, who are intelligent enough to understand that when someone is incapable and called on it, then it doesn't matter if it is a man calling out a woman or the other way around. I believe that, should Obama and/or Biden comment on her lack of communication skills and overall naivety, most women would recognize where the were coming from, whether they agree ar disagree with the statement. I also think that she could hinder McCain's ratings because, as women, we do have pride in our ability to effectively handle the jobs we engage in, and it is somewhat embarrassing to see a woman running for office and having her party bail her out ever time she misspeaks in public.
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