Biden v. Palin: Who Won?

Obviously, there has been talk about who won the VP candidate debate last night. Here are two opposing views:

Sarah Palin won the debate.

Joe Biden won the debate.

Personally, I think Joe Biden did better.

Yes, Sarah Palin had more flash and showed more style. And yes she had many more clever one-liners, personal attacks and zingers.

Unfortunately, when I watch a debate, I like details, answers to questions and statements that can be backed up by information and facts. Joe Biden’s responses had waaaaaay more substance. He was certainly more boring (no flirty winks and folksy phrases from him), but he gave a lot more actual insight into his positions, and defended his statements with facts, rather than pulling out catchphrases like “maverick” (McCain’s maverick days were over in 2006 when he started pandering the GOP “base”), “God bless America,” “hockey mom” and “middle class people like me.”

Palin didn’t crumble, and she did remain mostly confident (except for the brief 10-15 seconds toward the end when she paused, visibly struggling to gather her talking points to make a response to a particularly well-articulated onslaught of facts from Biden). So in that way, she exceed the extremely low expectations that the McCain campaign and the media did their best to propagate.

Yes, both were scripted, and both had particular talking points. It’s the way political debate is conducted now. But at least Biden’s script had more concrete information, rather than a bunch of partriotic sounding platitudes.

Tags: Sarah Palin, Joe Biden, vice president debate, Sarah Palin debate,
Joe Biden debate, Election 2008

8 thoughts on “Biden v. Palin: Who Won?”

  1. I agree, I think Biden won. I also agreed with your thinking behind why he won. I just hope the American public can see through the catch phrases and some of the stunts that might make Palin SEEM or SOUND more appealing. But facts are facts. Besides its hard to doubt and not be impressed by Biden’s amazing 30+ years in the Senate and all he has accomplished during his time there.

  2. I agree, Biden is more experienced than Palin is, and I agree that his record is great. HOWEVER, we are also voting for the President: McCain or Obama. Based on experience and records (which it seems this post / these comments are about), then I cannot see how one can side with Obama.

    It is important to pick a leader who is proven, has the experience/judgment and can work across party lines. Who is that man? John McCain- not because he is the best choice out of all politicians, but because he has more of everything that Obama does have.

    More of my thoughts:

  3. I was merely commenting on this particular debate. Honestly, a lot of Washington experience isn’t terribly important to me. I like a ticket to have some, since it is important to know how the political system in Washington works, but I don’t think that the top of the ticket needs a ton. As it is, I think Obama has a nice balance. Biden can help out when it’s important, without being too overbearing, I think.

    At any rate, on the issues that are most important to me: economy, healthcare, and education, Obama more closely matches my preferences. And as economy becomes even more important, someone whose policies are more likely to help the middle class is important to me.

    I liked the John McCain that ran in 2000. I voted for him in the Republican primary. That McCain was a bit of a maverick, and had a lot of my respect. Unfortunately, since he began pandering to “the base” in 2006 in an effort to reach the top of the ticket, I have not been nearly as impressed. His judgment regarding the Iraq War and the economy have both borne out as ill-conceived, and since 2006 he has been toeing the party line much more closely.

    Obama has an energy that I like, and he really does seem to be an agent for change. Unfortunately, McCain seems an agent for caving — since that is what he has done.

  4. Obama’s message is the same as every single presidential nominee- “change”. I understand why you like Obama, I honestly do. I think he is a great speaker and has a lot of potential- but not now: in the future.

    I think that experience is extremely important- Obama has already been dangerously close to sparking international tensions by revealing that he would attack Pakistan. I see terrible judgment, a lack of experience, and a man who can not sit back and gain experience. I mean, after only a handful of time spend on a job, I know no one who is qualified to become a CEO. That is essential what Obama is trying to do.

    I think his message of change is a great one- God knows we need it!

    However, there is no evidence that Obama can bring it… none at all.

    He has never lead a business. That alone has a very negative impact on his experience.

    Check out my blog at I will be posting a big blog entry tonight.

    Take care,

  5. We will just have to agree to disagree, Jeremy. McCain has not shown me he can bring change, either. Instead of sticking to the values and true change espoused in his 2000 run, he himself has changed into the exact thing he used to be against. I guess that’s change — in a way. But it’s a change in him from true independence to the status quo.

    I don’t even want to get into how I feel about McCain’s judgment. Everyone makes mistake (including Obama — I certainly do not think he’s perfect), but McCain’s judgment on a number of issues that are important to me from health care to the economy to education is, in my opinion, seriously flawed. I have written extensively on this and other blogs about specific reasons I like Obama on certain issues that resonate most strongly with me personally.

    Of course, different people will have different priorities (like my mom and dad and much of my family), and that will mean that they think McCain will do a better job. And that’s fine. It’s why we have elections. So that we as a people can set our priorities and decide by the voice of the people, who collectively (through a form of a majority) will best represent our interests. Obviously, no one candidate can completely represent everyone. And, obviously, I’m not going to completely agree with anyone. But Obama’s who I agree with on most things that matter most to me.

    And about Pakistan. Obama never said he would attack Pakistan. Let me pull a Biden and repeat that: Obama never said he would attack Pakistan. I was watching the debate and watched as McCain spun that one for all it’s worth. What Obama said that he wanted to work with Pakistan diplomatically, but if bin Laden were in our sights and if — and only if — the Pakistani government was unwilling or unable to help in the operation, then we would take bin Laden down.

    Which is, I think, a perfectly reasonable position. Obama has been very clear about this on a number of occasions, and it is outright spinmastering to suggest otherwise.

  6. Well it certainly sounds like you have done your research and have identified Obama as the man to represent you and your values. I thank you very much for researching, instead of just “following the flow” as many people have.

    I still stand by my statements that Obama simply does not have the experience, record, judgment, etc to lead.

    Did you hear about how Obama interfered with US/Iraq talks? (I wrote about it w/sources: Is that good judgment? No, not at all. He could make a massive blunder one day and piss off a lot of countries.

    As far as change- throughout McCain’s career I have seen nothing but reform and the willingness to counter party leader’s opinions and stand up for what he believes in. On that other hand, Obama has not done that.

    Simply put, I don’t know who Obama is. America doesn’t know who Obama is. He has been way too secretive about many things, and his associations with radicals and terrorists and convicted felons scares me.

  7. Honestly, you’re not going to convince me, and you’ve reached the point where you are fear-mongering with the same character assassination that has become a staple of the GOP playbook.

    Your defense of McCain’s experience and record is able, and that’s the sort of debate I prefer, as opposed to your closing statements referring to rumors, half-truths, omissions and innuendo. If you want to talk actual issues and policies, that is fine. There are plenty of openings for reasoned and well-crafted arguments against Obama’s policy proposals. But this “Obama is a shady character” and “Obama is a bad person” stuff is not my idea of an actual political debate.

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