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Obama-McCain Debate #2
Tuesday, 2008 October 7 - 10:38 pm
It seems that neither candidate is really determined to win any of these debates. Or actually answer any questions.

That's a strategy that works just fine for Obama, who is ahead and extending his lead each day. But you'd think McCain would need to take more chances at this point.

There were a few interesting moments. One was when McCain attacked Obama for engaging in too much bellicose rhetoric against Pakistan, and Obama came right back and talked about McCain's infamous "bomb bomb Iran" bit. It actually looked like McCain winced at that point.

Another was when McCain was talking about something that he voted against, and said "Who voted for it? That one," as he gestured at Obama. I don't think he meant anything by it, but it smacked of condescension; if Biden had referred to Palin as "that one", you can bet the McCain campaign would immediately cry "elitism".

But otherwise, it was a lot of repetition of points made in the first debate, and then a lot of meaningless fluff. That doesn't particularly help McCain, who really needed to score big points against Obama. Obama, just by sounding presidential and not making any gaffes, comes out ahead.

Oh, and as for the Biden-Palin debate? Well, obviously, Tina Fey's SNL bit says more than I ever could, but I'll say this: Palin is not only unqualified, she's dangerously unqualified. She engages in the worst kinds of demagoguery, dumbing down political issues into sound bites while using the same old "disagreement is unpatriotic" rhetoric that got us into the Iraq war.

Now, I read an argument on Phil's blog that mocking Palin for her ignorance is counterproductive; that if Democrats mock someone with whom many Americans identify, it will end up backfiring. But I disagree with that. By mocking Palin and exposing her as an airhead, it makes Americans less likely to identify with her, and thus takes away her sole political advantage. People no longer relate to her as the neighborhood hockey mom; they now resent her as an over-privileged Miss Alaska pageant contestant.

Further evidence? Her poll numbers have plummeted in the last few weeks, and you gotta believe that SNL's wildly popular Tina Fey sketches have had something to do with that.
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Posted by Ken in: politics


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