Live Blogging the Vice President Debate

Predatory Lendors Are At Fault?
6:12 PM: Since when? Not according to any Republicans you talk to. If you really believe that a McCain/Palin ticket is going to increase oversight on anything, I have a bridge to nowhere to sell you

6:26 PM: Isn’t it funny how John McCain is claiming that Obama supports tax increases when:

1. Palin raised taxes a Govenor of Wasilla to fund her sports complex
2. Alan Greenspan says that we can’t afford McCain’s tax cutes
3. McCain’s health care plan is a HUGE tax increase on employers. HUGE.


Biden: “McCain’s health care redistribution to insurance companies tax is the ultimate bridge to nowhere”

Global Warming

6:32 PM : Did Palin just deny the existence of global warming? Yes, yes she did.

Slate on Rape Kits:

Palin says that Obama called drilling raping the environment. Does she support paying for rape kits for the wilderness?


51% of Americans View Sarah Palin as Unqualified

And apparently, Palin is the cause of McCain slipping in the polls:

new Quinnipiac and Pew polls provide evidence to the contrary. Specifically, Pew finds that 51% of Americans now believe that Palin is unqualified, up from 37% after her announcement. (Pew’s Andrew Kohut writes: “There is a clear correlation between views of Palin’s qualifications and support for McCain, which may be hurting the GOP candidate. Fewer people see her as qualified to become president, and the balance of opinion toward Palin has grown more negative since early September.”)

What Are The Pundits Saying About The Palin Pick?

What are the pundits saying about the Palin pick?

* Charles Krauthammer: “The Palin selection completely undercuts the argument about Obama’s inexperience and readiness to lead…. To gratuitously undercut the remarkably successful ‘Is he ready to lead’ line of attack seems near suicidal.”

* Noah Millman, presenting a defense for Palin: “I realize, of course, that she’s totally unqualified to be President at this point in time. If McCain were to die in February 2009, I hope Palin would have the good sense to appoint someone who is more ready to be President to be her Vice President, on the understanding that she would then resign and be appointed Vice President by her successor.”

* Ramesh Ponnuru called it “tokenism,” adding, “Can anyone say with a straight face that Palin would have gotten picked if she were a man?”

* David Frum: “The longer I think about it, the less well this selection sits with me. And I increasingly doubt that it will prove good politics. The Palin choice looks cynical…. It’s a wild gamble, undertaken by our oldest ever first-time candidate for president in hopes of changing the board of this election campaign. Maybe it will work. But maybe (and at least as likely) it will reinforce a theme that I’d be pounding home if I were the Obama campaign: that it’s John McCain for all his white hair who represents the risky choice, while it is Barack Obama who offers cautious, steady, predictable governance…. If it were your decision, and you were putting your country first, would you put an untested small-town mayor a heartbeat away from the presidency?”

* An email to National Review: “As much as I loathe Obama-Biden, I can’t in good conscience vote for a McCain-Palin ticket. Palin has absolutely no experience in foreign affairs. Considering both McCain’s advanced age and the state of the world today, it is essential that the veep be exceedingly qualified to assume the office of president. I simply don’t have any confidence in Palin’s ability to deal effectively with Iran, Russia, China, etc.”

* Mark Halperin: “On the face of it, McCain has failed the ultimate test that any presidential candidate must face in picking a running mate: selecting someone who is unambiguously qualified to be president.”

Marc Ambinder A few I spoke with or e-mailed were optimistic, using phrases like “brilliant” and “game-changing.” One GOP strategist who has worked with Palin says she’s coated with Teflon — “attack at your peril.” She “renews McCain’s maverick credentials.” One person close to Romney said she “looks like a real reformer. She’s done what Obama’s talked about.”

A few are cautiously optimistic that it’ll turn out OK, but most of the strategists and consultants I’ve spoken to, e-mailed with, or read/watched are struggling with it. ck.

Conservative activists, almost to the man and woman, LOVE the pick.

Palin as McCain VP

Palin as VP? It’s such a good idea that i never have to worry about it happening.

A National Review reader explains the rationale:

I think Obama’s pick of Biden coupled with his decision not to vet Hillary has given McCain a huge and I MEAN HUGE opportunity to tip this election his way. If McCain chooses a woman, especially a pro-life, conservative, out of the beltway type for VP (Sarah Palin being the best of the bunch) he would energize the conservative base AND siphon off enough disgruntled Hillary voters to win this election. I think a Palin pick would nudge just a small enough percentage of disaffected, swing state, working class, soccer Mom-type Hillary supporters to tilt the playing field McCain’s way in Ohio, Michigan, Florida and maybe even Pennsylvania.

If McCain can nab 10-15 percent of Hillary’s primary voters (which seems within reach after Clinton’s down in the mouth body language today and Carville and Begala’s ‘she was never vetted’ bent out of whack public postures on CNN), he wins this thing comfortably.

He may very well still get to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. with a Romney or a Pawlenty, but I think a bold choice like Palin would go for the jugular and win this election with some real conviction.

Besides, Palin has problems of her own right now.

You’d Expect him to be following it around in a Buick…

Jonah Goldberg has by far the funniest description of Joe Biden that I’ve seen:

what’s fascinating — and what might be distracting some folks from seeing his underlying-yet-occassional smarts — is that he lets his ego and vanity get in the way. The man loves his voice so much, you’d expect him to be following it around in a grey Buick, in defiance of restraining order, as it walks home from school. He seems to think his teeth are some kind of hypnotic punctuation marks which can momentarily disorient the listener and absolve him from any of Western civilization’s usual imperatives to stop talking. Listening to him speechify is like playing an intellectual game of whack-a-mole where every now and then the fuzzy head of a good point pops up from the tundra but before you can pin it down, he starts talking about how he went to the store and saw a squirrel on the way and it was brown which brings to mind Brown V. Board of Ed…

Joe Biden: The Pro’s and The Con’s

One of the great things that’s come about because of the Biden VP pick is all the interesting analysis on the strength’s and weakness of an Obama-Biden ticket. Let’s see what people on the intertubes are saying:

(Note: I didn’t list the sources of the quotes because I wanted people to focus more on the points being made rather than dismissing them because they’re “liberal” or “conservative”. In fact you might be surprised at the ideology of many of these people.)


Biden has foreign policy meat on his bones…He’s a great debater… he’s the party’s best foreign policy surrogate… world leaders call him...he has a working-class Scranton-bred Irish-Catholic heritage…he knows Washington very well…he has known tragedy in his life..


In picking Sen. Joe Biden to be his running mate, Barack Obama sought to shore up his weakness — inexperience in office and on foreign policy — rather than underscore his strength as a new-generation candidate defying political conventions

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