Palin did well in last night’s debate. It is because of three things. One is that the scrutiny of moderator Gwen Ifill’s ethics forced her to blunt any harder questions. I’d be curious to see what got scrapped. Two is that Joe Biden had to be careful what he said to a woman. He handled that well. Third is most important: expectations were low, thanks to a condescending Charlie Gibson interview, and most definitely thanks to a condescending Katie Couric interview. This last is most interesting, because it points to a larger failure of Couric and other reporters to “get the story.” So Katie Couric deserves gratitude for allowing her own airs to win a debate for the GOP. More on that in a moment.
Prior to last night, the bipartisan conventional wisdom (such as it is in the beltway) was that Palin had energized the base, but after a few bad interviews, was about to be the McCain campaign’s albatross. Yet it was fairly clear from the start of the show that the Alaskan governor has put to rout all the claims on both sides that she is an embarrassment. She, a hockey mom, small town mayor, and amateur governor, was able to compete with the biggest mouth in the Senate, a lawyer, a 35-year politician. There’s nothing embarrassing about that. (Not for her, anyway.)
Biden himself avoided the major gaffes and policy detours that are his hallmark. Shockingly, he never went after Palin, sticking only to McCain. Smart.
NOW, DEBATES don’t decide anything, especially the vice presidential debate. They’re not even real debates. From the first primary debate onward, these spectacles have only been opportunities for candidates to expand on the slogans they bandy about on the campaign trail. Strangely, these may well be a better method of getting to know candidates than sit-down interviews with candidates. I have in mind Katie Couric’s interview which has been hailed by both sides as an embarrassment for Palin. That could be true, but the debate performance makes me only think that it was more a failure of Couric.
A popular theme is that the press alone is in a position to vet the presidential candidates, particularly in sit-down interviews. (MSNBC’s David Shuster said so to me in one TV exchange.) Of course, it’s primarily circulated by the press, so at least killing the messenger also kills the source. This is tempting, because whenever I consider that my own decision-making process hinges on Katie Couric’s reportorial know-how, I feel a little ill.p>From Ann Althouse : br> /p>
Couric: Are there Supreme Court decisions you disagree with?br> How did he do that? He continues: br>
Biden: You know, I’m the guy who wrote the Violence Against Women Act. And I said that every woman in America, if they are beaten and abused by a man, should be able to take that person to court - meaning you should be able to go to federal court and sue in federal court the man who abused you if you can prove that abuse. But they said, “No, that a woman, there’s no federal jurisdiction.” And I held, they acknowledged, I held about 1,000 hours of hearings proving that there’s an effect in interstate commerce.
Women who are abused and beaten and beaten are women who are not able to be in the work force. And the Supreme Court said, “Well, there is an impact on commerce, but this is federalizing a private crime and we’re not going to allow it.” I think the Supreme Court was wrong about that decision.br> Althouse points out: “‘Federalizing a private crime’? Huh? Where are the follow up questions?” Read her post for an explanation as to why his experience seems more boneheaded in light of this phrase. Suffice to say that spousal abuse doesn’t immediately offend me on the grounds that it affects interstate commerce. Call me insensitive.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?