Thursday, October 2, 2008

Palin Postmortem, Pt. 2: The Voters Weigh In

The Washington Post hosted an on-line forum following the vice-presidential debate tonight, and the results are not necessarily good for Sarah Palin. Some voters liked her performance, but many more questioned her vague and non-responsive answers.

Here's a quick sample from the Post, with their cities identified in boldface:
Los Angeles: I have the feeling that a lot of people made up their minds in the past ten days, to the detriment of the McCain campaign. Palin didn't go down in flames, but her performance was still like a caricature of herself. She showed she can spew talking points, but not that she can think on her feet. Biden wins.

Liberty, Mo.: Who was Gov. Palin trying to attract through her references to Ronald Reagan? What do you make of her interpretation (flexibility) of the vice president's role? I am not a Palin supporter. I didn't hear much substance in her remarks this evening.

Santa Rosa, Calif.: She's got moxie and confidence in spades -- I'll give her that -- but otherwise seems mostly bluster and bluff and not a lot of real substance based on lengthy experience. One thing I noted that was good: She looked directly at the camera as though addressing each of us. It appears Bidden picked up on this and followed suit -- good move.

Boston: Palin said nothing concrete. She couldn't produce any evidence and avoided answering questions that she struggled with. I think Biden won the debate hands down.


Tulsan said...

Josh Marshall over at TPM:

"We were just talking about why Palin did better tonight than she did in her interviews. I think it's actually very simple. No follow ups. It's not a criticism of Gwen Ifill. It wasn't the format she was supposed to work with. But if you look at Palin's interview trainwrecks things always got bad on the follow up -- when the interviewer (Gibson or Couric) pressed her on the nebulous answer for some specifics, which she couldn't provide. That's the difference."

Tulsan said...

Speaking of the Washington Post, one of the name conservative columnists, Charles Krauthammer, says this of Obama in today's column:

"Like Palin, he's a rookie, but in his 19 months on the national stage he has achieved fluency in areas in which he has no experience. In the foreign policy debate with McCain, as in his July news conference with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Obama held his own -- fluid, familiar and therefore plausibly presidential."

"...Nonetheless, he's got both a first-class intellect and a first-class temperament. That will likely be enough to make him president."

Even this highly partisan writer acknowledges that Palin and Obama are worlds apart in knowledge and credibility.

Obama's campaign has demonstrated that he understands the difference between strategy and tactics much better than McCain.

Alternative Tulsa said...

tulsan: Interesting comments in both cases. Thanks for citing them.

Tulsan said...

You're welcome. I suspect that Krauthammer's airs of being an intellectual weighed on him in the writing of this column. He has been a fairly shameless GOP shill, but the thought of endorsing a ticket with the obviously mindless Palin was finally too much for him.

TheEuclideanOne said...

I think that it was pretty clear as to what the difference was: scripted vs non-scripted material. When she has to go off script, she totally falls apart. Her performance in the debate was a direct result of a team of coaches and experts preparing all of her answers for her. Although she did a great job of repeating back rehearsed answers that were taught to her in the previous month, it reminds me of somebody doing well at a job interview as a result of memorizing answers to questions that might be asked. She got pretty lucky by not getting many questions that she didn't study and a debate format that didn't accommodate follow-ups. She might actually get the job if the interviewer did not know better, but would not do a good job of it and it would be pretty clear on the first week on the job. Unfortunately for her, I think that it was obvious to many as to why she dodged the questions that were not on the script.