Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Yoni School (US) Election Watch Pt. 9

Sarah Palin Ain't Got It

I've been watching the clips of Sarah Palin's what is it now...2? major TV interviews, the latest with Katie Couric. She is quite obviously way out of her depth. She can't even give good answers to questions from mere journalists, never mind heavyweights.

The quality of her responses to the most important questions the US is facing today is no better than you might expect from an average high school student not quite prepared for the exam. Or, let's say, no better than the average Fox News watcher. Seriously. I mean, I remember what I used to do when I wasn't quite sure of the answer. She parrots the party line, speaks in generalities, and wanders away from the question because she simply doesn't have the facts at her fingertips. Really, the Murricans should expect much better from their vice-presidential candidates.

I mean, really...any idjit can say Eye-ran poses a potential nuclear danger and we shouldn't talk to them until they say "Uncle". Any idjit can say the US will obtain a victory in Eye-raq whether they like it or not. Any idjit can say we must support Israel because otherwise we're risking another holocaust. But Sarah Palin is not just any idjit. She's the vice-presidential idjit. (And I don't care whether she's the governor of a state...even us smug Canajuns have been known to elect idjits.)

And I'll pass without comment on some of her more outré ideas about the history of the world. However, my friend Windsor sent me a quip from Kieran O'Shea, in response to a question posed on the Cafferty File
"I'm terrified at the prospect that [Sarah Palin] could someday become president. Someone who believes that humans domesticated dinosaurs should never have access to nuclear codes."
Nuff said.

Obama Fails to Take De Bate

Meanwhile, I know it's already old news, but hey! I'm not the Canajun Press! I watched the first presidential debate and here's my take on it.

Although Obama didn't lose the debate, I don't think he won either. He made his points but not with the kind of fire I would have liked to see. And he almost entirely failed to scoop up the innumerable opportunities for drama that McCain spread out on the table for him.

Here's what I think Obama should have said:

1. Mr. McCain, I'd like you to look me square in the eye when you make false or distorted statements about my platform and my record. Do you think you can do that?

2. After the second or third time of McCain saying, "Mr. Obama just doesn't understand..." he should have said, "Come off it, McCain, who is the one who doesn't understand? Here we have clear evidence (economic meltdowns, Iraqi morasses...) that things are not working very well, and you are the one proposing we stay the course. Either you are misleading the Murrican people or you simply don't understand!" And I mean, put some force behind it.

3. Never mind portraying the cool head under pressure. In my books, it's OK to display exasperation when it's warranted or can be effective. When McCain said, "Victory in Iraq is the central issue of our times..." Obama should have stopped him dead in his tracks and nailed him to the wall. (McCain certainly didn't have any scruples about interrupting Obama...) He should have said, "John, John, two things: First, the war in Iraq is certainly high on the list of priorities but I'll tell you right now that several million mortgage holders have another issue which is the central issue of our times. And second...Victory! Victory over whom? These Iraqis over here? Or those Iraqis over there? Are you suggesting we are fighting for a victory over Iraqis? Victory over Al Qaeda? That's a non-starter since Al Qaeda didn't exist in Iraq until we invaded...I challenge you to define "victory" in Iraq and tell the Murrican people how you intend to achieve this!"

All in all, Obama was just too polite, too agreeable. He spent too much time agreeing with McCain and being defensive when there was no need. McCain had his talking points, to which he returned over and over, no matter the question. Victory. Maverick. Obama doesn't understand...All of which are eminently assailable. Obama should have done more wailing and assailing.

(And one last little footnote: I nearly puked when I heard McCain say, "I know the vets. I know them and I love them and I'll take care of them..." Thank you thank you Papa McCain. Your paternalism warms the cockles of my cynical heart.)

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