Speak Softly

I’ve got to be completely and totally honest, I’m more nervous about the upcoming vice presidential debate than you might speak.

Two things concern me.  The first is that Biden is a notorious gaffe-factory.  Had McCain picked a boring old white guy like we all expected him to, this would have been fine; there would have been a very low risk of Biden saying something offensive.  But McCain picked a woman, and Biden is the guy that once referred to his own running mate as the first “clean” and “articulate” African-American presidential candidate.

It’s not that Joe’s heart is in the wrong place, it’s just that all too often his mouth is.  That he will be debating a woman opens him up to all sorts of pitfalls that could lead to inadvertant sexist gaffes.

The other thing that really has me worrying is, well, what if this is all an act?  What if Governor Palin has been faking the level of dumb for the past few weeks?  You try to lower expectations for debates, and in that regard, Palin couldn’t go into Thursday’s debate with expectations any lower.  Now if she just does moderately better than she has been lately, that would be okay; I think expectations are so low that even if she exceeds them by a little bit it’s not going to create an awful lot of confidence among the public.

But if she gets up on that stage and all of a sudden starts giving first rate lecture on anything, that could end up being a big deal.

Thankfully, the Biden debate prep strategy has been to essentially ignore Palin completely.  Biden’s goal through the debate is to go after McCain, and let Palin be Palin.  Personally, I think that is how you have to play this.  If Palin really is as unprepared for prime time as we’ve all been left to believe, Joe has nothing to gain from going after her.

Also, unless Palin has some super secret smarts that she has been hiding from us since her selection, her spin crew is going to be paying far more attention to Biden’s words than hers; looking for even the narrowest opening for attack. And when I mean attack, I don’t mean issues based attack, but personal, something to drive the focus away from the issues and back into the “silly season” type stuff that the McCain campaign has been desperate to achieve.

If Palin actually turns out to be really smart; well, at least no one votes for the bottom of the ticket.

3 Responses to “Speak Softly”

  1. Ian says:

    The problem with the idea that she has tried to fool us over the past 1-2 weeks, is that this has led to irreversible damage. Even if she comes through with a brilliant debate, she will never regain the position or will the McCain campaign, that they had immediately after her announcement.

  2. Count me as a pessimist until it’s over, how about that?

  3. Jan in CT says:

    The problem that I see: the bar has been set so low that if she gets onto the stage without falling she will be deemed to have won.

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