Pollster.com

Articles and Analysis

 

What's A Win?: VP Debate Edition

Topics: Dan Quayle , Debates , George H.W. Bush , Joe Biden , Lloyd Bentsen , Michael Dukakis , Sarah Palin

CNN and CBS, the two networks that released surveys immediately after the presidential debate last week, have done the same for the Vice Presidential debate. Presumably, the methodologies are comparable to those used on Friday. Their online reports are not yet online, but by the magic of TiVo, I managed to get the results off the air.  [Update: Both reports are now available -- I added links below].

CNN conducted a telephone survey among previously interviewed respondents who planned to watch the debate:

  • 51% said Biden "did the best job," compared to 36% for Palin.
  • 64% said Biden did better than they expected, 14% said he did worse than expected, 20% said he did the same as they expected.
  • 84% said Palin did better than they expected, 7% said he did worse than expected, 8% said she did the same as they expected.
  • Asked before the debate if Sarah Palin is "qualified to be president," 42% said yes and 54% said no. After the debate, 46% said yes and 53% said no.

CBS again followed up with a survey of uncommitted voters (those totally undecided or who say they might still change their minds) using the Knowledge Networks nationally representative online panel:

  • 46% said Biden won the debate, 21% said Palin won, 33% saw it as a tie.
  • 18% of these originally uncommitted voters made up their minds to support Obama, 10% made up their minds to support McCain, 71% were still uncommitted.
  • 53% said their opinion of Joe Biden changed for the better, 5% for the worse and 42% said their opinion did not change
  • 55% said their opinion of Sarah Palin changed for the better, 14% for the worse and 30% said their opinion did not change


So two surveys say viewers thought Biden won, although neither broadcast indicated how partisans or independents within their samples reacted. We will have to wait for their online reports to learn more.

However, for now, consider this reality check from a debate held 20 years ago this week. Most of us remember the famous line delivered by Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Lloyd Bentsen to Republican VP nominee Dan Quayle on October 5, 1988: "Senator, You're No Jack Kennedy." Twenty years ago, CBS News conducted a panel-back telephone survey using a methodology similar to that used by CNN tonight. Here are the results I found in the archives (subs. req'd.) of the The Hotline:

  • 50% thought Bentsen won, 27% thought Quayle won (only 44% of Republicans gave it to Quayle, 23% to Bentsen).
  • Before the debate, 37% said Quayle was "qualified to be president," while 52% said they "would be worried." After the debate, 47% said Quayle was qualified, 48% said they would be worried.
  • Support for Michael Dukakis rose from 43% to 46% during the debate among those who watched; support for George H. W. Bush was unchanged at 51%

A similar survey conducted immediately after the debate by ABC News showed Bentsen winning 51% to 27%.

Now look at the chart the Charles Franklin put together featuring the results of all of the horse-race polls conducted during the 1988 campaign. Again, the debate was held on October 5. The second presidential debate between Bush and Dukakis washeld on October 13. During early October, support for Bush was increasing. Dan Quayle may have lost the debate, but it mattered little to the decisions voters were making.


081708_1988Polls2

So don't be surprised if last night's debate makes little difference to voters' preferences.

 

Comments
C.S.Strowbridge:

McCain needed a game changer from Palin.
He got a closer match than many expected, but Biden still won.

Can't see it helping McCain in the polls.

____________________

common sense:

Michael Jordan - obama's sport's idol. Dean Smith - four corners. It's about over. I don't expect anyone to get what I'm trying to say.

____________________

joecooper:

Well, that was fun.

She's a Trivial Pursuit question just waiting to happen.

____________________

Stephen Wrght:

McCain needed a game changer and that did not happen. People "like" Palin but she is "not qualified." We have some ways to go and McSame could change the subject (especially if national security becomes the focus), but the clock is running out fast.

____________________

Stephen Wrght:

Maine and Nebraska are the only two states that divide their electoral votes porportionately. McCain might win one or two from Maine and Obama one or two from Nebraska. How exactly they apportion their votes is an interesting question, especially since if the electroal race is close there are a number of combinations that result in a 269 tie without Maine and Nebraska being divided.

____________________

common sense:

Biden went to a 98 per cent confidence rating after this debate. Please people - give me a rational reason to vote for McCain/Palin. This site is full of nuts on both sides. Big Mike - are you out there? I am partisan. I am a Democrat. I love my country. My mother(deceased) told me that when she was growing up she could not afford to be a Republican. My father is a World War II Vet and is a McCain supporter. My kids both live in Nashville and are enthusiatic for Obama. I think Obama will win. The only thing that will save McCain is racism.

____________________

common sense:

Dear Republican Cowards - you republicans are pathetic. You voted for Bush -twice. If any of you have an ounce of integrity - please tell me why you are supporting McCain? I know it is late butit's only eleven o'clock on the left coast. OK- the left coast is blue. Despite that - Anybody have the guts to debate? I think not.

____________________

Stephen Wrght:

Naw, the only thing that will save McSame is a fabricated or real national security emergency or voting machine fraud. The republican party will not give up easily.

____________________

johncoz:

Well, Palin didn't sink the McCain campaign, for which I suppose they are duly grateful. But that's about it. The fact that she was glued to her pre-canned little scripts meant Biden was able to make his points largely unimpeded and with authority. He is there to add the lustre of "experience" to the Obama team, and he succeeded.

So as the McCain camp sets sail from Michigan for other parts of a distinctly stormy electoral map, they in reality have little to celebrate apart from the fact that they are still afloat. Just.

____________________

common sense:

Obama wins - Yes Obama Wins . No guts GOP.

____________________

keytype123:

Well as a McCain supporter I am no a bit less dispirited.The good thing about having been so far behind is that the juveniles are gone from thsi site as they only had them selves to talk to so we can have rational debate.
1.Will be less dispirited on a rising level with this scenario.1.Rep's pass the rescue package and the economy/stock market settles.2.McCain does at least ok in the next debate.3.The polls in Virginia/NC/Fla/Col/Oh move to even.4.McCain does at least ok in the last debate.5.Election day McCain holds all Bush states except Iowa/NM/Col but wins NH and one from Maine or loses Iowa/NM and wins Col.

____________________

keytype123:

Of course as little less dispirited because of Palin's dfebate performance.The MSM/SNL/Daily Show will have to change their presentation of her as some sort of ditz which she showed she is clearly not.The base will be again energised.

____________________

common sense:

guys and gals (though I suspect that it is guys) - McCain is cooked - you know it and I know it. Let's move on to how to improve the Bill that will pass tomorrow can be constructed to address the nation's needs. The Election is now a formality. Obama will win. We need to come together to save us all from economic collapse.

____________________

common sense:

GOP : COWARDS Cowards, Cowards - give me a reason to vote Gop - you are cowards cowards. Sarah Palin is a coward John McCain is not a coward - just a hothead. Republican candidates - phonies and frauds.

____________________

keytype123:

I take it back-"Common sense" lowered the tone straight away.Please go away all such kiddies and leave the adults to discuss rationally.

____________________

Have a look at the analysis I performed of the words used by Palin and Biden in tonight's debate. Just as for the 1st debate, I produced "bubble graphs" showing length and number of words and sentences and "word clouds" displaying which words were used more by each debater. You can find it all at my Word Face-Off blog.

____________________

johncoz:

@keytype123

1. Economy is not going to go away as the No. 1 issue, regardless of whether the package is passed. US has entered a deep recession, and the evidence will simply pile up so no voter can ignore it (job figures today, for instance).

2 & 4. McCain may do okay in next two debates, but that will make zero difference. He will need a major blunder by Obama, who is not given to making blunders (as Krauthammer said yesterday: "... he's got both a first-class intellect and a first-class temperament. That will likely be enough to make him president.")

3. There is no poll joy on the horizon for the GOP in any model that I have seen. Obama has too many ways to win, and McCain hardly any (underscored by his withdrawal from MI).

The only arrow McCain has left in his quiver is to go nasty and negative in a *big* way. And how do you think that will play with the shrinking pool of undecided voters?

____________________

vikingviolinist:

"common sense", your contributions here are in no way helpful. may I say that, as an obama supporter, you embarrass me.

____________________

damitajo1:

CBS and CNN have not come clean with the numbers of partisans, etc. I cannot believe they have done this after each debate. http://dissentingjustice.blogspot.com/2008/10/cnn-and-cbs-and-others-release-highly.html

____________________

boomshak:

Lord, why do we pay ANY attention to the "flash polls" by CNN and CBS. If you look at what people in the poll though of Palin BEFORE the debate, it is clear, the vast majority of respndents to this poll lean left.

On the other hand, consider the Luntz Group on FoxNews. Last week, they gave the victory to Obama. This week, almost unanimously to Palin.

BOTTOM LINE:
Watch Rasmussen / Gallup over the next week for a reaction.

____________________

boomshak:

@damitajo1:

"CBS and CNN have not come clean with the numbers of partisans, etc. I cannot believe they have done this after each debate. http://dissentingjustice.blogspot.com/2008/10/cnn-and-cbs-and-others-release-highly.html"

CNN learned their lesson last time after it was revealed their sample had 14% more Democrats than Republicans. This time, it looks as if that bit of information will not be forthcoming.

No wonder CNN's ratings are in the toilet. They are keeping their polling methodology company.

____________________

boomshak:

MY TAKE ON WHY OBAMA IS WINNING:

I have said from the beginning that the CHANGE people want in this election is COMPETENCE.

This election will come down to Independents as Democrats and Republicans seem evenly split along partisan lines. Independents, by nature, are not political ideologues (else they would not be Indenpendents). They just want someone 1) who's views seem REASONABLE and 2) who projects COMPETENCE.

One the first point it is a TIE. Both Obama and McCain are running as MODERATES and neither seem completely nutty, so that's a wash.

On the second point, Obama is the clear winner as his campaign seems HIGHLY COMPETENT and well-tuned while McCain often seems to be just flailing about. Obama seems to be following a clearly defined strategy while McCain seems to just be RE-ACTING.

To sum it up, Obama comes across as "PRO-ACTIVE", while McCain comes across as "RE-ACTIVE". After 8 years of "RE-ACTIVE" Bush governance, America is tired of that.

THE PALIN EFFECT:
I think one of the major reasons Palin helps (or hurts) McCain is that she reflects upon his competence. People doubted it before the Convention, but then when she blew everyone away with her speech, even Rush (who HATES McCain) started calling him "McBrilliant". As Palin started to stumble though, she reflected badly upon McCain's judgement and thus his competence.

THE BOTTOM LINE:
I think that McCain will surge some after this debate, not because of who won or lost on points, but because Palin once again reflects well on John McCain's COMPETENCE in choosing her.

Still, unless McCain runs a MUCH better campaign over the next month, Obama will likely win.

LAST WORD:
Although I disagree with Obama's politics and I think his current "moderate" transformation is complete horsesh*t, I do admire his intelligence and focus.

On the other hand, history is full of despots who were both intelligent an focused. Right now, Obama is a "foxhole convert" to moderation, but once the heat of battle is ended, he will revert back to his wild liberal ways.

____________________

spoon123:

For keytype123 and boomshak-
I happen to be an adult...what have you two been watching anyway? Palin is nothing more than a hideous, cynical choice by McCain. It only reveals that the Straight Talk Express is nothing but crap. This maverick thing is absurd. If Palin winks at me one more time I'm going to puke.
Where is the common sense in supporting these people? She has no business on any kind of national stage-she doesn't even know her own candidate's record.
This country is in deep distress, caused mostly by Republicans. Can that possibly be disputed?
McCain is a sorry shell of what he once was; Palin is Bush in a skirt, only 10 times more stupid and ignorant, and just as dangerous.
Wake up people. Do you really want to give these criminals and their party 4 more years? No "adult" can possibly fully analyze the situation and come to that conclusion.
Get some rest

____________________

Michael Anthony:

From a former Ron Paul supporter, I can say that Obama has a chance to be great president. He is a terrific orator and a profoundly intelligent man. Through him, America has the opportunity to reconcile with the world and lead by example in a way we have not since Reagan.

Obama could also become a great disappointment. He lacks experience, cannot possibly live up to the image his pr team created, and could completely ruin healthcare in this country.

I can live with disappointment, but I am a little surprised to say that his healthcare platform keeps me at arms distance.

____________________

m913:

@boomshak

Over the past few weeks I have seen a lot of scorn heaped on you, and it distresses me. True, sometimes you like to throw grenades. But every once in a while, like here, you make a very cogent (and probably painful) analysis. Good for you. You make these message boards worth visiting.

____________________

thoughtful:

The Veep Debate is almost irrelevant.

Biden came off best as he would appear to be able to be President Jan 21st.

Palin did not make an idiot of herself, but hardly came across as a President in waiting.

I think if anything McCain will shed further support as Biden was Presidential and Palin was no Hillary and definitely no Reagan and definitely not Presidentially.

____________________


fdeblauwe posted above in this page and he has a site that counts words in speeches.

I noted that Governor Palin in the Debate with Biden used the word "hate" many times, as in "the nations that hate us", or "those that hate us", also sentences "those that want to destroy us".

"Hate" and "Destroy" are very common in Palinguage.

She refers to much to haters outside the USA and very little to friends and allies that love the USA and want to help U.S. Policies to succeed.

Vicente Duque

____________________

mac_1103:

Maine and Nebraska are the only two states that divide their electoral votes porportionately. McCain might win one or two from Maine and Obama one or two from Nebraska. How exactly they apportion their votes is an interesting question

They don't divide them proportionately. They divide them one per congressional district and the extra two to the statewide winner. Maine has four electoral votes, so there's no way for each candidate to get two of those. If you win both CDs you will obviously also win the state, and therefore get all four. Nebraska has four CDs; only one of them is in play for Obama, and that one just barely if he gets an overwhelmingly huge turnout from newly registered voters. There's no way he gets two.

____________________

Viperlord:

It looks like this will have little effect on polls thus far, and probably not in the direction of McCain, more or less as I said. Don't get complacent though, Quayle was a idiot too, and was still on the winning team.

____________________

mac_1103:

Error in my previous post. Nebraska has three CDs; five EVs total.

____________________

1magine:

I'm sorry - Someone explain the punditry to me. EVERY SINGLE POST DEBATE POLL shows that MORE THAN 50% still think she is UNQUALIFIED. Even if she increased her likeability, wasn't the question about her ABILITY? SHe didn't pass that test. Not my opinion, but the opinion of independents, if they broke 18% to 10% to Obama, that's almost a 2 to 1 advantage. I expect to see Obama's numbers increase. Unless I am missing something.

I don't want to count my Aunt Sarah's Moose Chunks before they're stewed but - Is this election just about over?

____________________

angrytoxicologist:

@ common sense's first post (the only one not throwning a grenade).

a 'four corners' approach may work in a basket ball game with no shot clock but this isn't sports; here you can lose points by doing nothing. As fast as BO's numbers have gone up they could go down. Not likely (see Brian Schaffner's analysis a couple days ago), but there is still a climb before BO can proclaim victory.

Did anyone think Biden should be at the top of the ticket? Maybe his vast knowledge is better served as the veep (advice and making things happen). Anyway, it seems he'll be an active veep without the Cheney contempt for the law and that's good for everyone.

____________________

Wahoo:

"Sarah Failin'", or "McFailin'" (for the ticket) are two of the funniest reactions I have found.

To believe that an Ivy League Governor such a Sarah Palin is a 'down to earth', 'just like every blue collar woman in the street', Walmart mom' is just too ridiculous to even be considered a part of the most important VP race for decades.

Winking and flirting will get you nowhere in the long run. I think America will look back on this after that election and feel slightly embarrassed that she was ever in the running.

This is the VP we are talking about, not a PTA interview. I am not suggesting that SP is only qualified for PTA that is m whole point above ... she is a slick, highly educated, affluent politician ... why is he playing Hockey Mom?".

____________________

Isher:

@Boomshak

I rarely agree with you but I'm thankful for what you wrote, it's an honest assessment from the right. I get tired of people bashing you, even though it may sometimes be deserved. I think Palin kept the right from jumping ship because of her, but that's about it since she spent the whole debate not answering the questions presented to her.

@Michael Anthony

The health care system he's most supportive of is the single payer system that our state employees get, the senate gets, the veterans get. A large organization aggressively bartering with pharmaceutical companies and medical institutions keeps prices lower than what we're getting SLAMMED with. Those companies hired lobbyists to make sure that they get excessive profits; health insurance companies make excessive profits off of people that are ill; the system has to be changed, and at least Obama's plan isn't like Hilary's, FORCING people to get health insurance and taking their choice away entirely. I think if you really take a close look at his plan you'll be less turned off by it.


____________________

kathleen san juan:

The Republicans still have a good chance of winning Nov. 4. McCain resigns for health reasons and the Gov resigns because her family needs her. Mitt Romney steps up, and chooses Mike Huckabee as his veep.They hold a 2-day convention in Philadelphia, and campaign 24 hours a day until the election.

Or, Obama/Biden will win and take the blame for both wars, the recession, the 11 trillion dollar debt. They will probably get blamed for Katrina, the Holocaust, Pearl Harbor....

When I am at my most cynical, I wish McCain/Palin would get elected. Millions of Americans are still in denial. So much damage has been done in less than 8 years, it is hard to believe people need more. For some of us it is enough to be able to see the bottom in the distance, and we try to avoid hitting it. Others have to actually end up destitute and degraded before they accept defeat....and they could take the rest of the planet down with them.

____________________

BenjaminFranklin2:

Senator Biden joined the Senate when Palin was 8 years old. He has a Doctorate in Law (a JD), as does Obama. Palin has a BA in journalism. McCain has a BA and finished in the bottom 1% of his class.

Who do you expect to be more qualified? We must not forget that McCain is 72 years old, and there is a reasonable chance that his Vice President will become the leader of the free world. This is a very important decision.

We do not need a President who is 'like us.' We need a President who is smarter, more knowledgeable, more even tempered, and better than we are in every way. Consider the complex perils which lie all around us-a failing Wall Street, an aggressive Putin, an aggressive Iran, chaos in Pakistan, North Korea is restarting their plutomium apparatus, Al Qaeda is plotting-think hard, my friends.

____________________

boomshak:

DOES BOOMSHAK THINK OBAMA COULD BE A GREAT PRESIDENT?

If he governs from the middle, yes. Do I believe he will govern from the middle when governing as a liberal would be unopposed from Congress? No.

Remember that Bill Clinton did NOT govern as a moderate until the Contract w/ America Republican Congress FORCED him to in order to get anything done. I mean, Bill Clinton's FIRST act as POTUS was to put gays in the military - not very moderate.

What I fear will take place under unfettered liberal rule is:

1) judicial legislation from the bench over-riding the will of the people,
2) a weakened military,
3) a hamstrung intelligence effort,
4) explosive illegal immigration and
5) burgeoning government and the creation of a new welfare state.

____________________

kathleen san juan:

What if a man had debated while repeatedly winking at the audience? Is there anyone who would have tolerated such TACKY behavior? The men in the focus groups responded more positively to Miss Congeniality than the women did. Were their responses related to the winking? Any chance her flirtatious behavior had been tested by her handlers in their own focus groups?

Women admired Hillary because she set the bar so high. Look at what WE can do! We are just as smart ...maybe even smarter than all these men.
No more. But who are we kidding? Every twangy you betcha has been scripted by some East coast, big city, 100% male elitist, who never owned a gun, never saw a moose, never gave birth to a child, let alone four. I mean five. Also.

____________________

wagthedog1001:

I'm new here. Been lurking for a couple of weeks and find a lot of your discussions interesting. When I saw this comment I just had to register and respond because it refers to a question I have asked a number of my conservative friends and they respond similarly:

"What I fear will take place under unfettered liberal rule is:"

1) judicial legislation from the bench over-riding the will of the people,
--In last 8 years we have actually LOST rights due to fear-mongering of the right (terrorism!)
2) a weakened military,
--In last 8 years our military has become virtually impotent due to over stretching in an unnecessary war in Iraq.
3) a hamstrung intelligence effort,
--pre-9/11 our intelligence was poor evidently and pre-Iraq it was worse.
4) explosive illegal immigration and
--what do we have now?
5) burgeoning government and the creation of a new welfare state.
--$7B bailout of Wall Street

How is the conservative government we've had over the past 8 years any different than your greatest fears of what the dreaded "liberals" will do? Really.
Liberals fight for the common man and the neediest of us. I don't see how that should be a problem unless you are making a lot of money and don't want to pay your share to the government.

____________________

keytype123:

Thanks for rationality/analysis johncoz (spoon123 and his ilk may be adult-physically-though that is doubtful-but their messaging is juvenile).Hopefully the level of debate can be lifted to your level.
I think the tracking polls will settle closer as this thing winds up and that this will be the second of the last three elections to be won in the electoral college with Obama running up huge (meaningless as per Gore popular vote majorities in NY/Cal/Ill.The country is sharply polarised,culturally, and I will be surprised if the electoral map looks much different from the last two

____________________

TuffCookie:

kathleen,

You are in my head.

It's very hard to take someone like Palin seriously when they're constantly flirting with the viewing audience. This is what happens when a "pageant queen" tries to become the most powerful woman in the United States. Those pageant-y smirks, winks and doo-dads, are just obnoxious and unsettling. I realize that for some people, that shows that she's "human", and that's real cute. But I'm far from impressed. As a woman, I expect someone in her position to be the baddest, most untouchable force of nature possible. A Hillary, if you will. Palin is no Hillary. By far. She's attractive, quirky, sarcastic and sometimes shrill. But she lacks depth, knowledge, common sense, and trustworthiness that we need in a leader. I set the bar higher for women, than I do men. Women just need to bring it, and Palin only brings stereotypes and headaches. She doesn't strengthen McCain anywhere worth mentioning. The only thing she does is "rally the base". And who wouldn't? The RNC was as lame as a funeral. Anybody would have made them rise to the occassion. She is fresh, because she's new. She's exciting and enticing, because she's new. Not because she's qualified. I understand that when you want to believe something about someone, you will defend them to the death. But so many conservatives are removed from reality to even think this woman is the one to be a "heartbeat away". It's amazing.

I realize not everyone is going to agree here, and I would hope for people to respect my opinion as I'd respect theirs.

But what is scary is that people really believe she is presidential. Like, that really scares me. The second highest position in America, and people are treating this election like it's American Idol. Who cares if Palin is "folksy" and "adorable". You're never going to have a beer with this woman, so get your head out of the clouds and think about the important issues. The entire Republican ticket, all they can do is attack attack attack. That's their Rove-tactic. When you don't have a plan, when you cannot offer substantial policies, when you cannot answer simple questions with specificity, attack attack attack. I'm tired of attacks. I'm sick of them. They don't solve the problem.

I'm a lifelong Democrat. But in the beginning, I was "undecided". Not because I didn't like Obama, or think he wasn't qualified, but because I have a brain and can think for myself and always like to give each candidate a fair chance. Well, I gave McCain a fair shot. I heard nothing. Nothing that will help the common girl such as myself, holding down a steady job, not making a HUGE amount of money, but I can fill my gas tank and buy groceries. In that same breath though, I do struggle from time to time like most people. Then I went to McCain's website to read his stance on the issues, and it was the final nail in the coffin. His views, his "goals", are not for me. So I'm team Obama because they are more inlined with mine. I was excited for Palin when she was first introduced but she has made it painfully clear, that the best thing she can do at this point, is bark out canned talking points, avoid answering question we have a right to know the answers to, and memorize whatever they put in front of her. That's not the kind of leader I would want in office. McCain has proven himself to be an irratic, bitter old man and I'd be scared as heck if he were put into office.


(sorry for the uberlong post lol)

____________________

BuddhistMtnMan:

Sarah Palin confounds me...why is confidence seen as competence and folksiness a substitute for substance? And how, I ask, is she "working class" when she has 1.7 million in assets and her husband spends more on his moronic, testosterone poisoned snowmobile hobby than I make in a year?

____________________

Ok lets get a few things straight, just because our expectations of Palin are so low that we could taste the dirt, doesnt mean she won the debate. She never awnsered a single question straightforward, its almost like she had lil speeches memorized for certain questions. Since she seemed to awnser most the questions the exact same. Ooooo back in Alaska bla bla bla where i was governor and mayor bla bla bla and bla bla bla Mavericks. When people memorize stuff they can all sound remotely intelligent, but if you want proof of how smart she is on the spot, watch the Katie Couric interviews. Another thing we Americans need to consider, Mccain has been in and out of the hospital quite a few times these past couple years, and if he should have to step down for whatever reason could we put our country in Palin's hands. And I hope we can all agree that no chance she could run this country. Maybe ruin it but not run it. And yes Mccain is pretty much offering the same things Bush did. And we saw how well that worked out. If this country wants a chance of getting out of this economic crisis, and ending this war and a fresh aspect to the political table, then we need Obama and WE NEED HIM NOW!!! This is the most important election we will be apart of in our lifetimes. This can make or break the country, dont take this election in stride. And how can Mccain a military man who served his country not even approve a bill to get war veterans better healthcare. How compassionate is he really??? And what about Palin who in last nights VP debate said, " Being Patriotic means to me, is being able to say that our government is wrong." Im sorry i might be new to this political scene, but isnt that the definition of anti-patriotism. Not only does she not listen to the questions, she doesnt even know what shes saying. Obama for 08 all the way.

____________________

Policy:

Senator Biden claimed in the debate that Article One of the Constitution describes the executive branch and proves that the vice president is a member of it.

I know that he has been a chair or ranking member of the Judiciary Committee for more than twenty years.

But is he correct that Article One describes the executive branch?

____________________

jerry:

i don't get it. were people not paying attention to the debate. since when can someone be considered to do well in a debate, when they avoid most any question in which the answer wasn't embedded in the question. i believe both biden and palin performed very scripted lines which very often digressed far from the questions asked. but palin would outright change the subject, for example, when asked about bankruptcy and mortgages, she went off about energy plans. or when asked about israel and palestine, she went off about iraq. this is the essence of the criticism of her: she simply does not understand questions about important issues, and will just try to change the subject. i agree biden didn't perform as well as i expected him to, but its almost a joke how any one could say that palin held her own during the debate. just because you can talk clearly doesn't mean you win a debate. its not supposed to be about people showing they can seamlessly change the subject when they don't understand an issue that is presented, but rather about the ability to understand and answer questions on important issues as they are asked.

____________________

jerry:

RE: Senator Biden claimed in the debate that Article One of the Constitution describes the executive branch and proves that the vice president is a member of it.

I know that he has been a chair or ranking member of the Judiciary Committee for more than twenty years.

But is he correct that Article One describes the executive branch?


it's actually article 2 that describes the vice presidency, and that is the article about the executive branch. the error was the article number, not the content.

____________________

ncc81701:

@ Boomshak
"
What I fear will take place under unfettered liberal rule is:

1) judicial legislation from the bench over-riding the will of the people,
2) a weakened military,
3) a hamstrung intelligence effort,
4) explosive illegal immigration and
5) burgeoning government and the creation of a new welfare state.
"

1) I would like to remind everyone that the role of the judicial branch is judicial review, not an affirmation of public will(That is what congress suppose to do). This means that the judicial branch is only subservient to the constitution, not the will of the people explicitly.

2) This is just my opinion, but I think George Bush has done enough in the last 8 years to weaken the military. We now are fighting two wars with multiple military units in reduced readiness due to over deployment. Our Generals and Admirals has much less flexibility in deploying a large rapid response force to another conflict because everyone in the world knows we are being pinned down by Iraq and Afghanistan. Given that the most liberal government this nation has ever seen was at the helm of this nation during our greatest war (WWII), and given our conservative government for the last 8 years, I reject the notion that only a conservative government can effectively manage and strengthen the military.

3) Again my opinion, but I have the opinion that the current administration has hamstrung our intelligence agency to prevent it from giving an honest report about the state of WMDs in Iraq. It is this direct influence of the administration with the intelligence agency that IMO, lead to the eventual authorization for the use of force in Iraq.

4) Given our economic situation at the moment, I doubt there will be explosive illegal immigration in the next few years.

5) " If men were angels, no government would be necessary. " - James Madison. I agree that too much government is a terrible thing, but I also happen to believe that no government is just as bad. The key to good governance is having the right amount. On this note, I support Obama's proposition to create and expand google for government and making government transparent so that we the citizens can decide for ourselves whether we have too much, or too little government. I prefer Obama's approach to this problem than McCain's "trust me I am a maverick and I am going to slice and dice the government for you" approach. Where Obama gives the power to the people to check the government's power, McCain is asking us to trust the government in limiting its own power.

____________________

ncc81701:

"
it's actually article 2 that describes the vice presidency, and that is the article about the executive branch. the error was the article number, not the content."

I think Joe Biden was referring to:

Article 1, Section 3:
"The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided."

____________________

CTPonix4BHObama:

@Boomshak

Hey, i actually agree with you on your "why obamas winning" post except for the bottom line and the last word. It seems to me as the election starts to near end that the whole reasony why Obama ran on change is because he doesnt have the kind of experience normally looked for. When McCain followed him on the change argument it opened up the lane for Obama to meet the thresh hold for experience meanwhile holding onto the change argument.

I think its safe to say that by the gop base picking mccain and not trying to "change" their party from the beginning with a nominee like huckabee or romney it was lost from the start. Even if the gop basers picked someone that only gave the appearance of change that would be enough for independent undecideds...mccain does not do the job.

____________________

PeterPrinciple:

I am astounded that so many people could look at Palin's debate performance and conclude that "well, at least she didn't sound like a complete idiot." To me, she sounded EXACTLY like a complete idiot -- albeit one who had been pre-programmed with talking points to within an inch of her lily white life.

The only difference between the Sarah Palin who made Katie Couric look smart (!) and the Sarah Palin who made Joe Biden look like a statemen instead of a run-of-the-mill Senatorial hack (!!) is that the former Palin was just an idiot, while the latter was an idiot with an attitude.

But what's really scary is that so many viewers (according to the poll) found that Palin "likeable."

Based on past experience (Reagan, Clinton, Bush II) I'd say this shows the USA is developing a real taste for amoral, deceitful, carefuly programmed sociopaths -- in its politicians as well as its popular entertainers.

Entrusting a nuclear superpower to such clods is downright reckless.

____________________

@keytype123

Just caught SNL- you were wrong. They didn't "have to change their presentation of her as some sort of ditz which she showed she is clearly not." In fact, Tina Fey poured it on, and justly so.
"Ditz" is not the word to characterize Fey's brilliant impersonation; she manges to capture the insanity that is Palin. This insanity in Palin is what makes any thinking person shiver. Fey manages to convey this exceptionally.

____________________

listenlearnspeak:

@PeterPrinciple

I completely agree with you that Palin did, in fact, display the same complete idiocy that she's displayed throughout her turn on the national stage. Also I agree that the USA is really becoming uncomfortably comfortable with deceitful narcissistic power-hunger.

What I don't understand is your characterization of Joe Biden as a Senatorial hack. I'd like more information please.

I was impressed by Biden's handling of the various stunning statements of Palin's, e.g. the role of the VP and her ignorance of Middle East affairs as well as his direct address to the specifics of lower and middle class economic concerns. I thought that he responded directly and appropriately to her grandstanding efforts to turn the debate into a stump speech. I think that he was in fact the first person to boldly call the McCain campaign on this whole "maverick" nonsense. His rebuttal to her borderline treasonous concept of the VP's role was thorough, well-considered and managed to both repudiate her proposal and provide a basic civics lesson to the viewers while sustaining the dignity of all concerned throughout. How is it possible that he is merely a "hack"?

To me, Biden's integrity and purpose came through so clearly. I am not a political junkie, I don't know his history very well, but it's not clear to me how a different opponent would have cast him in a lesser light. Maybe if they did not give him the opportunity to refresh us all on the fundamentals of decency and competency? I would really like to understand why he is only good in comparison to Palin.

best regards...

____________________

GraceOerther:

The reason I have such a great frustration with this current election, as well as a the nauseous feeling in my stomach that persisted throughout the debate is the thought of Sarah Palin sitting as the first women to hold executive office.. For hundreds of years, from the suffragettes to Elizabeth Cady Stanton, to Hilary Clinton today women have fought long and hard to gain political acceptance, equality, and power, especially from the political right. I voted for Obama in the primary elections, but I highly respect Senator Clinton as a politician. Her speech at the DNC was inspiring, motivating, and exactly what the Democratic party should be saying. I may disagree with some of her policies, but she is a role model for young people today. Let’s not forget it was the political right that has infamously criticized Hilary Clinton as “everyone’s first wife” or “shrill and nagging” and constantly critiqued her appearance instead of policies, voting record, and methods. Upon closer examination however, it is clear that the Republican and public support of Governor Palin is just as sexist as their critique of Senator Clinton and other female Democrats. Governor Palin was chosen by McCain not because of her experience or even intelligence, but rather because she is female, conservative, and charming. Their protection and stark defense of her is also chauvinistic; why cant she have proper press conferences? Why should she be so well protected if she is supposed to be capable of handling the responsibilities of the President? They are not treating her as an equal, but instead as a helpless little girl. I am getting pretty sick of Conservatives arguing that she can be trained, and is helpful because foreign leaders will find her pretty and charming.

Clearly illustrated by her shoddy performance at the debate—which consisted of answering nearly every question with: “the need for governmental reform” and a shameless overuse of the word “maverick”—illustrates her incompetence. Sarah Palin is not qualified or even capable of being Vice President. Quick thinking, in experienced, shoot from the belt decision making has resulted in eight years of near disaster. A McCain/Palin victory would put her down in the history books as an example of women in politics, and among the ranks of Barbara Boxer, Eleanor Roosevelt, Nancy Pelosi, and other influential women in American Politics.

I certainly hope little girls and little boys across America and being taught that women are as naive, unintelligence, and, dare I say, embarrassing as Sarah Palin. I hope they know most women can name more then one Supreme Court decision, or has a grasp of basic geography.

Furthermore, I certainly hope young Americans are not being taught that the agenda of women today in any way reflect the policies of the GOP and Governor Palin. Her direct violations and denouncement of women’s rights include cutting state funding for rape kits in Alaska—forcing the victim to pay for her or his kit themselves, and actively working against abortion rights, including in cases of rape and incest. Opposition to this platform and others like it is called Women’s Rights for a reason, because it is about establishing and maintaining the rights that protect women and ensure equality.

As someone that is active in both political campaigns and political college classes, I understand part of the sexism and challenges that face women today. To gain a respected and loud voice women have to work twice as hard as men. To be respected for our intelligence and not judged by our bodies we must struggle to prove ourselves. My mother and step-mother had to, my grandmothers had to, and in my professional life I know I will too. I am motivated and inspired by their work to gain equality and acceptance, as well as the struggles and successes of African Americans, Native Americans, homosexual rights activists and others to gain equality. When push comes to shove, we are all struggling to gain equality, and enough power to get our voices heard. Sarah Palin is clearly not the voice of women.

I fear that the first women in the executive office of the United States will be easily compared to Dan Quayle. Too many women and too many men have worked for equality in the United States for “Vice President Sarah Palin.” And if that day ever comes I will apologize to the memory of: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Burns, Alice Paul, the women jailed for picketing to protect my voting and reproductive rights, every single woman whose potential was never fully realized because of bigotry and the glass ceiling, and to countless other role models who fought for gender equality.

… and I never thought I would be finding it difficult to harbor some respect for a woman in politics.

____________________



Post a comment




Please be patient while your comment posts - sometimes it takes a minute or two. To check your comment, please wait 60 seconds and click your browser's refresh button. Note that comments with three or more hyperlinks will be held for approval.

MAP - US, AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY, PR