Friday, October 03, 2008

Palin: Not dumb and not out

The Guardian, not a pro-Republican rag, thinks Palin held her own in last night's debate against Biden.

I haven't watched the debate yet, but hope it confirms my suspicion that Palin isn't dumb, she's just scared and ill-informed.

I agree that maybe running for VP isn't the best time to learn, but if she isn't dumb, she can learn policies. The thing she can't learn is a small-town American background. It's scary that someone can be so America-focused that they believe representing a state adjoining a foreign country makes them know more about foreign policy than a governor from the interior. But it does represent the views of many Americans. They need to have a candidate in the election. I just don't want them to win.

1) LibertyCat argues that Couric's Iran question was easy and could have been answered with a simple "yes" or "no". That Palin couldn't answer it, suggests she was frightened rather than purely clueless. 

2) Although she is an experienced Alaskan politician, she's now standing for VP and is on a much larger stage. She knows, as well as the pundits do, that she hasn't got the experience and during the Palin interview, she may have lost confidence in herself. I argued in my post that a man, in that situation, would have become aggressive, rather than started babbling. 

If McCain's team had been drilling her with facts and figures to get her up-to-speed, it would probably have worsened the problem and confused her . There's nothing like knowing what you don't know to make you scared to say anything at all. 
3 ) No one knows why Palin dropped out of several colleges. But does that matter? A lengthy string of academic qualifications do not guarantee you are not an idiot (Femme-de-R ignores cheap shot at LibertyCat). Life choices are a result of your background and priorities as much as your brains. 

4) Although, on average, teachers and their children are bookish, it also depends on temperament and subject. Remember, Palin's father was a science and PE teacher. My experience at school was that it's difficult to recruit science teachers so some PE teachers taught science when they weren't on the pitch. PE teachers often go into teaching because they like sport and kids. Does LibertyCat genuinely believe that all Alaskan PE teachers sit debating the Israel/Palestine situation at the dinner table?

5) Biden is a bad example to use. He's got a reputation for being patronising and blustering (type 'Biden' and 'Patronising' into Google). If he is aggressive, he is going to look aggressive, rather than aggrieved. 


  • At 9:49 am , Blogger Joe Otten said...

    Watched about half of it. She wasn't awful, except for what she was saying. She is an effective speaker in this format, which balances out Biden's better grasp of the issues.

  • At 12:14 pm , Blogger Femme de Resistance said...

    Looking forward to watching it tonight.

    I wouldn't vote for her - I'm in favour of a clear separation of church and state for one!

    But dissing someone as a potential VP because they don't have an encyclopedic knowledge of policy issues isn't really fair.

    After all, as I said to LibertyCat, if being able to clearly enunciate an argument and knowing lots about obscure subjects (Welsh rural land law, anyone) is the main qualifications for VP then LibertyCat should apply for US citizenship today!

    [Ok, cheap shot and personal attack :)]


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