Each part of the debate

Biden focuses on “past 8 years” as if Bush is running for a third term. He also starts focusing on “fundamental disagreements” between tickets, which he repeats several times through the debate. Palin speaks directly into the camera, while Biden speaks to the moderator. This is a great debate tactic: remember always who you’re trying to persuade. It isn’t the moderator or your opponent, it is the judge, and in this case it is the American people. “We’re tired of politics as usual” really rings with the American people, I believe, which leads to another debate strategy: take the opponent’s strongest point and turn it to your advantage. Obama/Biden is all about “change.” Palin runs with this when she refers to Biden’s “long record”…”With all due respect, Senator, I don’t believe the American people want the same old Washington.”

Palin’s answer is direct and punctual: “Darn right it was the lenders.” She then takes the advantage to encourage Americans to do what’s right: hold the feds accountable. I do have fundamental disagreements with Palin on this, for I believe Democrats in Congress (the ones who received millions in donations from FMs) have a lot to blame, too. Biden’s answer is blame McCain and claim Obama was on top of this two years ago. Who’s he kidding? Deregulation v. Taxation is how this exchange ends up, and Palin refuses to be headed into a deregulation debate. McCain/Palin has the upper hand on taxation, and Ifill cuts off Palin to move onto another topic. Biden comes through strong when asked to comment on class warfare (go figure), and I love Palin’s answer. It brings back the phony-bologna argument that Obama’s tax increase won’t hit the middle class. Palin shows quickly that small businesses will be hit and, therefore, will hit anyone who has something to do with small businesses. Basic Economics 101 and it’s not that difficult to understand.

I notice a difference between the two candidates: clarity. Palin is able to pull the debate into easy-to-understand quips that people relate to. She does this masterfully when referring to the health care credit to compare to the government-run health care of Obama/Biden. Biden declares tax cuts to big oil and rebuts the increase on small businesses with facts and figures. This trips Palin up a little in the next video, because Iliff doesn’t let Palin respond. When Palin attempts to steer the debate back to energy (her strong point and, arguably, on people’s minds), she appears to be dodging the question. Bad timing on Palin’s part.

Allow courts to adjust interest and principle rates? Good night, that’s all we need. I wish Palin would have pounced on this, for asking the court system to fix the mortgage crisis is very radical. Palin flounders around here and brings the debate back to energy independence (for reason listed above), and I think this is a tactical mistake. I would have loved to hear her hammer on Fanny Mae / Freddie Mac. Palin’s answer on global warming was choppy, too, but Biden’s rebuttal was pathetic. This is the most fundamental difference between candidates? People don’t want to drill, drill, drill? Biden opens the door wide open for Palin to weigh in on the Democrat’s losing issue. This was a tactical mistake on Biden’s part, one that he paid for in this moment. Americans want drilling bans lifted and America to be aggressive in world energy markets, and Biden looks foolish trying to play that down. The correction, “It’s ‘Drill, baby, Drill'”, is funny.

Same-sex marriage is a hot button for some people. Biden runs to the left in his answer, making sure he doesn’t upset his base. Palin’s answer, in contrast, is much more balanced while sticking to her fundamental: keep the sanctity of marriage defined as one man and one woman. This video is cut short, but in the end Biden is looked to be in total agreement with Palin. This will surely upset his constituency, while Palin’s will be content with her answers. Palin reminds the moderator of the question, and acute debaters will see the careful dice of words: “The question to him was whether he supported gay marriage, and his answer is the same as mine, that I do not.” This will infuriate the Left, and Palin led Biden into this with his own words. Beautifully done.

Biden kicks off with typical talking points of the Democratic party: raise taxes, condemn big business, attention to health care. Palin brings things back to energy and gives direct jabs to Biden for voting record. Again, Palin turns Biden’s issue (tax breaks to rich business) to her side concerning energy. It backs the principle of “putting government back on the side of the people.” Biden is really tanking here, for he keeps appealing to confusing allusions to the details of the questions at hand and “paraphrasing” John McCain’s words (“I’m not sure that he believes this…”). Palin reminds viewers of key principles: low taxes, increased domestic energy, and don’t forget that McCain was willing to put politics aside and get the job done. Palin is back on track…

Palin is ignited now that we move to foreign policy. Her jabs at the Obama ticket hit hard: voted against surge, voted against funding, wavered under political pressure, and Biden called him out on this. “Your plan is a white flag of surrender,” will stick in minds. Biden laughs when Palin makes her most riveting attacks; these are laughs of nervousness, not humor.

The Pakistan/Iran problem relates to the NCFCA resolution with India, a volatile area of the world. Biden’s response is very Kerryish: “We’re gonna go after them in Afghanistan.” Palin sticks to the question rather than Iraq, reminding people of the horrendous claims from Iran about wiping Israel off the map and (more importantly) the naive statements from Obama about meeting with Iran’s leader without preconditions. Such statements embolden our enemies and gives validity to sponsors of terrorism.

Here are clips of the rest of the debate. I will try to post later on tonight…

About Chris & Wendy Jeub

The Jeub Family live in Monument, Colorado. They encourage couples to love God and love one another, building an atmosphere of love in their homes.

  • http://www.creatingtreasures.blogspot.com tereza crump aka MyTreasuredCreations

    I thought it was a good debate. Palin made Biden agree with her in several issues. :) I agree with you that she should have talked about the FMs, but I think she probably didn’t want to get into an argument, so she kept herself out of it. I really enjoyed her calling out the deception of the mortgage companies and the American people’s responsibility of getting themselves into the situation by spending more than what they have. It was the first time I saw a “politician” not treat the people as victims but as responsible for their own actions. The government is not going to solve all our problems. She made that clear. I loved that!! I am so tired of seeing most people turning to the government for handouts. All in all it was a good debate.

    My feeling with Palin is she will get the job done, whatever IT may be. :)

  • http://www.myspace.com/halfpint7698 Carol

    I too was thrilled to finally hear a politician call people to take responsibility for their financial futures instead of making them out to be innocent, clueless victims. I thought it was a good debate and I enjoyed watch Gov. Palin very much, I thought she looked and sounded confident and well versed in the issues at hand. The correction about the “chant” was priceless. I look forward to seeing her and Sen. McCain in the White House. :)



  • Valerie

    Astute commentary, and fascinating to hear analysis from a real debate instructor!

    In my pre-doctor, pre-stay-at-home-mommy days, I used to compete in public speaking/speech writing. I could always beat the guys because I would come across as “real” and personable, whereas the guys always came across as stuffed suits. I won not because of the result of any coaching, just because I was being me.

    We thought Palin was fabulous, and looked totally comfortable in this environment. I love that they brought her baby up on stage at the end with the rest of her family. She is not trying to hide from the fact that she is the mommy of a little one, and a special needs little one at that. It’s McCain/Palin all the way for us!

    One more thing – I notice a lot of conservative Christian blogs spending A LOT of time bashing Palin for running for V.P. because she is a woman, saying it isn’t biblical, saying Christians should not vote McCain/Palin, etc. Yet these same blogs are NOT bashing Obama/Biden, when their views directly contradict biblical teachings! This bothers me. If they are attemting to talk Christians into voting against McCain/Palin, then are they happy with the alternative? It makes no sense to me!

    You go Jeubs! I can tell that good sense and cool heads prevail at your house!

  • Lindy John


    How we got in this mess…

    Absolutely the best explanation I have seen so far.


    This is true. This is how it was also explained on the radio today.

    Pass this on if you believe in America, we can’t stop fighting!!

  • Jenny S.

    I am doing all I can to put the right Commander in Chief in the White House for those men
    and women serving our country in the military.

    “.I think everyone should vote in such a way that they can lie down at night and sleep in
    peace. Prayer is the front runner. God gives that peace. Personally, after a lot of gut
    wrenching, I am given a peace in voting for John McCain.

    I am choosing him over registering my displeasure in the process through disengagement
    or voting for a more unlikely candidate, mostly because of the timing. I believe America is
    waking up to the media controlled environment, and that what we are experiencing here is
    anything but Liberty. But, we are not collectively awake, yet, and we are at war.

    One of the Hebrew translations of the word “wisdom” is hokmah, which means doing the
    opportune thing at the opportune time. For me, I do not believe now is the time to register
    my frustrations with a flawed system. We are fighting an enemy that wants freedom loving
    people to die,and in full knowledge of this, our military is working tirelessly and is
    deserving of the finest leadership we can give them.

    I want to remain in the position, that in seeing a man or woman in uniform, and greeting
    and thanking them for their service to their country, that my head is held high knowing I
    did all in my power to give them the best commander in chief possible.

    I will not tell anyone else how to feel about any of this. Many are not “there”, yet. I would
    encourage us to hold fast, though. Pray, and be encouraged.

    I really do think that even now books are being written, speeches are being delivered, and
    people are starting to turn away from the media and seek liberty in this process

    One gal wrote to me and told me that she changed her mind from Obama to McCain after reading this.