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VP Debate: One Gigantic Mistake by Sarah Palin ... Huge!

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You did not have to lower the bar for Sarah Palin to jump over. She acquitted herself pretty darn well, by golly. Her excellent skill in addressing a political audience came out strongly. Her weeks and days of prepping for the event were well spent, and her insertion of jibes and a few daggers into the dialogue were accomplished.

Joe Biden made no gaffes. He got emotional over one statement and showed that his love of his children is certainly no less than Sarah's love as a mom. He dominated in the facts and he did, I think, hold his ticket a bare few points above the performance of Governor Palin.

They traded jibes at each other's principals and a few at one another ... although Biden never mentioned Palin's lack of experience. That was a good ploy because Sarah spoke well, if not at great depth, about the issues and her position on them.  She was better than expected on the history of her opponents, but she then ate her cake by chiding her senior about looking to the past. Her inconsistency was political not logical or emotional, so I am sure the audience did not mind it much.

But ... Sarah Palin overplayed her hand. It was deliberate and it was a major strategic mistake. (I am not now listening to the pundits so I do not know whether they caught it or not.) When asked what they would do if the Presidency were transferred by death of the President to them as Vice President, Joe Biden said he would follow the policies of Barack Obama because they are, indeed, his own policies, that they agree completely on them.  Sarah messed this one up.

Sarah Palin who had just said that her campaign experience was a mere five weeks old, (in effect that she has been thinking Vice Presidentially for less than six weeks), said that John McCain picked a maverick because he is a maverick and that they don't agree on everything. She asserted that a Palin Presidency would not be a policy by policy continuation of a McCain Presidency. She said that she hoped for reinterpretation of Constitutional responsibilities of the Vice President.  Her self-confidence got her way ahead of where the rest of us, including Republicans,  think she is. She offered the chilling and all too possible prospect of a neophyte national politician asserting without public examination and accord the right to take the country in some new direction!  

All I could think of was the pledge she made in St. Paul to fulfill "the mission" that she and John are on to "reform the country," her bizarre religious background, her trouble with people who have disagreed with her in city hall, Wasilla, and in Juneau, Alaska.  She announced to my utter amazement that she would make her own maverick way in Washington!  To quote Ray Romano's dad: "HOLY CRAP!"

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James R. Brett, Ph.D. taught Russian History before (and during) long stint as an academic administrator in faculty research administration. His academic interests are the modern period of Russian History since Peter the Great, Chinese History, (more...)
 

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