Friday, October 03, 2008

So Who Won the Debate?

Dadgummit, I'm confused. Watching the debate between Governor Barracuda and Senator Blowhard last night, I thought her down home perkiness was blowing him away. I did think she was going too far in announcing up front that she wasn't going to answer the questions, and then proceeding to regurgitating talking points that often didn't have the slightest relationship to the questions she was supposed to be answering. But, I thought, on television, substance doesn't matter. People are going to be charmed by her smiles and winks and ability to say something, even if it was nonsense.

Senator Blowhard was all facts and statistics and I thought people's eyes would glaze over as he pronounced how far-sighted and smart he had been. I wasn't happy that he didn't respond to her jibes that he had said that Obama isn't ready to be president and that he would be happy to run with John McCain. He did have one strong moment, that would play well with the viewing public, I thought, when he got choked up about the death of his first wife with their son being in the hospital, not knowing whether he would live or die.

The moderator, Gwen Isfill, I thought, was the worst of all time. They might as well have had a robot ask the questions. She didn't follow up; she didn't make Governor Barracuda answer the questions, she just sat there, like someone with a broken leg who wished they were home.

But it turns out, like so often, I was wrong. The instant poll by CNN said Blowhard won over Barracuda by 51 to 36 percent. Similarly, an instant poll by CBS showed Blowhard winning over Barracuda by 46 to 21 percent.

Predictably, the conservative pundits thought Barracuda did great while the liberals though Blowhard won. Conservative columnist Kathleen Parker has the funniest take on the debate, mocking the Barracuda's excessive use of colloquialisms.

Mark Blumenthal at has valuable historical perspective. Winning the vice presidential debate has little to do with who wins the election. For example, everyone agreed that Lloyd Bentsen mopped up Dan Quayle with his quip that "I knew Jack Kennedy and you're no Jack Kennedy," but Dukakis/Bentsen still lost the election to Bush/Quayle.

So, who won? Who cares. All the indicators are that this election is going in Obama's favor. McCain is pulling out of Michigan and everything would have to fall just right for him to win the election. We'll see.


rdl said...

I sure hope you are right about Obama winning. however this might be the first time we disagree- Biden definitely won even tho he didn't deliver a knockout but i think he was being careful not to offend or overwhelm the poor young damsel. but please stop calling our next VP blowhard- i thought you were on our side. :D

rdl said...

oh and i forgot to say that her down home perkiness and winking made me sick!

Crockhead said...

Sorry, rdl, I have to call them as I see them. I am all for Obama and hope and believe that he will win. But I don't like Biden; never did -- well, I won't say "never," I didn't like him from the time he first came into my consciousness which was the first time he ran for president and related a cutesy anecdote as happening to him when it hadn't. He had plagarized from some British politician. I don't like liars, which is why I despise Bush, Cheney, McCain and Palin.

Lydia said...

I read somewhere that Isfill was stuck - the format gave her no wiggle room and she'd been So set up as a hater, so the best she could do was robot.

I'm with you on being unexcited about Biden, and I guess I'm pleased that Palin didn't totally replace the ceiling Hilary cracked. But mostly, like you, I'm thrilled to be allowing myself a little hope for Obama (and our country). \o/

Anonymous said...

The more she does the Joe-six-pack/hockey mom "just a small town gal" thing, the more I despise her as a (female) candidate. That approach appeals to the American Idol audience and it works to some extent. What an insult to all serious women leaders and politicians.

Her delivery was a complete (and disgusting) regurgitation of everything that had been literally crammed into her brain. She got through those debate drills but I bet she couldn't repeat what she said and she certainly was NOT responding to the questions.

Anthonia said...

You've probably seen this already, but I saw this clip of Gwen Ifil explaining her role in the VP Debate and thought of your blog entry: