Debate Expectations and Predictions

In 90 minutes, Sen. Joe Biden and Gov. Sarah Palin will debate. Politico reports Palin's game plan is to attack Biden and throw his words from former statements, particularly about foreign policy, back at him. Biden, it reports, will be a "just the facts" style debater, concentrating on defending Obama and attacking McCain.

Expectations for Palin, once in the tank, now are mounting.

“This is going to finally put her back into a position where we see her like we saw her the first couple weeks,” a McCain official said. “She was herself. She was authentic, and people related to that. ... Tonight, she’ll get into a rhythm. You’re going to see her in a way that you haven’t seen her yet.”

I don't know that anyone much cares. They're tuning in to see if there's a train wreck.

I don't expect any major gaffes from Palin. She's been coached to the gills by now. Nor do I expect she'll win McCain any voters. [More...]

We've all seen enough of her in past month to know she's not up to the job of Vice-President. McCain/Palin will keep their base, the radical right and conservatives, but they will lose almost everyone else. They now are poised to lose Ohio, PA, Michigan and Florida. In addition, Obama's massive 50 state voter registration drive is going to crush them-- the Dems will have registered too many new voters for them to effectively compete. In the end, there will be more of us than there are of them.

Between the phony maverickness, McCain's Hail Mary pass in picking Palin and his stunt of suspending his campaign in a pretense that Congress needed him to help with the Bailout bill, his credibility is dropping daily.

Palin has peaked twice now -- first with voters, then with the media, via the Katie Couric interviews. Third time's the charm.

Regardless of how she does tonight, and I expect she'll hold her own by avoiding detailed policy answers that show up her lack of knowledge and by turning all questions into an attack on Biden and Obama, the debate is just theater. At best, it will be entertaining. At worst, boring.

What are your last minute expectations and predictions? We'll be back to live-blog the debate.

< John McCain: The Phony Maverick | Homer Tries to Vote Obama >
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  • Display: Sort:
    I expect the pundits will say Palin 'won' (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by steviez314 on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 06:46:38 PM EST
    even if Biden:

    • announces a cure for cancer
    • brokers an Israeli/Palestinian peace accord live
    • designs the next generation iPhone while juggling the Higgs Boson.

    I think Biden should attack McCain's stupid (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by WillBFair on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 07:13:27 PM EST
    policies. Don't make it personal, and don't even talk to Palin. There's a trap there that feminist politics has set for us. If he even looks at her sideways, they'll call him a sexist.
    But McCain telling us he'll fight against the special interests while dumping money on the rich is a laugh. His pose of the great foriegn policy expert after getting us into Iraq is a hoot. The pretence that he supports green energy after voting against it is a (choose your epithet).
    That's just a sample of the devastating arguments Biden could make.

    Please do not use such sweeping (none / 0) (#18)
    by Cream City on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 07:55:31 PM EST
    generalizations about feminists.  

    Sign of a simplistic thinker.  Be like your candidate and acknowledge nuance in life.


    An Interesting Perspective (none / 0) (#1)
    by stevea66 on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 06:43:15 PM EST
    All debaters rehearse and are prepared with facts, statistics, sound bites that can derail a question and turn it into something it's not.  But, typically, debaters also have a base of knowledge that gives them a sense of ease because they know they won't completely embarrass themselves.  In this case, there is not really a base of knowledge.  So what we're really looking for here is her acting work.  All of her answers will be completely scripted.  It will be interesting to see how good the script is and whether or not she can pull of having some depth.  Actors work on this long and hard, playing a character who has a set of beliefs and experiences, a knowledge, based on where they've in in life.  Some things take time - period.  I don't believe she started early enough, as was evidenced in the Couric interview, and don't believe she can perform with depth.  Could be okay; could be a train wreck.  Either way, it will be fascinating to watch!

    In the debate, Palin will look into the camera (none / 0) (#2)
    by boot on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 06:44:05 PM EST
    and try to talk to the American people with platitudes and trite anecdotes. Biden's job is to expose her complete ignorance on economy, health care and FP.  When she attacks, Biden must attack back and expose her as a fraud. When she doesn't attack, Biden should stay positive too.

    I wonder (none / 0) (#3)
    by WS on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 06:44:25 PM EST
    how she'll deliver her attack lines.  Its harder to be a pit bull when you're facing an opponent and real person rather than towards a faceless camera.

    The way she described herself is really unfortunate.  She and her media handlers keep saying she's tough and has a history of toughness but I don't see it.  She can make sarcastic comments but I think if you're tough, you don't have to say it.  It just naturally radiates from the person and I don't see it in Palin.    

    Like in her convention speech (none / 0) (#6)
    by boot on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 06:48:00 PM EST
    She'll just look at the audience and attack Biden.

    That's what (none / 0) (#8)
    by WS on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 06:51:03 PM EST
    McCain did and got skewered by the media.  Will they do it again?

    well (none / 0) (#15)
    by connecticut yankee on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 07:44:00 PM EST
    No teleprompter seems to make a bit of a difference in her delivery.

    I watched 10-15 minutes of her AK debate (1 anyway) and she seemed fine. Nothing great.  She padded and dodged a few though.


    You know (none / 0) (#5)
    by Steve M on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 06:47:45 PM EST
    as a guy who managed to BS his way through any number of exams and term papers where I had no clue about the actual course material, I see a lot of myself in Sarah Palin's answers.  She knows how to play the game.  If it weren't for follow-up questions, she'd be an expert on everything.

    Ha, Yeh, just today (none / 0) (#10)
    by Cream City on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 07:07:12 PM EST
    I warned my students against "padding" in their papers.  I told 'em that I was a whiz at padding a paragraph into four pages -- so not to try to put that stuff past me.:-)

    Palin will be okay (none / 0) (#7)
    by MKS on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 06:48:51 PM EST
    I think Biden will shine....He is a smart guy who knows how to debate....

    Well, I'm watching for a guy in St. Louis (none / 0) (#9)
    by Cream City on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 07:05:31 PM EST
    in the media center aka "spin alley" right now, a prof who has been prepping for weeks as one of the experts to whom the media will turn to comment, parse, and otherwise provide assistance.  I've been getting emails and photos from him all day, about meeting the media big names, and it's going to be a busy night.  Imagine being on the spot to figure out what either Biden or Palin says, with their slaughter of syntax.

    Mainly, though, this puts into perspective for me the media reliance on these experts, since I used to change the diapers of this one.  He's my sibling.

    So I don't care which candidate wins in front of the cameras.  I want my expert to win lots of camera time afterward, too!

    Very cool! (none / 0) (#11)
    by barryluda on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 07:13:16 PM EST
    I gather he's not supporting McCain, since you didn't mention him supporting Obama.  Still, I hope he does a good job but has to defend an embarrassing Palin (assuming that's who he's spinning).

    I meant I guess he IS supporting McCain (none / 0) (#14)
    by barryluda on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 07:15:13 PM EST
    No, he's totally in the tank for Obama (none / 0) (#19)
    by Cream City on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 07:57:56 PM EST
    but I hope, I know, he can retain his professional objectivity in this situation.

    However, during the primaries, we had wild family emails.  I had to put the spam filter on several sibs for a while.  Wish I had been able to do that when this big sis had to babysit the brats. :-)


    Do you know which network CC? (none / 0) (#13)
    by Teresa on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 07:14:01 PM EST
    He's available to all networks, all print media (none / 0) (#20)
    by Cream City on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 08:00:05 PM EST
    etc. -- so I'll be watching lots of channels and the live blog for reports of Michael Moore in the media room!  (My bro looks a lot like him.:-)

    My spouse thinks that MSNBC (ugh, ugh, but this is family) uses these experts more than other networks.  Thoughts on that, anyone?


    Repetitious (none / 0) (#16)
    by Demi Moaned on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 07:46:16 PM EST
    I expect Palin to be highly repetitious. Since she is not knowledgeable on any important policy matters, she will rely on the talking points she's prepped on. There are not enough of them to fill the available time, especially since she's so profligate in firing them. Therefore, she'll have to reuse.

    So, even if she hits the mark with one or another line, she'll undercut it by repeating it later, much as McCain did with his rather lame Miss Congeniality line.

    Certain (none / 0) (#17)
    by sas on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 07:55:06 PM EST
    networks will say Biden won.  Matthews ans Olbermann will swoon.  One network will say Palin won.

    I'm turning them all off afterward, and will think about it myself.

    My assesment (none / 0) (#21)
    by CST on Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 09:36:37 PM EST
    Palin looked competent, and most importantly, wrong.  Joe Biden did a good job of pointing out when she was wrong.  My favorite part was when he said the bit about John McCain also voting against troop funding.  I was furious when she brought that up - and he nipped it in the bud.

    six pack joe and hockey mom (none / 0) (#22)
    by uvj on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 08:58:52 AM EST
    A pain shoots through my body every time Gov. Palin refers to us, the avg american working middleclass voter as six-pack joe or a hockey mom. Believe it or not there are many men that DO NOT drink and many "MOMS" that do not have access to ice rinks to send their kids to. It seems to me that the republicans are truly out of touch with the avg american working middle class family. Since her party is now biting off of Obama's Change theme I think that she should change her six pack joe and hockey mom punch lines". Uly'es[U-lease] Joga