Actually, I Predicted This, Too

I forget who I was talking to last week, but I predicted this as well:

Sarah Palin plans to go on the attack in tonight’s debate, hitting Joe Biden for what she will call his foreign policy blunders and penchant for adopting liberal positions on taxes and other issues, according to campaign officials involved in prepping her for tonight’s showdown.

The Palin camp is projecting surprising self-confidence in the pre-debate hours, despite the vice presidential nominee’s uneven — and, at some points, peculiar — performances in recent television interviews, the officials say. Top advisers to John McCain privately say Palin’s recent CBS interview was a borderline disaster, especially since it played out in several segments over several days. Tonight will be different, they say.

“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.”

Of course she is going to go on the attack tonight. She can’t answer questions, so all she can do is attack. Additionally, it is easy for her handlers to give her a bunch of talking points to go after the other guy, but it is not so easy to fashion pre-planned thoughtful responses.

This will accomplish several goals:

    First, and most important, it will steer her away from where she is at her shakiest- thinking. She is horrid when required to process a question, and then formulate and provide a coherent response. See the Couric and Gibson interviews.

    Second, it will allow the bobble heads in the media to talk about something other than her answers. The narrative among some in the media will be “What a fighter,” and she “sure showed spirit” and “Sarah Palin was all pitbull, no lipstick tonight.” Expect that kind of idiocy in the media.

    Third, it will shore up the base, as Palin’s support has dropped in recent weeks as it has been exposed she is a know-nothing. Among many in the base, being a combative asshole is a feature, not a bug, and more than makes up for being ill-informed and inexperienced. Among the online right, what matters is not the quality of your response, but how much of a jerk you were to those evil liberals.

    Finally, it may piss off Biden and he may over-react and produce his own gaffe (which he has done quite a bit of, lately).

And, of course, if Ifill presses her on responses when she refuses to answer and instead launches into an attack, all we will hear about for the next month is nonsense about liberal media bias.

133 replies
  1. 1
    cleek says:

    don’t forget, McCain tried that angle last week. fat lot of good it did him.

  2. 2
    tripletee (formerly tBone) says:

    Among the online right, what matters is not the quality of your response, but how much of a jerk you were to those evil liberals.

    That’s why I’m expecting tonight’s debate to begin with Palin tagging Biden from a plane and then spending the rest of the 90-minute debate doing a live demonstration of how to field dress long pork. Should be a big hit with the rightwing blogosphere.

  3. 3
    HumboldtBlue says:

    I guess my response fits beter on this thread rather than the one below …

    Sarah Palin plans to go on the attack in tonight’s debate…"

    What else can she do? She can’t answer simple questions about domestic policy, foreign policy or the Constitution and law. She can’t name a newspaper or magazine she reads regularly. She can’t explain any of the claims that have been made about her experience, knowledge or record.

    She can’t lose this thing unless she stops breathing on stage. There is no bar set for her, the bar was removed the moment McCain picked her as veep. Therefore, all she has to do is get some zingers in on the "experienced old hand of DC" and the talking heads and of course, the caterwauling wingnuts, will scream to the heavens about how she held her own.

  4. 4
    Stuck in the Fun House says:

    Sarah Palin — Xena the Princess Culture Warrior. She should dye her hair black and consult Lucy Lawless for tips in conquering liberal weenie boys.
    You’re right, it’s all she (they) can muster, except the venerable standby for clueless wingnut, I’ll go getcha some.

    And as usual the wizards running the Mccain juggernaut for the stoopid has correctly assessed the public’s desire to see politicians attacking each other and not explaining how they’re going to put chickens in pots.

  5. 5
    Keith says:

    Why don’t they just have her recite pi to 10,000 places? It’s pure memorization, which she can do, doesn’t require inductive reason, and would be pretty impressive to Joe Six-Pack and non-voting 5th graders. Plus, no followup questions (other than, "yeah, but what digit comes NEXT?")

  6. 6
    CIRCVS MAXIMVS MMVIII says:

    Glenn Beck on CNN right now stating he thinks McCain just lost the election. ;)

    SWEET!

  7. 7
    Noah says:

    My prediction for tonight’s debate:

    For tonight’s debate, Sarah Palin will be joined by her friend, John McCain, who will sit lovingly next to her just in case anything goes wrong.

    When asked by Gwen Ifill if she can name any Vice-Presidents besides the current one, Sarah Palin will say that she is honored to be the Republican nominee for Vice-President.

    When pressed further on this question, she will say that yes of course she can name other Vice-Presidents besides the current one.

    When asked which ones specifically she can name, and if she even knows who the current Vice-President is, Sarah Palin will simply nod her head and smile.

    When pressed even further on this question, she will stare blankly off into space and pretend that Gwen Ifill is not there.

    Joe Biden will then call her a fucking idiot.

    This is how Sarah Palin will win the debate.

  8. 8
    tripletee (formerly tBone) says:

    I hope Biden is ready for Palin.

  9. 9

    The problem with the McCain campaign is they have no answers. Hearing Palin/McCain tell me that Obama and Biden are liberals isn’t going to make me feel any better about my 401(k) plan shitting the bed or the fact that my house is worth 20% less than it was a year ago.

    There is only so much attacking you can do before it becomes obvious that attacks are all you have. I think McCain & Co. reached that point a few weeks ago.

  10. 10
    lane says:

    And, of course, if Ifill presses her on responses when she refuses to answer and instead launches into an attack, all we will hear about for the next month is nonsense about liberal media bias.

    You seemed to have missplet:

    …all we will hear about for the next month is Ifill has a book deal…

  11. 11
    Common Sense says:

    "And, of course, if Ifill presses her on responses when she refuses to answer and instead launches into an attack, all we will hear about for the next month is nonsense about liberal media bias."

    I do agree with your assertion, and might even go so far as to argue that the Ifill bashing yesterday was intended to prevent her doing so (or conversely lay the groundwork for such an argument). I just don’t think there are enough people who think Palin’s utter ineptitude is the fault of the liberal media. Their base has shrunk too far, and they aren’t going to convince many of them to come back. And inevitably there’s this countereffect:

    If Palin does this, Obama makes 15 mil tomorrow.

  12. 12
    zzyzx says:

    I’m with cleek. Nothing but attacks gives Obama’s camp an easy counterpunch. "It’s too bad that in this time of economic crisis Palin spent her time making partisan attacks instead of explaining how a McCain/Palin administration would solve it."

  13. 13

    I am not sure her going on the attack is such a great idea. For one thing it didn’t work for McCain in the last debate and for another it would be her, again, dodging questions like she did in the TV interviews. The MSM called the last debate a draw, or tried to. The public thought otherwise because they were looking at it from the point of who answered their questions. In other words they were looking for substance.

    Palin has no substance, that much is now obvious, her sinking poll numbers show people are onto her. Sure it might help with the wingnut base to go all pitbull and no lipstick but most people are fed up with that, or so it would seem.

  14. 14

    Mccain explains to ushttp://www.boston.com/news/pol.....elligence/

    Asked why Obama has been rising as the Wall Street crisis has dominated attention, McCain said with a chuckle on Fox News Channel: "Because life isn’t fair.”

    sorry about link, will ponder more on how and btw the code instructions could be clearer for us Dweebs

  15. 15
    Colonel Danite says:

    I’m actually a bit nervous about tonight. The format favors speech making, so Palin doesn’t really have to think or use reason or logic. She can just spout off her prepared and rehearsed remarks. There are very low expectations for Palin, so if she doesn’t wet herself, she will exceed expectations. Moreover, Biden is prone to monumental gaffes himself. If she is able to bait him into an angry or paternalistic moment, she will get sympathy from the talking heads and partisan spinners. Add all that to the idiocy of the American electorate that voted for Bush twice and we could see the media credit Palin with a win tonight.

    I hope I’m wrong.

  16. 16
    dmsilev says:

    She basically doesn’t have any choice. After all, as noted above, what else is she going to do, wow us with her deep command of the issues?

    Problem is, you need a certain minimum credibility to be an effective attacker, or else you come across like a yapping Chihuahua. And after she got tag-teamed by Tina Fey and Katie Couric, I’m not sure she has that credibility.

    -dms

  17. 17
    b. hussein canuckistani (comrade) says:

    Will she get to use a teleprompter?

  18. 18
    Pastafarian says:

    Hopefully Biden will ignore her and spend his time attacking McCain. Don’t even acknowledge any of her authentic frontier gibberish and use every response to reinforce how "John just doesn’t get it."

    Worst case it’s two people having two separate conversations with Ifill. Best case, she (Palin) feels the need to freelance and try to defend what little she knows of McCain’s positions. That’s when it will get funny.

  19. 19
    Calliope says:

    I’m kind of hoping they do go on the attack. She can be very unpleasant: nasty and shrill.

    I think Nasty!Sarah may be as big a turn-off for the undecideds and independents as Stupid!Sarah has been. I certainly hope so, anyway.

  20. 20
    SpotWeld says:

    The only way she can have anything even close to a win is to turn the whole thing into an episode of Jerry Springer.

  21. 21

    I love how Sarah Palin in front of a teleprompter is natural, while Sarah Palin unscripted is not. Says a lot about her and the Republicans in general I think.

  22. 22
    Kashford says:

    I was originally nervous that Palin would "win" on style, even if she lacked specifics and experience (because people who care about specifics and experience are *already* pre-disposed to disliking Palin).

    But I think Palin going after Biden on foreign policy is going to be bad for her, good for Biden.

    If Biden does as the article suggests — be prosecutorial and just-the-facts — and if he doesn’t take the bait of Palin’s attacks, he will come off as competent, reasonable, and ready.

    And she will come off as something else — the "pitbull" will have turned into a little dog nipping at Biden’s heels. THAT should be the post-debate spin.

    I’m beginning to look forward to this debate again.

  23. 23
    NonyNony says:

    @Comrade Dreggas:

    The public thought otherwise because they were looking at it from the point of who answered their questions. In other words they were looking for substance.

    Really? I think the public was looking at it from the point of "which of these guys is taking this whole Presidentin’ thing seriously. McCain acted like an angry old coot, he was belligerent, his answers were confused, and he seemed to pull some things out of his ass. Like that "Spending Freeze" nonsense that he pulled out of fucking nowhere right there on stage and was obvious to everyone watching.

    Obama acted rational, kept his cool, explained things carefully but not really condescendingly, and absolutely shredded McCain when McCain was saying transparently stupid things (again see "Spending Freeze" and "using a hatchet when you only need a scalpel"). And him occasionally agreeing with McCain actually made him look like someone willing to accept when the other guy has a point – which made his shredding of McCain’s transparently stupid things just seem that more honest instead of just a he said/he said attack. So I’m not going to necessarily attribute the win here entirely to substance, thought it may have been a factor.

    But I predict that no one is going to be watching this debate for substance. That would be like watching William Hung sing for the vocals. People are watching for the train wreck. If one happens it may tamp down some enthusiasm for the McCain ticket, but it probably won’t shift any votes. If one doesn’t happen, it may build some enthusiams for the McCain ticket among folks who are leery of Palin right now. But I don’t predict this debate will to swing votes – it will just mess with the enthusiasm numbers.

  24. 24
    tripletee (formerly tBone) says:

    I think Nasty!Sarah may be as big a turn-off for the undecideds and independents as Stupid!Sarah has been. I certainly hope so, anyway.

    Any sympathy that undecideds and indies felt for StupidSarah will evaporate if she comes across as mean and shrill tonight.

    So my advice to the McCain campaign is: Yes! Yes! Cry havoc, and let slip the lip-sticked dogs of war!

  25. 25
    SGEW says:

    I must quote Wonkette’s drinking game*:

    The following situations call for One (1) Shot of Liquor:
    PALIN admits to dealing meth.
    Finally: Three shots and throw the glass at the teevee if:
    BIDEN calls her a “hockey pig.”
    PALIN pulls off her pantsuit to reveal a confederate-flag one-piece bathing suit, and she looks fat, and the audience boos.

    I tell myself that there is no way that tonight’s debate can top the jokes already made about it. But then I remind myself that I said exactly the same thing about the full Couric interview.

    *When did Wonkette move from my "comedy" bookmarks folder to my "political commentary" folder? Why is "Rude Pundit’ under "News" now? What’s happening to the world?!

  26. 26
    Lesley says:

    Predicting dreadful but highly entertaining performance from 6-pack Palin aka the illiterate elitist

  27. 27
    Polish the Guillotines says:

    I just don’t even know what universe I’m living in. The media continues to carry on the fucking charade that this woman can "win" the debate. It’s like having a thoughtful and serious discussion about how your kid’s Pop Warner team is going to do against the New York Giants in the Super Bowl. It’s a goddamned farce.

    Everyone paying attention who isn’t a low-functioning moron or on the McCain campaign payroll (not mutually exclusive) knows — KNOWS — Palin is unfit for this position. Yet the charade continues.

    There isn’t enough Bombay Sapphire in BevMo to numb this brain-ache.

  28. 28
    Teak111 says:

    Palin is going to attack Biden, a 20 year Washington vet known for his gruff exterior? Sounds like another play for the base, But the base isn’t gonna win them any elections this year. The people of this country can’t take anymore joe six packs in leadership positions. We need smart, consensus builders to move forward, make progress and lead us out of our current troubles. Obama/Biden seem a better choice.

    BTW, is anyone else suffering severe Palin Derangement Syndrome? I can’t even look at her anymore. The cringe factor is so severe I’ve thrown out my back. Egad, she is awful. Its like watching Judge Judy and thinking, wow these people could be the leader of the free world.

  29. 29
    Stuck in the Fun House says:

  30. 30
    Calliope says:

    Polish the Guillotines @27:

    Hey, don’t count those Pop Warner kids out! Sure, they’re only 4 feet tall and weigh 75 pounds, but those kids have HEART!!

    Match that, several tons of NY Giants!

    /wingnut

  31. 31
    Davebo says:

    You guys are misunderestimating Palin.

    I’m guessing she comes out wearing an "I’m with Stupid" T shirt with the arrow pointing at Biden.

  32. 32
    Comrade Jake says:

    I think she’ll get a couple of zingers in, but I really doubt she’ll be on the attack with every question. It would continue to drive independents away in droves, and that’s not what Team McCain needs right now.

    This is the GOP telegraphing their punches, in the hopes of putting Biden a bit on the defensive before the debate even starts. That’s my guess.

  33. 33
    Stuck in the Fun House says:

    content

    link test success– like falling off a log into the canyon below

  34. 34
    sweetgreensnowpea says:

    ie, she’ll be channeling coulter and matalin, with the bulge of a battery pack under her designer jacket.
    instead of spending the evening vomiting, i’ll read the reviews tomorrow.

  35. 35
    Comrade The Moar You Know says:

    Match that, several tons of liebrul latte-sipping bicoastal elitist fag-luvin’ pedophile NY Giants!

    Fixt fer accuracy.

  36. 36
    Legalize says:

    While Palin can launch into a convention-style attack tonight and make the wingers cream themselves, the drawback is that she will say nothing of substance. It appears that voters are bizarrely interested in substance these days. There will be nothing for Biden to respond to. So, Biden ignores everything Palin spouts out and answers the questions she repeatedly fails to answer – hopefully in a clear manner.

    The public already knows that Palin is a big fat nothing at this point. She no longer has the advantage of being the fresh face, but rather has the distinct disadvantage of everyone knowing she’s a fucking idiot. As long as Biden doesn’t come across as a dick / idiot, Palin doesn’t move the needle.

  37. 37
    Lize says:

    Don’t you guys think Glen Beck is saying that McCain has lost the election because he wants to scare the crap out of all the sinful white people who are afraid that having a black president will actually usher in the ends times (the ones who know they’ve been bad and don’t stand a chance with the Rapture crowd)? If he scares these people enough, well, maybe they’ll talk with all their racist buddies and turn this thing around.

    I smell a rat.

    I also have no idea how to handle watching tonight. (I have 22+ years sober, so don’t send me instructions for a fucking drinking game, thank you very much.)

    [Update: I continue to find the comment countdown very stressful. Anyone else?]

  38. 38
    Punchy says:

    The old lady just got one of these tags for the greyhound. Now I see they have a whole website.

    Nice.

  39. 39
    gbear says:

    For tonight’s debate, Sarah Palin will be joined by her friend, John McCain, who will sit lovingly next to her just in case anything goes wrong.

    OMG! McCain broke up the Beatles!

    (if this posts correctly I’ll be…well…surprised)

  40. 40
    SamFromUtah says:

    The Palin camp is projecting surprising self-confidence in the pre-debate hour…

    As may be, but the important thing to remember is that they’re not very bright.

  41. 41
    oh really says:

    The most insane thing about the "debate" is that after we’ve had several opportunities to observe the quality of Palin’s mind, her ability to think on her feet, her ability to answer simple questions about things that any reasonably informed person could answer without preparation if Palin can somehow get through tonight showing how spunky she is and how, after intense preparation, she can "attack" using canned talking points we are supposed to allow that to substitute for all of the evidence to the contrary and magically decide she is fit to be vice president.

    Apart from tens of millions of American voters and virtually the entirety of the MSM, who is that stupid?

    The fact that the media will (and are) actively supporting this nonsense is all the proof anyone should need that they are a huge part of the problem in this country.

    Listening to people discuss this whole affair is like a very bad trip. We are supposed to accept that the "authentic" Sarah is the one who delivered a speech written for her by McCain’s speech writers or the person who can — in a highly contrived format specifically negotiated to protect her from her own shortcomings — mouth a bucket of campaign boilerplate. To do that we have to pretend that the Palin we’ve seen embarrassing herself repeatedly in interviews with Gibson and Couric is not her at all, but someone micro-managed by the McCain campaign into appearing to be a complete idiot.

    Note about the "new" Balloon Juice: on the whole it looks great. The opportunity to edit comments is excellent.
    Well done!

    I hope the problem associated with Firefox and long comment threads has been (or will soon be) solved. I’d hate to have to give up BJ because it can’t handle a browser.

  42. 42
    Va Highlander says:

    I suspect it’s true and Palin will be on the attack tonight. That’s about all they can do, for the reasons John noted.

    However, I don’t see that as really helping the campaign, as others have said. The more agressive Palin comes across, the more catty and shrill she’ll appear. And Biden does have a certain folksy charm. Women like him – sexist, I know – and I don’t think too many women are going to be charmed by a brassy and abrasive female. I doubt many men not already in the tank for McCain are going to be impressed, either.

    Sure, the media will allow themselves to be publicly fooled by the display. It’s what they do, but who trusts the media these days? Who really gives a shit what they think?

  43. 43
    Comrade Jake says:

    Don’t you guys think Glen Beck is saying that McCain has lost the election because he wants to scare the crap out of all the sinful white people who are afraid that having a black president will actually usher in the ends times (the ones who know they’ve been bad and don’t stand a chance with the Rapture crowd)?

    I try not to think about Glenn Beck, generally. He’s a gigantic fucking tool.

  44. 44
    Spoosmith says:

    That woman is going to be wired, with some Rove-like guy behind the curtain feeding her all the answers. She has been absolutely appalling in interviews, and there is no reason to believe tonight will be any different. I find the McCain camps’ confidence rather eerie.

    The democrats should have been investing in/investigating jamming devices since 2004.

  45. 45
    Joe Max says:

    Palin is going to attack Biden, a 20 year Washington vet known for his gruff exterior? Sounds like another play for the base, But the base isn’t gonna win them any elections this year.

    I said to friends last week that she’s going to make some totally batshit crazy pronouncements that’ll give wingnuts like Pammycakes and Pantload shuddering orgasms, while the rest of the world is facepalming and saying, "oh NO she DI’NT!" They have to do this because they’re losing the Base. They’re offending the cocktail weenie GOPers too. The only answer they have is more red meat. If they hang on to the Base, there’s a slim change Obama will screw it up somehow and they can win. But if the lose the Base’s excitement level, they’re toast, and they know it.

  46. 46
    Brian J says:

    OMG! McCain broke up the Beatles!

    I think it’s very clear that Barack Obama broke up the Beatles because he refused to do those town hall forums.

  47. 47
    Kim Jong Ted says:

    This debate is going to be a piece of crap. I’m no longer looking forward to it. With the handicaps in place already, there will be no way to score who "won" it by the media.

  48. 48
    malraux says:

    Do zingers work if the crowd isn’t there to back them up with whoops and hollers? Plus its hard to memorize 45 minutes of pure attacking. Look at McCain’s folksiness and barbs from the first debate. They seemed either flat or just angry. Sure part of the problem is that McCain is angry. It’s also that silence following those techniques doesn’t work as well as cheers.

  49. 49
    Mart says:

    I am refusing to go to VP Debate parties as I can not stomach 90 minutes watching the Church Lady sneering at us about what kind of evil doer sinners Joe Bidden and Barack Obama are.

  50. 50
    JL says:

    A friend mentioned that McCain is pulling out of Michigan and also speculated that if Palin tanks, which she will, Mitt will be the VP candidate insuring a Michigan win. Also, I love Noah’s post about Palin’s win tonight. I don’t agree with it because Joe’s prep was not on foreign policy but on how to remain cool while Palin spouts nonsense answers.

  51. 51

    @Teak111:

    I couldn’t agree more with regard to how cringe inducing Palin is. It’s akin to how cringe inducing W is when he speaks. These people represent us to the world, that’s cringe inducing.

  52. 52
    Dan says:

    Perfect Biden response to an attack – "And what would you have done differently and why?"

  53. 53
    Comrade Jake says:

    The most insane thing about the "debate" is that after we’ve had several opportunities to observe the quality of Palin’s mind, her ability to think on her feet, her ability to answer simple questions about things that any reasonably informed person could answer without preparation if Palin can somehow get through tonight showing how spunky she is and how, after intense preparation, she can "attack" using canned talking points we are supposed to allow that to substitute for all of the evidence to the contrary and magically decide she is fit to be vice president.

    Well, this is the notion the media is trying to put out there, but honestly, I don’t think the vast majority of folks who are pretty convinced Palin’s an idiot are going to fall for it.

    I’ve been saying this for awhile now: the image of her as a bimbo is pretty well crystallized in many people’s minds. If she appears minimally competent tonight, people will simply assume she was well coached. We might see some downtick in the polls for Obama if the media tries to declare it a win, but short of Biden whipping out his hog and demanding that Palin blow him on stage, I don’t think this debate stands a chance of being the kind of game-changer McCain-Palin needs.

  54. 54
    Alex B says:

    — (btw, couldn’t Block Quote the following. …Not complaining, just sayiing.) —

    RE: "Of course she is going to go on the attack tonight. She can’t answer questions, so all she can do is attack."

    That’s why I am expecting, too. But here’s thing about Joe Biden

    Though people often refer to Biden as a ‘smiling attack dog’, to me, his most amazing ability is his uncanny talent of knocking down attacks against him. It’s not his offensive game that impresses me. This guy can play defense like few in the arena ever have.

    So tonight, I’m expecting Gov. Palin is going to launch attacks against him and Obama, and then, with a smile on his face, Biden, in one (long) breath, will fire back, bing-bang-bong (probably counting along on his fingers, 1, 2, 3, as he knocks down multi-pronged attacks). In a single run-on sentence, he’ll have made it seem foolish that anyone would make that attack, THEN! – (and here is what Biden can do like no other. not even Bill Clinton)… The Biden Pivot. Joe will instantly pivot to a smiling counterattack – …The pivot will start with, "The REAL question we should be asking ourselves is…." and then he’ll turn Gov. Palin’s attack straight back at her and John McCain.

    Man, can Biden ever pivot!

    Sarah Palin can bolster herself tonight by simply not looking stupid. (Sad how ‘not looking stupid’ is a standard so many are willing to accept.)

    And the only thing Biden has to worry about, is Biden. But I’m pretty darn sure he knows that. He’ll hold back, I think. (I hope.)

  55. 55
    Shibby says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    Amen, I hate Glenn Beck

  56. 56
    Punchy says:

    that’ll give wingnuts like Pammycakes and Pantload shuddering orgasms

    With all my being I fucking hate you.

    /grasps and fumbles for eye bleach

  57. 57
    Martin says:

    Obama bought a Dish Network channel and they just released an official iPhone app for supporters.

  58. 58
    Punchy says:

    but short of Biden whipping out his hog and demanding that Palin blow him on stage,

    God damn, I hate a lot of you today.

    /refills eye bleach container

  59. 59
    jake says:

    This is going to finally put her back into a position where we see her like we saw her the first couple weeks

    Reading a speech hastily edited for her use and announcing her daughter is pregnant.

    The GOP really clings to the idea of "do overs." If they can just get something right today the screw ups of the last days, weeks, months or years somehow don’t count. Unfortunately, even if Palin does really well tonight, they’ll have to keep her hidden for a month to prevent future blanks stares when asked really hard questions like: Name three cities in Alaska.

  60. 60
    Martin says:

    But I’m pretty darn sure he knows that.

    Sure does.

  61. 61
    SGEW says:

    @Punchy: By blockquoting it you just made it worse!

    My eyes! My beautiful, beautiful eyes!

  62. 62
    Comrade Jake says:
  63. 63
    JL says:

    @Martin: I have direct tv.. aw shucks!

  64. 64
    cyntax says:

    A friend mentioned that McCain is pulling out of Michigan and also speculated that if Palin tanks, which she will, Mitt will be the VP candidate insuring a Michigan win.

    Sean Quinn [over at 538] has an interesting post on why McCan’t can’t dump Palin. Worth a read, IMO.

    It’s important to reinforce what Nate wrote Sunday night. Not gonna happen. It would be overt surrender. As most of you know, I’ve been on the road for the past three weeks, so far visiting at least a dozen McCain campaign offices in six battleground states as well as Palin’s first solo rally in Carson City, Nevada. If McCain dumps Palin, it is over.

  65. 65
    Comrade Jake says:

    Well I guess we can’t embed video any longer?

    Anyway, if you haven’t seen this video yet of John Brown blasting against racism at the United Steelworkers Convention, it’s a must-see.

  66. 66
    Soylent Green says:

    In Republican America, we are all Eric Cartman.

  67. 67
    JL says:

    "After repeatedly calling Palin first "an extremely good debater," then a "great" one, at the end he ramped it up to "Gov. Palin is one of the best debaters in American politics," at which point the press gaggle interrupted him with its laughter.
    "No, she is! Her 2006 debate, she knew where she wanted to take every question, and so I think she’ll be relentlessly on message tonight…"
    This is from the Obama campaign on a press call…

  68. 68
    Ecks says:

    Y’know, I’m curious about this. Why are BOTH camps making these grand pronouncements about what their strategy will be? Whatever happened to the element of surprise? Or do they just not think it will matter – i.e., everyone will know anyway what their strategy is going to be, so at least by announcing it ahead of time, people will read ambiguous or poorly phrased statements in line with the expectation that it is "attack vs. just the facts ma’am". I don’t get it.

  69. 69
    Xanthippas says:

    First, and most important, it will steer her away from where she is at her shakiest- thinking.

    That’s LOL.

  70. 70
    JL says:

    @Ecks: I thought that when Obama’s campaign said that she was a great debater and the press started laughing, it was refreshingly honest..

  71. 71
    Glenn says:

    My call on tonight’s travesty is if she shows she wins. Doesn’t matter what she says all she needs to do is attack and look sexy and she wins. Old Joe has a much harder job doesn’t he? he has to be polite, respectful not seen as bullying a lady all the while being kicked squarely in the balls by this evil witch. If he raises his voice opps bad form Joe your bullying someone’s Mom here dude. if he acts like a smarty pants he’s an eastern "librul" eltist pointy head etc… No way to win here Joe except hope that Sarah gets carried away and throws her shoe at you or something else. Maybe, she’ll faint?

  72. 72

    @Soylent Green:

    In Republican America, we are all Eric Cartman.

    In the NAMBLA episode maybe.

  73. 73
    Brian J says:

    Obama bought a Dish Network channel and they just released an official iPhone app for supporters.

    In response, John McCain released a statement that he, too, knows how to use a phone, or is at least working on it with Cindy each night. He’s not sure how to use voicemail just yet, but he’s getting there in regards to answering machines. His biggest problems are not being used to a touch tone phone and wondering where automatic operator at the switchboard is. He’s said that his wife has to often remind him that the buzzing sound is not a woman named Marge humming, but the sound of a machine.

  74. 74
    Zifnab says:

    I’ve been saying it since he announced her last month. McCain is making a monumental effort to out Mondale Mondale. Obama is going to run the map blue in November.

  75. 75
    Dr.BDH says:

    What will Palin attack Biden with? His pro-rape victims legislation? His belief in evolution? His foreign travel? Hairplugs? Gay abortions? Really, what’s she got on him?

  76. 76
    Comrade Jake says:

    I suspect the media has another motive in being interested in declaring a Palin win tonight: they want their press conference. If the conventional wisdom will be that she "won" the debate, that makes it increasingly difficult for Team McCain to keep her sequestered.

    I don’t care what you think of the lady at this point, there’s no way she survives a presser in one piece.

  77. 77

    My prediction for tonight: Sarah who? Barack Obama will be 44. Period.

    After all the Chicken Little’s are done sweeping up the sky from the floor I’ll be sitting at the corner booth with a Brown Dog and a half dozen shots of tequila lined up just in case the help is slow. C’mon down and join me, I’ll buy the next round.

  78. 78
    Alex B says:

    — Re: "but short of Biden whipping out his hog and demanding that Palin blow him on stage," —

    That’s one way to get lipstick on a pig.

  79. 79
    Mar says:

    One additional caveat. I think she’ll stray from answering questions and will only stick to her zingers, and if she gets called out on "not answering the question," the Republican blogs will be in an uproar tomorrow about how the moderator is "biased" b/c of her book.

  80. 80
    D-Chance. says:

    OT, but two things…

    Now That We’re Back Where We Were Three Weeks Ago… so the government takes over Freddie and Fannie… and now wants every single mortgaged residence in America refinanced and put under its control. What a freaking confiscation of private property!

    And…

    [META] Is EVERY long comment thread going to black out 3/4ths of the way down? The maintenance threads (multiple threads) look fine until somewhere around comment #162 or #163, then the rest of the page simply goes all black.

  81. 81
    SamFromUtah says:

    Obama is going to run the map blue in November.

    538 is already showing a 2% chance for him here in Utah!

    Don’t underestimate the dumb we can scrape together in the hinterlands.

  82. 82
    Polish the Guillotines says:

    If she appears minimally competent tonight, people will simply assume she was well coached.

    I hope so, because this is EXACTLY what the goddamned douchy douchebags on the newz are going to massively FAIL to explain.

    Palin can prove precisely ZERO tonight other than an ability to regurgitate well-crammed talking points. There is no "win" possible. She’s already forfeited any reasonable right to be there in the first place.

  83. 83
    JL says:

    It will interesting to see the number of people watching the debate. I live in GA and the local (not talk) radio stations were all talking about the debate. Santa, Please let her tank…

  84. 84
    SGEW says:

    Well, I’m off to watch th’ "debate."

    I keep sayin’, it couldn’t possibly be as bad as we’re joking, right? Right? Tomorrow’s headlines read "Palin Wins Debate: Does Not Run Weeping From the Podium." No matter what happens, it won’t be as awful as we keep expecting. This is the highest expectations-game I’ve ever seen, and it (of course) will be a major let down: much like Star Wars Episode I*.

    Right?

    But then you watch those Couric interviews . . . and you have to admit. Sarah Palin is a new breed of fail. She is the Empress.

    Now that I think about it, those Christianists are right: she is their chosen one.

    Anyhoo, y’all have a good night. I look forward to readin’ th’ thread tomorrow.

    *Don’t get me started.

  85. 85

    @Alex B:

    That’s one way to get lipstick on a pig.

    You mean putting a pearl necklace on a pig?

  86. 86
    Martin says:

    What will Palin attack Biden with?

    Probably with his policy disagreements with Obama and his statements from the primary debates. That’s Palin’s big advantage – there’s nothing on the record of her attacking McCain, unlike Biden and Obama.

  87. 87
    Octavian says:

    Nothing on the record where she attacks McCain, but there have been many recorded instances where she has advanced positions with which McCain disagrees.

  88. 88

    Please turn your backs while I make an ass of myself trying to post an image.
    I have no idea what the current magical trick is. I’m trying the double !! copied into my email drafts last night. My chances for success will be inversely proportional to the amount of Ketel One Citroen I drink as the night goes on.
    I have a vast variety of mixer resources at my disposal, and such as. Way.
    This is my best shot…

    !http://i192.photobucket.com/al.....Kenobi.jpg!

  89. 89
  90. 90
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Wow! David Gregory is a tool.

  91. 91
    DougJ says:

    "Palin Wins Debate: Does Not Run Weeping From the Podium."

    I think it’s more likely that we’ll see "Palin Wins Debate After Running Weeping From the Podium." I’m not kidding. If they’re smart, they’ll think about having her cry tonight.

  92. 92
    The Other Steve says:

    Oh they’re going to go after Joe for the fact that he sometimes thinks outloud. Splitting Iraq up into 3 countries, which I actually think is a pretty good idea, that sort of thing.

  93. 93
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    Palin has one powerful weapon, one that Biden and Obama do not:
    Authentic Frontier Gibberish.

  94. 94

    Wow! David Gregory is a tool.

    and the sun rises in the east.

  95. 95
    dmak says:

    In addition to attacking Biden, I fully expect Sarah to attack Ifill for not recusing herself. At the very least, she’ll make a snide off-hand reference to media elites who stand to gain financially from the success of a candidate (which is the way ole’ Fred "Cletus" Thompson put it this morning). Let’s hope Gwen’s prepared for that one (and Biden, too).

  96. 96
    Polish the Guillotines says:

    Dennis – SGMM @ 93: Palin has one powerful weapon, one that Biden and Obama do not:
    Authentic Frontier Gibberish.

    Game. Set. Match.

  97. 97
    Zuzu Hussein's Petals says:

    I think it’s more likely that we’ll see "Palin Wins Debate After Running Weeping From the Podium." I’m not kidding. If they’re smart, they’ll think about having her cry tonight.

    You might be closer to the truth than you think.

    After all, remember Alito’s wife running out of the hearing room in tears? Remember who managed that one?

    ”The American people see Judge Alito and say, that’s exactly the sort of person we want to see on the Supreme Court,” said Steve Schmidt, the White House official who managed the nomination."

  98. 98
    Jeff says:

    If they stay on social issues, she will be deemed to be acceptable because on these issues she is good at the non-answer answer. I just do not see how they justify doing this.

  99. 99

    WE DROVE HIM OUT!

    McCain Pulls Out of Michigan

    John McCain’s decision to cancel a campaign event in Michigan next week was not a matter of scheduling: Mr. McCain is giving up his effort to take the state back into the red column, concluding that economic distress there has simply put the state out of reach, according to Republicans familiar with the decision.

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.....chigan/?hp

  100. 100
    Zuzu Hussein's Petals says:

    Danged link tags don’t show up in danged blockquotes.

    NYTimes

  101. 101
    Brian J says:

    Oh they’re going to go after Joe for the fact that he sometimes thinks outloud. Splitting Iraq up into 3 countries, which I actually think is a pretty good idea, that sort of thing.

    I can’t tell you whether that’s a good or bad idea, but then again, I doubt Sarah Palin can, either. How, then, is she going to go after Biden on it? She might have a few lines that will sound vaguely intelligent, lines that were given to her during debate prep, but as we see, there’s nothing behind the door once it’s kicked open. If she challenges Biden on it, all he has to do is ask her why she thinks it’s a bad idea and what she would do instead.

  102. 102
    Polish the Guillotines says:

    Alert! Alert! 60 comments until the Black Wall appears!

  103. 103

    She can field-dress Biden on camera and her favorables are still going to be less than her unfavorables.

    Caribou Barbie has been exposed for what she is.

    Bubbles don’t un-pop.

  104. 104
    Annette says:

    @Polish the Guillotines:

    I go away for a bit to post some high traffic warnings for tonight’s festivities, and here y’all are trying blow up another thread. Sheesh.

  105. 105
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    SpotWeld

    The only way she can have anything even close to a win is to turn the whole thing into an episode of Jerry Springer.

    cite="">

    Or Maury?

    "Whateva? I do what I want!"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTIgTqCZUgg

    How do you embed a YouTube link with text?

  106. 106
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    Mr. McCain is giving up his effort to take the state back into the red column, concluding that economic distress there has simply put the state out of reach, according to Republicans familiar with the decision.

    Um, John, that economic distress, it’s not just Michigan.

  107. 107
    TheFountainHead says:

    Who is this lying, seething, witch that David Gregory is interviewing right now? My God, makes me want to rip my brain out and eat it just for fun!

    Nevermind, it’s Nicolle Wallace. May she fucking rot.

  108. 108
    Alex B says:

    In tonight’s CBS Vice Presidential Questions, when Sarah Palin was asked what the worst thing Dick Cheney had done was – and she answered, "The duck hunting accident", I swear to God, even my TV SET did a double-take!

    It did! It really did! Sarah Palin’s latest interview answer made my TV SET double-take.

  109. 109
    JL says:

    Sarah was back on CBS and hesitated on what vp do you admire most.. came up with Geradine as a candidate and then Bush’s dad. Biden spoke in length about LBJ and his challenges when he became President after Kennedy’s death. I did not hear the Cheney question because of a phone call but it must have been something about what he did that was positive and negative. I did hear hear Palin say that he shot his friend but his strength was his supporting our president and troops on their mission. I did not hear Biden’s answer.

  110. 110
    JL says:

    @Alex B: What was Biden’s response? Did he think that Cheney did anything good?

  111. 111

    In tonight’s CBS Vice Presidential Questions, when Sarah Palin was asked what the worst thing Dick Cheney had done was – and she answered, "The duck hunting accident", I swear to God, even my TV SET did a double-take!

    She can’t even get that right, it was a quail hunting accident.

  112. 112
    Comrade Mary, Would-Be Minion Of Bad Horse says:

    Biden spoke in length about LBJ and his challenges when he became President after Kennedy’s death.

    Subtle as a flying mallet. I like that boy.

  113. 113
    The People's Glorious Pantload of Studliness says:

    let slip the lip-sticked dogs of war!

    APOTD! (Alliteration post of the day)

  114. 114
    Zuzu Hussein's Petals says:

    Palin: "And I’ve been there when George Bush has spoken to families of those who have suffered greatly, those who are serving in the military. I’ve been there when President Bush has embraced those families and expressed the concern and the sympathy speaking for all of America in those times."

    CBS News

    So … anybody have any idea of when exactly that was? Any idea at all?

  115. 115

    In tonight’s CBS Vice Presidential Questions, when Sarah Palin was asked what the worst thing Dick Cheney had done was – and she answered, "The duck hunting accident", I swear to God, even my TV SET did a double-take!

    cite="">

    Word. My 16-yr-old cat choked on the potato chip she was eating.
    (She likes anything covered with cheese, MSG, and orange food coloring.)
    I told her to cough it up and walk it out because I am NOT getting dressed and driving her to the emergency vet hospital up in Asheville tonight.
    Got an email just now…Obama in Asheville this weekend! If I weren’t so lazy about driving and standing in a crowd of 898,765 for 4 hours waiting for him to arrive, I’d so be there.

    WHY DO THEY DO MSNBC SHOWS OUTSIDE WITH THE SCREAMING THRONGS? Don’t they know they drive me right into the arms of CNN?
    Oh. There’s Joe. Off I go….

  116. 116
    Alex B says:

    JL –

    –"What was Biden’s response? Did he think that Cheney did anything good?"–

    Biden managed to praise Cheney for being willing to stand by his unpopular positions – even though Joe made sure to add, he disagreed with those positions.

    In answering what he thought the worst thing Cheney has done was, Biden focused in on Cheney’s complete disregard of Constitution re: Presidential powers.

  117. 117
    Zuzu Hussein's Petals says:

    She can’t even get that right, it was a quail hunting accident.

    Pheasant?

    But she can’t even get right the fact that it wasn’t something he did AS VICE-PRESIDENT. Which was actually the question.

    Good Lord, I hope she gets nailed on that one.

  118. 118
    JL says:

    I was disappointed about Sarah’s answer to her favorite movie. Since she believes that dinosaurs and man roamed the earth together, I thought that she would mention the Flintstones.

  119. 119
    Zuzu Hussein's Petals says:

    Oops, couldn’t get to the edit function in time … Dreggas was right…quail hunting accident.

    Sorr-ee.

  120. 120
    Kamishna ya Watu Xenos says:

    ""John McCain’s decision to cancel a campaign event in Michigan next week was not a matter of scheduling: Mr. McCain is giving up his effort to take the state back into the red column, concluding that economic distress there has simply put the state out of reach, according to Republicans familiar with the decision./""

    TPM predicts the campaign and the RNC are moving the people out and then are going to blanket the media racist attack ads. They are short of operatives but have plenty of cash to poison the discourse.

    (apologies for the blockquote failure. I have not been able to keep up.)

  121. 121
    JL says:

    Laura, I saw Obama speak at GA Tech when he just started running for the presidency. 20,000 showed up then and it was worth the wait. Of course I took Marta and walked a few short blocks but it was quite an experience.

  122. 122
    AkaDad says:

    You all won’t be laughing when Sarah shows her intelligence and grasp of foreign and domestic policies. I actually feel bad for Biden.

    +47

  123. 123
    Zuzu Hussein's Petals says:

    Okay, found where Palin was present when GWB at least spoke to the troops in Alaska:

    Press release

  124. 124
    JL says:

    @AkaDad: Biden can take it. Please don’t feel too bad.

  125. 125
    A la lanterne les aristos! says:

    Biden spoke in length about LBJ and his challenges when he became President after Kennedy’s death.

    Whoopsie. I guess this is that foot thing that I keep hearing about.

    And yet still far superior to what Palin came up with.

  126. 126
    JL says:

    @Zuzu Hussein’s Petals: Shortly before she was announced as VP.

  127. 127

    You guys will like this Palin video if you haven’t seen it already.

    LOL. that’s awesome. I particularly love the frequent "scratchy record" sound.

  128. 128
    mak says:

    Re: Sarah attacks!!: I think Comrade Jake nailed it: the "she’ll attack Biden on foreign policy" is misdirection. Beyond a single canned line, she can’t; and such an attack would invite both a detailed response from Biden and a follow-up for Palin regarding Joe’s response, at which point she’d be hoist on her own moos-tard.

    On the other hand, that may be over-thinking this thing. Given McSnarly’s tactics (and lack of discernible strategy) to date, Davis et. al., may simply have absorbed the CW that Joe cannot fight back, and therefore intend to keep attacking him, assuming he will bite his tongue and smile. From the perspective of their base, his failure to respond will be spun as weakness (beat up by a girl).

    Which raises the question: why can’t Joe just tell the truth about her, by which i mean being mean. Honestly, as long as he can be nasty with a smile on his face (her specialty) and doesn’t become Angry Joe, what’s wrong with stating outright that Gov. Palin has demonstrated a terrifying lack of knowledge or even curiosity of basic domestic affairs, let alone foreign relations, and represents a grave risk to the country if required to ascend to the presidency. I don’t think that’s being sexist or condescending; it’s simply stating the obvious.

    Re: Glenn Beck: a cry for attention (read: viewers)

  129. 129
    JGabriel says:

    Mak:

    On the other hand, that may be over-thinking this thing.

    Yes, I expect so. Ana Marie Cox, of all people had an especially trenchant, if somewhat cliched, observation this week on Maddow’s show (quoting from memory, so forgive if the wording isn’t exact):

    I’ve been covering these people, watching them work. I know them pretty well by now. They’re playing checkers, not chess.

    .

  130. 130
    JGabriel says:

    Mak:

    Which raises the question: why can’t Joe just tell the truth about her, by which i mean being mean?

    He can, and he will. A couple of weeks ago, at a rally, Joe compared R’s to the kid who comes up to you in school and says "Nice shoes. Hand-me-downs from your brother?"

    I’ll bet he uses that story again, or some variation of it, when Sarah goes mean. It might even flummox her a bit – I’m sure she’s expecting no one to call her on her attacks.

    .

  131. 131
    RoonieRoo says:

    I’m almost afraid to watch this.

  132. 132
    Narcissus says:

    She sounds like she’s about to fly off the handle.

  133. 133

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