Debate and Switch

From The Vancouver Sun:

It’s the U.S. election debate that most interested observers have been eagerly waiting for – Democratic vice-presidential nominee Joe Biden against Republican VP choice Sarah Palin – but don’t expect them to get into many verbal exchanges.

According to a report in the New York Times Saturday, the campaign of Senator John McCain has fought for tight rules on how the VP debate will run, limiting the chances of anything other than short answers, and ensuring the debaters will not speak directly to one another for anything more than short periods.

witlessprotectionOriginal DVD cover.

This in contrast to the Presidential debates, in which Senators Barack Obama and McCain will be allowed to address each other, argue, and present rebuttals for five minutes per question, after a two-minute answer period.

The reasoning behind the tighter VP rules? According to The Times, McCain advisers were concerned that letting Palin, a relative rookie when it comes to debating national and international policy, go toe-to-toe with Biden, would leave her at a disadvantage.

The Obama campaign was reportedly not involved in the discussion, with advisors to Biden claiming they were comfortable with whatever rules were put in place. The negotiations were between the Commission on Presidential Debates, a non-partisan organization, and McCain advisors.

From The Washington Post:

Under the plan agreed to yesterday, Palin and Biden will have less time than McCain and Obama to reply to moderators’ questions and discuss each other’s answers. And there will be no guidelines given to Gwen Ifill of PBS, moderator of the vice presidential debate, as to subject matter, allowing her to mix in questions about foreign and domestic matters, the sources said.


The Commission on Presidential Debates […] had hoped the campaigns would agree to the same longer segments for the vice presidential aspirants as those adopted in August for the presidential debates.


Palin and Biden will each have 90 seconds to respond to questions, followed by a two-minute period for discussion between the candidates.


Filed under 2008 election, Barack Obama, Democrats, humor, Joe Biden, John McCain, movies, parody, PBS, politics, Republicans, Sarah Palin, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

23 responses to “Debate and Switch

  1. nightowl724

    The reasoning behind the tighter VP rules? According to The Times, McCain advisers were concerned that letting Palin, a relative rookie when it comes to debating national and international policy, go toe-to-toe with Biden, would leave her at a disadvantage.

    Ummm… Excuse me… But, aren’t the debates supposed to show who knows what, who knows how to handle themselves under pressure, who has the better policies, who best represents you, and who would make the best president should the need arise?

    This is NOT a f*cking classical golf, fencing, or tennis match to be played by gentleman’s rules! They don’t have to go for the jugular, but, come on – our nation is fighting for her very life! I just don’t get it. Why does Palin get a pass?

    nonnie, super poster! The Palin-McCain button was an especially nice touch.

    nonnie9999 ’08!

  2. nightowl,
    what i don’t understand is why the dems are okay with this. why does the debate have to be dumbed down? why are the rethugs allowed to get away with this $hit time after time? i wish the dems would grow a fu¢king spine!

  3. nightowl724

    I know, nonnie. I couldn’t agree more!

  4. jlms qkw - jenn

    why weren’t biden’s advisors involved? ahem?

    crazy guy, heh. no screening. heh.

  5. jenn,
    who the hell knows? this makes me furious! it would be fine if the general public were well aware that the debate had to be dumbed down for princess sarah, but we know all too well that the networks won’t make a big deal out of it. i doubt their little princess will do much of anything but repeat portions of her stump speech, but this gives the rethug pundits another opportunity to tell people that she didn’t do as badly as everyone thought she would.

  6. Got a Grip

    I’m torn between the spit take that I inadvertently aimed at my monitor over your poster, nons, and punching my monitor because of how f^cking angry all this makes me. I can’t believe how the McPalin campaign has shoved this freakshow of a VP candidate down our throats.

    I’m hopeful that in the end it won’t matter, that Biden will eat this woman alive in 5 words or less at every question. But I don’t have a lot of confidence in the intellect of the American public, not after suffering through 8 excruciating years of BushCo. So I guess time will tell….

    That headshot of Palin you used is perfect, nons. It captures her vapidness.

    I’ve been thinking we should just ship all the rethugs up to Alaska and let them have their own little country. Alaska’s big enough to hold them all and they can enjoy the splendor of the surroundings for a good six months before they manage to destroy it. Palin can be queen for life, and the rethugs can all genuflect accordingly. Idiots.

  7. i can’t understand how the terms of a debate that is supposed to be fair were negotiated by just one side. you can’t even blame the rethugs. why not do it if you are allowed to get away with it? nice guys finish last. it’s time for the dems to grow a pair.

  8. Got a Grip

    Amen to that.

  9. Friend of the court

    It’s an insult! That woman is dumber than Quayle. Ready on “day one”? Not if she needs training wheels for a “debate”. Darn it, this stuf* isn’t funny anymore.

  10. Friend of the court

    You are, still funny, nonnie9999.

  11. fotc,
    the woman is dumber than the potatoes dan quayle was trying to spell.
    p.s. you’re funny, too! 😉

  12. Got a Grip

    You’re both funny. Cut it out! 😉

  13. CU wishes he were holding Natasha from Moosylvania like that!

  14. i know, neon vincent. 😆 i bet that’s his m.o. he tells women he will help them, and then he grabs their asses.

  15. Fear not. Biden could still win the debate even if it ruled out actual talking.
    He could just point at her and laugh.

  16. karen,
    that’s true, but the general public will not know that she is even dumber than it appears. it is beyond me that the dems agreed to that. the only sense i can make of it is that they don’t plan on biden making too much of a fool of her, because the rethugs will scream that he is being sexist.

  17. jeb

    Biden will overcome. Who will ever forget his classic line about Rudy’s speeches? “A noun, a verb and 9-11.”

    This is less about not letting Biden lay a glove on her than it is about her blowing off her own toes.
    They should have actually gone for this with CU while they are at it. He can’t figure out his Sunni from his Shi’ite and was against more regulation while he was for it while his chief economic adviser (Phil “whiny Amuricans” Gramm) played a major role in this whole fiasco.

  18. jeb,
    maybe i am just frustrated, because i want to see her demolished on national tv. i want the rethugs to be thoroughly embarrassed (if they have that capacity). i guess i will have to put my faith in gwen ifill and hope she will be an actual journalist instead of being polite. with no topics off the table, i hope she concentrates on the really important stuff instead of the crap that we have seen in recent debates.

  19. vic

    Speaking of freak show, you all have known who the moderator is, yes?

    Definitely the debate has been dumbed down. I imagine the reason for the short answers is so Ifill can follow the replies. She prefers “snippy”. I’ll see if Ifill can follow up on Biden’s position on AIDS and Black men wearing condoms, and how women can ‘just say no’.

    Imagine if the ‘moderator’ had written a book on McCain. This is about as rich as the Fanny Bailout.

    By the way, that’s a cute cover image.

  20. vic

    What, are no raisins hysterical about this?

  21. vic,
    were you screaming this loud when bob schieffer moderated the debate between chimpy and kerry? did it bother you that he’s a close personal friend of chimpy and that his brother was one of chimpy’s business partners? how about the fact that the same brother was also appointed ambassador to australia by chimpy and was still serving in that capacity at the time of the debate?
    to tell you the truth, i think the political and media relationship in dc is so incestuous that i don’t think there is a moderator or a journalist who can be called unbiased. deal with it.

  22. vic

    Dear nonnie9999:

    First, I haven’t screamed once. I don’t do that. Nor do I refer to others by rude names. I can now see the quality of discourse here, and I will gladly, and extra quietly, depart — certainly there is no use talking to … (names I will not say). I can see that you, nor others here, have anything substantive to contribute.

    with a happy goodbye
    and a very respectful smile,

  23. so sorry, vic, i guess i took the phrase freak show the wrong way. sorry, too, if you don’t like the name chimpy. i give the resident of the white house the same respect he gives the american public. if you choose to depart, that’s up to you. everyone is welcome here, even those with opposing viewpoints.