Where I come from–Liberal Academia–debates are won by the party who has (1) the better command of the facts; (2) the better argument.  Where David Broder lives, Washington D.C., such liberal, post-modern notions as facts and argument matter not.  

Palin did just fine on her own, and so did Joe Biden, her sparring partner and the veteran senator from Delaware. In fact, the surprise of the night was that the candidates for the No. 2 job were much livelier and more impressive on the Washington University stage than Barack Obama and McCain had been when they met at Ole Miss.

In a session that was faster-paced and friendlier than the presidential debate, Palin and Biden smiled often at each other while exchanging glances and verbal blows. It was a reminder that politics can be fun — as well as informative.

But it created a mystery of its own. Why in the world has the McCain campaign kept Palin under wraps from her debut at the Republican National Convention until this debate? What were they afraid of?

I asked that question of Steve Schmidt, the McCain campaign manager, and he disputed the premise. Schmidt said that Palin has answered "hundreds" of questions — which will come as news to the reporters who have been traipsing around the country with her. Going into the debate, she had done exactly three television interviews — with ABC, CBS and Fox — and not held a single news conference.

It doesn't appear Broder even watched the debate.  It's one thing to assert that Palin did fine in the debate, followed by (1) a new definition of "fine" and (2) evidence that it applies to her performance in St.Louis.  It's rather another thing simply to state as settled fact that she did fine and then mysteriously wonder why the McCain camp worried about her in the first place.  As anyone who saw those interviews knows, they worried about her because when pressed, it becomes clear she doesn't know anything about anything and, more importantly, she can't even fake it when pressed.

4 thoughts on “Fine”

  1. Broder keeps churning out one embarrassing column after another, and almost always ignores policy differences and qualitative judgment.  Apparently he didn’t actually watch Palin’s train wrecks with Gibson and Couric, either.  In this debate, there were no follow-up questions, as you note.  I’m not sure Broder even noticed, but even if he did, evidently he doesn’t care about such paltry matters. 

  2. Palin’s debate performance consisted of reading 90-second burst of talking points which had no relation to the questions asked. So what she proved is that she can read a script or teleprompter. We already established that several weeks ago.

  3. You have to check out Fallows’ blog today: now *he’s* upset with this Broder piece. It’s like he’s thinking about the same issues we are discussing here, but with zero self-awareness.

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