Mortal kombat: Palin vs. Biden

If ever there was a wild-card debate, it’s this one. Everyone’s expecting Biden to mop the floor with Palin, but I’m not so sure. First of all, Biden’s prone to gaffes, and has a motormouth that may as well be powered by the Energizer bunny. The more he talks, the less Palin has to say.  Which is exactly how her handlers want it: as of a few days back, the word leaked from the McCain camp was that the debate prep for Palin was going less than stellar (astonishing as that may sound), but keep in mind that prepping for a debate is different than prepping for an interview. What’s been killing Palin are the follow-up questions that take her out of the Land of Prepared Scripting, and there’s far less opportunity for that kind of cross-ex in a debate.

Nonetheless, it’s clear that the odds against her are as long as a candidate at this level has faced. There’s a reason why the McCain camp was trying to postpone this one, and it’s the same reason why moderator Gwen Ifill is being subjected to an unprecedented pre-emptive attack in the name of expectations management. There may even be scenarios where Palin cancels the debate altogether and flies back to Alaska to deal with the sudden health problem of a family member (my money would be on Trig).  But . . .  there are also scenarios where Biden comes off as an arrogant prick, and Palin as a likeable Annie Oakley, dispensing frontier justice and witticisms from her quiver of pre-fabricated (yet potentially world-class) sound-bites, thereby arresting the free-fall into which her poll #s have gone into.  Stranger things have happened in American politics, that’s for sure.  Tonight is going to be a don’t-miss-it circus.

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2 Responses to “Mortal kombat: Palin vs. Biden”

  1. narciso Says:

    Seeing how Biden confused Hezbollah with the PLO back in 1982; and with the ’06 invasion. Misrepresented the views of General McKiernan; re vs. the surge applicability to the Afghan/Pakistan front. This is what 36 years in the Senate gives you. He supported the Iraq War, until it became difficult, he supports a symbolic effort in Darfur until it matter, than he’ll find an excuse. He doesn’t seem to understand the implications of his support for Georgia’s independence from Russia and possible NATO membership.

    Been reading up on Russian history lately; and your long term projections don’t seem so off; although there are questions about the feasibillity of said regime. The US suppported Czarist Russia back during the struggle with France and Britain over the Crimea; but were more circumspect on the more authoritarian Czar Alexander 111, whose advisors Pobustdenev (the real version of what people imagined Ashcroft to be) & Count Tolstoy; both satirized by Leo Tolstoy, turned the country into a real police state, They created the Okhrana , and waged war against the narodniki and later the SR. Both have more than some similarity with both the Jaguars and the Autumn Rain ; in their nihilism That agency even employed double agents like Azef who assasinated Phehve and Bogrov against Stolypin ; did you get any ideas about the Manlishi and the Praetorians from there? We are clearly more in a Nicholas 1/Alexander 111/Nicholas 11 phase under Putin/ Medyevev/
    Shamanov? ; than the more reformist Alexander 11, the atypical ‘good czar; which was the Gorbachev and first part of Yeltsin. The writings of the late Anna Politskovskaya and the still living Steve Levine and Andrew Meier illustrate the point.

  2. David Williams Says:

    @Narciso- All I’ll say about Biden is that he meets the baseline requirement for prez imo, and I don’t think Palin even begins to. I’d feel a lot more comfortable about her if she could/would hold a press conference, but we both know that’s not going to happen. Keep in mind that Palin’s views are quite literally apocalyptic–she believes the end-times are coming, and her environmental views are like many fundamentalist Christians: they’re not interested in protecting the environment because they think the day of judgement is around the corner. That mindset has to be kept out of the Oval Office at all costs.

    On the Idea Generation issue– hard for me to say exactly where these came from. I avidly drew on every aspect of intelligence I could; overall roots are more 20th century than they are 19th, though, and WWII/Cold War intelligence operations were probably the most influential. One really good book you might check out is Alan Furst’s DARK STAR, set in the late 1930s/early 1940s. Another one that was hugely influential is James Ellroy’s AMERICAN TABLOID (I could never get into his crime fiction, but his political noir is nothing short of staggering).