Live blogging the VP debate
By Chloe Angyal
9:01pm I love Gwen Ifill. I love how she could barely keep a straight face as she announced that the audience had promised to remain very polite. As the candidates take the stage, I’m filled with a sudden fear that Sarah Palin might actually do well, that she might charm the viewers and do well in terms of national politics, and give the McCain ticket a boost. Of course, I want her to do well in terms of gender politics; I want her to undo some of the damage she's done this week to our chances of ever seeing a woman on a major party ticket ever again, but I'm certainly not rooting for her ticket.
9:04pm Sarah Palin’s barometer for how the economy is doing: go to a kid’s soccer game on a Saturday morning and ask the folks on the sidelines, “how are you feeling about the economy?”, and I bet you’re going to hear some fear. My barometer for how the economy is doing? Well, there's this thing called the stock market...
9:10pm Did she just wink at the camera? While talking about this week's economic meltdown, did she just wink at the camera? Look, I get that she’s a “good communicator”, in the same way that your down-home, earthy aunt Martha is a “good communicator”. But I don’t want my aunt Martha running the country, love her though I do. I want a brilliant, intelligent woman who can put a sentence together without saying “heck”, “darn” or “hurtin’.”
9:13pm Am I being sexist? Should I be rooting for her to remake the game, instead of just hoping that she’ll play men’s game and win by their rules?
9:18pm Palin is doing remarkably well, given how low expectations were after her Couric interview. She’s also learned from last week’s debate that looking at the camera, and not at the moderator, is far more compelling.
9:25pm "How long have I been at this, like, five weeks?" What are you, like, a fifteen-year-old girl?
9:30pm She’s doing well on energy. But I wish with all my heart that she’d stop saying “heck” and “darn”.
9:31pm Oh, wait, she just said that the activities of man shouldn’t be attributed to climate change. I’m pretty sure she meant to say that climate change shouldn’t be attributed to the activities of man. And I’m pretty sure that she doesn’t think that global warming is caused by man.
9:32pm Biden just called her “Sarah Palin”, then corrected himself and called her “Governor Palin.” One of my pet peeves during Clinton’s campaign was that everyone called her “Hillary” where they called Obama “Obama.”
9:34pm Palin corrects Biden:“The chant is ‘Drill, baby, drill’ ”. That’s going to be this week’s, “I have a bracelet too.”
9:37pm “I have gay friends!” But I don’t think they should be able to marry each other. That said, neither do Biden and Obama. Also, why do they choose to say “gay” and “heterosexual”? Why not “straight” or “homosexual”?
9:41pm “We don’t need early withdrawal”. But I do think that’s an effective form of contraception!
9:42pm That was a big, uncomfortable “um.” Not a good start for this response on Iraq. But she pretty much just called Biden a “pussy” by saying that his plan was “a white flag of surrender.”
9:44pm Finally, Biden is looking at and talking to the camera. About time.
9:47pm For god's sake, Palin, IT’S NU-CLE-AR. Please, not another four years of “Nucular”.
9:49pm Enemies who hate America, who hate our freedoms and our respect for women’s rights? Like… not letting survivors of rape or incest have abortions? Like making survivors of rape pay for their own rape kits? Those kinds of women's rights?
9:53pm Joe Biden just referred to himself in the third person. Chloe Angyal hates it when people do that.
10pm Facts matter, Joe. So does perceived confidence. Better luck on your next response.
10:02pm Bosniacs? That’s not a wordicle, Joe!
10:03pm Sarah Palin said she watched the Democratic Primary Debates. I'm surprised she found the time to do that, between watching Saturday Night Live with the sound turned down, and reading all the publications that have ever come across her desk.
10:05pm My boyfriend, soundly slightly terrified, IMs me saying, "Wow, I can see how people would really buy this, this 'folksy' thing." Slightly terrified, I agree with him.
10:06pm "Tomorrow morning the pundits are going to start doing the 'who said what at what time', thing..." This is really passive aggressive. And I know passive aggression; I'm Jewish.
10:08pm "What would you do if the President died?" Gwen Ifill, that was an awesome question. To reiterate, I love her.
10:09pm "A team of mavericks"? At this point, the people who are drinking every time that word is said are on their way to the hospital to get their stomachs pumped.
10:10pm Palin is addressing the middle-class people who are saying, "Government, get out of my way." And I'm addressing all women who are saying, "Government, get away from my uterus."
10:12pm Sarah Palin, stop winking! Also, Vice Presidential candidates do not give "Shout out"s. I don't think it's too much to ask that first woman on a major party ticket present herself like a serious politician, and not like the amateur DJ at my senior prom.
10:20pm OK, now we're just playing the "my misery was greater than your misery" game.
10:21pm "The notion that just because I'm a man, I don't know what it's like to raise kids... I know what it's like to wonder if your kid's going to make it..." And then he choked up. That was...powerful. That was an powerful moment for American masculinity right there. Will he be perceived as weak? As a hero? As a man who contributed to changing the traditional notion of manhood? (Then again, what would I be saying if Sarah Palin had just choked up on stage?)
10:24pm Joe Biden, on the ideology and judicial philosophy of Supreme Court judges, just came out in support of Roe v. Wade. It's a shame that this came out at 10:24, in the final question before the candidates' closing statements, but at least it got said.
10:28pm Sarah Palin assures us that, as long as we're working together, "At the end of the day, it's gonna be OK." But, at the end of the day, we might not have a VP who speaks like she's second-most powerful person in the free world ought to speak. She knows what the "hurts" are. Yeah... that's not a noun.
What did you think? How do you think it went?