I wouldn't bet on slime-free debate tonight. McCain has a nasty streak that may lead him to repeat the recent sleazy attacks by his campaign. Meanwhile, surrogates, Fox news, and Palin broadcast the lies and innuendos.
Portraying Obama as a man of mystery is beyond belief. The man has written two forthright books about his life and his beliefs and political philosophy, attended two U.S. universities, served as President of the Harvard Law Review, has been in politics for over 10 years. and survived grueling primaries.
I hope that the American people will not fall for these unwarranted and unsubstantiated attacks.
I'm not sure if Obama can get the focus of tonite's debate on economic policy, given McCain's intent to keep up an attack on the Democrat's personality and character, but it is certainly the issue that ought to be discussed. I say that as I contemplate the almost $13,000 my retirement fund went down last quarter (I'm trying to get it moved to insured savings today) and figure I'm only one of millions of Americans who are realizing the mess we're in.
After hearing McCain's claims yesterday that Obama was "lying" when he called the Republican a Deregulator (the thing he built most of his political career on), I started researching the past 25 years and found enough evidence to pinpoint the real liar.
The Beltway folks, who had set as low a bar as possible for Sarah Palin, apparently thought that the Republican Vice Presidential nominee more than did enough to reclaim her image. Mark Halperin wrote that the "late night jokes could cease,"and that aside from her winks and folksy jargon Palin "didn't leave Tina Fey much to work with." Similarly, Romesh Ponnuru opined, "The big loser tonight was Tina Fey."
Boy, were they wrong. Fey was as on last night as she has been the past few weeks -- and it didn't hurt that Palin did give her a lot to work with. Halperin and Ponnuru may think that Palin and the McCain campaign have reclaimed control over Palin's image, but at this point she still looks a lot like Dan Quayle, except less qualified and more comical.
Rasmussen put out a new poll featuring favorability numbers for the VP candidates after the debate. Conventional wisdom was that Palin was much more likable and that Biden was nice, but dull and people didn't respond to him. And the question of "Who won the debate?" showed a conflicted view. He won by a somewhat slim margin of 45%-37%. But when you look at the difference in favorability from a poll taken on September 24, you understand what Joe was trying to do.
Biden had a lot to gain in terms of favorability. I maintained that he had extremely high uncertain numbers that would almost assuredly go up rather than down, and that not only would he win the "ready to be VP" test, but he would emerge as the winner in favorability as well. So what do Rasmussen's head to head numbers show?
On this table, I count the difference on each level, counting a rise in favorable ratings and a drop in unfavorable ratings as positive.
This clearly shows what happened. 13% total difference towards a more favorable view of Biden (double counting, but whatever), and 4% of a total net loss for Palin. If you want to weigh it by giving the changes on both extremes double value, it gets even better for Biden, becoming -2% to +20%.
Granted, this top polling happened before the Couric incident, but it still captures the net result. Granted, you can argue that the debate made a difference from her standing immediately beforehand, but that is not the point. The point is that Biden went from reasonably popular to overwhelmingly popular in the last week and a half, while Palin actually got a little LESS popular. Remember: The ONLY metric Sarah Palin can win on is favorability.
Knowing that, the question of did better isn't even up for discussion.