Wednesday, October 01, 2008

What it's like to debate Sarah Palin

I hope Biden and the moderator don't allow Palin to get away with this nonsense (this report from someone who debated her more than two dozen times):

On April 18, 2006, Palin and I sat together in a hotel coffee shop comparing campaign trail notes. As we talked about the debates, Palin made a comment that highlights the phenomenon that Biden is up against.


"Andrew, I watch you at these debates with no notes, no papers, and yet when asked questions, you spout off facts, figures, and policies, and I'm amazed. But then I look out into the audience and I ask myself, 'Does any of this really matter?' " Palin said.


While policy wonks such as Biden might cringe, it seemed to me that Palin was simply vocalizing her strength without realizing it. During the campaign, Palin's knowledge on public policy issues never matured - because it didn't have to. Her ability to fill the debate halls with her presence and her gift of the glittering generality made it possible for her to rely on populism instead of policy.


Palin is a master of the nonanswer. She can turn a 60-second response to a query about her specific solutions to healthcare challenges into a folksy story about how she's met people on the campaign trail who face healthcare challenges. All without uttering a word about her public-policy solutions to healthcare challenges.


What it's like to debate Sarah Palin


by Andrew Halcro, an Independent Candidate for Alaska Governor who Debated her 12 times


By Stephen Fox, Contributing Editor New Mexico Sun News - Sep 30th, 2008 at 11:01 pm EDT


from the October 1, 2008 edition, Christian Science Monitor


Anchorage, Alaska - When he faces off against Sarah Palin Thursday night, Joe Biden will have his hands full.


I should know. I've debated Governor Palin more than two dozen times. And she's a master, not of facts, figures, or insightful policy recommendations, but at the fine art of the nonanswer, the glittering generality. Against such charms there is little Senator Biden, or anyone, can do.


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