Saturday, October 4, 2008

Excellent Strategy by Palin

Well, by her debate team, anyway.

It appears clear that she had some number of canned responses ready for the debate and was able to pull one of them out for pretty much every question. It's true that all politicians do this to some degree or another, deflecting a question onto a topic they'd rather talk about. But Palin had fewer topics into which she could pivot, so her attempts to do so were much more obvious.

What makes this an excellent strategy, despite its obviousness to anyone who watched the whole debate, is that not that many people actually watch the whole thing. To the voter who catches the highlights on CNN or the Daily Show, there is no 20 second clip in which Palin looks Couric-interview bad. By being allowed by a format which severely limited follow-up and interaction between the candidates to not directly answer any of the questions, Palin was able to hide her general lack of knowledge and experience compared to Biden.

Biden did ok, I guess. I think he should have relentlessly called her out on answering the question. Then the debate would have been fought on his strong points and her weaknesses. And what would her defenders have said? That he was being unfair in asking her to speak on the topics the moderator brought up?

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