Friday, October 3, 2008

Palin's Achilles' heel

The Palin-Biden debate is over.

After live-blogging the debate, I cut-and-pasted together the following summary showing some highlights of the debate. (To view the long version, see here).

- Most interesting quotes
- My comments (red)

P: Can I call you Joe? Thank you, thank you.
P: Want to focus on . . .. Goto a kids soccer game on a Saturday and I betcha ya're gonna feel some fear. Fear about... Fear ...
P: Darn right was the predator lenders. Was de-ception there. Let's commit ourselves, Joe sixpack, hockeymoms, Never again will we be exploited again! We need to demand strict oversight. Let's not get ourselves in debt. She sounds like a she's addressing her fellow high school students. Are Americans this immature?
B: I don't know where to start. We don't call not giving Exxon 4 billion class war, we call it fareness. You know how McCain pays for health care: taxes as income the health care benefit. Goes straight to insurance company. .... I call that the ultimate bridge to nowhere.
Good line.
P: Doesn't tell one thing to one group, another to another. I took on oil companies. I undid what Obama did by voting for an energy bill. In my own area of expertise, that's energy.
B: McCain won't support a windfall profits tax like you did in Alaska. I hope the Gov will support for the country what she gave to Alaska.
P: We need to be appreciative of McCain's call to reform those who were starting to rear that head of abuse. Now we have to ....
P: Chant is drill baby drill and that's what we hear all across this country. Pipeline... O and B say no to everything. You even call drilling offshore "raping" the outer continental shelf. Strange comment.
P: Your plan is a white flag of surrender in Iraq. That's not what our troops need to see. You'll know when can govern themselves..... Iraqi commanders on the ground can tell us when that is. Says: I respect your decision Biden. Obama? Anyone who can cut off funding for the troops, that's another story. Looks really disgusted. (Palin's expression was one of extreme contempt for Obama, as if she considered Obama to be filthy or disgusting).
B: McCain has been dead wrong.
B: Focus on Pakistan. Has nukes. Iran not close to having nuke able to be deployed.
P: Both dangerous. Central war on terror is Iraq according to 2 leaders: Petreus and leader of Al Quaeda. Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad not one we can allow to acquire nuclear energy or nuclear weapons. But there is an agreement that Iran can acquire peaceful nuclear energy. Palin is even in disagreement with the Bush administration policy on this point.
P: Our tolerance. Can't sit down on presidential level as Obama would. Diplomacy is....
B: This is not true about Obama. He didn't say that about A. A doesn't control security apparatus. 5 sec of state said we should sit down. McCain won't sit down with Spain, a NATO ally. Incredible.
P: Israel peace seeking nation. Track record of peace with Jordan and Egypt.
B: None a better friend of Israel than me. Biden misspoke saying Hamas won election in West Bank (not Gaza).
P: Enough of the blame game. Have been huge blunders in the administration. Too much finger pointing backwards. We'll learn from past mistakes of this administration.
Q: Nuclear weapons.
P: Nuclear weaponry of course the be all and end all of all the regimes on our planet. Ours is for deterrence. That's a safe stable way to use nuclear weaponry. Can we talk about Afghan? Surge principles that worked in Iraq need to be implemented in Afghan also. We're fighting terrorists, building schools there, we will win there too.
B: Afghan, facts matter. Our comanding general there says surge principle used in Iraq will not work in Afghan. We spent more money in 3 weeks in Iraq than in 7 years in Afghan. No. 2. With regards to arms control, requires control. McCain opposed nuke test-ban treaty. Obama's 1st thing: Obama Lugar bill on nuke proliferation.
P: McCain knows what evil is. Know how to implement the strategies.
B: Just go into Home Depot and ask if a single major initiative McCain differs from Pres on? People in my neighborhood get it. Walk with me in my neighborhood. These people know corporate America done very well.
P: There you go again Joe, you preferenced whole comment with the Bush admin. Schoolteacher, blah blah. Got to increase the standards, NCLB not doing enough. Got to ramp it up and put more attention into that arena.
P: I would lead with energy independence in America, and with children with special needs.
Q: What is your achilles heel?
P: I have been the governor of a huge energy producing state. Not answering the question.
Of course!!! Palin doesn't know what the phrase "Achilles heel" means. The question asked Palin to point to some of her weaknesses. Palin does not command the vocabulary necessary to answer the question!
B: You're very kind suggesting my only Achilles heel is a lack of discipline. Lists achievements.
P: John McCain has been the consummate maverick. (me too)
B: McCain is not a maverick on the things that matter to peoples lives. Not a maverick on education. Not a maverick on the war. On the things that people talk about, not a maverick.
Why did Palin not answer the Achilles heel question? I strongly suspect that the vocabulary used by the moderator was simply too challenging for Palin. An alternative explanation? Perhaps Palin was just unwilling to exhibit any humility. Palin may not have answered the question, but the nature of Palin's Achilles' heel should now be obvious to everyone.

What a lame debate.


  1. .
    A lame debate, is it?

    Of course.

    And by the reactions of the viewers/listeners, you can tell how lame their perceptions are! Would you believe, a lot of them say "It's a tie! Both did well! Blah, blah, blah."

    OMG! Be merciful on America.

    . AJ at CA

  2. You're balanced, as usual...

  3. Palin pretty much answered next to none of the questions that were put to her. Just because she didn't answer the direct question about her Achilles' Heel doesn't necessarily imply that she didn't understand the question.

  4. I was floored by the same thing, not to mention her endless mispronunciation of "nuclear" as "nu-cue-lar" (pet peeve of mine!! Bush does it too!)
    I also notice (first with the crash and burn Katie Couric piece this week) that she says "I can't attribute man's activity to global warming..." shouldn't it be that she can't contribute global warming to man's actions?? backwards? Am I alone in expecting that a person running for VP have command of the language? Of course the content of her statement is ludicrous in itself. And if she says "maverick" one more time....

  5. Foxy and folksy might be my Achilles heel.... now that I have surged to my encyclopedia to find out what the heck it means. I shore wish people would ask me better questions. Any soccer, hockey moms out there who could ask questions.? We understand each other. Same with moms in IRAQ.

  6. Thank you so much for drawing attention to the Achilles Heel non-response. Until your comment, I felt I must have been viewing from a parallel universe last night, given that not one of the tv commentators had mentioned it post-debate. Meanwhile, I was shouting at the tv during her "answer". Not only was she non-responsive, but she ran on and on until even I started to get embarrassed for her. Perhaps study of mythology is not permitted by her religion ... although one would hope she would have some mastery of commonly-used language..

    Anonymous 503

  7. Heh - one of our users had the exact same thought!

  8. One of the most irritating issues for me was the repeated comments from Palin stating, (I paraphrase here) "...there you go again bringing up the past - for a ticket that espouses change, we sure keep hearing a lot about the past - the people want to hear about the future..."

    That was about the cheapest, shallowest excuses to avoid the responsibility for the last 8 years of Republican administration in the White House.

    Of course we all need to look to the past - to correct the mistakes that were made and to make sure we learn from the horrible practices of republicans.

    I sincerely wish that Biden had said something to the effect that the Obama administration is committed to accountabilty and responsibility - and that we must never forget our past, and should never hesitate to hold individuals or administrations accountable for their actions... especially the republicans and the administration of GWB - in support of which McCain has shown by voting along similar lines 95% of the time.

    For example, does Palin think we should ignore the financial meltdown and simply focus on the future - OR - do we owe it to ourselves to hold those accountable for this mess - by looking at the past mistakes and shaping a better future? I am so tired of conservatives saying, "Dont look at our past - just trust us."

    In closing, some quotes:

    "The Past lies upon the Present like a giant's dead body." -Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of Seven Gables

    "Only by acceptance of the past, can you alter it."
    - T. S. Eliot

    "The past is our definition. We may strive, with good reason, to escape it, or to escape what is bad in it, but we will escape it only by adding something better to it." - Wendell Berry

  9. The banality of it all

  10. Achilles heel! Thank you! SP

  11. CS So glad most of you feel the same as I do! I feel like part of the Palin aura is about the elephant in the room that nobody mentions. Ask her about an Achilles' heel, and she goes off on some rambling beauty pageant tangent, but it seems to go unnoticed? I don't think she had a clue as to what the phrase meant, but nobody cared? Pundits ignored the incident along with other special moments for some reason. They just kept saying that she did "great." Remember when Anna Nicole Smith would be on TV stumbling around slurring, barely able to speak, and had either of her children with her? I would scream at the TV.."TAKE THE BABY AWAY SHE IS STONED! Where is social services? What is wrong with you people?" Those interviewing her acted like they didn't notice. There are times when you can't just be polite. Point at the elephant in the room! Scream at it. Laugh at it. Bring up the flaws even though it is a mildly charming elephant and popular with almost half the population. Bush was popular too for some odd reason. Oh, and as someone brought up N.U.C.L.E.A.R. How hard is that to say? If you haven't mastered phonics, stay away from "the button."

  12. pretty cool stuff here thank you!!!!!!!


Because all comments on this blog are moderated, there will be some delay before your comment is approved.