Be Nice to Sarah Palin!
September 21, 2008 2 Comments
She can’t handle a real debate:
McCain advisers said they had been concerned that a loose format could leave Ms. Palin, a relatively inexperienced debater, at a disadvantage and largely on the defensive.
… McCain advisers said they were only somewhat concerned about Ms. Palin’s debating skills compared with those of Mr. Biden, who has served six terms in the Senate, or about his chances of tripping her up. Instead, they say, they wanted Ms. Palin to have opportunities to present Mr. McCain’s positions, rather than spending time talking about her experience or playing defense.
We surely can’t have her talking about her experience. That just wouldn’t be fair considering she has so little to talk about…
But we should be nice to Sarah Palin, because she can’t even inspire confidence in the McCain campaign over her ability to speak in public without a script:
… the commission unanimously rejected a proposal sought by advisers to Ms. Palin and Senator John McCain of Arizona, the Republican presidential nominee, to have the moderator ask questions and the candidates answer, with no time for unfettered exchanges.
The McCain campaign doesn’t believe that Palin can handle a debate structure like the one that has been developed for the McCain/Obama debate:
… [McCain and Obama] will be asked a question, each will give an answer of two minutes or less, and then they will mix it up for five additional minutes before moving on to the next question in the same format.
But don’t worry, Sarah Palin still gets an easier format:
… the McCain camp fought for and won a much more structured approach for the questioning at the vice-presidential debate, advisers to both campaigns said Saturday.
… At the insistence of the McCain campaign, the Oct. 2 debate between the Republican nominee for vice president, Gov. Sarah Palin, and her Democratic rival, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., will have shorter question-and-answer segments than those for the presidential nominees, the advisers said. There will also be much less opportunity for free-wheeling, direct exchanges between the running mates.
And thank goodness the McCain campaign fought so hard to protect Sarah Palin from this:
Commission members wanted a relaxed format that included time for unpredictable questioning and challenges between the two vice-presidential candidates.
The McCain campaign understands that Palin can’t be expected to answer “unpredictable” questions. It would be such a mean-spirited thing to do to someone so unprepared and inexperienced.
update: From the Wall Street Journal on September 29, 2008:
… in recent days, Gov. Palin flubbed quasi-mock debates in New York City and Philadelphia, some operatives said.