Liveblogging the Palin/Biden Vice Presidential Debate

* 6:00 PM PST – Watching ABC

*6:01 PM – Stephenopolis: “6 out of 10 Americans wonder if Gov. Palin has what it takes to be the VP. ” How many Americans wonder the same about Joe Biden? This is clearly a Palin-centric debate.

*6:04 – Biden stated that this bailout is evidence of the horrible economic policies of the last eight years. If true, that makes Barack Obama the second greatest political recipient of these worst economic policies of the last eight years.

*6:08 – Great back and forth about McCain’s comment on the “fundamentals of the American economy.”  Get the job done. 

*6:10 – I would be interested in your thoughts about Palin’s “Joe six-pack” reference?  Palin:  “It is not the American people’s fault that the economy is the way that it is.”  Biden: “John McCain thought the answer was, tried and true response, deregulate.”  I disagree with the governor.  While some people were clearly duped by preditorial lenders, anyone who could surf the internet and was capable of doing basic research on the housing bubble could have seen this disaster coming.  We have clearly been in a housing bubble for several years.  Some of the responsibility for this mess rests on the excited, consumptive habits of the American people.  Contra Joe Biden, government regulation regarding sub-prime loans is what put us in this mess in the first place.  Congress has had regulatory oversight over Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac and congressional members on both sides of the isle have been caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar.  People are people be they on Wall Street or in the halls of Congress.  People need to be honest and the American people need to hold preditorial lenders AND congressmen responsible for their each of these parties’ irresponsible actions.

*6:17 –  Palin: $250,000 = a tax on small business.  Great point.

*6:19 – Palin makes a great distinction between McCain’s budget neutral healthcare plan and Obama’s government mandate and budget heavy plan.  Biden’s response that McCain’s budget neutral healthcare plan would cost us in taxes does not make sense.  If it is budget neutral, why does McCain have to raise money for it?

*6:21 – Exxon Mobile is only a wedge for people who do not drive cars or do not appreciate driving cars.  Palin seems to have a legitimate critique (based on experience) of the oil companies.  Biden seems to be chasing an oil phantom.  As a side note, Exxon Mobile pays $4,114 per second in taxes.  They posted a net income of $11 billion in 07 which is just a third of the $33 billion which they paid in taxes.

*6:27 – John McCain worked a bi-partisan effort on the recent bankruptcy bill.  Biden:  “Barack Obama saw the glass as half empty.”  The evening’s headline.

Continue reading Liveblogging the Palin/Biden Vice Presidential Debate

Around the Horn: Joe Biden for Vice-President

If elected president, Barack Obama has chosen Joe Biden to assume the office of President should something happen to Obama.
Media outlets are buzzing with stories on Obama, Biden, and Obama-Biden. Here is a quick trip around the horn:
The Trumpet Resounds:
Alexander Burns and John F. Harris provide a sketch of Biden for those unfamiliar with him or his record.
Trumpeting from the Right:
Hugh Hewitt agree’s with the assessment of Biden that he is the “stupid person’s idea of a smart person’s candidate.” Hewitt argues that picking Biden means that, “Obama has added to his unsteady candidacy an epic amount Beltway cluelessness and arrogance unsupported by anything except frequent flier miles and Delaware’s love for a chuckle-headed fellow with a big smile.” Cliff the Mail Man for Vice-President.
Proving that he understands the language of Obama’s core support demographic, Washington Post On Faith columnist and Scriptorium Daily contributor John Mark Reynolds says “LOL” to Obama’s seemingly unwise choice. Noting the unique role that a Vice-President can play, Reynold’s says, “You look all over America able to choose the person (other than yourself) most fit to be President of the United States. It is a primary with one voter and you can choose your own Socrates, since he need not win over the masses.” Instead of choosing Socrates, Obama chose Empedocles.
The editors at National Review Online question whether Obama’s choice of Biden for VP leaves any hope for change in Washington.
Trumpeting from the Left:
Mike Allen quotes Obama spokesperson Linda Douglass who attempts to refute the notion that Biden eliminates any hope for change in Washington. According to Douglass, “”He’s stared down dictators all around the world. He has decades of experience in Washington and, yet, uniquely, he is not of Washington…He is the perfect person you could try to find to get away from the failed policies of the Bush administration. He is an independent thinker. Joe Biden, as you well know, has never been at a loss for words.”
At the Daily Kos they see Biden as a strong choice for Obama. Noting that Obama did not merely want a “yes man” Kos references this Obama quote, “I want somebody who is independent. Somebody who is able to say to me, ‘you know what, Mr. President, I think you’re wrong on this and here’s why’ and will give me (applause) who will help me think through major issues and consult with me, would be a key advisor.” Joe Biden certainly does not seem to be one who would merely say “yes.”
Finally, James P. Rubin argues that Joe Biden is the right man at the right time. According to Rubin, Biden’s “foreign policy experience and wisdom are unmatched in American politics. There is no one in Congress who has been around as long, who understands the international realities better, or whose judgment has proven sounder than Joe Biden’s.”
Blowing My Own Horn
Barack Obama’s VP pick confirms my suspicion that Barack Obama is the biggest thing in his universe. Biden has useful political experience and foreign policy gravitas, but his gaffe prone long-windedness and his inability to excite more than 1% of Democrat voters in this last primary means that he will not overshadow Obama. While it is commendable of Barack Obama to pursue someone who would not be a “yes man,” especially in the area of foreign policy, there seem to be other individuals who fit this bill. Why did Obama not choose Bill Richardson whose has as much political gravitas as Biden with a much more diverse resume and who would have put the battle ground state of New Mexico in play?
McCain supporters have reason to be of good cheer.
Dustin Steeve is a graduate of the Torrey Honors Institute at Biola University. Dustin worked as an Assistant Producer for the Hugh Hewitt Show and was also the Administrative Editor for the