Friday, October 3, 2008

The VP Debate

First, the who won. A CBS poll of uncommitted voters gave Joe Biden the edge, 42-21 percent, over Sarah Palin. A CNN poll of regular voters looks about the same, 51-36 percent thinking Biden won. And he did, by any objective, non-partisan analysis.

In Palin's favor, no stumbles other than a creepy wink thing (see video below). Eighty-four percent said the Alaska governor did better than they expected. Something, then, for everyone. I thought at times she shined, at times she repeated the mantra. To stand toe-to-toe with an experienced guy like Biden, not bad.

And though I bitched a little (see below) about the moderator Ifill and her book, 95 percent polled thought she was fair. And she was.

The Fox folks this morning insisted Palin won. I think they watched their TVs with the sound off.


John Arkwright said...

I am an economist. We're pretty warped about voting. Unless one side or the other wins my state by one vote, my vote is irrelevant. So, for me, voting is entertainment.

I had thought I would be most entertained by voting for Bob Barr. Then along came Sarah. So, yes, I am biased. Flirting with America during the debates? I loved it.

I cannot turn off the rest of my knowledge in watching the debate, so I am not much of a judge "Oh! Biden made that (patently ridiculous) point and she didn't counter! Point for Biden."

When Biden says something ridiculous, such as "We're going to tax the rich, and help the middle class," I count that as -10, since, according to the IRS, 3/4 of "individual taxpayers" with incomes over $250K are really small businesses. When Biden says, "95% of small businesses have incomes below $250K," I count that as -20 since it is still the case that the 5% of small businesses with incomes above $250K make up 3/4 of "individual taxpayers" with incomes over $250K.

So when I watch the debate I mostly score the intellectual honesty and intelligence of the candidates, not the point/counterpoint, as a debate coach would.

My only big negatives for Palin are on the "greed on Wall Street" comments. If you take the greed out of human action you have . . . the end of human kind.

Hollander said...

Yep, the old Downsian argument -- voting (or keeping up with public affairs) -- is an irrational act.

Unless, of course, you do it for enertainment purposes. Then it's completely rational.