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October 01, 2008

How Biden and Ifill Will Conspire to Get Palin

Here's what Biden is going to do, and how Ifill will aid him:

Biden will read up on some arcane bit of information for each question. Some obscure agency, etc. For health care, he'll drop TERPSA's third-party copayment provisions. (I just made that up. I made up TERPSA. I have no idea what I'm talking about. I'd say S-CHIPS, but most people know what that is, including Palin.)

This isn't difficult. Ron Paul did this to McCain in one debate, asking him about some obscure federal agency which he did not identify, except by acronym (or vague name). Turns out, it was a panel to set the rules as far as automated-selling in a market panic, or something.

Not something we really expect any Presidential candidate to know offhand -- if they do, great, if not, well, come on.

Paul's question was crafted to demonstrate McCain didn't know anything about the economy (which was the story that week, as it was popularized that McCain had once said he didn't know as much about the economy as he'd like).

Now, this is a pretty easy trick. If I do this to any of you, and if I'm allowed to get away with it, I will make you look stupid. And you can easily do this to me. I can look up the history of longbows in the 15th Century (uh-oh-- thread killer), spring a question about it, pretend like I'm so knowledgeable that this information is just part of my normal "active inventory" of data, and expose you as a dummy who doesn't know that Agincourt was actually the third battle in which longbows had been a decisive factor.

So Joe Biden is doing this for every single easily-anticipated subject matter of question. Health care gets asked about, generally. Joe Biden drops his earlier-rehearsed bit of legardemain about TERPSA's third-party copayment provisions.

Now, when the question goes to Palin, Ifill will specficially re-ask the question to incorporate Joe Biden's mention of TERPSA's thrid-party copayment provisions.

He will get a general question, which he will deliberately shape to be more specific, as to a specific he has planned and boned up for. Ifill will then demand Palin answer the nit that Biden interjected, just for this purpose.

So why can't Palin do this to Biden? She can try. But Ifill will not insist Biden answer intelligently about her specific-data-gotchas. He will be allowed to answer in general principles and only stick to his own talking points.

Has Palin gotten the knack of moving away from such gotchas? She's probably practiced it a bit. However, Ifill is going to demand she answer Biden's goofball TERPSA question, and not the more general question originally posed.

Pendant? Gore did this on occasion to Bush in the debates, a commenter pointed out. There was one specific bill he kept asking if Bush would support. He only identified it by the names of the cosponsoring senators.

Gore looked like a bit of a dick, and Bush was able to parry that.

So it's not a surefire solution. However, the MSM is determined to Quayle-ize Palin, and further, I hate to be a downer, but the public is wondering if Palin is a female Quayle. Yes, the knock on Bush was that he was a dummy, but bear in mind: Bush had been running for President for two years by this point, so he had plenty of time to study up on federal questions and legislation.

Palin's pick came out of left field -- she wasn't expecting this nor preparing for it. She's had, what, a month to learn what Bush, Obama, and Clinton had a year to learn?

This may be why Senators are so often tapped as Vice Presidential candidates -- because it's their daily job to be informed (or partly informed) about this stuff. They know this, stuff, pretty much; they just don't have what it takes to actually be president.

A governor who knows he's running for President for years can bone up on this over such a long period of time; but a governor who was never expecting this and never running for any national office has a very short period to master all the data of federal policy.


More "Defeatism"... from Neo-Neocon. Actually, it's just musings on the point, but apparently anything other than PALIN RULES! is defeatist.


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posted by Ace at 07:56 PM

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