e-mail me at billdeg@umich.edu

10/03/2008

post-debate

The best thing I've read today: Salon's report on the v.p. debate. The report lists Palin's non sequiturs. Q: When should we use nuclear weapons? A: Dangerous regimes shouldn't have nuclear weapons. Well worth reading. Palin evaded questions and recited memorized lines. Week two of tremendously effective GOP management of viewer/voter expectations.

One thing Salon neglects is Biden's specificity. I'm not a big fan but I admired the moments where he cited extremely specific legislation and demonstrated ease articulating details of the voting records of Obama, McCain, and himself. His responses were remarkably logocentric and, aside from when he referenced the death of his first wife, flat in terms of affect. Facts.

Sharp contrast to Palin who is all about affective connection: winks, raising a hand everytime she says "middle class" or "American people," the accent. Her definitive moment: she's called out for not answering the questions and says she doesn't plan to answer the questions the way the moderator wants her to and will instead speak to the American people. Brilliant move. A license to evade. Everything is a "gotcha" question, even if posed by an "American person" (like the voter who asked her about Pakistan) as opposed to reporter. "American people" does not include reporters, professors, actors, scientists, and people who live in California or NYC. Out of fairness, it's a continuum. Socially conservative, working-class, Christian, undecided voters in swing states are definitely "American people."

In happier election news, Nicole and I scored tickets to see Jay-Z tomorrow night at Cobo Hall, a free show that's doubling as a pro-Obama voter-registration event. I.E., only registered voters could score tickets. H to the Izzo.

2 comments:

bonnie lenore kyburz said...

i love how she opened by saying that she could sum it all up by reflecting upon how soccer moms are thinking about the economy on a Saturday afternoon.

um. i'll bet we could sum things up differently by asking the elder gentlemen who has taken a job at Wal-Mart as a greeter and is working on a Saturday because he has to do so in order to earn enough to pay for his meds or his wife's therapy.

but, yipes. i mean, she does know her audience.

i'm afraid.

seth said...

I want Joe Biden's "John McCain is no maverick" paragraph on a t-shirt, on billboards, tattooed to his forehead, etc. That was the highlight of the debate for me--about time somebody made that point loudly and publicly.