Entries tagged as ‘Debate’

On Hate

January 18, 2011 · Leave a Comment

Given the national grieving over the shooting tragedy in Arizona and the healthy resulting discussion on the tone of political discourse, I thought it worthwhile to talk about running a site like hatepalin.com.

When this site was first launched, I received a lot of comments about it being inappropriate to hate anyone (including from my mother).

Let me be perfectly clear: we do not condone violence of any kind against anyone based on their political beliefs.  You will not see here hyperbolic screed designed to inflame readers.  You will not read violent or militaristic metaphors when describing Sarah Palin or the battle with her ideas.

What we hope you see is the bright light of truth, thoughtfulness and intelligence applied to what we believe are naive, simplistic and wrong-headed policies and approaches to life and politics.  As we said on our “About” page from the start, we don’t really HATE Sarah Palin, but we do hate her policies and what she stands for, and we think that her points of view are not only inconsistent with a healthy democracy, but are simply bad for America.

We will continue to collect tidbits that highlight Sarah Palin’s interaction with the world and why we think she is bad for America as long as she has a national stage which amplifies her radical views.  But please always remember that while we hate Palin the political operative, we bear no hard feelings toward Sarah Palin the person.  We actually wish her well.  Just not on the national stage.

Categories: Palin · Palintology · Politics
Tagged: , , ,

Obama Defeats McCain in 3rd Debate for Clean Sweep

October 15, 2008 · 10 Comments

The third time was a charm.  Bob Schieffer showed how a debate should be moderated.

McCain had his best performance; Obama was not at his best.  But in keeping with the rest of the campaign, Obama’s B-game proved to be better than McCain’s A-game.

McCain’s biggest weakness were his reactions – his facial expressions while Obama was speaking, his snarky and petulant come-backs.  His frustration was palpable, as was his disdain and condescension for Obama.  His best suit was that he showed authenticity.  Unfortunately for him it was mostly authentic anger.

Obama was true to form in staying cool despite some harsh attacks.  I felt like he could have shown a little more real emotion in reaction to some of McCain’s biting comments, and could have strayed from what seemed like the same talking points.  Fortunately for Obama, the talking points were appealing to most Americans, and I think that he again came across as more measured, mature and Presidential than McCain.  So while Obama was again not tremendously exciting, he accomplished exactly what he needed to.

So here’s how the CNN flash poll scored it:

Who won the Debate?   Obama 58% to McCain 37%

When asked this question along party affiliation:

Who won?               Obama                        McCain

Democratic               88%                                    5%

Republican                68%                                   18%

Independent              57%                                   31%

So clearly most people, and especially the all-important Independents, felt that Obama won the debate.  Similarly, Obama improved his pre-debate to post-debate favorables by 3 points (63 to 66), while reducing his unfavorables by 3 points (from 35 to 32); while McCain decreased his favorables by 2 points (52 to 49) while increasing his unfavorables by 4 points (45 to 49).  That’s right, nearly 50% of the people watching the debate view McCain unfavorably, and as many view him unfavorably as favorably.  By comparison Obama has a 2:1 favorable to unfavorable ratio.

Here are some other key comparisons that show how big a hill McCain has to climb:

When asked:                                               Obama          McCain

Who more clearly expressed views?               66%                  25%

Who spent more time attacking opponent?     7%                  80%

Who seemed more like a strong leader?          56%                 39%

Who was more likeable?                                   70%                 22%

Better on Economy?                                          59%                 35%

Better on fixing Financial Issues?                     56%                 35%

Better on Health Care Issues?                           62%                 31%

Better on Tax Issues?                                        56%                 41%

When a Republican can’t win on the issue of taxes, it’s game over.  There’s one number that didn’t come from the polls that should seal McCain’s fate more than even these lopsided post-debate polls:  the 9% that the S&P 500 dropped earlier in the day.  If that didn’t make everyone sick to his or her stomach, than you’re either a massive short seller or just not paying attention.

McCain-Palin went for the hail-Mary pass of going negative.  The population doesn’t care about Ayers of 40 years ago.  McCain shot himself by saying he’d kick Obama’s whatsit in this last debate.  And Palin seems to be operating in a parallel world, beyond McCain’s control.  Her incendiary attacks have fueled lynch-mob-like cries at her rallies, which she has failed to confront or correct.  Those are the shouts that have been heard around the nation and the world.  She also seems to be suffering from delusions of grandeur, and apparently believes that she has a national future beyond 2008.  I think she’ll be bundled back to Alaska faster than she could shoot a wolf or gut a moose, and blamed for the ticket’s loss by the very Republicans who are so “energized” by her now.

Categories: McCain · Palin
Tagged: , ,

"That One" Obama Wins Second Debate

October 7, 2008 · 1 Comment

Did everyone hear the snarky condescension in McCain’s voice in the second Presidential candidate debates?  He called Obama “that one” in reference to a vote in support of a bill he claimed was backed by “Bush-Cheney.”  That was the most uncomfortable moment in the debate for me, but incredibly revelatory of McCain’s character.

And was it just me, or did McCain’s “That one” comment sound dismissive, dehumanizing, and even vaguely racist?

McCain impressed me as nothing if not a cranky, cantankerous grandpa, who can’t always get his stories straight.

I’ve always thought that the debates would be a moment for Obama to shine.  He has consistently had a message of change even back when McCain was running on  experience and getting closer to Bush than a straight man ought to.  So far I’ve been proven right.

Obama looked Presidential.  McCain looked like a relic from the past.  Obama talked about moving forward; McCain talked about looking back to the example of Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neil.  Obama stayed and worked the crowd; McCain didn’t shake Obama’s hand and left early.  People wanted their pictures taken with Obama, but only shook McCain’s hand.

McCain-Palin are behind.  McCain had to knock it out of the park.  He didn’t.  His options are shrinking faster than you can say “hair plugs.”

The early poll that I’ve seen on CNN give the debate handily to Obama:

Those who say the debate was won by Obama = 54%; those saying McCain won = 30%.

Obama moved his favorable rating up 4 points (from 60% to 64%) and his unfavorable down 4 points (from 38% to 34%).

McCain, meanwhile, moved not at all.  His favorable stayed flat at 51%, and his unfavorable stayed flat at 40%.

In addition to showing no movement, please note that he is at a big disadvantage on both favorable and unfavorable ratings.

Point and Set.

Categories: McCain · Politics
Tagged: , , ,

Survey Says… Biden Wipes Floor with Palin

October 2, 2008 · Leave a Comment

The much anticipated debate recently ended.  Expectations for Palin were so low that the only way she could have surprised on the downside would have been to sing “Bomb bomb Iran” to an open microphone to the tune of Ba-ba-bra-an like McCain did previously.  There was no crash and burn.  In the largely scripted “debate” there was no atrocious gaffe – by either side.

Biden clearly had more to lose in this debate than Palin.  Would he be condescending?  Would he come off as scolding?  Would he use his experience as a bludgeon?  Would he make some ridiculous statement (FDR reassuring the nation on TV – which wasn’t invented – as President – before he was elected – about the Depression?).

Good for Joe, he was disciplined, he didn’t wander too much, and above all, he demonstrated a familiarity with specific facts, which is something that Palin has struggled with enormously.  So Joe avoided the downsides and in fact, I think, gained significant ground.

On all counts, you have to say that Biden won.  While Palin probably exceeded expectation by more than Biden, that’s only because people were expecting Palin to trip on her way to the stage and then a utter incomprehensible puree of talking points.  And she only half did that, so she exceeded expectation.

But according to all polls I’ve seen, Biden won the debate (51% to 38%), and improved his favorables by 10 points (42% to 53%).  Here are some specifics:

CNN’s insta-poll: Biden, 51 to 36.

CBS survey of uncommitted: Biden, 46 to 21.

So I have to give this to Biden by a wide margin.  I’m sure the Republicans are breathing a sigh of relief that she didn’t do something totally YouTube worthy.  But neither did she come off as someone that any thinking person could – outside the glare of the television camera and without the benefit of RNC provided talking points – think of as President and Commander In Chief without a serious shudder racking their very being.

Palin only proved that, contrary to her performance in the Couric interviews, she could speak a form of English, even if it’s delivered in that annoying nasal Fargo accent with an “also” thrown in with annoying frequency, and especially at the end of sentences, also.

Here are some actual quotes from the debate:

“And I’ve joined this team that is a team of mavericks with John McCain, also.”

“Also, John McCain’s maverick position that he’s in, that’s really prompt up to and indicated by the supporters that he has.”

“There have been times where, as mayor and governor, we have passed budgets that I did not veto and that I think could be considered as something that I quasi-caved in, if you will, but knowing that it was the right thing to do in order to progress the agenda for that year and to work with the legislative body, that body that actually holds the purse strings.”


There were times during the debate that I actually felt sorry for Sarah.  She was so clearly out of her league.  It seemed almost unfair, even though Gwen Ifill was imminently fair.  It’s just that any format that requires a candidate to show familiarity with issues, an ability to provide thoughtful answers, and a mastery of the English language inherently puts Palin at a disadvantage.

I watched the debate on CNN.  At first I found those minute-by-minute reaction graphs annoying.  But I quickly became fascinated by the fact that women loved Biden and hated Palin, while men were much more positively disposed to Palin.  Fascinating.  So Biden did a great job appealing to women (at least the “influenceable women” in Ohio who were on CNN’s “squiggle meter”).

One more CNN observation.  All the pundits, including the Republicans, scored it in Biden’s favor (what is this, a boxing match?) except for Rollins.  Poor Ed Rollins.  What a tool.

The best commentary line from a body language expert as reported on CBS:  “One of the things we look for is comfort and discomfort,” Navarro explained. “He made us feel comfortable. He looked presidential. She looked mayoral.”

Here are the results of a poll reported in The Swamp – the Chicago Tribune’s Washington Bureau that also shows that Biden wiped the floor with Palin:

Biden did better with Democrats than Palin did with Republicans, and Independents were with Biden by a huge margin.  So, yeah, Biden pretty much wiped the floor with Palin.  Nothing a little scrub-down with a bloody moose fur wouldn’t clean up.

Categories: Palin · Palintology · Politics
Tagged: , ,

Palin-Biden Debate and NASCAR

October 2, 2008 · 1 Comment

The big Vice-Presidential candidate debate happens tonight.  I know I’ll be watching, will you?

I hate to admit this, but I will watch largely for the same reason that I occasionally watch auto racing:  the chance that someone will hit the wall and explode into flames.  Or maybe an accident at high speed sending the car into an end-over-end cyclone of destruction, with parts strewn all over the raceway (remember that opening sequence on the “Wide World of Sports” back in the late 1970’s?).

Certainly Palin has given us all some precious moments of awesome crashes.

  • What magazines or newspapers does she read regularly?  All of them.  Whatever is put in front of her.
  • What Supreme Court decisions other than Roe vs. Wade does she think were wrong?  Ummm a lot of them, just none that she can remember and cite.
  • We should invade the sovereign borders of Pakistan.
  • Her foreign policy experience is being able to see Russia.
  • She has seen evidence of human footprints inside dinosaur footprints.
  • A Kenyan witch-doctor is largely responsible for her becoming Governor of Alaska.

Now good old Joe Biden is also prone to put his big foot in his big mouth.  So that kind of adds to the thrill.

Sadly the format supports scripted talking points (at the insistence of the McCain campaign), so the chances for really high speeds and hot temperatures that are a necessary precondition for spectacular crashes will be low.

But we can watch and hope.

Categories: Palin · Palintology · Politics
Tagged: , , , ,

Obama Bests McCain in First Debate

September 27, 2008 · Leave a Comment

Good news from the first Presidential debate.

Obama won by a pretty big margin.

We were all uncertain about whether we’d see a debate or a town hall meeting.  McCain’s increasingly erratic campaign called off and then on again the debate, even though his condition (agreement on a bailout bill) was not met.

After jetting in to Washington, injecting Presidential politics into a process that by all counts was moving forward with great speed and bipartisanship, and nearly derailing the process, McCain finally figured out that America was on to his cheap stunt, and wanted the debate to go forward.  So he reversed himself and showed up for the debate.

Maybe he should have stayed home.

Although it wasn’t a knock-out punch, Obama clearly bested McCain.  The especially bad news for McCain is that the night was supposed to be about foreign affairs, a topic on which he consistently bests Obama in the opinion of pundits and most Americans.  Because of the economic crisis, the first half of the debate focused on that area, and Obama was much more comfortable and in charge during this topic.

Why do I say that Obama won?

  1. A CNN telephone poll of people who had watched the debate.  51% said Obama had done best, while only 38% said that McCain had.
  2. A CBS online poll of that all important group – the uncommitted voter:  39% said that Obama had won to only 24% who thought that McCain had won (with 37% calling it a tie).

Here is Bloomberg’s take on the results of the night:  Obama Showed Leadership, McCain Proved Experience

Categories: McCain · Politics
Tagged: , , ,

Palin Out of the Spotlight

September 25, 2008 · 1 Comment

The McCain-Palin campaign must be delighted that the financial crisis and McCain’s broad, if self-serving, rush into Washington has temporarily taken Palin out of the spotlight.  All the more so, because Sarah’s second true interview (after Gibson – Hannnity doesn’t count in oh so many ways) is airing in segments this week.  I’m sure the campaign felt like Katie Couric would be a better showcase for Palin, and Couric is a little more light-handed than Gibson was.   But she’s still a journalist, so she has to ask a few substantive questions.

Based on the little I’ve seen so far, Sarah once again proves that she’s just not ready with the background information or the ability to talk about substantive issues.  In Wednesday’s segment Palin couldn’t come up with examples of McCain’s push for more regulation.  That’s because there aren’t many – he’s been the crusader for deregulation for most of his career.  Now that the financial hardships have hit, he’s a reformed regulator.  Just like he wants to wrap himself in the garment of change.

McCain has attempted to get the first Presidential candidate debate moved back from Friday, 9/27.  Why do you think that is?

  • His poll numbers have been sliding
  • The debate is likely to shift its focus at least in part to the economy and away from foreign affairs – i.e. to an area where he is weaker from an area where he is stronger
  • He is trying to show some leadership cred by running into Washington and crying “all hands on deck”
  • He is afraid that the debate format is not good for him
  • The more he delays the greater the chance that he can get some debates cancelled

My sneaking suspicion is that he also wants to “crowd out” the Vice Presidential debate, because of fears that Palin will fare poorly.

I’m encouraged that Palin’s negatives have headed higher.  I always figured that the intense scrutiny would eventually give people pause.  Those intense love affairs tend to end quickly.  Reality sets in.  The lights are coming back on.  And the American people are realizing who they’ve been dancing with for the past three weeks, and they’re not happy about it.

Categories: McCain · Palin · Palintology
Tagged: , ,