Hebrews 12:1-2

"..let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith..." - Hebrews 12:1-2

Friday, October 3, 2008

Vice Presidential Debate: My Notes

Since I didn't get a chance to watch it last night, I took the time today to watch and read the debate in its entirety to see if I missed anything and to be capable of having my own opinion about the event versus merely repeating what others that I normally agree with have said about it. Below are my notes I took while watching/listening/reading the debate, capturing what I thought to be the more important or poignant moments of the discourse. The page number coreesponds to the exact location of the text in the official debate transcript, which incidentally has a few errors in it.

Palin (p5) - “We need to make sure that we demand from the federal government strict oversight of those entities in charge of our investments and our savings and we need also to not get ourselves in debt. Let's do what our parents told us before we probably even got that first credit card. Don't live outside of our means. We need to make sure that as individuals we're taking personal responsibility through all of this. It's not the American peoples fault that the economy is hurting like it is, but we have an opportunity to learn a heck of a lot of good lessons through this and say never again will we be taken advantage of.”
Dave Ramsey would be proud of this statement and I believe it to be true.

Palin (p6) – “We do need the private sector to be able to keep more of what we earn and produce. Government is going to have to learn to be more efficient and live with less if that's what it takes to reign in the government growth that we've seen today. But we do need tax relief”
I am a huge fan of the idea of reducing the size and scope of the federal government.
I wish she would have answered or responded directly to the deregulation question/issue.

Biden (p7) – “Well Gwen, where I come from, it's called fairness, just simple fairness. The middle class is struggling. The middle class under John McCain's tax proposal, 100 million families, middle class families, households to be precise, they got not a single change, they got not a single break in taxes. No one making less than $250,000 under Barack Obama's plan will see one single penny of their tax raised whether it's their capital gains tax, their income tax, investment tax, any tax. And 95 percent of the people in the United States of America making less than $150,000 will get a tax break.
Now, that seems to me to be simple fairness. The economic engine of America is middle class. It's the people listening to this broadcast. When you do well, America does well. Even the wealthy do well. This is not punitive. John wants to add $300 million, billion in new tax cuts per year for corporate America and the very wealthy while giving virtually nothing to the middle class. We have a different value set. The middle class is the economic engine. It's fair. They deserve the tax breaks, not the super wealthy who are doing pretty well. They don't need any more tax breaks. And by the way, they'll pay no more than they did under Ronald Reagan.”
Sounds like fairness only extends to the middle class.

Palin (p8) – “Now you said recently that higher taxes or asking for higher taxes or paying higher taxes is patriotic. In the middle class of America which is where Todd and I have been all of our lives, that's not patriotic. Patriotic is saying, government, you know, you're not always the solution. In fact, too often you're the problem so, government, lessen the tax burden and on our families and get out of the way and let the private sector and our families grow and thrive and prosper.”
When I heard this and reread it I just about shouted "Amen!"

Biden (p8-9) – “Now, with regard to the -- to the health care plan, you know, it's with one hand you giveth, the other you take it. You know how Barack Obama -- excuse me, do you know how John McCain pays for his $5,000 tax credit you're going to get, a family will get? He taxes as income every one of you out there, every one of you listening who has a health care plan through your employer. That's how he raises $3.6 trillion, on your -- taxing your health care benefit to give you a $5,000 plan, which his Web site points out will go straight to the insurance company.
And then you're going to have to replace a $12,000 -- that's the average cost of the plan you get through your employer -- it costs $12,000. You're going to have to pay -- replace a $12,000 plan, because 20 million of you are going to be dropped. Twenty million of you will be dropped.”
Wasn't Biden talking of giving to the middle class and taking from the rich earlier and calling it fair?

Palin (p10) – “I want to go back to the energy plan, though, because this is -- this is an important one that Barack Obama, he voted for in '05. Senator Biden, you would remember that, in that energy plan that Obama voted for, that's what gave those oil companies those big tax breaks. Your running mate voted for that…
So it was Barack Obama who voted for that energy plan that gave those tax breaks to the oil companies that I then had to turn around, as a governor of an energy-producing state, and kind of undo in my own area of expertise, and that's energy.”
I liked how she states what she had to do to overturn at the state level what Obama and others voted for in the past at the federal level. It's kind of a "I'll see your energy package and raise you a *zing!*." I'm a big fan of states rights.

Biden (p11) – “And, look, I agree with the governor. She imposed a windfall profits tax up there in Alaska. That's what Barack Obama and I want to do…
So I hope the governor is able to convince John McCain to support our windfall profits tax, which she supported in Alaska, and I give her credit for it.”
This was a classy move by Biden. It might have been brought on by the fact that he couldn't respond to her previous statement directly, but this was a great way of dodging any further discourse on that topic.

Biden (p13) – “Number two, with regard to bankruptcy now, Gwen, what we should be doing now -- and Barack Obama and I support it -- we should be allowing bankruptcy courts to be able to re-adjust not just the interest rate you're paying on your mortgage to be able to stay in your home, but be able to adjust the principal that you owe, the principal that you owe.”
If this happens then I would like to see my principal also re-adjusted by the same percentage that these free-spending, immediate graitification seekers receive. Anything less than that wouldn't be fair, right Joe?

Palin (p13) – “I'm not one to attribute every man -- activity of man to the changes in the climate. There is something to be said also for man's activities, but also for the cyclical temperature changes on our planet.”
This statement gives me reason to hope that Palin has actually read up on the topic and understands that the drivel being forced down our throats by Nobel Prize Winner Al Gore and the media is not necessarily the absolute truth.

Biden (p14) – “If you don't understand what the cause is, it's virtually impossible to come up with a solution. We know what the cause is. The cause is manmade. That's the cause. That's why the polar icecap is melting. Now, let's look at the facts. We have 3 percent of the world's oil reserves. We consume 25 percent of the oil in the world. John McCain has voted 20 times in the last decade-and-a-half against funding alternative energy sources, clean energy sources, wind, solar, biofuels.”
I like the idea of alternative energy, but I disagree with Biden's drinking of the global warming koolaid. Notice how it is now inconvenient to talk about global warming these days and how everything is about "climate change"?

Biden (p14) – “Drill we must, but it will take 10 years for one drop of oil to come out of any of the wells that are going to begun to be drilled.”
Only if the government stands in the way. New refineries and transportation infrastructure can be built in much less time and once oil is struck all you need is the refinery capability to process it. Again, the government has to get out of the way.

Palin (p15) – “Barack Obama and Senator Biden, you've said no to everything in trying to find a domestic solution to the energy crisis that we're in. You even called drilling -- safe, environmentally-friendly drilling offshore as raping the outer continental shelf.”
And yet, clean coal is the answer suddenly. Why is the idea of drilling a hole in the ground worse than digging a huge pit in the ground that can never be filled effectively? Can someone explain this to me?

Palin (p16) – “Well, not if it goes closer and closer towards redefining the traditional definition of marriage between one man and one woman. And unfortunately that's sometimes where those steps lead. But I also want to clarify, if there's any kind of suggestion at all from my answer that I would be anything but tolerant of adults in America choosing their partners, choosing relationships that they deem best for themselves, you know, I am tolerant and I have a very diverse family and group of friends and even within that group you would see some who may not agree with me on this issue, some very dear friends who don't agree with me on this issue…
But I will tell Americans straight up that I don't support defining marriage as anything but between one man and one woman, and I think through nuances we can go round and round about what that actually means. But I'm being as straight up with Americans as I can in my nonsupport for anything but a traditional definition of marriage.”
Her stance is clear and straightforward and I appreciate that. I also know that she will be drug repeatedly through the mud for it.

Biden (p17) – “Gwen, with all due respect, I didn't hear a plan. Barack Obama offered a clear plan.”
I agree with Biden. Palin didn't talk at all about a plan.

Palin (p18) – “Now, you said regarding Senator McCain's military policies there, Senator Biden, that you supported a lot of these things. In fact, you said in fact that you wanted to run, you'd be honored to run with him on the ticket. That's an indication I think of some of the support that you had at least until you became the VP pick here.
You also said that Barack Obama was not ready to be commander in chief. And I know again that you opposed the move he made to try to cut off funding for the troops and I respect you for that. I don't know how you can defend that position now
but I know that you know especially with your son in the National Guard and I have great respect for your family also and the honor that you show our military.”
This was a highlight moment for Palin and I am sure it will brushed under the rug.

Biden (p19) – “I promise you, if an attack comes in the homeland, it's going to come as our security services have said, it is going to come from al Qaeda planning in the hills of Afghanistan and Pakistan. That's where they live. That's where they are. That's where it will come from. And right now that resides in Pakistan, a stable government needs to be established. We need to support that democracy by helping them not only with their military but with their governance and their economic well-being.”
I agree with these sentiments, but I am not sure it’s a reason to bail out from Iraq at this point.

@ 47:42 – 48:33 – 4 times Palin said nucular – yikes! I’m sure this triggered a lot of GWB thoughts for a lot of people.

Palin (p20) – “But again, with some of these dictators who hate America and hate what we stand for, with our freedoms, our democracy, our tolerance, our respect for women's rights, those who would try to destroy what we stand for cannot be met with just sitting down on a presidential level as Barack Obama had said he would be willing to do. That is beyond bad judgment. That is dangerous.No, diplomacy is very important.
First and foremost, that is what we would engage in. But diplomacy is hard work by serious people. It's lining out clear objectives and having your friends and your allies ready to back you up there and have sanctions lined up before any kind of presidential summit would take place.”
I agree wholeheartedly.

Biden (p20) – “Can I clarify this? This is simply not true about Barack Obama. He did not say sit down with Ahmadinejad.”
Yes he did. View the question and the response from the CNN/YouTube debate 23JUL08. Hillary's answer to the same question was actually very well stated and lines up with the position that Obama and Biden are now attempting to spin.

Palin (p21) – “Israel is our strongest and best ally in the Middle East. We have got to assure them that we will never allow a second Holocaust, despite, again, warnings from Iran and any other country that would seek to destroy Israel, that that is what they would like to see.”
We allow a travesty worse than the Holocaust to occur on our soil every day – abortion. Obama and Biden don't see it that way. See my previous post "Biden's Beliefs Betray Babies".

Responding to Darfur Biden lists his talking points as A and Number 2 - whoops…
Both candidates agree there is dire need for action Darfur, which I agree with.
This is an issue that should have been aggressively approached by the US and the UN at least 3 years ago.

Palin (p28) – “So that people there can understand how the average working class family is viewing bureaucracy in the federal government and Congress and inaction of Congress.
Just everyday working class Americans saying, you know, government, just get out of my way. If you're going to do any harm and mandate more things on me and take more of my money and income tax and business taxes,
you're going to have a choice in just a few weeks here on either supporting a ticket that wants to create jobs and bolster our economy and win the war or you're going to be supporting a ticket that wants to increase taxes, which ultimately kills jobs, and is going to hurt our economy.”
She hits the nail on the head here but I don't think a lot of people understand that fact.

Overall Impressions
I thought that Joe Biden did a good job answering questions directly. He did seem to spend a lot of time talking about the past and the current administration as opposed to what he plans on doing to bring the "change" that their ticket is promising and Sarah Palin called him on it. Overall, I felt Joe did a good job and gave decent responses.

I felt that Sarah Palin did a little dodging of questions and diving back into previous questions, but she had the most to prove and to try and convey throughout the night so I guess I can understand it to a point. Her answers satisfied me and obviously reflect my viewpoints on a lot of issues. I think it would have been fun if she would have pointed out at some point that Barack Obama has less governmental and leadership experience than she does, but I understand why she didn't.

Overall, I feel that it was a decent debate with no outstanding qualities. Neither candidate made a major gaffe and they both presented their side of the issue well. People where I work seemed to think that Palin was idiotic, rambling on about things that weren't the question and altogether avoiding the major issues. I don't necessarily see it that way. I think she knew what her strong points were and she tried to stay in that arena as much as possible. Frighteningly, a lot of people I know have already chosen which pill they will swallow on November 4th and they are signing up to join Barack's creepy children's choir.


  1. I watched the debate live and believe you have pretty much called it as I saw it. A couple of caveats from my perspective:

    1. At least 3 times I remarked (i.e., yelled) that Biden was lying. As it turns out, at least 14 or more of his comments were untrue, many relative to McCain's voting record. You pointed out a couple but there were more. One of the notable ones which Palin pointed out just briefly but left it alone was Biden's remark relative to coal in the US. He said no coal in the US not China.

    2. I could not be certain while listening if Palin said "nucular" or not. She has a slight accent (which I guess is Alaskan) and I could not distinguish if it was her accent or mispronounciation.

    3. Yes, Palin did not answer some of the questions. Biden skimmed a couple as well. To be honest, some of the questions were stupid, especially the last one. I thought Biden's answer was informative. He mentioned he's been in Washington 35 years and is not going to change now. I thought Obama/Biden were about change?

    Palin never talked about her weak points which was wise on her part. Those would have been plastered all over the media for the next month.

    Gov. Palin had to demonstrate should could stand toe to toe with Joe Biden and connect with the people. She did both without any significant gaffes. Biden had to keep his foot out of his mouth which, apart from his lies, he pretty much did. From that perspective it was a draw. But I suspect the upcoming poll numbers will see a rise for Palin indicating she was deemed the winner by the public.

  2. A follow on thought/question. Maybe my hearing was off (and that's quite possible) but immediately following the debate it sounded as though Governor Palin's mic was still on. I don't recall hearing Sen. Biden's mic but I did hear Gov. Palin's. This leads me to ask: (1) Were BOTH mics still on? (2) Was SHE responsible for turning off her mic? or, based on the nature of the media these days, (3) Did the media leave her mic on hoping for a "gotcha" sound bite?

    It just seemed curious to me.