VP Debate Liveblogging: Governor Sarah Palin vs. Senator Joe Biden

Posted by: ST on October 2, 2008 at 7:11 pm

Biden and Palin**This post will be updated frequently tonight, with newest updates posted at the top.**

Update 25 – 11:45 PM: Glenn Reynolds blogs about Biden’s Constitutional flubs.

AllahPundit is doing some post-debate poll monitoring. Sounds like a mixed bag of results.

Update 24 – 11:19 PM: Yet another reminder: PDS is alive and well.

Update 23 – 11:10 PM: The blogosphere and pundits react.

Here’s the transcript from the debate.

Update 22 – 10:55 PM: Fred Thompson is on Fox and is glowing with praise, and says she deserves this victory after the pressure she’s been under and the attacks, etc.

He says Joe Biden misrepresented his own positions on the issues.

Sidenote: It’s a bummer that National Review’s Corner has been down tonight :(

Update 21 – 10:44 PM: Undecided voters in the Frank Luntz focus group on Fox overwhelmingly say Gov. Palin “won.” Says the “personal responsiblity” argument she made early on was a big hit with the focus group. Only a handful say they made a decision on who to vote for, tho.

Here’s the full debate video here.

Update 20 – 10:34 PM: Ifill did a good job, I must admit. Now the families are mingling on stage.

The Fox panel is giving Gov. Palin good reviews.

My personal view: Goooo Sarah! She did great. :D I still wish she’d have brought up Dodd and Frank, tho.

Update 19 – 10:29 PM: Closing statement: Palin, glad to meet Joe Biden, like to do things like this rather than have my answers filtered through the MSM. We have to fight for our reform and freedoms.

Biden: BO and I measure freedom on whether or not someone can pay the mortgage and send their kids to college. We need to move beyond the last bad 8 years. Obama is ready to be the president. May God bless America – and our troops.

Update 18 – 10:28 PM: What would you do to change the tone in DC: Biden, I have a record of not questioning motives, but judgement.

Palin: I would appoint a diverse cabinent.

Update 17 – 10:25 PM: What belief have you changed? I can’t understand Biden’s answer. He’s talking about judicial philosophy.

Palin: I wish I’d have vetoed a few budgets and in retrospect but didn’t. Record of bipartisanship in Alaska.

Update 16 – 10:18 PM: To Palin: Is experience is your Achilles heel?

Palin: Talks about her years of experience and how she relates to the common man with some of her own family’s issues.

Biden: I’m not going to change. People know who I am. I will put mine and Obama’s record up against McCain’s on accomplishments any day. Biden has an emotional moment talking about family. I can relate to family issues as well.

Palin: McCain is a true maverick. I am a maverick – Democrats and Independents are part of my cabinet. Got wide support from all walks of life.

Biden: Getting agitated – Mccain has not been a maverick on issues that matter. Huh?

Update 15 – 10:17 PM: Ifill: Do you agree with Cheney on role of VP.

Palin: Answer was a bit vague.

Biden: Cheney has been the most dangerous VP ever. Doesn’t understand the Constitution.

Update 14 – 10:14 PM: What is the role of the VP.

Palin: To support the admin, work in the Senate.

Biden: Wants to get back to education at some point. I would be point person for intiatives in the US Congress. Obama wants me to help him govern – I will give him my advice.

Update 13 – 10:07 PM: How would a Biden admin be if something happened to Obama.

Biden: It would be a tragedy if that happened. I would carry out Obama’s policies for the middle class and energy policy. Pro-diplomacy. This is the biggest election ever. I agree with every major initiative Obama’s proposed.

Palin: I would continue on McCain’s straight talk path, even though we disagree on issues like ANWR.

Biden: Biden – man on the street would disagree with Palin and McCain on Afghanistan, healthcare, etc People in my neighborhood get it. They’ve been getting the short end of the stick. Middle class is not doing well. Wealthy are doing well.

Palin: Pulls a there you go again. LOL. Says teachers should be paid more. We’ve got to change NCLB – we need to put emphais on the profession of teaching. My kids are part of the public system. I’m concerned about where the education system is going.

Update 12 – 10:01 PM:Ifill: You have a pro-intervention record. (Huh?)Should we put troops on the ground in Darfur?

Biden: I supported war in Bosnia – McCain didn’t. I gave president the authority to keep the UN in line and sanctions on, not war.

I don’t have the stomach for genocide in Darfur. We can use NATO for Darfur. We should rally the world to act. Provide helicopters to help African forces.

Palin: All of us as individuals should act as humanitarians. Talks about fund they had in Alaska where they gave money to Sudan (?).

Biden: There is a line on whether or not we should send troops to war. Says I never supported McCain’s war strategy. (lie).

Palin: Takes issue with Biden’s lie. Biden shakes his hand.

Update 11 – 9:56 PM: Question about nuke weapons. Palin says Nuclear weaponry is used as a deterrant in this country but not in countries like Iran or NK.

Palin: Obama said nasty comments about our troops in Afghanistan – that’s wrong. Surge type effort will work in Afghanistan.

Biden: General in Afghanistan says surge effort won’t work in there. McCain doesn’t support anti-nuclear treaty. Obama reached across the aisle to Republican Dick Lugar on nuke control.

Palin: Corrects Biden on Afghanistan general.

Biden: Our commanding general did say that.

Update 10 – 9:46 PM: What about Pakistan and Iran?

Biden: Pakistan is where the terrorists are. McCain is wrong when he says Iraq is the central front in the WOT.

Palin: Petraeus & OBL said Iraq is the central front in the WOT. Iran is a huge threat and they must not be allowed to have nukes. Brings up Obama’s support of unconditional head of state talks with leaders like Ahmeanie.

Biden: That is not true about Obama’s position. Said McCain is not in favor of diplomacy.

Palin: (from Ifill): Israel – what has the Bush admin done right and wrong in Israel. Didn’t catch her whole answer.

Biden: I’m the biggest ally in the Senate of Israel. Administration has been a failure in Israel.

Palin: Says Biden can’t keep focusing on the past. We will work towards keeping our alliance strong with Israel.

Biden: I’m not hearing a plan for the future.

Update 9 – 9:40 PM: What about Iraq?

Palin: Talks up the surge. Praises Biden for calling out Obama on not funding the troops. Ouch. We must win in Iraq, we’re down to pre-surge numbers and can eventually move troops to Afghanistan.

Biden: I didn’t hear a plan from Palin. Walks back Obama funding comment. Gives Obama’s plan.

Palin: Your comment is like throwing out a white flag. Goes back to Biden’s comments about Obama’s troop funding. And mentions Biden’s past support of McCain.

Biden: Keeps saying Mccain was dead wrong everything related to Iraq.

Update 8 – 9:37 PM: Do you support committed gay couples having the same benefits as hetero marriages?

Biden: Yes.

Palin: Not if it goes towards redefining marriage. But I support similar rights for same sex couples but not marriage – so does McCain.

Biden: I don’t believe gay people should be able to get married.

Update 7 – 9:31 PM: Ifill asks Palin about climate change. Palin says she doesn’t believe all climate change is manmade. We’ve got to clean up this planet. We must encourage all nations to go along with us. McCain-Palin has an all of the above approach to energy.

Biden: You can’t fix the problem if you don’t understand the causes. GW is man made. McCain has aided global warming with his votes. Drill we must, but it’ll take 10 years to see a drop of oil.

Palin: People are hungry for drilling resources to be tapped into. Corrects Biden on Drill Drill Drill comment. Says Biden called offshore drilling “raping” the shore. Palin calls Biden Obiden. LOL ..

Biden: Says clean coal comment was taking out of context.

Update 6 – 9:27 PM:Can’t remember the question (sorry).

Biden: We should be able to adjust principal balance that people who can’t afford their mortages.

Palin: Keeps going back to the energy argument hammering home her experience. Energy independence is the key to America’s future.

Update 5 – 9:21 PM: Ifill asks Biden what an Obama admin would do to cut spending. He pretty much says raising taxes will take care of most things. Seriously, that’s his answer.

(Sorry, I’m finding it hard to follow this debate – nerves?)

Palin: Senator Biden, your running mate voted for big tax breaks with the Energy Bill. Talks about her energy record in Alaska. Tax breaks aren’t going to big oil – they are going to the peole of Alaska.

Biden: Obama voted for energy bill because he thought there was real support for energy. McCain wants $4b more tax cuts for Exxon Mobil. Mccain will not support a windfall profits tax. Class warfare, baby!

Update 4 – 9:16 PM:Ifill to Biden: Are you engaging in class warfare by raising taxes on people over $250K?

Biden: Everyone must pay their fair share. It’s only fair. McCain wants more tax cuts.

Palin: Redistribution of wealth issue is a problem. Paying higher taxes is not patriotic.

Explains McCain tax plan – doesn’t cost gov’t anything. Obama’s plan is universal gov’t run program. Gov’t shouldnt’ run healthcare. Competition is good for healthcare.

Biden: We don’t call taxing the rich redistribution we call it fairness. Most small businesses will not be affected by the tax hike on $250K .

McCain’s healthcare plan will raise taxes on employers, money will go to the insurance companies. It’s the ultimate bridge to nowhere (crowd lightly gasps).

Update 3 – 9:09 PM: Ifill to Palin: What caused the subprime crisis.

Palin: Greedy lenders. (ST: C’mon! What about Frank and Dodd?) This is an opportunity for personal responsiblity.

Biden: McCain’s big on derugulation. Says Obama was ahead of the ball on this issue. Subprime lending mess is partially Mccain’s fault.

Palin: Obama and Biden voted for higher taxes. Gov’s gonna have to learn to live within its means. I wish she’d bring up Frank and Dodd! Biden’s nervously laughing.

Biden: Says Obama did not vote to raise taxes so what Gov. Palin is “not true” – McCain voted 400+ to raise taxes. Says Gov Palin did not answer the question about deregulation and McCain. (ST: Heck, I wish she would!).

Palin: Talks about her record as Gov. Says Mccain is a reformer.

Update 2 – 9:00 PM: Showtime. Butterflies are fluttering in the tummy. Here come the candidates. Gov. Palin asks Biden if she can call him Joe. He says yes.

– First question, which goes to Biden: Asks about the bailout bill and if the Senate passing the bill was the best of Washington or worst of it. Biden says it’s representative of the last eight years of Washington. Talks up Obama’s ideas on the bailout. Says there are fundamental differences between Obama and McCain on this.

Palin: Says McCain was ahead of the ball on calling for oversight 2 years ago.

Ifill: How do we end the polarization in DC?

Biden: I’ve got a record of reaching across the aisle. Goes back to economy question says McCain has flipflopped on “fundamentals” of the economy.

Palin: I have a track record of reform, mentions what Mc was talking about with the fundamentals.

Update 1 – 7:33 PM: The GOP’s got a cool new website up called “Not Your Average Joe.” It includes video clips, notable quotes, etc.

Tonight’s the night many have been eagerly anticipating, and others dreading: Senator Joe “Gaffetastic” Biden and Gov. Sarah “Barracuda” Palin take the stage in a debate at Washington University in St. Louis, MO that has probably gotten more press attention than Obama’s and McCain’s first debate. Yes, PBS’ Gwen Ifill is still going to be the debate moderator, so it’ll be interesting to see how her pro-Obama bias will influence her questioning – if at all. She may try to over-compensate by being a little tougher on Biden than she had planned on being, or she may play to expectations by giving Gov. Palin a rougher time, or she could do the right thing and play it down the middle. Let’s hope she chooses the latter. And hey, let’s be thankful at least that the debate moderator isn’t Andrew Sullivan.

The debate starts tonight at 9 ET, and you can watch it here on C-SPAN if you can’t get to a TV. C-SPAN’s Debate Hub has some interesting links posted from bloggers on the left and right talking about tonight’s upcoming debate as well.

Both campaigns have been playing the expectations game today, with the McCain campaign throwing a bit of a twist out there on the day of the debate. They released an online video today complete with some of Senator Biden’s most infamous gaffes:

Since that ad’s only going to air on the I’net, I think it’s a safe bet that it was released to get the conservative base fired up by reminding those who are nervous about tonight that Joe Biden is not called “Teflon Joe” for a reason. Victor Davis Hanson parodies the debate over the veep debate here. Very cute :)

While on the subject of the expectations game, an exchange occurred earlier today between Obama’s campaign manager David Plouffe and some of the press corps traveling with the Obama campaign that should surprise absolutely no one:

David Plouffe spoke to reporters just now, my colleague Victoria McGrane reports, previewing the debate.

After repeatedly calling Palin first “an extremely good debater” then a “great” one, at the end he ramped it up to “Gov. Palin is one of the best debaters in American politics” at which point the press gaggle interrupted him with its laughter. “No, she is! Her 2006 debate, she knew where she wanted to take every question, and so I think she’ll be relentlessly on message tonight and again I’m sure she’ll have any number of biting and witty one-liners but our focus is on the person sitting at home in Canton, Ohio, tonight, Akron, Ohio tonight, struggling economically. Who is delivering a message about an agenda that is going to most positively impact their lives” he said.

I saw video of this on Fox News. If I can find a vid of it, I’ll post it here.

It also shouldn’t surprise anyone that Reuters actually asked the debate commission whether or not they checked the ear canals of the two candidates, presumably because they wonder if the Governor has been wired. HuffPo did the same thing. Ring a bell?

For her part, Gov. Palin plans on going on the offensive in tonight’s debate by not only highlighting her record as Governor, but also pointing out Joe Biden’s contradictions on what he said about Obama when he ran against him for the Dem nomination versus what he says about Obama now, as well as point out where he’s been wrong on foreign policy – an attempt at hitting him on his “strong” issue. Biden’s goal tonight will be to get through it with no major gaffes while keeping his focus solely on McCain, as the OBiden campaign has pretty much ignored Gov. Palin for the last two weeks.

Quick stats: Rassmussen reports that 34%of the people who watch the debate tonight say that what the veep candidates say will be key to their decision as to who to vote for.

Good news: GOP wins court round against voter fraud-friendly Ohio Sec. of State.

Bad news: With the McCain campaign’s exit from Michigan, things get a little tougher on the electoral map.

Must-read: Baseball Crank’s got an outstanding post up about Gov. Palin’s career serving in government.

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  • 28 Responses to “VP Debate Liveblogging: Governor Sarah Palin vs. Senator Joe Biden”


    1. Regarding Michigan, I like the suggestion someone elsewhere made of McCain sending Romney, who’s popular in Michigan, to camp out there for the next month. It couldn’t hurt. *-:)

    2. Too late to edit my own post, so here’s another — hah! :d

      Thanks for that link to Baseball Crank’s “Integrity Gap” series, ST! That is very important, and I’m going to make sure all my friends see it. =d>

    3. Lorica says:

      IT IS ON!!!! I AM FIRED UP!!! – LORICA :D

    4. Severian says:

      Bozniaks? Say it ain’t so Joe!

    5. Lorica says:

      Biden is such a dork…. NO child left behind got left behind because “we” didn’t fund it…. Okay Joe so whose fault is it that it didn’t work?? The budget get has risen over a trillion… let me repeat that… A TRILLION dollars and you couldn’t find the money to fund No child left behind?? Come’on Joe stop lying to the American people. – Lorica

    6. Lorica says:

      You caught that too Sev??? And they talk about GW making up words. – Lorica

    7. Lorica says:

      That’s something that he said twice too Dear. Biden talks about genocide in Bosnia and Darfur, and that troops were good, but what about the genocide of 500,000 people in Iraq Joe?? – Lorica

    8. Severian says:

      Wonder if the Bozniaks have nukular weapons? :-\

    9. Lorica says:

      Gwen Ifill did a pretty good job. – Lorica

    10. LSU says:

      I think she did well.

    11. Severian says:

      Hell, I want her for president.

    12. Great White Rat says:

      Gwen Ifill did a pretty good job. – Lorica

      Agreed. The only time I caught an obvious bias was early on. On the question about what promises the candidates have made that they won’t be able to keep, neither Biden nor Palin gave a direct answer. But Ifill went back at Palin, asking her again if there was anything she would take off the table. Biden didn’t get the same grilling there.

      And I also heard the reference to the Bozniaks. :)

    13. Lorica says:

      I am with you Sev. I can’t wait for her to be the President. :)

    14. yo says:

      biden:o)shouldn’t get away with saying obama>:)warned about subprime mess. Palin:x should’ve nailed biden:o)on that. Obama>:)will probably be happy that Biden:o)didn’t say something incredibly stupid, even though what he did say wasn’t true. Mccain<):)should be happy with the way things went.

    15. Great White Rat says:

      I guess I get to be the dog in the manger here.

      I don’t think Governor Palin did as well as she could have. Maybe my expectations were too high. ST wishes she had hung Dodd and Frank around Biden’s neck when discussing the FM/FM problems, and I agree. But that’s not the only place I saw where she passed up an opportunity. I didn’t see the pit bull with lipstick as much as I wanted to.

      Biden spewed out a truckload of lies or misstatements: that Obama never said he’d meet with the Iranians without preconditions, that Obama tried to head off the FM/FM debacle two years ago, that Obama supports more nuclear energy, and so forth – and seldom did she pounce. In a format like this, it isn’t enough to talk about what you’ve done right. You need to point out where the other side has been wrong. You need to spotlight those misstatements and lies. She didn’t.

      I really didn’t see the claws come out until the last few minutes. Her comment that it’s not enough to talk the talk, you have to walk the walk, followed by a succinct contrast between the GOP and Dem economic plans, was excellent. I’d have liked to see more of that.

      Any nonsense that Governor Palin isn’t capable of holding her own in a debate is now history. The leftists will have to rethink that idea. Just on accuracy, she won, but it wasn’t the blowout it could have been.

      And I’m with Sev and Lorica. I want to see her at the top of the ticket and in the White House in a few years. **==

    16. Jack Deth says:

      Bozniakz!!! :d

      Governor Palin played to the camera and the people, put Joe on the defenisve almost from the start and rarely let up. It was fun watching Sarah slap him around for the better part of an hour with a smile on her face.

      So much for the concerted, badly edited MSM attempts to paint Governor Palin as a blithering ditz! :d/


    17. GrayLoess says:

      Sarah! did GREAT, just like I knew she would! Maybe now some of the Eeyores in our party can cut back on their anti-depressant meds.

      BTW, Kathleen Sullivan, I hear A-1 sauce goes great with crow! :d

      But didja notice how Gwen Awful didn’t ask anything about guns, abortion, or energy independence – all subjects Sarah! coulda knocked outa the park

      Instead, we get a non-issue like gay marriage, yawn.

      Nope, no bias here, move along.

    18. My only one complaint about Sarah’s performance last night was that once, just once, I’d like somebody on our side to articulate in just one word what the exit strategy for Iraq and Afghanistan is:


      Our doctrine in war should be that our enemies will suffer only one of two ends to conflict; they may either unconditionally and immediately surrender, and barring that, their only other option is to be completely and utterly annihilated by the forces of Freedom.

      Forget sending Romney to Michigan, unless he’s Sarah’s opening act. Get Sarah up there. Get her out to all the battle grounds. In fact, get her out to the same states and cities at the same time as Barack Obama and let’s see who the American people gravitate towards.

      Without Sarah Palin on the ticket, I’d be voting solely against Obama on 11/4. With her on the ticket, I’m voting for one of us.

    19. GrayLoess says:

      GUH! Kathleen Parker, sorry – my bad…I’ve been up too long :(

    20. Lorica says:

      Did anyone watch the after debate, debate on Fox News?? Karl Rove had a list of 10 things that Biden purposely misstated. If Joe is so smart why would he purposely lie??

      She tried to get in some comments about Alaska’s energy and being a Gov of an energy producing state. Personally that is one of my biggest disappointments with the Bush/Cheney admin. Both have been oil men, and should know how and what to do to avoid this present crisis, but neither really did a thing. I remember Cheney talking about there being 66 different blends of gasolene, and that we needed to get that down to the top 6 or 10. That it would save a huge amount of refining time, and stop that bottle neck. Sadly nothing has been done. I do hope and pray that changes. – Lorica

    21. Leslie says:

      I would suppose that Palin’s performance served as reinforcement. Those who were leaning toward McCain may well have been reassured that she’s not a bumbling incompetent and the country would not fall apart if she had to take over, say, under the 25th Amendment.

      But I doubt she convinced any leaners toward Obama to change their minds.

      I’d guess the national polls over the next few days will show a slight McCain uptick, as the usual flibbertyjibbits flip their jibbits yet again.

      And that’s about all.

      I did get the feeling, for what it’s worth, that by the end of the debate Biden had developed some respect for Palin, and he appeared to actually like her.


    22. Lorica says:

      General in Afghanistan says surge effort won’t work in there.

      Now this exchange confused me abit. Barry has repeatedly said that he wants a surge of support for Afghanistan. Cent Command has repeatedly said that adding 40,000 or so troops would not be feasible and would put a serious strain on the logistics attempting to supply these new troops. So both are actually wrong. What they are wanting is the specialized military groups. Marine expeditionary force and 10th Mountain, which I do believe parts of are going there right now. Our plan in Afghanistan really included more help from Pakistan, which sad to say has been less than helpful. I know the Marines have been wanting to take a shot at Afghanistan for 8 months now, and have been told no. Afghan really is a UN mission now, and we have a responsiblity to the UN and the members who have troops there. I personally don’t like it when we turn stuff over to the UN, it always gets messed up afterward. – Lorica

    23. I never have watched the debates to much before I only started voting 10 years ago and when I did I also vote Rep. cuz when i was young I remember what my parents always did. This year I couldn’t make up my mind I had likes and dislikes for both Pres. nomimanes. After the debate between Palin and Obiden I know longer have any doubt I want her in office