There Will Be No VP Debate

I’m telling anyone who will listen that there is no way Sarah Palin will be participating in any VP debates.  It simply will not and can not happen.  When a person can’t get through a taped softball interview with no opponent and no audience, there’s no way it can happen live with a moderator and an opponent.  There’s no way someone can go from those Katie Couric interviews to a live debate in one week.

It will NOT happen.  If it does, the GOP is looking at more than just a 2008 rout (and believe me, that’s what they are looking at).  A Sarah Palin debate performance would set the GOP back years.

Which means either she has to leave the ticket, or she stays but somehow avoids the debates.  I think she wants to leave the ticket, the question is whether the campaign can bring themselves to admit bringing her on was a mistake (doubtful), and whether they can find someone to take her place (even more doubtful, though I’m sure Joe Lieberman is waiting by the phone).

No question, it’s messy for her to leave the ticket, which leaves debate evasion.  Mark my words, McCain’s next maverick bombshell, whatever that may be, will have the happy side benefit of making it impossible for Sarah Palin to debate.

While I’ve very sure about that prediction, I also half in jest suggest the Palin’s departure will be to be with her family (oldest firing/non-firing reason in the book), which means her ultimate legacy to feminism will be to demonstrate that “real” women should choose family over politics.

And somehow, all those Palin voters who loved her when she joined the ticket will love her even more for leaving the ticket.

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20 Responses to There Will Be No VP Debate

  1. Larry says:

    Do you really see a rout? Where are the numbers?

    Despite months of campaigning, the two uninspiring and uninspired candidates are in a virtual dead heat. Couple this with a Democrat tendency to stay home for elections and you’ve got a tight race – not a rout.

    I suspect we’ll have another four years where the parties squeak through an election with no mandate because they lack any philosophical core.

  2. pipelineblog says:

    Larry, numbers are here, for example.

    http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/

    Second, by all accounts most election watchers predict record Dem turnout, including an amazing number of new voter registrations. That’s why the polls, already leaning strongly to Obama, underestimate his true polling strength. Add to that the history of party satisfaction impacting election day turnout, and in a year in which the GOP is way down and the Dems way up, I see a 6 point Obama win, and likely breaking the 300 point barrier in the electoral college.

  3. Larry says:

    I think we’ve got different definitions of a rout. I see a victory by either party within the range you’re talking as stumbling across the finish line. Shouldn’t we be seeing a split at least equal to Clinton in ’92?

    Four years of Bush, Sr. were downright tolerable compared to the eight years under his son. I’m not sure I understand why breaking 300 can be considered an accomplishment when Clinton took 370 then.

    Sure, six points (optimistic) and 300 electoral votes is dissent but it is more of a polite, stifled belch than the full-on vomiting up the status quo that would be appropriate.

    Fivethirtyeight is an interesting experiment. I want to see November.

  4. There is a polarization in the electorate that has taken place since 1992 that makes huge spreads unobtainable right now. A Reagan/Mondale type outcome is simply not possible today. Presidential politics has changed so much in the last 10 years that I don’t know how much value there is in looking that far back as a barometer of what a “rout” is today.

    Look at it this way: 30% of people still think W. is doing a great job. That suggests 30% of the electorate is so partisan (and divorced from reality) that they won’t be voting Dem under any circumstances. Combine that with the great swath of Appalachia that may have some “historical” issues with voting for Obama, the fact that some states have voted Republican since dinosaurs allegedly walked the Earth (Kansas, I’m looking at you), and it’s easy to see that in today’s climate almost any GOP candidate could garner 40% of the vote just by having their name on the ballot.

    Larry…300 electoral votes isn’t “dissent”. It’s a rock-solid win. That so many people haven’t quite figured out how badly the last eight years have hurt us…well, they should probably choose some different media outlets.

    (And those bogus GOP media outlets is another reason why 2008 isn’t anything like pre-2000 elections.)

  5. That said, Larry, a lot of my friends are having this same conversation: As bad as the last eight years have been, and as laughable as McCain’s campaign has been, why isn’t Obama going to win 70% of the vote or more? My own theories, in no particular order:

    1. Obama is relatively unknown.
    2. McCain is well-known.
    3. Jingoism and war heros are tough for people to turn down.
    4. Many people are emotionally invested in the GOP brand; hard for people to admit they’ve played a role in screwing this country by electing incompetent and corrupt people.
    5. Obama is black.
    6. McCain is white.
    7. Too many Americans don’t know what the fuck is going on. (One of whom is a VP nominee…)

  6. Larry says:

    I’m going to duck out for lunch and respond later.

    However, I don’t know what clap-trap they’re teaching in Minnesota but here in Kansas we know that dinosaurs DID walk the Earth. There’s no allegedly about it. Humans missed the show having shown up on the scene a few hundred million years too late.

    Geesh, what’s the matter with Minnesota?

  7. Duly noted on the availability of dinosaur books in Kansas. I believe Democratic Presidential voters have also been found in the fossil record there.

  8. Elaine M says:

    Obviously this should be a crush. But whenever I start to think that, I am reminded of Kerry and Gore’s failed bids. At least Gore should’ve been a crush (I know, I know, lots of reasons why not – and yes, he did win, but come on – Kerry – largets turnout in history if I’m remembering correctly?). I’m afraid your #5 is big. Bigger than the polls can pick up because most racist people know it is not acceptable to be racist, so they will lie to the pollsters, pretending that they care about policies more than race – but they will vote their racist souls, once in private.

    This is going down to the wire – and every democrat should be carving out a weekend to bang on doors. And, if you’re right that Palin bails, that will just mean the media goes chasing after that story and AGAIN the McCain campaign distracts everyone from the real issues. SCARY.

    And, given the public’s not favorable read of McCain bailing on the first debate, it’s hard to imagine the campaign will try it with Palin. Biden is a liability for the dems too, though not nearly on the same scale.

    I await the next move by the McCain campaign. Will the bold pipeline prediction come true?

  9. Larry says:

    Polarization of the electorate is not some intractable product of the age. It is a cultivated and packaged marketing device.

    There are at least 40% of the electorate who don’t find ecstasy in any particular party victory. They do vote but their votes are a bit more nuanced than propaganda from the poles.

    You (and the DNC) insult them as uninformed (item 7), as racist (items 5 and 6), reactionary (item 4), or jingoist (item 3). The opportunistic GOP is not stupid enough to leave your cast-offs on the table. Interestingly, the GOP really struggled corralling them in 1992/1996 and barely managed them in 2000/2004 and yet the DNC STILL thinks insulting them is the Way.

    I think this was the year for Democrats to turn the tide in a dramatic way. Bush hobbled the GOP. The religious right is a far cry from it’s 2000/2004 form. McCain/Palin are muddling through. Desertion and defection in the GOP ranks is evident. In the face of so much opportunity, the DNC shoots for 300 as a rout? Sorry, but the race to adequacy is less than what’s demanded by our times.

  10. Let’s be clear: GOP voting block has no monopoly on ignorance, racism, partisanship, etc. I’m merely listing reasons why I think Obama doesn’t have a bigger lead.

    Seems like a classic case of moving the bar to me. Bush can ride herd for eight years over the decline of the U.S. after losing 2000 by over 100,000 votes, but Obama and the Dems are somehow losers if they don’t beat McCain by 100 electoral votes? Let’s wait till after the next administration has four years before we declare it a failure based on its margin of electoral victory.

    Besides that, if Obama wins, the Dems would control the White House and have sizable (though likely not veto-proof) majorities in both the House and a Senate.

    Smells like a mandate to me.

  11. Larry says:

    The bar hasn’t been moved. Bush did not have an electoral mandate and lost at least one of the elections. (The Supreme Court lost the other one.)

    I’m saying that six points and a possible 300 in electoral votes is not a rout. Obviously, it would be a win and potentially enough to help the Democrat Congress find some testicles.

    As I started, the six point prediction is high – higher even than the 3.3 predicted by FiveThirtyEight as of yesterday. You’re obviously excited about him but that’s not become a political pandemic throughout the U.S. I’m still struck by that fact.

    Palin will debate. She will lose. It won’t move the poll numbers in the end.

    Biden will struggle with her. She creates a tactical tightrope he’ll need to approach cautiously. Caution is not a strength for Biden but he’s been around and will figure it out.

  12. Katy says:

    who’s Larry?

  13. pipelineblog says:

    I’ll let Larry introduce himself if he’d like, but like all other Pipeline People he is under no obligation to reveal his particulars, though he’s already revealed himself to be a Kansan. But we like Kansans just fine here.

  14. Larry says:

    Larry is a Kansan and was, once upon a time, on the same debate squad as Doug at Highland Park High School. In fact, I learned of the Pipeline from our former debate coach.

    I’m now old enough to have a daughter debating for Pam McComas at T-High. Her first tournament is this weekend! Here’s hoping she draws blood.

    I’m nominally a Republican though my political involvement at the state level is in supporting RiNOs and Democrats against the one-issue, self-anointed religious right. (I am an evolutionist, separation-of-church-and-state, Christian of the mormon stripe.)

    I lurk at the Pipeline but this post got me. Nothing personal Doug. It’s just that I think tar and feathering might be called for and you seem OK with 3-6 points.

  15. Mike says:

    Last Friday I would have agreed that the VP debate would be moved/postponed. But now it has to go on. McCain used up any excuses by declaring a crisis last week that, has now, gone unsolved after his supposed leadership. After his no-show drama last week, he cannot go there again.

    Biden will answer questions based on his knowledge and experience. Palin will answer based on her crash course at the hands of Joe Lieberman. There is no reason to attack, just reasonably respond to talk radio style rhetoric.

    Move your line from 6 pts to 9 or 10

  16. pipelineblog says:

    Oh, Larry. Tar and feather doesn’t begin to cover it. I was thinking more like 10 to 20. (Years in jail, not election margin.)

    But, seeing their coalition crumble, the war and economy justly laid at their feet, the myth of the “free” markets debunked, and seeing them become laughingstocks with a talent dearth that produces a McCain/Palin ticket is a pretty good start.

    Mike, I’ve been thinking about moving that line from 6, but that was my initial call months ago and there is still a lot of time for things to change.

  17. Mrfares says:

    IF she makes it you can catch it in glorious technicolor at the Riv which is offering free admission to watch the debates, kinda like they did for the Tour de France (but with slightly fewer sweaty biking fanatics sitting around you).
    http://www.riverviewtheater.com/show/show/1112

    I can’t wait for “Attack of the 30 Foot Biden!”

  18. brent-a-saur-us says:

    i think the debate thursday night will be a bit trickier for biden, and likely not the slam dunk many of us are hoping for

    1) expectations for pallin are really low. it will be tough for her to under-preform.

    2) she’s likely to have opportunity to get out a couple of memorable one-liners that will resonate with portions of the electorate. i thought the hockey mom line at the convention was pointless, but her ticket got a huge bump from that. social conservatism is easily packaged and can sound appealing, which is how we got our current shitty prez. she’s got smart people writing for her.

    i’ve got two more args, but have to lift off here at the airport

  19. pipelineblog says:

    I’m sorry brent-a-saur-us. When the timekeeper stands up, you must stop making arguments.

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