Thursday, October 2, 2008

The showdown in St. Louis

I'm looking forward to the much-anticipated debate tonight. "Which debate," you ask, "the one between Palin and Obama-loving elitist Gwen Ifill? The debate between Biden and his own notorious proclivity to grandstand and exaggerate? The debate between all the new facts crammed into Palin's head and her mouth?" Yeah, all those, and a little sideshow called Palin vs. Biden. Given how central the Palin brand is to McCain's campaign, and how little we are allowed to know about Palin, I think this debate is possibly more important than the presidential debates.

Here's my prediction for tonight (and the nice thing about blogging is that if I'm wrong, I can just erase any record of it): It will be a draw. Palin will probably say some silly things, but she won't embarrass herself nearly as badly as she did in the Couric/Gibson interviews. She'll use the advantage of the debate format (i.e., fewer direct follow-up questions) to attack Obama a lot, speak in her well-rehearsed talking points, and exploit her self-described Joe Sixpack appeal. That works for her.

Biden will scrupulously avoid attacking Palin directly, for fear of looking like he's "bullying" the poor victimized VP candidate (think about that for a moment). Gwen Ifill, the moderator, will certainly ask some Elitist Media "gotcha" questions designed to trip Palin up (e.g., What's your policy on Afghanistan? What would you do about the economy?), but she'll also be sure to focus attention on Biden's recent gaffes in order to appear fair and balanced.

Result: Both sides will proclaim victory, as they always do. If this is the outcome, I'd say it would be a small victory for McCain, because it will slow down Obama's recent momentum, and reassure conservative-leaning voters that Palin is not a total disaster. I'd expect next week's poll numbers to be back to a small Obama lead nationally, with a toss-up in the battleground states.

But if I'm wrong, just pretend you never read this.

2 comments:

Amy said...

OK - since I live with the guy I can attest to the fact that these were his predictions before the debate. Good Call Dan. Great blog by the way. I hope more people get to benifit from your constant hours on the computer researching today's top issues - and I do stress countless hours! love ya! The Wife.

Acrobat said...

yes, Mrs. C, that's it. Contrary to every other male on the planet who spends countless hours on the Internets, Prof C is RESEARCHING today's top issues. Keep fighting the good fight to make the world a safe place for Hippie Commie Liberals. (insert Palin-like winkie winkie here)