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Posted by Lawrence "LAW" Watford - - 1 comments

Tonight is the first and only debate between the vice-presidential candidates and, contrary to popular belief the deck might be stacked against Joe Biden. This has nothing to do with his intellect, his experience or even his exaggerated proclivity toward putting his foot in his mouth. I does, however have to do with the fact that the bar for Sarah Palin is set so low that my 16 month old son could clear it (he's really smart, though). That coupled with the McCain campaigns strategy of making her newly earned reputation as a bumbler appear as a folksy, "Joe six-pack", down-home trailer park, charm. Add to that, the hurdle of debating her without appearing like a brute or a neanderthal. Having said that, there are some strategic decision that he could make, that will level the playing field...

1) The first thing I would do is use John McCain's record against her. It is reasonable to expect her to be so busy cramming her head with so much information about the national and international issues of the day that she's left little time or space to bulk up on the voting record of her own candidate. I would bludgeon her with it and try to force her to defend John McCain without the tools... The result will hopefully be answers that are similar to the ones she gave in the Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric interview.

2) The second thing I would do is use her record to attack John McCain. In other words, tie her questionable record on earmarks, spending, ethics, etc. to John McCain and the ticket as a whole. Without mentioning her name, I'd speak about Sarah Palin's requesting more per capita earmarks than any other Governor in the union and would even go as far as to suggest that he's flip-flopped on issues like earmarks, and "The Bridge to Nowhere". The goal here is to eliminate the perception that he's attacking Palin, and instead draw her out and force her to defend her record, without attacking her directly... Sarah Palin is like a walking, talking, breathing flip-flop for John McCain, particularly on the issue of earmark spending (which seems to be the basis of his economic policy), and foreign policy, which is supposed to be John McCain's strong suit.

3) Third, I would advise Joe Biden to emphasize, as often as possible, the fact John McCain is his friend; that he's known John McCain for 26 years; Sara Palin has only known him one month. And use this line of defense/attack when and if Palin should slip into "pit bull" mode in defense of McCain.

4) Finally, the fact that she's a woman is endowing her with built in advantages, but if Biden calculates things right, he might be able to play on the perceived drawbacks of her gender. The first part of this strategy means that he shouldn't be patronizing, but he should make sure that he displays an overall tone of respect for her, even if he doesn't. Now here's the kicker... If I were Biden, the more she appears to be aggressive, sarcastic, or flippant, the more I would pour on the respect. This has to be delicately played but the goal here is to allow her appear to be (dare I say it for lack of a better term) the "b!tc#", should she strike the same type of tone that she did in her acceptance speech. Yes, her base will think she trounced Biden, but there's a good possibility that the independents (particularly women) will be turned off by her inability to appear gracious.

One Response so far.

  1. Kevlocks says:

    You made some good points. Biden should be fine though. I think that all he has to do is stay focused on Mcain's Policies and he should be fine.

    I'm really hoping to see what Palin is all about and if her training in Arizona for the past several days will make any difference in the freefall she's in since the Katie Couric interview and the SNL skits.

    Check out CNN reporter Fareed Zarkaria's truthful assessment of this Palin debacle:

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