Saturday, October 4, 2008

Debate Meta-Analysis

"The Republicans were euphoric over Sarah Palin’s debate performance, particularly the part in which she stood tall and refrained from falling off the stage." - Gail Collins
The most annoying thing about the post-debate analysis is the attention focuses on Sarah Palin's performance, when it was clear to anyone who watched that Joe Biden dominated the debate. Joe Biden delivered an A+ performance, yet the spotlight was always on the girl who managed to eek out a C- when most expected her to fail. The media was so entrance by the drama of whether Palin would self-destruct that they ignored any actually comparison between the candidates merits.
Unlike the "nuanced" commentators, who base there decisions on a arcane game of expectation, the public was largely not fooled. A strong majority of undecides believe Biden to have won the debate.
Sarah Palin was fine, I suppose, giving potted answers to questions she herself posed, as illustrated by this flow-chart.

From the New Republic's blog:
The losers were David Brooks, Mark Shields, and other commentators supposedly hired by television executives for intelligence, sensitivity, and ability to articulate clear-eyed responses and titillate viewers with their amusing and thoughtful reactions to political events. That these two regulars on PBS's "The NewsHour" failed to see that Sarah Palin's brassy, blind narcissism, chirpy ignorance, evasiveness, broken syntax, self-vaunting folksiness, and robotic falsity disqualified her for important public office should be their end as commentators.

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