A saying among vice-presidential candidates participating in debates throughout this country’s history has been similar to the one said to be in the Hippocratic oath: Primum non nocere — “First do no harm.”
In the VP debate, neither candidate violated that rule. My favorite part had to be when Joe Biden spoke of how much time he’s spent in Home Depot (was he that guy who was stuck in the store because he got his butt glued to the toilet seat?)
As far as Palin is concerned, her hands are somewhat tied, and I understand that. I’d love to see her as the “headlining” candidate. She’s in a tough spot having to constantly tap-dance around her boss’s decades-long entrenchment in Washington while being charged with trying to make herself and McCain appear to be “outsiders” and “mavericks” — a tough sell when that’s only half-true.
From a “first do no harm” perspective though, Palin did fine — especially for somebody not used to this sort of incredibly high-pressure event on a national level. She’s going to be around a while and seems to be the genuine article. Simply put, more of us can relate to her than to any of the other candidates. She’s a bowler in a polo match, and as a bowler I enjoy that dichotomy.
The immediate problem for the McCain campaign though is that (to use a baseball metaphor) he needs much more than bloop singles and walks right now, and Palin is incapable of hitting a home run at this point because she’s trying to swing an “outsider” bat that’s weighed down by McCain’s long history as a Washington insider.
McCain has conceded Michigan, and I’m sure there’s more to come. It’s not looking good. McCain needs home runs, and there’s only so much his Veep choice can do under the circumstances. The rest is up to McCain, and so far he doesn’t seem willing to swing for the fence — and he’s the only one who can do that.
Looking ahead to 2012, in one way or another, Sarah Palin will be a force to be reckoned with. That much is certain.
Update: Video of the debate is here. “Can I call ya Joe?” Heh heh.
Update II: Charles at LGF highlights some ludicrous statements made by “foreign policy” expert Joe Biden during the debate — things that Palin didn’t have the wonkishness to call him on. Two examples are here and here.
Update III: The left tackles the tough questions: Is Palin’s lip liner a tattoo?