Millions of eyes will be focused on television screens tonight as the first vice-presidential debate unfolds on national TV.
It’s a battle between veteran Democratic legislator Joe Biden, and political newcomer, Republican Sarah Palin.
As a political junkie, I’ve been watching their public appearances, listening to their speeches and interviews, and I know where Biden’s been, what he stands for, and the periodic verbal missteps he’s made along the way, including those most recent to the Obama campaign. It’s Palin I keep watching, only because she’s set up a pattern of world-class faux-pas’ and a blatant display of ignorance in this national and global playing field.
“But the vice-presidential debate has the potential to be incredible prime-time entertainment, especially for viewers looking for a political car wreck.” ~~ Josh Visser, CTV.ca News Staff
Visser’s right. My incredulity began with the Charlie Gibson (ABC) interview and her statement on foreign policy that consisted of knowing she can see Russia from one of Alaska’s islands. Then there was the CBS Katie Couric interview in which Palin in responding to a repeated question, said, “I’ll get back to you on that.”I watched the 29-second clip of her at the UN being told how pretty she is. Wednesday morning, though, I balked when I read her speaking about “six-pack Americans.” What is that?
Now I am the kind of woman who can shoot a rifle and a pistol if necessary (I hate guns, but in the coyote, moose and bear laden north country of Vermont, there’s always a rifle ready). And I am the kind of woman who can catch and clean her own trout, plumb in a second bathroom, drive a snowplow, load construction supplies, handle a rip saw, stain, cut and install clapboard siding on a house, find her way to or from anywhere, build a fire in a woodstove and split the wood to put in it, and manicure my own nails after wrecking them up with those jobs. I can also dazzle on the ballroom dance floor and keep up in the boardroom. I know where Russia is, and what its history is, including those Cold War years when families talked about building fallout shelters in their basements.
But six-pack America? I just had to take offense at that, and ask “is that how I want a president of vice-president thinking of me?” Nope. No way. Uh-uh. Think before you speak. Whether it is a reference to six-pack abs (I doubt it) or a six-pack of beer, I don’t want to be included in that particular assessment of the average American she claims to represent. It is more troubling because nothing really new or particularly intelligent followed that statement.
So I will be watching tonight, just like millions of other Americans, to see what she will say and how she will say it as she debates Biden. I know that there are risks for Biden, but there genuine campaign-killing potential for Palin, who has faired less than well in most of her campaign commentaries. Stay tuned…