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October 2, 2008

Gaffe inflation

I’m in Berlin, so I’d have to get up at 3AM to watch the debate tonight, which I’m unlikely to do since tomorrow is a work day. But, I expect Palin will do better than expected, although not better than we’re expecting to expect her to do. And the media will seize on some stumbles by Biden so they can avoid the appearance of piling on Palin. In fact, we’re already seeing some gaffe inflation.

A gaffe used to be not just a mistake but one that really hurts a candidate’s standing. Biden’s thinking that FDR presided over the 1929 crash and that folks had TVs back then is a little bit of dumbness about history, but not a true gaffe because it doesn’t reveal a reason to give up your vote for him. McCain talking about the Iraq-Pakistan border is more of one, but since no one believes McCain is that ill-informed, we instead chalk it up to a mere momentary slip of the brain. No, a true gaffe is genuinely not knowing what the Bush Doctrine is or being able to name only a single Supreme Court case you disagree with.

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But, because the media are afraid that they look like they’re going after Palin — AKA Doing Their Job — I expect any small error or misstep made by Biden tonight to be elevated to full gaffe level.

Too bad. It used to be a useful term. I hate to lose it just because the media want to appear balanced in an unbalanced contest.

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September 29, 2008

Sarah Palin plays the age card

I’m a little confused by Sarah Palin’s joshing that she’s been listening to Biden’s speeches in the Senate since she was in second grade, especially with John “26 Years in the Senate” McCain standing right next to her.

What’s next, comb-over jokes?

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August 24, 2008

I like Biden, but his Net policy sucks (apparently)

Declan McCullagh has the goods (apparently) on Biden’s tech and Net policy record. It totally sucks and is completely out of step with Obama’s. Thankfully, Obama’s not appointing Biden as head of the FCC.

I like Biden as a VP pick. He’s prepared in case the unthinkable happens. He’s got some real values as a person. And I think he brings not only foreign policy experience but also some bluntness to the campaign. But, have I mentioned that his Net policy sucks? (Apparently?)

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August 23, 2008

McCain on Biden: Should have, didn’t

If McCain hadn’t become Karl Rove’s sockpuppet, this is what he might have said in response to the selection of Joe Biden as Obama’s running mate:

I congratulate my friend and colleague Joe Biden on his being selected as a vice presidential candidate. Joe and I have disagreed frequently over the years, and we disagree now on many of the important issues facing this country. But I’ve also worked with him, count him as a friend, and respect him as a capable man who loves the country he’s served for so many years.

That said, I remain convinced that the solutions Joe and his running mate are proposing are dangerous, and dangerously out of step with the American people. We’re going to keep on making that case up and down this great land, offering our own practical, down-to-earth solutions that will make a real difference in the lives of hard-working Americans.

McCain’s actual response, in full, from his Web site:

ARLINGTON, VA — Today, McCain spokesman Ben Porritt issued the following statement on Barack Obama’s selection of Joe Biden as his running mate:

“There has been no harsher critic of Barack Obama’s lack of experience than Joe Biden. Biden has denounced Barack Obama’s poor foreign policy judgment and has strongly argued in his own words what Americans are quickly realizing — that Barack Obama is not ready to be President.”

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