Friday, October 3, 2008

Biden's Bitten Tongue - and Cheek

Palin v. Biden was a pleasant surprise for many viewers. From all accounts, it was a virtual tie. If, that is, you listened to the morning talk shows. Pundits on the Left and the Right gave points to both Sarah and Joe in the first and only VP debate (a shame there won't be two more, as with the presidential candidates). Whether the prize for the evening went to Palin or Biden, in your opinion, probably depends on one of two things (or both): (a) How biased you already may be toward either side, and/or (b) How much weight you put on style versus substance. Palin scored higher for style. Biden came off as smug. Biden scored high for substance. Palin came off as, well, less experienced. She has, after all, had no time in Washington yet to cash in on massive campaign contributions from the like of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac like, you know, Biden and his pals have been able to do. Enough of my opinion. Let's cross The Pond and see what one columnist for a British newspaper has to say about last night's debate. The Brits watch American politics more closely than most Americans do. They have to, after all, in the same way that an old senile uncle with enough wits left in him knows that he must pay attention to the nurse who comes around to change his bed pan. But I digress. Chris Ayres at Times Online writes: Indeed, it would be a surprise if Biden had any tongue left at all after last night’s debate, given how much time it must have spent being bitten by that flawless set of gameshow teeth. Not that he managed to control himself for the entire debate, mind you. Half way through the proceedings, faced with a seemingly interminable onslaught of folksy hockeymomisms — most of them related to the topic at hand only in the sense that they were in (almost) same language — the Democratic Party’s vice-presidential nominee finally lashed out. But instead of taking out his exasperation on Palin, he took it out on the moderator, the nervous-looking Gwen Ifill of America’s Public Broadcasting Service, who in many ways represented an even more delicate target: a black woman. FULL COLUMN at Times Online...