GOP columnist says Palin outperformed running mate

RJ McGuire

The much anticipated Vice-Presidential debate didn’t disappoint. America tuned in to see Gov. Sarah Palin. But they were watching for different reasons; some wanted to see her make a fool of herself, some tuned in out of curiosity, and others watched with anxiousness about how she would perform. Those who were hoping she would make a fool of herself were greatly disappointed, those who were curious were pleasantly surprised, and those who were anxious are now very much relieved. Here are some of the highlights where Palin stood out:

When asked about the bailout, Biden, like Obama, took the opportunity to play the blame game; he blamed the past eight years of “bad economic policies” and de-regulation for all of our current problems. He then laid out Obama’s rescue plan, which sounded good, but was missing one thing, regulation. Gov. Palin correctly identified the problem as a lack of oversight, not lack of regulation. She cited McCain’s history of seeking reform and reminded voters that over two years ago he had introduced legislation to increase oversight, and yes, regulation of Freddie and Fannie.

On the topic of polarization and partisanship in Washington, Palin pointed out that Obama has always voted along party lines, 96% of the time in fact. This is hardly a symbol of bi-partisanship. Palin and McCain have made names for themselves by going against their own parties to do what is in the best interest of Americans.

In regard to the subprime lending meltdown, Palin placed the blame on predatory lenders, greed and deception. She then went on to call for personal responsibility by saying, “We need to make sure that we demand from the federal government strict oversight of those entities in charge of our investments and our savings and we need also to not get ourselves in debt. Let’s do what our parents told us [ ] don’t live outside of our means. [ ] It’s not the American peoples fault that the economy is hurting like it is, but we have an opportunity to learn a heck of a lot of good lessons through this and say never again will we be taken advantage of.”

Palin questioned Biden’s statement that paying more taxes is patriotic. She said, “Patriotic is saying, government, you know, you’re not always the solution. In fact, too often you’re the problem so, government, lessen the tax burden on our families and get out of the way and let the private sector and our families grow and thrive and prosper.” She criticized Obama’s plan to mandate health care coverage and have a government run program and said, “unless you’re pleased with the way the federal government has been running anything lately, I don’t think that it’s going to be real pleasing for Americans to consider health care being taken over by the feds.”

In regard to an exit strategy in Iraq, Palin explained that “We’ll know when we’re finished in Iraq when the Iraqi government can govern its people and when the Iraqi security forces can secure its people.” She described the Obama plan as the “white flag of surrender.” When asked whether an unstable Afghanistan or a nuclear Iran was a greater threat, Palin made the case for diplomacy, calling it very important and explaining how it should be done. “It’s lining out clear objectives and having your friends and your allies ready to back you up there and have sanctions lined up before any kind of presidential summit would take place.” This is different than the type of fairy tale diplomacy Obama talks about.

When asked about their prospective roles as Vice President, each had very different answers. Palin would focus on energy independence, government reform, and families of children with special needs. Biden basically said he would be holding Obama’s hand, helping him make every decision, and convincing Congress to go along with his plans. This kinda shows the differences between the Presidential candidates; who needs the most help, and who is ready to lead?

All in all, Gov. Palin did wonderfully, better than McCain in fact. She was very effective at relating to middle-America. Most powerful were the times where Palin was able to use Biden’s own words against Obama. These include Biden’s statements that he’d be honored to join McCain as his VP, that Obama was not ready to be commander in chief and that the presidency doesn’t lend itself to on-the-job training. These statements all indicate Biden’s higher level of respect for McCain over Obama. If John McCain loses this election, it won’t be Gov. Palin’s fault.