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Contentions

The Gerund Thing

Politico’s Roger Simon noticed the gerund thing that some of us have noticed around here:

Sarah Palin was supposed to fall off the stage at her vice presidential debate Thursday evening. Instead, she ended up dominating it. She not only kept Joe Biden on the defensive for much of the debate, she not only repeatedly attacked Barack Obama, but she looked like she was enjoying herself while doing it. She smiled. She faced the camera. She was warm. She was human. Gosh and golly, she even dropped a bunch of g’s.

But Simon doesn’t quite get it right when he says:

But if people thought she was going to look like a dumb bunny for 90 minutes, they were disappointed. She said what she wanted to say and she was so relaxed she even winked at one point. Really! An actual wink during a national debate when she said she was going to try to get John McCain to change his mind about not drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Do people care about such stuff? Should all that down-home talk and body language really count? Joe Biden doesn’t think so.“Facts matter,” Biden said. Yeah? In politics? Since when?

Biden had a lot of facts wrong, starting with his Constitutional citation (didn’t he learn anything while bullying all those Supreme Court nominees?). He didn’t tell the truth when he said Obama never offered to sit down unconditionally with Ahmadinejad, he fibbed about his clean coal line, and Palin, not Biden, had the gist of Gen. McKiernan’s comments on Afghanistan.

But those weren’t the real problem. The real issue is that Joe Biden talked, acted, and performed like a guy who has been a senator for 36 years. Palin didn’t. And right now Americans hate just about everyone in Washington. So a “g” here or there is a small price to pay for re-establishing the ticket’s theme.


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