Let me start by saying I didn’t watch last night’s Presidential debate. I don’t plan on voting for either candidate, and enduring a few hours of the dog and pony show the parties make out of the debate didn’t seem like it was worth my time.
I will, however, likely watch the VICE-Presidential debates. This probably seems ridiculous to most people (VP debates are generally seen as pointless), but political campaigns generally use VPs in a very strategic manner. Any issue/proposal a campaign views as potentially controversial (they don’t know if the public will love, hate or be indifferent about), is often floated out there by the VP-candidate. This way, if the public responds positively, the Presidential candidate will pick it up and start hammering it home, but if the public responds poorly, the campaign will quickly bury the idea, often explaining that the views expressed are NOT that of the president’s, and often cause a half-hearted back peddling/apology from the VP candidate. This is important because the VP can often show you what the presidential campaign wants to do, but isn’t willing to risk ruining the campaign over. It’s honestly a pretty prudent tactic.
But this VP debate is even more interesting considering how much the Obama administration has minimized Joe Biden’s public role. I believe (though do get push back from other intelligent people) that the Obama administration has essentially replaced Biden with Michelle Obama for almost all of the endeavors the VP would normally be speaking in public. I don’t remember the Palin-Biden debate, but I considering the many foibles of Palin during that campaign, she probably looked dumb to the Democrats and Biden probably looked…something negative…to the Republicans, and the independents who would’ve watched probably said, “Biden’s not as stupid.” But regardless of your opinion on his ideals, Paul Ryan seems to be a better politician than Palin. He’s not dumb like her, projects the same amount of confidence, but can more effectively defuse push-back on issues he’s trying to push forward. Biden, on the other hand, has had a few gaffes during his VP tenure, including falling asleep during one of Obama’s speeches, his swine-flu advice that the White House immediately retracted, and a few others. Still, the guy has run for the Presidential nomination a few times, and has experience with debates, so he shouldn’t be a push-over either. No, the VP debate seems more interesting to me as it secretly showcases the President’s potential policies that they haven’t nailed down a public reaction to.
On another tangent, I frequent the website Reddit.com, and while I’ve unsubscribed from the politics subreddit, I invariably end up seeing a lot of political stuff on my front page. The Reddit community is overwhelmingly pro-Obama, and a typical day includes multiple “Obama is great” and “Romney is bad” links and discussions on the front page. After last night’s debate, however, that isn’t the case, at least not to the same magnitude. There was one link to an online article (they’re always biased if they’re up-voted on reddit), indicating that Romney’s facts didn’t check out (didn’t mention whether Obama’s did or didn’t), and trying to do some damage control for the President, who the news outlets feel “lost” the first debate.
The only other link was a Canadian asking reddit why there wasn’t more stuff about last night’s debate being up-voted. He assumes, as I do, that it’s because people feel Obama lost. If he had won, I can assure you the ensuing pro-Obama reddit storm would be a big one, already claiming victory over the election.
There’s no point to this post, just putting random thoughts out there. I may end up watching a replay of last night’s debate online, but only if I’m really bored.