Friday, October 03, 2008

The VP Debate and the media on Sarah Palin

Debates are no longer about answering the questions but about exposing platforms and about seeing who can best trump the other's argument. In that light, I wasn't expecting to get much information yesterday, but I was apprehensive to see how Sarah managed Joe and vice versa.

I was pleased to see she handled herself well. I was also somewhat pleased to see Joe control himself, although I could see hints of the usual Biden (and my husband says he saw hints of Kerry via Joe's initial refusal to look at the camera).

I don't consider myself and intellectual but I do believe I am intelligent and have a firm grasp and understanding of various issues. My friends would agree. I'm also pursuing a Ph.D. which allows me to handle loads and paragraphs of big words without losing my mind. Why do I say this?

There were two instances in which Joe managed to lose me entirely. No, not as a voter, he never had me there. But as an audience, I lost track of his argument and could not make out what he was trying to say. One was when he was attacking McCain's plan of taxing health benefits as income, and the second on how as a young senator he had to come to terms with changing his beliefs.

My surprise was that I knew what he was talking about and still felt lost. Did this happen to anyone else? Because my feeling is if I couldn't follow how will more average people follow his argument?

I don't think either won the debate, I think it was a perceptual tie. They each did what they had to do. It was a lot more fun to watch than the first presidential debate and it allowed me to better see what has bothered me most of the criticisms hurled against Palin.

The inexperience factor? Nope. That is a legitimate area to attack. Sexism? Nah, that wasn't it. It exists, but it wasn't really bothering me. The attack on her views? A little. Personal views should be attacked with respect and not condescension. Aha! That was it. CLASSISM.

I looked back at some of the press clippings and some of the editorials and there it was staring me back in the face. Sarah Palin has been attacked for being average. For hunting. For dropping G's. For being folksy. For speaking funny. Not directly, although yes sometimes, but always there. One of the things they hate most about her is that she is average, rough around the edges, working middle class American.

But what about Joe Biden? He's from Scranton! Yes, but he went to private Catholic school, Palin went to Wasilla High.

Don't get me wrong, I went to Catholic School too. What I mean is that he had a privileged education even if he wasn't privileged, which he was able to continue through his Bachelor and his Juris Doctor.

I don't hold it against Joe for being polished, but Sarah should not be dismissed for being rough or plain. There are too many Americans like Sarah, so it would behoove the MSM who with the exception of Fox and sometimes CNN, is blatantly openly campaigning for the Obama-Biden ticket to remember not to alienate people.