no-clowning.thumbnail.jpgPardon me while I sprain my wrist patting myself on the back. But hey, is it really bragging if it’s true?

When the first Obama-McCain debate was in progress, I was one of the few voices who kept saying, in real time, that Obama was doing very well and that his refusal to retort in kind to McCain’s ill-mannered stupidities was playing well with viewers at home. Sure enough, the instant polling of uncommitted viewers showed that they liked Obama’s calm marshalling of facts in their proper context a lot more than McCain’s smirking evasions and rude mugging for the camera.

We’ve just had the Biden-Palin debate, and we’ve just had similar results: Biden’s relaxed yet professional demeanor trumped Palin’s evasions, lies, and Liberace-like winks at the camera and the television audience behind it.

Here’s why: People might have been in a mood to put up with cutesy-wootsy stuff back in 2000, when the nation was prosperous thanks to Bill Clinton. They might have willingly taken a flyer on somebody like Jesse Ventura or Arnold Schwarzenegger back then. They aren’t going to put up with it now, not with Bush’s financial and military quagmires to fix.

In such an environment, the job of the debating candidate is to show that he or she is a competent, serious, sophisticated person. Obama and Biden succeeded at this. McCain and Palin did not — in fact, they could not, and instead fell back on winking, smirking, and other efforts to avoid actually and honestly answering the questions that they were asked.

Phoenix Woman

Phoenix Woman

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