Wednesday, October 01, 2008

No Big Deal?

Think of the score Sarah Palin could rack up (is that moose lingo?) if she can manage to come across as competent and smart against Joe "Cliff Clavin" Biden Thursday night. As it stands now she's being framed as at best an incompetent dingbat, and at worst, much worse.

Adding more sauce to the goose, today it was revealed that the debate moderator, PBS's Gwen Ifill, just happens to have a a book coming out next year with Obama's name in the title. The stage is literally set.

As to Ifill, she's never seemed overly partisan, although one would have to be a regular PBS watcher to really know for sure. As a member of the vast right wing conspiracy, I'm not. Will she favor Biden to the benefit of Barack America?

It would have to be tempting, since if Palin can be shown on the national tube as a real-life version of the character being portrayed by Tina Fey her season might be over, along with McCain's. A few well-placed questions, like some policy position about a bill Biden sponsored when Palin was 8 years old, might just do the trick because as we all know, the left and their friends on the left are eagerly anticipating a deer in the headlights moment. The first left being the mainstream media, of course.

But if could backfire. There's a small chance she might be overly sensitive to the perception of unfairness and actually end up being fair. Or even ask Biden to explain his emphatic support for taking out Saddam; calling the surge a failure; and saying Iraq was in a civil war, and how all that qualifies him as a foreign policy expert when Obama himself uses his opposition to the war in 2002 as an example of necessary judgment to be presidential. One can hope.

As to the bias:
Ifill questions why people assume that her book will be favorable toward Obama.

"Do you think they made the same assumptions about Lou Cannon (who is white) when he wrote his book about Reagan?" said Ifill, who is black. Asked if there were racial motives at play, she said, "I don't know what it is. I find it curious."
First of all, Cannon didn't moderate any national debates (to my knowledge). Second, blacks have already lined up behind Obama in a disproportionate fashion according to both polls and primary results, and she's writing a book about the process. That suggests that yes, race does have something to do with it.

No comments: