Thursday, October 02, 2008

I don't know the ideal attributes of a Vice President.

I have tonight off, which is great because, like most readers of this blog, I plan to watch the Vice Presidential candidates' debate. I feel other people's embarrassment too easily, and thus hope that both candidates are articulate, well-prepared, and polite to each other.

Beyond that, though, I don't have a good sense of what this debate is meant to achieve. What qualifies someone to serve as Vice President, other than the Constitutional minimum requirements?

We talk about Vice Presidents being a heartbeat away from the Oval Office; that has happened once in my lifetime, three times in my father's (and it's Dad's birthday today, so many happy returns). It hasn't happened in more than 30 years, though, and frankly I would not vote for either Joe Biden or Sarah Palin to be President of the United States.

The incumbent aside, traditionally the Vice President has represented the United States at state funerals, weddings and other ceremonial events, and the Vice President has been the Executive Branch's primary official liaison to the Legislative Branch. The Vice President serves as President of the Senate, and casts votes to break ties -- a real possibility in the next Congress.

Unquestionably, Joe Biden is more qualified to be President of the Senate than Sarah Palin is. Sarah Palin, however, is arguably better-looking than Joe Biden, and might look better in photographs at international funerals. As Vice President she might be as invisible and innocuous as Dan Quayle was, and as much fun for late-night talk show hosts.

Thus it seems to me that the standards for "winning" tonight's Vice Presidential debate are very different for Senator Biden and Governor Palin. Biden needs to convince us that he can help make a broken Congress work; Palin just needs to convince us that she won't be an international embarrassment.

I'm betting on Biden.


norby said...

My roommate informed me that she wants to vote for Palin because she's a woman but can't because she doesn't want McCain to be President.

I almost cried.

Ed Lamb said...

My money is on Palin embarassing herself to the point where she resigns (is fired from) the Republican ticket by Monday.

I also have a proposition wager on the over for Gwen Ifill just staring at Palin is disbelief. The line is two and a half.

Anonymous said...

Did Palin always pronouce nuclear nu-kew-lar or is that recent?


Anonymous said...

Hope you didn't lose too much on your bet, Ed.


Ed Lamb said...

Demonstrating bare competence shouldn't count as a stunning oerachievement, but there you are.

Anonymous said...

I'm sick of all of them! The finger pointing,and the "wall street, main street" cliche. I feel manipulated and betrayed. Not just by polititians but by the media as well. I work very hard for my money in a physical job that is already taking it's toll. One of the bright spots was the 10% into my 401k. It is down so much I wonder what the point of it was. I leave for Japan on Nov 3 and have until the end of the day to get an absentee ballot. I 'm not sure I will or want to make it to the registrars office.

AnswerGirl said...

James, get the ballot.

I too noticed the new-kew-lar pronunciation and wanted to stab myself every time she said it.

Also, why did no one point out the inconsistency between accusing Wall Street of corruption -- on the one hand -- and demanding government get out of people's business on the other? "Low-doc" and "no doc" mortgages were considered a triumph of deregulation -- getting government out of people's business in the most important area -- and they are two of the largest factors in the current mortgage crisis.

Moira said...

She always said nukulur. I lost a bet that Ifil would ask her about creationism. I really wanted to hear her thoughts on Dinosaurs.

Tom Ehrenfeld said...

Well, there's no doubt that she believes in dinosaurs--she's running with one!