A can’t-lose debate strategy for Joe Biden


I have a new mini-article in Salon, “A can’t-lose debate strategy for Joe Biden.” It explains how Biden can win the debate and score big points with independents by bringing up clean energy and global warming as much as possible. This may require more message discipline than the Dem VP nominee has. The article ends by noting, “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that Biden must not screw up.”

10 Responses to A can’t-lose debate strategy for Joe Biden

  1. Russ says:

    I sure hope he doesn’t screw it up. This should be easy, but Biden’s loose-cannon record, his erratic “message discipline”, makes me nervous.

    I would also press her on the economy – how can a welfare queen from a (literal) welfare petrostate know anything about how to retrieve America’s economic stability?

  2. gaiasdaughter says:

    Good article, Joe. Hope Biden pulls it off. As for the economy, she babbled even more incoherently when Katie asked, “do you support the bail-out?” This will be an interesting debate regardless!

  3. Dennis says:

    You write “Palin simply lacks the knowledge to rebut any detailed factual charges.” Well, she will.

    Palin will, on repeated occasions tonight, out and out make things up (or lie, depending on her depth of knowledge.) It will be up to the media (which will be under attack from the right as “biased” and “liberal”) to set the record straight in a very forceful way. There will be very little time to do that, as friday is the House vote on the bailout and the 2nd Presidential debate is only five days away.

  4. Dave Romm says:

    The debate itself isn’t going to change anyone’s mind. Palin will come out swinging and the GOP “base” will eat it up, no matter how much she lies or avoids the question. You’re right that Biden should bring this up (if he can), but remember: Palin’s handlers have already biased the debate rules for her. It’s not actually a debate at all and Palin never has to respond to anything Biden says. She won’t; she can’t.

  5. Dan G. says:

    I predict she will look like the town idiot. She has never yet once excelled in actually answering questions about national or world issues. If she can’t do press conferences and flubs interviews how can she shine in these debates which are in fact “joint” press conferences? I’m not going to watch. I think it will be painful.

  6. Teryn Norris says:

    Joe, in your Slate piece you say:

    “Democratic vice president candidate Joe Biden has been given a gift that I don’t think any politician of either party has ever received. He gets 45 minutes of free airtime in front of a huge national audience to debate his opponent with little fear of substantive rebuttal. Sarah Palin simply lacks the knowledge to rebut any detailed factual charges, especially on clean energy and climate, two issues of great concern to swing voters.”

    This is false, and you know it. Climate change is not an issue of high priority for swing voters. I’ve documented the evidence here: blog/2008/10/earth_to_romm_read_a_poll.shtml

    [JR: This is the best you can do? Rewrite and ignore what I say and then rebut that. As I said in the Salon piece, “Independent voters also care a great deal about the environment. And Biden has a free shot at Palin on the biggest environmental issue of the day: global warming.” I stand by that. You claim I said “climate change is an issue of high priority for swing voters.” I didn’t. My short intro statement in that piece said that climate is of “great concern” to swing voters. It is. Nice try guys.]

  7. Teryn Norris says:

    No need to get defensive, Joe. I appreciate your sincere idealism. As you’ve said very clearly, “nor do I accept the claim that ‘global warming is a low public priority.'” I wish global warming was a higher public priority, too. But you’ve got to take a harder look at the facts.

  8. Joe says:

    No need to get offensive, Teryn. Global warming is not a low public priority, especially for those who haven’t been the target of a disinformation campaign that you guys constantly downplay.

  9. Teryn Norris says:

    Wow, another quotable to prove how clearly you deny the facts on this one. If I was as ruthless as you, Joe, I might even attack you for trying to undermine the Democrats by peddling false information about public priorities.

  10. Joe says:

    Ruthless? That gets you moderation Teryn. I’ve been called many names, even on this blog, but “having no pity” and “merciless” and “cruel” ain’t among them. That is completely unwarranted ad hominem hyperbole.

    You guys are really over the top. Again, it is absurd to say global warming is a low public priority, especially for Democrats and independents. Indeed 47% of Dems and 38% of Indies rate global warming a top priority. Sure, only 12% of Repubs say it is, but if we let polling of Repubs drive policy, then we surely aren’t going to be doing your clean energy agenda anyway.