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Today the New York Times' opinion pages are a complete anti-Palin/pro-Biden tirade regarding the VP debate.  There are no less than four separate columns/editorials that blast Palin's performance and/or praise Biden.  Perhaps the paper is trying to make up for its bullshit article on Ayers today.  But it's not just in the Times.  Newspapers across the country have criticized Palin's all flash-no substance performance on Thursday night.  I guess folks in the print media are just not as impressed with a showy, hollow personality as all those TV pundits are.  Let's look at the highlights.

First up is Bob Herbert, who was certainly no fan of Palin's before the debate, I'll admit.  He criticizes Palin for closing the debate with a quote from Ronald Reagan in which he was talking about abolishing Medicare.

Does Ms. Palin agree with that Looney Tunes notion? Or was this just another case of the aw-shucks, darn-right, I’m-just-a-hockey-mom governor of Alaska mouthing something completely devoid of meaning?

Next up is Gail Collins, whose columns have had more bite to them lately.  She rails against all of Palin's meaningless, nonsensical statements over the past few weeks, and her refusal to talk to the press.  Collins notes that Palin has actually set back women's fight for equality, since Palin is not campaigning to be VP because she is qualified, but instead is trying to see how good a job she can do of hiding the fact that she is utterly unqualified.

This entire election season has been a long-running saga about the rise of women in American politics. On Thursday, it all went sour. The people boosting Palin’s triumph were not celebrating because she demonstrated that she is qualified to be president if something ever happened to John McCain. They were cheering her success in covering up her lack of knowledge about the things she would have to deal with if she wound up running the country.

The Times editorial today right calls out Palin's frightening statement in the debate that as VP she'd like to have even more power than Cheney.  This was the scariest thing she said on Thursday night, in my opinion, and it's not getting enough attention.  The Times editors seem to agree.

It is hard to tell from Ms. Palin’s remarks whether she understands how profoundly Dick Cheney has reshaped the vice presidency — as part of a larger drive to free the executive branch from all checks and balances. Nor did she seem to understand how much damage that has done to American democracy...

The Constitution does not state or imply any flexibility in the office of vice president. It gives the vice president no legislative responsibilities other than casting a tie-breaking vote in the Senate when needed and no executive powers at all. The vice president’s constitutional role is to be ready to serve if the president dies or becomes incapacitated.

Any president deserves a vice president who will be a sound adviser and trustworthy supporter. But the American people also deserve and need a vice president who understands and respects the balance of power — and the limits of his or her own power. That is fundamental to our democracy.

So far, Ms. Palin has it exactly, frighteningly wrong.

The fourth column,  by Charles M. Blow, focuses not on Palin but on Biden.  He watched the debate among a bunch of Republicans in a Chelsea bar.  The biggest question before the debate was whether Palin would be able to put a coherent sentence together.  When it was clear that she managed to do that a few times, Blow focused on Biden, and liked what he saw.

I saw a strong, authoritative, confident and sensitive candidate emerge. On the whole, he came across as intelligent and relatable; a real person...

That night he reintroduced himself with panache and probably further strengthened an already strengthening Democratic ticket.

Joe, you done good. Hey, can I call you Joe?

There are many, many other newspapers that have criticized Palin's debate performace too.  For starters, check out the St. Petersburg Times, The Kansas City Star and the Detroit Free Press.

So you see, we aren't the only ones who were appalled by Palin on Thursday night.  All she's managed to do is get the diehard Republican conservo fundies to clap harder amongst themselves. But the rest of the country realizes that our country's problems are much to. serious to entrust to an appallingly unprepared Sarah Palin.

Originally posted to davidkc on Sat Oct 04, 2008 at 06:46 AM PDT.

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