Follow us:

Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 3, 2008 at 3:24 PM

Vice-presidential debate

Biden won the debate

Editor, The Times:

Sen. Joseph Biden clearly won the vice-presidential debate on Thursday night [“VPs deliver; will focus shift?” Times, page one, Oct. 3]. Gov. Sarah Palin clearly has no clue about what it’s like to be in the national spotlight.

Paul J. Richards / APF / Getty Images

Democratic vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden and his Republican counterpart, Sarah Palin, shake hands following Thursday night’s debate.

However, there is praise for Palin’s performance on Thursday night. She had a few talking points, mostly on energy and statistical numbers, about Biden and Sen. Barack Obama’s histories that seemed to be well-rehearsed and well-planned. But that’s it.

When it came down to it, Palin simply did not address the questions from the moderator. She sometimes avoided the questions altogether.

Biden, on the other hand, looked like a real vice president — something America has not experienced for quite some time. He laid out a clear case for why the Obama-Biden ticket represents the change America needs. Their change does a complete turnaround from the eight years of Bush Doctrine.

Biden made it clear that the Obama-Biden administration will make the middle class a priority. He also said they have a plan in place to bring home the troops from Iraq safely and responsibly, and to restore America’s leadership to the world.

Obama and Biden are our beacons of hope in this fearful and stressful time.

— Brandon Melton, Spokane

Palin is the oil-industry candidate

As a woman, I was delighted to see Gov. Sarah Palin give a good speech during the vice-presidential candidates’ debate. I was glad she didn’t “collapse into an incomprehensible heap” — a scenario recently posited by a Washington correspondent when pressed to describe a situation that could force Palin off the Republican presidential ticket.

Because she has proved herself comprehensible at the podium, we can now concentrate on what she is saying instead of how she is saying it.

For instance, as a result of Thursday’s debate, I now understand that Palin was selected as the candidate of the oil industry. Her stated mission is to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling. She wants to lower taxes on an industry that made unprecedented profits, while we paid $4.50 a gallon for gas. Forget her story about how she stood up to big oil in Alaska. They didn’t need the profit Alaska denied them because they were raking it in down here. And that investment has paid off big in putting Palin on the “maverick” ticket with Sen. John McCain.

Her “energy policy” would destroy natural areas and contribute to global warming without doing a single thing to make the United States energy independent. Moreover, one of the first gubernatorial acts of this “Country First” candidate was to sign a contract with a Canadian company to build an oil pipeline in Alaska.

Palin was well-coached and made a folksy delivery, but her politics are all about giving wealth to the wealthy and otherwise preserving the status quo.

— Wendy Shook, Tukwila

Jeez Louise, Palin

While I watched the vice-presidential debate, I waited on the edge of my seat for “gee willikers.” Imagine my disappointment when Gov. Sarah Palin left that one out. However, she came very close, and I appreciate her efforts.

It was painfully obvious that Palin had completed a crash course in the George Bush School of “Ain’t-I-Just-Plain-Folk.”

Isn’t it odd that we’re made to feel bad about expecting more from someone running for vice president? With all the substantive women politicians out there, it leaves me with just one thought: “Aww, shucks!”

— Ricky Barnes, Seattle

Neither won the debate

Well, the great debate is over, and, essentially, we are where we were the day before the debate. Gov. Sarah Palin has shown that she can deliver a line in a folksy way similar to Ronald Reagan, and Sen. Joseph Biden has shown that he has a firm grasp of the facts.

During the debate, Palin repeatedly didn’t answer the question asked and dove directly into the sound bite she was instructed to deliver.

Biden at least first answered the questions and then went about his mission of tying Sen. John McCain to President Bush.

Based on this, I can’t determine a winner or loser. We’re just back to where we were: Who will make the better president, and who will lead us in the direction that this country needs to go in?

I don’t know if Thursday night’s vice-presidential debate helped anyone make that decision. It sure didn’t help change my mind one way or the other.

— Robert Oberlander, Issaquah

Answer the questions asked, Palin

Gov. Sarah Palin sidestepped the point of having a debate by not answering the questions asked and talking about whatever else she felt like. She even said that she was going to do this very early in the debate, which would have been a good time for the moderator, Gwen Ifill, to put a stop to it.

Interviewers and moderators in the media need to remember that, while they are supposed to remain objective, they are supposed to keep to the rules. When Palin so willfully did not answer the questions asked, she broke the rules of the debate and should have been called on it.

I guess that is how it will work, as it has for the past eight years, if the McCain-Palin ticket wins in November. They’ll break the rules, and everybody will be too polite to call them on it until it is too late.

— David Comito, Seattle

Play on words

Who took de bait in Thursday night’s vice-presidential white flag of surrender? I thought Sen. Joseph Biden looked Palin comparison.

— Leo Shillong, Bellingham

Sound professional, GOP

I find it curious how the current Republican philosophy appears to believe that speaking in a folksy manner, such as using the words “betcha,” “gonna,” “folks,” etc., is somehow an endearing and appropriate way to speak.

What in the world makes them think that? We’ve endured this dumbing-down of the Most Powerful Person in the World for the last eight years. I want someone in office who not only acts like a president (or vice president), but sounds like one.

No, you are not my next-door neighbors — you’re the ultimate representatives of this country. Please represent us with dignity and intelligence, and have the grace to sound like you possess both.

— Karen Thompson, Port Angeles

Comments | More in Economy, Election, Energy, Environment, Health care, Politics


No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.

The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.

The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►