I plan on liveblogging the Vice Presidential debate tonight between Senator Joe Biden and Governor Sarah Palin.  The debate starts 9:00p EST/8:00p CST.  Please feel free to join me.  Due to some ministry obligations I may end up starting just a few minutes late, but I’ll begin close to the start time.

7:58p – I’m here, ready to go.  I’ll be twittering some tonight too.  You can follow me there at http://www.twitter.com/shanevanderhart.

8:03p – Gov. Palin – “can I call you Joe?”

Talking about Bailout

Biden – last 8 years was the worst we’ve ever had.  Really?  The market I thought the last seven was pretty good.

Livestreaming just pooped out had to turn on the TV.

Palin – Government hasn’t provided the sound oversight needed.  She’s touting McCain’s record.  Good.  She needs to do that.

8:06p – How as VP would you work to shrink this gap of bipartisanship?

Biden – I have been able to reach across the aisle.  Now I’m going to bash John McCain.

Palin – John McCain referring to the fundamentals – he was talking to and about the American workforce.

Bipartisanship – I have a record of going against my own party and working with other party.  Obama doesn’t do that.  Here’s the catch word for Palin – New and different.

No one answered.

8:09p – Who’s at fault for subprime crisis?

Palin – predatory lenders, greed on Wall Street. Not enough oversight.  We as individuals need to avoid getting in debt – personal responsibility.  Let’s not live beyond our means.

Biden – Obama warned two years about the subprime crisis – LIE.

So Palin – we share blame…. Biden – McCain and the Republicans because of deregulations.

8:12p – Palin rebuttal

Obama and Biden voted for tax increases and Obama had 94 chances to vote to cut taxes but didn’t.

Palin – I may not answer the question the way you or the moderator want to hear, but I’m going to speak to the American people.  Now let me talk about taxes.  Let me share what I did as a Mayor and Governor.  She needs to answer faster – not enough time.


Biden – raising taxes on the rich is simply fairness.  If we all pay 10% of our income doesn’t the rich still pay more?   McCain won’t do anything for the middle school.

Palin – let’s talk about wealth redistribution that you seem to espouse, LOL!  Go get him!  Obama/Biden is forgetting about small businesses that will be affected under Obama’s plan.  Also wanting to increase spending.

With healthcare – $5000 tax credit for healthcare – budget neutral.


Biden – we don’t call taking money from some people and giving it to others income redistribution.  In Scranton we call that fairness.  (my paraphrase).

Biden… blah, blah, blah, blah…. ultimate bridge to nowhere…. blah.  Whatever.

8:21p – What promises you won’t be able to keep.

Biden – slow down foreign commitments, not support tax cuts for wealthy and businesses (who by the way create jobs).  Now he’s on to what they won’t slow up on Education, healthcare, etc.

Palin – talking about energy plan that gave oil companies the tax breaks which Obama voted for and she had to deal with up in Alaska.

We’ve haven’t promised anything we won’t be able to keep.  She didn’t say, but should have his desire to cut out earmarks.


Palin – McCain called for reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac two years ago.  Got Wall St. & Main St. mixed up -verbal gaffe.  I’m sure that will be misconstrued.

Biden – Bankruptcy courts should be able to adjust interest rates and principal to help people stay in homes… what about personal responsibility?


Palin back to energy – wants to focus on strength and expertise.

8:30p – Climate Change

Palin – Being the governor of the only arctic state we see the impact of climate change.  Not all caused by man, but don’t want to argue about the causes, but the solutions.

First governor to form the a climate change group (missed exactly what she called it).  Discussing reducing emissions and throw everything (energy alternatives) at it.

Biden – We caused it.  Export the technolgy to China!  He said McCain is saying just drill, drill, drill.  Which is untrue, and Iliff called him on it.

Palin – the chant is actually “drill, baby, drill” and is going on to discuss the plan.  Biden and Obama has been against any domestic solutions.  Nailed Biden on saying there is no such thing as “clean coal.”


Biden is starting to get snarky.  Keep it up

8:36p – now we jump to same-sex benefits

Biden – absolutely for it .  He says the Constitution calls for it – where?

Palin – not if goes closer and closer to redefining marriage.  But I would be tolerant toward those people.  Not against visitation rights or contracts between consenting adults.

Biden – We don’t support gay marriage, but they won’t do anything to stop it.

8:39p – Foriegn Policy

Palin – for the surge, proud of troops, thankful for Biden calling Obama out on a politically motivated vote on the surge – we are down to presurge numbers now.  We are getting closer to victory.

Biden – Obama has offered a clear plan, ugh… it keeps changing.


Biden – you have got to have a timeline.  Well that’s fine you just can’t make it public.  I’m for goals, but don’t tell the enemy when you are pulling out.  No end in sight for John McCain (not true).

Palin – you are for surrender.  The Iraqis and our commanders will tell us when the conditions on the ground warrent complete pullout and also another indicator is that the Iraqis can govern themselves without our security.


Biden – now saying Obama has been right when he said in the primaries he wasn’t qualified to be commander-in-chief.

On to Pakistan and Iran

Biden – attack will come from Al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  Not Iraq.

Palin – General Patreaus and Al Qaeda said that the central front in the war is in Iraq.  Iran poses a threat to Isreal.  We cannot afford for them to have nukes.  Obama has said he would meet with him, and other despots without preconditions.  That should never happen.

8:49p – Diplomacy

Palin – diplomacy needed, but need to have preconditions.  Lower level first, and then preconditions.  Sitting at a presidential level is not appropriate.

Biden – Theocracy in Iran calls the shot, not the President of Iran (can’t spell his name) ;).  McCain won’t exercise diplomacy – not true.  Said he wouldn’t sit down with Spain – not true.


Palin – Two state solution is the right one.  We will support Israel.

Biden – Talking about himself in third person, kind of humorous.  Now attacking Bush, but problem is Bush isn’t running.  No one is better friend to Israel.


Palin – Bush’s Israel policy is not a complete failure.  Too much finger pointing and looking backwards by Obama/Biden ticket.  Need to look forward.  Change is coming.

Biden – past is prologue… haven’t seen how McCain is going to be different.  He hasn’t been paying attention.

8:56p – Interventionism

Palin – Can’t allow rogue governments to have nukes.  Pointing out differences in Bush policy with McCain’s position on Afghanistan.  Use surge principles.

Biden – A commander in Afghanistan said that surges won’t work.  Need to see a fact check on that.

Palin – McClellan did not say anything about counter-insurgency.  I’m not sure what they are talking about.

Biden – will spend more money in Afghanistan.

Biden – has supported boots on the ground in Bosnia and in Darfur.  I don’t have a stomach for genocide.  We can support a no fly zone.  We can lead the U.N.  I agree with him there.  I just think the U.N. is inept.

Palin – I’m so not a Washington insider because I don’t see how you can vote for the war and now be against.  We can agree on Darfur, no fly zone.  America is in a position to help.  Worked as Governor for divestment of Alaskan money in Sudan.


Biden – I never supported John McCain’s position on the war inviting a fact check, and I’m sure they will.

Palin – You can say that a month out, but we heard what you said in the primary debates.  John McCain can win the war, he knows how, and he will take the politics out of it.

How would your adminstration be different than the top of the ticket.

Biden – I will carry out Obama’s policies.

Palin – We won’t agree on everything, but what do you expect from a team of mavericks?  Drill in ANWAR.  Put government back on the side of the people.  A little reality of Wasilla Main Street.

Biden – People in my neighborhood gets it…  Wasilla is a bunch of stupid hicks evidently.

Palin – Saying it again Joe, looking backwards.  Shout out to a local elementary.  Discusses education, glad Biden brought it up.

9:13p – Vice Presidential Role

Palin – preside over Senate, making sure we are supportive of the President’s policies, and that the President would know where our strengths are – energy independance, government reform, children of special needs.

Biden – I have a history of getting things done in the Senate.  I would be the point person for legislative initiatives and be an advisor for Obama.

Palin – The constitution allows a lot of flexibility in the Vice Presidential role.  Touts executive experience.

Achilles Heal (Palin – experience, Biden – discipline)

Palin – experience as an executive will be put to good use.  Experience as a blue collar worker, and in the middle class.  Worldview that I share.  We are a nation of exceptionalism.  We are not perfect, but together we represent a perfect ideal.

Biden – I’m not going to change.  Sharing about his life experience, but seems to think that Palin was bashing his life experience as a parent, etc…. she wasn’t.

Palin – taken on my own party when I’ve had to.  Record of change.

9:22p – I’m ready for this to be over.

Biden – back to bashing McCain, he hasn’t been a maverick on what has counted.  What?!?!?  Oh brother.  Well Biden hasn’t been a maverick at all!

Final question – praise God – 9:24p

Biden – I disagree with ideology  why he Borked Bork.

9:27p – How do you change the tone?  I guess the last question wasn’t the last.

Biden – I haven’t questioned the motive of different Senators.  I’ve questioned judgement.

Palin – As Governor I’ve appointed people of other party and ideology.  Policies and proposals have got to speak for themselves.

Closing Statement:

Palin – I want to assure the American people that John McCain and I will fight the American people.  We will fight for the middle class.  We will fight for our freedom.  We will fight for our national security.  There is only one man in this race that has ever fight for you and that is Senator John McCain.

Biden – this is the most important election you will ever vote in your entire life.  They say that every year.

Quick summary:  Gwen Ifill was a fair moderator, so I’m glad that my fears were unfounded.  Not a hostile debate.  I don’t think there was a clear winner.  No verbal gaffes.  Both were focusing on the top of the ticket.  Biden threw a bunch of facts which will be lost on most people.  Palin definitely seemed comfortable, was fiesty, and seemed pretty down to earth.  I think they both did what they had to do.  You see the difference between the two.

Frank Luntz had a focus group on Fox News, and they were split 50/50 on Gov. Palin,  Almost 100% though Palin won the debate.  This debate was Palin’s to win or lose and it appears that she won it on Main St.  The next few polls will be interesting.

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