Thursday, October 02, 2008

Biden v Palin

Paul Begala posted his 10 rules for winning debates. Some are obvious, others a little more obscure, but #1 is the most important:
1. Debates are easy. It's a dirty little secret, but for all the hype, debates are easier than news conferences, town-hall meetings or in-depth, one-on-one interviews on Sunday morning television. You hit your mark, you deliver your lines, you try not to pass out or throw up, then you declare victory. So relax, candidates, you might even have fun.
And the one that most surprised me on the list:
4. Don't cram. If your debate prep is dominated by propeller-heads, you're in trouble. I love the nerds, Lord knows, but they can overwhelm you. In 1984, the brilliant Richard Darman overloaded Ronald Reagan with minutiae, perhaps in an effort to dispel rumors that the Gipper had lost a step.

The strategy blew up in the Reagan campaign's face. In his first debate with Walter Mondale, Reagan stumbled and stammered. There was too much new information clanging around in his brain. But by the second debate, he blew away concerns about his age. He did this not with a rapid-fire recitation of statistics, but with a classic Reagan quip: "I will not use my opponent's youth and inexperience as an issue in this campaign."
Tonight is going to be fun. Both candidates will be at there best. Palin just needs to make it through with a heart beat, Biden without his foot in his mouth. I will be watching strictly for entertainment value.

With that, I leave you this:

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