Thursday, October 2, 2008

Veep Mass Debaters

So, loathe as I am to talk much about politics, I did add a post last week regarding the first presidential debate, First Act of Public Mass Debate Shun, and I guess I'll put one up about this first, last, and only debate between Vice-Presidential candidates Joe Biden and Sarah Palin.

But hey, I am going to make this easy on myself. You see, this time around, I actively interacted with the social media site Twitter, and sent tweets out over the course of the debate. I didn't bother using the secret sign of #vpdebate to tag my tweets--I really don't care after all, if my display of my own ignorance is picked up on anyone's search engine or not. If all this Twitter talk makes you feel like a twit, or worse, makes you think that I must be one, here's my first post about the service: All A Twitter.

But in case you are impatient, the tweets of Twitter amount to the blogger's equivalent of the sound bite, essentially a text message. And these were all texted through my cell phone, and boy is my thumb aching right now.

So, now, without further ado, here are my VP Debate 08 tweets:

Expectations for Palin are so low, she's almost certain to come out ahead

Biden is talking too fast with too much complexity. Palin is Reaganesque

Palin stumbling on climate change

At this point, someone in my network directed a tweet to me:

cscan @LanceStrate I knew Ronald Regan. Sarah Palin is no Ronald Reagan. :-)

To which I responded:

@cscan People were looking for serious solutions to the oil crisis & foreign policy in 1980. Reagan promised them convincingly

And then another query:

danlatorre @LanceStrate But isn't Biden out friendly-ing on the smile count?

And my reply:

@danlatorre no, Biden's smiles are shortlived, Palin's are broad

And continuing on with a sarcastic comment that is the hallmark of frequent Twitterers:

Isn't anyone brave enough to support plural marriage?

In the meantime, a follow up to a previous exchange:

cscan @LanceStrate I knew Ronald Regan. Sarah Palin is no Ronald Reagan. :-)

To which I rejoined:

@cscan no Palin's no Reagan, she blew the white flag quip. Biden blew his bridge to nowhere line. He's no Clinton.

Then back to irregularly scheduled commentary:

Palin says "nuclear" like Carter did LOL

Palin working on the Jewish vote. Biden countering.

At this point, I noted a tweet by
@mattthomas that said:

Does Biden's tendency to repeat points (with emphasis) help or hurt him? I fear it makes him look condescending.

To which I responded:

@mattthomas it's not repeating points that hurts Biden, it's his tone and rate of speech

To which he responded:

mattthomas @LanceStrate Not to mention his impatient sighs. Sigh.

And then this:

Palin invoked special needs. Wish Biden had pointed out that special needs needs funding!

Say it ain't so, Joe :p

That was a line that Palin used, in case that's not clear. And my next tweet was a criticism aimed at the moderator,
Gwen Ifill, who asked how the candidates would differ as VP from their respective President:

Stupid to ask a question no VP candidate would answer

And then these:

Palin counters experience deficit with identity. Could work.

Biden shows emotional vulnerability talking about his kid. Powerful.

Biden strong on McCain no maverick. Should've done that sooner

And next, a question from my man in Japan:

mikeplugh @lancestrate Who's playing to the medium better tonight?

My response being:

@mikeplugh Palin was more televisual, Reaganesque, but not outstanding. Biden was not likable, but not ineffective. Might give a little boost to McCain

After which, danlatorre added:

danlatorre @lancestrate Like Reagan, Palin's televisual "training" has paid off and remains an asset in this land of vacuous sensory overload.

And my conclusion:

Palin corrected her own image problem, but the economic situation still favors Obama

But wait! In going back over all this, I discovered that I missed a message during the debate:

danlatorre @LanceStrate Lakoff or Goffman; frames or nonverbal language; which counts more voter-wise in this VP debate event?

And so, I now offered the following response:

@danlatorre Missed your earlier tweet. On television, it's Goffman that counts, as per Josh Meyrowitz's No Sense of Place.

And then:

danlatorre @LanceStrate Not familiar w/ Meyrowitz's No Sense of Place, will check out. (Still want to meet up! Work still insane; but getting staff)

Now let me go and respond to this. Just wait here for a minute...

OK, I'm back, and here's my new tweet:

@danlatorre No Sense of Place is required reading for understanding electronic media environments. Understand about work, just let me know.

Hey, why stop here. Here's a recent follow up comment from

mikeplugh Hey fathers out there....Biden's emotional moment was our liberation. We love our children and worry about them, too. It's 2008. Show it.

So I'll respond with:

LanceStrate @mikeplugh That was the most interesting moment of the debate, but I thought Biden squelched the emotion too quickly.


LanceStrate @mikeplugh But yes, a great moment for fatherhood!

Hey this is fun, and oh look, here's another nice tidbit from

mikeplugh CNN talks about Palin running in 2012. GOP pundits give her a real shot. I PRAY they run her against Obama. Please almighty God, please.

Let's see, what shall I say, hmm...

LanceStrate @mikeplugh Palin in 2012? I tell ya man, she's the next Reagan, which may mean she loses over and over again until say 2020 (my vision)

So, as you can see, you can get a full and complete account of the debate simply by monitoring Twitter alone, and of course monitoring my tweets in particular will provide you with a fair and accurate assessment, as I am only concerned with the aesthetic performance of the candidates in a "debate" that is in no real sense a debate, and will have very little if any impact on voters' decision making processes.

Or so a little birdie told me, tweet tweet!

1 comment:

Mike Plugh said...

Twitter still gets jammed up during high traffic events. I never saw half your replies until I read this blog. There's an issue of noise in the system that comes from structural factors. Twitter is no better than the telegraph if it doesn't learn to deal with many multiple messages flooding the system capacity at the same time.

That said, Palin will never be Reagan because he had the Hollywood background to hone his craft. He also had to govern a highly complex state in California, and had to master a wide range of issues in the process. I'd also argue that Reagan was a far more literate candidate than Palin, a product of the electronic age, and therefore could articulate a message in a far more coherent and well-developed manner. She can't make up for that thinking process gap because she's not cognitively organized in a way that allows that evolution.