Diary

Volokh: Poor Joe Biden

Over on the Volokh Conspiracy, Todd Zywicki feels sorry for poor old Joe Biden:

But watching Palin I all of a sudden had a memory of when I was a kid and I recall watching with sadness Muhammad Ali’s fight against a younger, stronger, sharper Larry Holmes. Ali’s time was past and Holmes just ran rings around him and everyone just ended up feeling sorry for Ali and hoping he wouldn’t get hurt too much (which apparently he unfortunately did). I think that Palin’s debate with Biden in October could end up being a rout…

While I am cautious of ramping up expectation beyond where they ought to be, I think it is safe to say that most of us have been guilty of underestimating Sarah Palin at every turn, at least until Thursday night. We’ve mistaken time-in-grade (to borrow a pay-grade analogy) for an examination of actual accomplishments during that time. Now that we’ve has a chance to know Gov. Palin a little better, we’ve all seen that her road to the Alaska Governor’s office is littered with the bodies of many others who made the mistake of underestimating her.

Giving a great speech, as she did on Thursday night, is certainly no substitute for the rough-and-tumble, think-on-your-feet skills needed for a successful debate. But her experience better prepares her for debate than does any number of years in the Senate.

I’d say as a rule of thumb two years as a Governor certainly exceeds four years as Senator in terms of useful experience. Senators do not have to take personal responsibility for the decisions the body makes. They don’t have make tough decisions, they cut deals. This is valuable experience, but it really isn’t the same sort of experience as being an executive. Governors have to show up for work every day ready to make decisions.

To put it more bluntly–the Senate is, frankly, a silly place.

And if the Senate is a silly place, it gets no sillier than the Clown Prince of the Senate, Joe Biden. Famous mainly for his inability to complete a coherent thought in his Senate hearings, along with his compulsive need to explain “I’m not kidding,” as if no one takes him seriously (and why would that be?), Joe Biden is fundamentally unsuited for the debate format. His time will run out before he even starts to answer a question.

Zywicki concludes:

[Biden] hasn’t had a real job in 35 years. And he seems like a man who hasn’t had a real job with real responsibilities in 35 years. His long-windedness and apparent self-importance basically emobies “Senator-itis.” Palin seems smart (presumably Biden is smart too), bur more importantly she is sharp and tested and on her game as a sitting Governor. She is game-tested.

I’m going to call it now – Palin will crush Joe Biden in the VP debates. And I’m not joking.