The Invisible Palin Meltdown

The group I was with started laughing so hard at her response to the Cheney question that we had to rewind the DVR to hear her entire response. Biden himself couldn’t keep a straight face through her schpiel. But no review that I’ve read of the VP debate tonight has mentioned it. Even here on the Dope boards, I haven’t seen any mention of it, other than noting that Biden knocked his response out of the park. For a bit I was thinking that our group just had some kind of mass hallucination, but it’s in the CNN transcript, at

She appears totally ignorant about Cheney’s infamous declaration that his office was not burdened by regulations imposed upon the Executive branch, and constructs a word salad worthy of a mediocre Markov chain.

Some time back I came across a group of high school and college teachers blogging about favorite student gambits. One they were sharing were favorite examples of students trying to bullshit their way through an essay question when they clearly had no clue whatsoever. And there was a kind of style to it, rearranging elements of the question hoping to fake their way through. And the teachers were sharing their favorite examples of the art.

Oddly, after a few, you got the feeling like they were all written by the same person, there was a style to it. Can’t quite put a finger on it, but her answers remind me of them. Plus, I get the feeling that she thinks she’s really good at it!

Tee-hee. It looks worse on paper than it sounded (not that it sounded so great, mind you).

But I doubt Joe Six-Pack cares. I expect it sounded fine to a lot of watchers. Yes, Biden gave a finely reasoned and knowledgeable response showing he knew exactly what no-good Cheney was up to … but hey, dontcha know, that’s looking backward at the Bush administration! For shame! Don’t you get it, McCain and Palin are looking FORWARD, you betcha! So it really doesn’t matter what Cheney said or did.

On a related note, I don’t know if the term “mediocre Markov chain” has much descriptive power. It’s tempting to respond to stupidity with an onslaught of terminology only smart people know (I bet Gov. Palin doesn’t know a Markov chain from a necklace, and I’d be stunned if she understood “leviathan of forensics” on the first hearing), but ultimately, alas, ineffective.

I do however, long for a t-shirt that reads:

Debate me at your own risk.

Meh, it was the best metaphor I could come up with off of the top of my head, and it’s easy enough to hop over to Wikipedia. Besides, this being the SDMB, most folks here would either understand or be interested in learning something new.

You inspired me to Run Sarah’s speech through a Markov chain generator.

That sounds eerily like her.

How does a Markov chain relate to text? I’ve only used Markov chains to find the steady states of a system and the like.

MSNBC featured the Cheney question and response heavily. It is being reported. also says:

Maybe you are on to something and this is going to catch. Probably wishful thinking on my part, but who knows.

There’s a good example in Claude Shannon’s famous paper, “A Mathematical Theory of Communication.” You generate words randomly but the odds of a given word coming up depends on the n previous words, and this probability is based on an existing text. If n is large enough, you get something that resembles the style of the sample text.

You can do this with just a regular book. Open the book at a random page and choose a random word. Pick another page at random and find the first occurrence of the word you just picked. Note the following word. Repeat.

Every polls says Biden won the debate. It’s not like the Republicans need any more bullets right now; whether this sticks or not things look awful for them.

Every poll also says Palin was more likeable.

Gore won his debates with Bush.

He did, but we were also coming off of 8 years of a democratic presidency and people wanted some change, which negated that a bit. This time both those currents are flowing the same direction. I don’t know if that means Obama will still win (God I hope so), but I think it’s a good sign.

It’s unlikely that a VP debate is going to make much difference in Nov. Keep in mind that folks who post here are anything but typical American voters. Obama has the edge. The election is his to lose.

Remember Bush was considered more likable then Gore. Aren’t we glad he won!!!:smiley:


I didn’t see any meltdown. She had a few minor gaffes, but nothing which will be played over and over on blogs and networks.

Remember, some folks around here were expecting her to (a) not show up, (b) pee herself when she did, or © somehow end up in tears. None of that happened. In fact, from a right wing perspective, it was the “Palin of the convention” not the “Palin of the Couric interviews” (which, from a liberal perspective, means “creepy Fargo lady”).

Personally I think Biden won based on substance, but it was still close enough that either side can realistically claim victory. And this was in no way a meltdown.

So she didn’t “pee herself” and therefore it’s a draw?

So let’s see… And in the new this morning, Vice Presidential Candidate Joe Biden spoke directly to the facts with clear opinions in a voice of obvious experience and knowledge of the gamut of issues including foreign and domestic policies and the economy. Candidate Palin, golly gee gosh willikers, while unable to provide an answer to a majority of the actual questions asked, did remain dry and upright. I think it was a win-win. Back to you, John…

I think you’re missing the point. Expectations were so low for her – and yet she was able to regurgitate the Republican talking points (mostly at the right time), stand up straight, be forceful, be confident (or creepy, depending on your POV) and not make any huge mistakes.

Yes, the bar was low.

Compare that to Joe, who (IMHO) said all the right things and knows his policy, can give detailed explanations and chew gum – but can also look old and weird in his own way. And he did not hit it out of the ballpark or run rings around her, which many expected him to do.

One of my favorite lowlights was her interpretation of an “Achilles’ Heel” as an opportunity to rattle off her strong points.

She looked good on the surface because she has so little self-awareness that she exudes confidence. Anyone who looks beneath her perky “ya, hey dere” exterior will immediately see her inner Shit Kicker. Which is fine, as long as you’re not riding shotgun to the President.

Keith Olberman invited her to “talk straight to the American people” on his show…any day, any time, with no editing. Polititainment at its best!

Anyone else reminded of Rachel Ray when listening and watching Palin?

Last night was barely a break even for Palin, she further illuminated for a lot of people her inability to [as **Kalhoun **so eloquently put it] ride shotgun to the President.