Grading on a (very steep) curve

David Broder, the “Dean of the Washington Press Corps,” writes in his column that Biden did well, but that “he was no better than Palin.” What is one piece of evidence he marshals to support this assessment? He says that Palin “appeared…comfortable with her talking points”:

Those of us who know and admire Joe Biden were happy that a big national audience got to see him at his best — a sentimental, smart, decent and generous guy.

But he was no better than Palin. She appeared cool as a cucumber, comfortable with her talking points and unrattled by anything that was thrown at her.

Try to imagine a big-name columnist saying that Biden or Obama (or McCain, for that matter) did well in a debate because he was “comfortable with his talking points,” and you should immediately realize what an absurd double standard Broder is using to judge Palin’s performance.

Apparently this is now the way we are supposed to judge candidates — not by how good their policies are, or how well they are able to explain those policies, or whether they present a coherent vision for where they would like to lead the country in the next four years. No, we judge them by whether they appear “comfortable with their talking points.”

No wonder so many bloggers are so critical of Broder and the rest of the Washington press corps; that’s a talking point I’m comfortable with.

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3 responses to “Grading on a (very steep) curve

  1. goodtimepolitics

    He should have brought up the fact that Biden got many things in his talking points wrong where as Sarah Palin did not!

  2. Actually, she was lying about Obama wanting to raise taxes on people making $42,000 a year, she was lying about taking steps to divest from Sudan as governor (in fact she was silent on the issue and her staff resisted divestment efforts by the legislature), and she was lying that McCain’s health care plan would be “budget neutral,” and she was wrong that “millions” of small businesses would see tax increases under Obama’s plan, and she was wrong that troops numbers in Iraq are down to “pre-surge” levels, and…

    But please, don’t let facts get in the way of your conviction that only Democrats ever misrepresent or distort or exaggerate.

  3. It seemed that with George W. Bush the standard for holding national office had sunk as low as possible. Apparently it wasn’t so.

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