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The best one-line pundittery I’ve seen about last night’s Vice-Presidential debate is that Sarah Palin beat Tina Fey, but Joe Biden beat John McCain. I think even that is a bit tricky, as Ms. Fey gets her rebuttal tomorrow. But Sen. Biden showed remarkable discipline, I thought, in refraining from attempting to debate Gov. Palin. In the end, very few people are going to be casting votes because of these two people; this is a chance to talk about the fellows at the head of the ticket when people have been suckered in to watch by, well, by Tina Fey. I think Ian Gillingham over at Willamette Week’s blog makes a good point comparing the visualizations of the word frequencies of the two.

With the warning that I have no idea if these are even remotely accurate, here’s Sarah Palin’s:

First thing you spot, I hope, is John McCain. Then there’s the idiosyncrasies of her speech patterns: also, going, just, know. The stuff she wanted to get across: America/American/Americans, energy, can, will. Then it gets muddy.

Now, here’s Joe Biden’s side:

What jumps out? John McCain. And then Barack Obama. Then going and said, which I assume is his own speech pattern coming into play, and then what do you see? one, people, get, change, policy, know, voted, Afghanistan, billion. I can’t think either Sen. Obama or Sen. Biden would be at all disappointed in that picture.

Mostly, though, I’m impressed by his restraint. He was quite right to be restrained, partially because he doesn’t want to be perceived as picking on his opponent, but mostly because his side is winning and that’s the winning side’s strategy. Still, I wouldn’t have been able to do it. When Gov. Palin said

Up there in Alaska, what we have done is, with bipartisan efforts, is work together and, again, not caring who gets the credit for what, as we accomplish things up there. And that’s been just a part of the operation that I wanted to participate in. And that’s what we’re going to do in Washington, D.C., also, bring in both sides together. John McCain is known for doing that, also, in order to get the work done for the American people.

YHB would have said something like Really? Does anybody in Alaska think you worked well with bipartisan efforts? ’Cos that’s not what I’m hearing.

And when Gov. Palin said

Well, the nice thing about running with John McCain is I can assure you he doesn’t tell one thing to one group and then turns around and tells something else to another group…

YHB wouldn’t have been able to help saying something like You mean, except David Letterman, right?

And it would not have helped Sen. Obama at all.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,


Whose one-line punditry was that? That is good.


I wish I remembered. I was hunting around for the transcript and got distracted by this and that, and that line was one of the thats.


Looks like it was from a summary:


...of Andrew Romano's piece at Newsweek:


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