The New York Times reports that "at the insistence of the McCain campaign," the October 2 debate between Republican Gov. Sarah Palin and her Democratic rival, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., will have "shorter question-and-answer segments than those for the presidential nominees." Campaign advisers said there also will be "much less opportunity for free-wheeling, direct exchanges" between the running mates.
McCain advisers expressed concern that "a loose format" could leave Palin, "an inexperienced debater, at a disadvantage and largely on the defensive." The Times indicated the wrangling was chiefly between the McCain-Palin camp and the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates, which is sponsoring the forums.
Commission members wanted a relaxed format including time for unpredictable questioning and challenges between the vice-presidential candidates. On Wednesday, the commission unanimously rejected a proposal sought by Palin-McCain advisers to Palin to have the moderator ask questions and the candidates answer, with no time for unfettered exchanges. Advisers to Biden say they were comfortable with either format.
It's a wonder the Palin-McCain campaign didn't ask for preferential treatment because Palin's a woman, as much as they keep playing the gender card. I'm betting all the "kid glove" treatment won't keep Palin from looking like the inexperienced, clueless-on-foreign-policy and unqualified candidate she is.
Frank Rich has written an excellent article about John McCain's history of economic malpractice and campaign spin.
Joe Klein at Time magazine derides McCain's idea to "fix" our health insurance system. "Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation," McCain said in an article in Contingencies magazine, a publication of the American Academy of Actuaries. In other words, our health insurance could be in the same mess as our economy, if we followed McCain's advice.
"One of the big differences between the old John McCain and the current edition is that the old one (1) would admit error and (2) would admit there were things he didn't know. That was a good part of his charm. The current edition--a parody of the worst sort of political flim-flam artist--not only lies about his own positions, but attempts to camouflage those lies by mischaracterizing his opponent's positions. It is appropriate, then, that the American Academy of Actuaries--a group devoted to the precise calculation of death rates--has exposed McCain's extravagant fraudulence of the past week for what it was."