Huffpost Politics
Jason Linkins Headshot

Biden Prepares To Debate Palin

Posted: Updated:

Planning is underway for Joe Biden to gear up for his vice-presidential debate with Sarah Palin, according to reports. I'm not at all sure how one "prepares" to "debate" somebody who only repeats the same speech in front of the public, and never answers a question from the press -- maybe Biden will practice coaxing a bespectacled tape-recorder out of a lockbox or something -- but there you have it.

Curiously, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm has been tapped to play Sarah Palin in the debate prep scenario. This choice offers a lot of key insight into the Obama campaign's thinking. Let's see. Granholm: governor, executive experience, runs a state that rivals Wasilla, Alaska in the production of methamphetamine. But more importantly, Granholm gives Biden a chance to prepare on a more psychological level:

"She's going to try to make it as personal as she can. She's going to take a lot of straight lefts and jabs at me, she's going to try to get me to respond, she's going to try to get me to respond in a personal way," Biden said at a fundraiser Tuesday night in Chicago. "That's not my style. I'm not going to do it."

Uhm...I sort of see this more as "Let's get Joe used to being in a room with a female," seemingly a grudging acknowledgment of the idea that how Biden will interact with Palin is a going concern. That pile of verbiage about "making it personal" with "lefts and jabs?" Let's just say we used to have an colloquial expression that covered this, one that we're not allowed to use anymore.

Over at Wonkette, they have a 2006 news article that further compounds the difficulty of debating Sarah Palin: maybe she won't even show up!

Dave Dobberpuhl of the Alaska Professional Design Council said he and others have been trying for weeks to get Democrat Tony Knowles, Republican Sarah Palin and independent candidate Andrew Halcro together for a forum in Fairbanks, but so far their schedules have always conflicted.

"When one was available, the other wasn't," Dobberpuhl said.

Now the forum is scheduled for Monday, without Palin, who has events to attend in Cordova, according to her spokesman, Curtis Smith.

"If she could be in two places, she would," he said.

Palin's running mate, Sean Parnell, had offered to attend, but Knowles and Halcro refused, saying they believe the debate should be among candidates.

Knowles isn't running against Parnell, said his spokeswoman Patty Ginsburg.

"It's not that Sarah has to show, it's that she cannot have a stand-in," Ginsburg said.

Wonkette goes on to remark that Biden's training may be all "in vain," because "when the debate happens, as soon as he utters the first word of his opening statement -- probably 'I' -- Tucker Bounds will immediate send out an oppo email "saying, 'JOE BIDEN IS ALWAYS TALKING ABOUT HIMSELF AND THAT'S BECAUSE HE HATES VAGINAS.'" That's why, in addition to Granholm, Biden should get Rahm Emanuel to play Tucker Bounds and provide yelly McCain counterattacks during the practice.

Actually, given his proclivity for effortlessly delivered snidery-with-a-smile, Biden would be better off having Emanuel play Palin, and the McCain counteroffensive can be simulated by turning a half-dozen incontinent chimpanzees loose in the room.