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Barry Yourgrau Headshot

Biden's Debate Ace in the Hole: George W. Bush

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Whatever goes down in tomorrow 's VP debate, I say Biden needs to pound one message over and over:


Bush has the highest disapproval ratings in history. He is political toxin. He must be continually sprayed in the debate air.

Forget the impact of any Biden gaffes, smirks, condescensions, mis-speakings, whatever. As long as ole Joey keeps flashing Bush Bush Bush every chance he gets, I say he's done what needs to be done.

I expect McCain's Rovian brain trust will have Palin try to throw Biden off balance. I don't think she'll make a big show of being "vice presidential." I think she will attack attack attack, sarcastic and cheerily smiling. I think she will address any issue of her ignorance by chuckling it away as, you know, reporters, elitist nitpicking, insider wonkery, what have you. Debate Reaganomics, if you will.

Really, the longer one sees and hears Palin, the more one feels not mind-boggled amusement but naked outrage--and rank disgust at her vacuous triumphalist viciousness. She is clueless, and cheerily clueless about her cluelessness.

Gore Vidal said presciently some four or five years ago (?) that Bush would end up as the most despised president in history. "Straight Talk" McCain and "Fresh Face/New Ideas" Palin have already become the most despicable candidates on record.