Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

October 1, 2008


Host: Ted Simons

Vice Presidential Debate


  • ASU Political Science professor and department chair, Patrick Kenney talks about the Vice Presidential candidate debate.
Guests:
  • Patrick Kenney - Chairman, Political Science department, Arizona State University


View Transcript

>>Ted Simons:
tomorrow, evening Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Senator Joe Biden of Delaware face-off in a debate of the candidates for vice president. Here to tell us what to expect is Professor Patrick Kenney, chairman of the political science department at asu. Good to see you again. Thanks for joining us.

>>Patrick Kenney:
Happy to be here.

>>Ted Simons:
the debate. The major focus is on Sarah Palin. Are exceptions so low with her--granted either coming from the media or general consensus--are they so low, it's impossible for her to fail?

>>Patrick Kenney:
I think they are so low following the set of interviews she did with ABC and CBS and heavyweight reporters and anchor-people. That drove the expectations so low. It will be so low if some of the response to Katie Couric the uniform opinion that she's struggling.

>>Ted Simons:
yet exceeding expectations could that in and of itself be enough?

>>Patrick Kenney:
I think it could help. She could talk fluidly of the major issues of the times and help they are dramatically especially over the last two weeks.

>>Ted Simons:
A lot of supporters have said the McCain campaign put too much of brace on her. Let Sarah be Sarah. Wise idea?

>>Patrick Kenney:
I think it's a wise idea. I could agree. I don't understand why she wasn't allowed to campaign especially in red states which means a lot of different press and basically a friendly press corp. It's unprecedented today lockup a vice presidential candidate like that.

>>Ted Simons:
what she has to do is show a little more than just reciting things and these sorts of things and a mastery of some of the subjects.

>>Patrick Kenney:
Right. She has to sound like a person that would potentially wind up being the president of the United States. She will have to be more fluent and riser in her answers. She can't look like a student who jammed for an exam.

>>Ted Simons:
Joe Biden, what does he have to do?

>>Patrick Kenney:
I think Joe Biden, there's talk if he mishandles this, he could hurt the democratic ticket. I don't think he will do. That I think Biden’s task is easy. He can focus on McCain and bush and stay away from the Palin controversy.

>>Ted Simons:
does it help or hurt either candidate the style of debate. They are not going to be able to go after each other.

>>Patrick Kenney:
I think that helps Palin because they probably doesn't need a back and forth with the US Senator. He has a limelight and chairs he's had in the senate. I think he will be comfortable.

>>Ted Simons:
There’s a little dance going on with Biden I would think. He can't come off as attacking her, can he?

>>Patrick Kenney:
Probably not, especially if the attacks seem gratuitous. He will aim with comments to him and put them on the presidential level and talk about McCain, link it to bush and stay away from Palin controversy.

>>Ted Simons:
The media has had a field day with Sarah Palin. Can that boomerang? Can the Sarah Palin and McCain campaign use that to their benefit? I know there's a little bit of press bashing. Let's say she doesn't do all that well, if the press comes out and attacks her, how does that play in all of this?

>>Patrick Kenney:
They have been working against the press. They the McCain Republican Party has been working against the press. They will do that irrespective because that's their pitch to say away from the press especially on the east coast. I think they will continue with that. Will it boomerang on people who haven't quite made up their minds or democrats who are struggling with the choice? I think the boomerang works just fine with the base Republican Party. That's probably sewn up. They will vote for the McCain-Palin ticket.

>>Ted Simons:
The moderator Gwen Ifill writing a book on Barack Obama. Concern?

>>Patrick Kenney:
After the debate in the mid-1970s the debates moved significantly non-partisan as possible. This is something they probably wouldn't like.

>>Ted Simons:
The bailout plan the taping time and senate is just about to vote on this thing. Let's say it passes the senate for now and house does the same thing eventually. Winners and losers in all of this?

>>Patrick Kenney:
The clear winners if we believe everything the economists tells us--and I’m not a economist--that overall we will be winners and short and long run and some of the credit will be used to keep the economy afloat. The losers are the US Congress and Bush Administration on the political scale. The US Congress is not a popular place, and overall the population is having trouble digesting this as a positive. I think they will look to the US Congress and say they work fine with Wall Street but not so well with the regular folks.

>>Ted Simons:
what do you think about the message, the President, Treasury, two major candidates and everyone saying get on board. No one got on board, what happened?

>>Patrick Kenney:
Not enough got on board. For some reason we don't know the internal dynamics and clearly the leadership and miscalculated the votes especially on the republicans side. They believed the Republicans would deliver 50, and Democrats would deliver 50. The amazing thing is the president can't deliver 50 of the republican confidence.

>>Ted Simons:
Did leadership to the President to Congress and did they do a good enough job? People don't understand what this is about?

>>Patrick Kenney:
People do not pay attention to everyday aspects of politics. They are too busy with the daily lives. Something like this complex dumped on the US population Late in the week and supposed to have it done by the following Monday. That would take a tremendous job to educate the population in that short of time. No one did it well. I'm not sure anyone could have. Maybe a Franklin Roosevelt or Ronald Reagan could have made it come through.

>>Ted Simons:
What kind of impact does it have on the presidential race?

>>Patrick Kenney:
The bailout?

>>Ted Simons:
Yes.

>>Patrick Kenney:
The bailout has a great turn to the Presidential race. All the models show that when the economy is in this bad a shape, the incomers are hurt and I think McCain-Palin are hurt the most.

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