Palin or Biden? Who Was More Persuasive?

Ideas. Insight. Inspiration.

Palin or Biden? Who Was More Persuasive?

October 2, 2008 Media Persuasion Politics 18

I just finished watching the vice presidential debate, using my lens of understanding into the art of persuasion.  Here are my initial impressions.  

Palin moved rapidly towards Biden when she entered the stage.  As she shook his hand, she said ‘Mind if I call you Joe?’  Had she stuck to calling him Joe, she might have been able to cast herself as his equal, at least to some degree, by stripping away much of his authority in the way she referred to him.  But his deference to the ‘Governor’ made this hard for her to do without seeming disrespectful.  She did try several more times to diminish his authority and get on equal footing with him, by talking about ‘how they talk in the senate,’ and comparing it with ‘straight talk,’ but her rambling answers and slogans lacked the clarity of straight talk. 

Ironically, Palin talked with very few stumbles, but her sentences rambled, her grammar was all over the place, and her clearly stated slogans grew tiresome for me.  While Biden’s speech pattern was loaded with stumbles, he clearly knew what he was talking about while he was talking about it, and was clear in his intent if not his phrasing.   So I give the authority point to Biden.

Palin opened on the first question by making eye contact with the television viewer.  Biden came out of the gate on his first answer looking down or at the moderator.  I think I know why.   Many people find it far easier to be authentic when they are talking to an actual person than when they are talking to technology.  I’m guessing that for Palin it was easier to stick to the script by looking at the camera rather than an actual person.  And Palin did her best to stick to the script.  I’m guessing her handlers taught her that the combination of looking at the camera and following her script would allow her to be in control of herself on that stage.  

Which was more persuasive?  Well, Biden seemed to notice this, and changed his approach, so that as the evening unfolded, he leveraged off of the authentic attempt to talk to Gwen Ifill and then turned to the camera to keep that authenticity going. When Palin looked at Biden before talking, she seemed to wander, until she got back to the camera, at which point the scripted lines became available.   I give the connection with the audience point to Biden. 

Biden and Palin were both incredibly polite in this debate.  How different Palin seemed compared to the fire breathing she performed at the Republican convention and on the stump.  Biden, too, seemed subdued.  He asked “May I stay on the topic?” This was disarming, and eliminated the danger of him seeming too agressive with a female candidate, something for which the McCain camp and likely the press would have jumped all over him.  

Palin used lots of colloquialisms.  “Darn right!”  and “You betcha!”  She was enthusiastic for at least the first 2/3s of the debate, but seemed to wind down and become less homey after the Iraq and Afghanistan discussions, in which she seemed clearly out of her element and in which Biden demonstrated some mastery of the topic.  

Zingers:  I give it to Biden.  When talking about McCain’s healthcare plan, he called it a real “Bridge to nowhere.”  And towards the end, he did the one thing I’ve been waiting for in these debates, and challenged the claim of straight talk that McCain and Palin continue to claim they provide.  

One thing missing for me in this debate, and in the last one as well.  It seems that these debaters are more focused on NOT taking the bait than on shaping the debate when the bait is offered.  If it were me standing there, I’d be asking relevancy questions of my opponent non-stop, in order to throw him or her off script and raises questions in the mind of viewers.  But then, that’s just me. 

Overall, it looked like a debate of style vs substance.  Palin didn’t provide much in the substance department, but did it with style, so she did better than we were all led to expect.  And Biden’s “I’m Joe, and I’m one of you!’ style was understated, but he used it to underline plenty of substance, so I think he did better than Palin.  At least that’s my initial take on it.  

I refuse to watch the pundits dissect it all tonite. I wanted to do it for myself first.  I hope you have done this for yourself too.  Now, instead of talking head time, I’m going to watch my favorite show and think about having the ability to fly above it all, see what’s really going on, and swoop to the rescue in the nick of time.  

Can’t wait to hear YOUR comments.  What did you think of the debate from a persuasion standpoint?   Were you persuaded?  What persuaded you?  

Be well,



18 Responses

  1. Linda Austin says:

    I enjoyed Palin’s straight-talkin’ folksy style, thought she came off quite well – spirited, lookin’ right atcha. But, I agree she evaded questions, moving into scripted, polished mini speeches I felt like I’ve heard too many times. Biden seemed more relaxed and sincere, talking to the questions, being very polite and respectful to Sarah. They both seemed to enjoy their friendly experience together. Sarah probably smiled too much when she should have looked more serious, Biden played the blame game more. I call it a draw. Both did well for different reasons. (PS: I watched Fargo last night to get accustomed to the accent.)

  2. Thanks for your comment Linda!

    I love that you watched Fargo first. Perfect choice.
    The most remarkable thing I’ve found in people in politics is how wonderful and warm they can be when they’re not practicing their craft. And yes, I’d say they both enjoyed making contact with each other after having everything filtered through the press.

    Yeah, it could have been a draw. I posted this immediately after, and that was my gut reaction when it ended. I do like straight talk. And I’m personally very disappointed at how little of it there’s been in this campaign. I truly had high expectations. That’ll teach me.

    best wishes,

  3. I for one thought Biden won, but from a lot of the reaction I’m seeing including, strangely enough, the pundits at CNN it looks like Palin may have.


  4. Heh.

    It’s a double standard, and it’s based on their game. I think the media (not all but most) love the horse race, love a dog fight, love drama. So they spin em up and spin em down.

    Here’s the setup. Palin has to do better than expected. Biden has to do something dramatic.

    Here’s what happens. Palin does better than expected. Biden is understated. Palin wins.

    I think that’s the math of it. But, we’ll see how it shakes out over the next few days.

    I’m still not sure why both Obama and Biden seem to avoid the obvious opportunities to make a clear emotional distinction between the two tickets. McCain is, at best, an inconsistent maverick, and other than one (well done) reference from Biden, they let it slide. I would make this the key issue if I were running against McCain. Add to that, McCain has been awful to vets. Yet no one calls him out on this inconsistency. And Palin’s record on women’s issues in Alaska should be fair game. But tonite she got a pass. It seems to me that McCain and Palin are more willing to try and set the frame of the debate, and all too often, Obama and Biden go along with it. I thought Biden did MUCH better than Obama in this regard, but it still wasn’t enough to get what the media like to call a ‘game-changer.’


  5. “Here’s the setup. Palin has to do better than expected. Biden has to do something dramatic. “

    Why does Biden have to do something dramatic? Why would he even try? He can’t afford to alienate women by attacking to hard, was his reasoning (which I disagree with, but it was still his strategy).

    His ticket is winning. He’s got a reputation for gaffes. I think he just had to avoid a serious gaffe.

    Now he said some actually stupid nonsense about Afghanistan, but he’s known for gaffe’s you don’t need a CIA fact book to detect, and he didn’t make these types tonight.

  6. J.D. Meier says:

    > I’d be asking relevancy questions of my opponent
    Would you only ask relevancy questions when there’s an obviou relevancy issue or would you also use it to put the onus on your opponent to continuosly prove they have something relevant to say?

    > shaping the debate when the bait is offered
    Without the benefit of hindsight, what’s the best way to shape the path forward on the fly? There must be certain rules you should keep in mind to avoid putting your foot in your mouth. From a meta-program standpoint, how do you make up and reshape the right answers on the fly, or is it really about preparationg and scripting a core set of important answers for likely rude Q&A? How to shoot from the hip and make your mark?

  7. “Why does Biden have to do something dramatic? Why would he even try? He can’t afford to alienate women by attacking to hard, was his reasoning (which I disagree with, but it was still his strategy).”

    Good point. I agree. I’m speaking from the standpoint of the media coverage, that requires extraordinary from Biden in order to equal better than awful from Palin. I still think Palin is a complete embarrassment to the McCain ticket. But spin is spin. Obama’s resume is thin, but at least he’s smart, articulate and knowledgeable without all the coaching and soundbytes.

  8. “Would you only ask relevancy questions when there’s an obviou relevancy issue or would you also use it to put the onus on your opponent to continuosly prove they have something relevant to say?”

    I’d use relevancy questions to challenge non-sequiturs. This campaign has been filled with them. And I’d ask the questions innocently, as if there is relevancy there and I’m simply trying to understand.

    “Without the benefit of hindsight, what’s the best way to shape the path forward on the fly?”

    I think the way you go into these things is how you do it on the fly. If you come in knowing the larger frame you want to organize the debate around, you use whatever comes at you to return to your frame.

    ” There must be certain rules you should keep in mind to avoid putting your foot in your mouth.

    Confidence comes from preparation. When I did my city council project earlier this year, I dealt with the press quite a bit. And I always knew what the story was that I wanted to get across, the context in which everything made better sense. I stuck to that, and it served me well.

    ” is it really about preparationg and scripting a core set of important answers for likely rude Q&A? How to shoot from the hip and make your mark?”

    Well, JD, remember, you can answer the question you hear, and it may not be the question that’s asked, but it’s still answering the question. If someone challenges your answer and says, “You haven’t answered the question!” (which I’d like to witness more of, frankly) you say, “Actually I have.” and return again to your frame of reference.

    One of the main lessons a person can learn for dealing with the media is that you’re there for your own purposes, and you have every right to succeed at your own purposes. And if the media is talking with you, they have an interest in your purpose.


  9. “I still think Palin is a complete embarrassment to the McCain ticket.”

    Because, you know, the Governor with the highest approval rating in the country is always a bad choice.

  10. /grin

    Yes, and may I add, the highest approval by witch doctors, too!

    Good use of sarcasm, Christoph! Since the purpose of this blog is to explore communication and the art of persuasion rather than to debate political positions (though I love talking about the persuasive and non-persuasive behavior of politicians!) why not take this moment to examine sarcasm? Why not, indeed.

    And I’ll tell you why not. It’s such a great subject, sarcasm is, that I want to make a post instead of a comment out of it. Coming soon!

    For the moment, I’ll just say that sarcasm has some evolutionary potential, and in this race, it is a communication element used frequently by the McCain Palin ticket (and, it seems, their fans).

    Speaking of evolution and politicians, I give Palin credit for a few things, including her popularity in Alaska, though her popularity is NOT the constant your sarcastic comment implies, and may not translate nearly as well to the rest of the country. That’s because, in addition to her unpopular positions on things like drilling in the national wildlife refuge and imposing the will of the state on what women do with their bodies, her state is unique among the United States of America. Alaska is a state that is enormously wealthy due to its natural resources and the pleasure the majority of Alaskans find at extracting them. That sort of mind set is a long standing bone of contention between nearly equally divided voting blocks in other resource rich states (like mine, for example).

    I credit Palin for raw ambition. I think she’s very savvy when it comes to maneuvering, and thinking a few steps ahead of opponents. I think she’s got a dangerously effective combination of folksy charm and a slashing wit.

    But why do I think she’s an embarrassment? Hmmm. For starters, most Americans, I think, associate understanding the cause of a problem with solving the problem. Apparently, Miss Congeniality (the Governor of Alaska in case you missed my reference to your remark…who ironically is running with a guy who loves to say he isn’t Mr Congeniality…an amazingly complex mixed message to voters) doesn’t think that is necessary. She would prefer to solve problems without understanding their cause.

    Which causes me to think she’s not very intelligent about some important things. In fact, I think she’s a religious nut, way out of the mainstream in her religious fervor and belief. That in and of itself wouldn’t bother me, because there is no limit to such nuttiness in people. But from a leadership standpoint, from a policy standpoint, as far as I can tell, she is uneducated about the world we live in, about world views other than her own, about history and economics, and, (this is the big one for me) she is anti-science. That’s not just unintelligent in the face of so many massive problems, that’s just dumb and disturbing.

    I credit the scientific method for an acceleration in human progress in the last few centuries, as we awakened from the ignorance promoted by religious authorities for most of history. I think an extremist religious belief system combined with an anti-science bias is particularly dangerous at this moment of history when so much of the world is struggling with (and so much of history consumed by) the damage caused by extremist fundamentalism. But then, maybe that’s just me.

    All I can say is what I see, and in my view, we’ve had eight years of an anti-science blind-to-history economically foolish moral superiority from a corrupt administration whose words didn’t match deeds and whose habits didn’t match their stated values. Yes, the religious right is delighted with Palin. But to me, she’s another insider in the pocket of the same special interests that have been dictating our policy for the last 8 years, and her pick by McCain says that the McCain Palin ticket isn’t a ticket of mavericks, it signals to the voters that if this ticket wins, we can expect more of the same.

  11. “Good use of sarcasm, Christoph! Since the purpose of this blog is to explore communication and the art of persuasion rather than to debate political positions (though I love talking about the persuasive and non-persuasive behavior of politicians!) why not take this moment to examine sarcasm? Why not, indeed.”


    Grin indeed

    Turn this into something where I’m going to agree with you again, why don’t you? I don’t have an in depth understanding of the theory behind sarcasm, but I’ll say from a persuasion point of view in my experience it’s as useful as teats on the bovine gender which doesn’t require them.

  12. I’ll put the post on sarcasm up next week. In the meantime, here’s another video example of what I’m referring to when I say she’s an embarrassment…

  13. David says:

    Biden won this debate from the angle that ought to matter most to Americans, which is substance.

    Unfortunatly, since that is not always the case we have to look at everything else, which can be a tad annoying.

    Here’s some thoughts.

    First of all, I think Biden connected far better to the middle class voter than Palin. Palin used her folksy, hockey mom, attitude to try and win people, but she fell so short on policy and substance that it made her seem like all talk in comparison to Biden. Biden on the other hand directly talked to the middle class. The first time he looked directly at the camera and said “You” while discussing economic issues really threw me off, mostly because so few politicians actually address the people so directly and forcefully.

    Palin also went and screwed up a couple times by obviously not listening. On a question Biden was asked about his Iraq vote and the inconsistencies between his vote then and his position now as well as his differentiation with Obama. Biden gave an excellent answer where he said he was not for the war, but voted for the authority based on the idea that it would enable us to keep sanctions on Iraq. Palin, as she did several other times, simply asked him why he voted the way he did if he didn’t believe in the war. That would have been fine if he hadn’t JUST explained it in very effective terms.

    Basically, I think Palin exceeded expectations, but then again, listening to the media, I think a coherent five year old could have. Biden won this one however, and in my opinion won it fairly handily. Polls agree with that sentiment too.

    As for the pundits, the majority were lauding Palin because she exceeded her expectations, and directly after the debate many were saying she was the winner, but the pundits are fundamentally wrong in that their measure for who won was “will Palin screw up?” Since she didn’t, they think she won, though she obviously didn’t.

  14. Great assessment David, thanks for your comment!

    Biden and Obama have done a very effective job of speaking to American middle class voters. They both come right out and say that’s the focus of their campaign at every turn. McCain and Palin don’t say who their appeal is to, other than ‘Americans.’ Basic marketing wisdom is that the better you define your niche, the more successful you’ll be.

    McCain did try to make the case that his pick of Palin should be of interest to female voters, another case of niche marketing. And at first glance, it might appear that he made a good pick, until voters learn how different her views are from the vast majority of them.

    I also noticed that Biden answered the charge of being for the war before being against it. This charge has been brought forward again and again against Democrats in general (including Hillary in the primaries, by Obama.) Biden did an excellent job of explaining what he thought he was voting for by giving Bush the authority to go to war. I was relieved to finally hear this addressed.

    I always get a kick out of it when people ask for an answer just after its been given. Makes you wonder where they were at the time (it’s a case of ‘guess you had to be there.’)

    I think that the longer voters sit with this debate, the more they’ll recognize that Palin was barely prepared for the debate, and Biden is well prepared for the position. At least, that’s the effect on me.

    I purposefully tuned out the pundits last night. I like thinking for myself, and I think more and more voters are starting to have this reaction to punditry in general. It’s just so obvious that they are desperately seeking something to talk about to fill up the air time. (Not unlike me, seeking to fill my blog with posts…the difference, I’m trying to make them meaningful, useful and helpful, rather than …er… posts, as in dumb as a post.)

    Good to have you on the blog. Please do come back and comment again!

    Best wishes,

  15. “Biden won this debate from the angle that ought to matter most to Americans, which is substance.”

    No he didn’t; he was a rabid liar… in the sense that he’s too stupid and buffoonish to know any better: The Mr. foreign policy expert who failed his ROTC course, plagiarized himself in law school, plagiarized himself while running for the presidency making himself a grade A asshat in the U.K., and who doesn’t know the difference between battalions and brigades, mixing these up 3 times in his first week as VP nominee.

    But why stop there? How about blithering nonsense and outright lies like 3 weeks of the war in Iraq cost as much as 7 years in Afghanistan. Only wrong slightly, by a factor of 20.

    If he were right, which he most definitely wasn’t, then it undercuts his blatant stupidity about not attempting a surge in Afghanistan (which Barack Obama, to his credit, wants to try: hence shifting two brigades to Afghanistan). Because if he were right then at the cost of a mere week of Iraqi operations, you could try one heck of a surge in Afghanistan just to find out.

    Biden blatantly lied when he said Barack Obama wouldn’t negotiate personally and directly with the leadership of rogue and terror regimes including, specifically, Iran, North Korea, and 3 others. He knows this is a lie because he was standing on stage with Barack Obama when he said it.

    He lied about the coal thing too.

    There’s more here. If intellectual honesty is your thing, you’ll read it all. If not, you won’t and that’s fine with me.

    “Great assessment David…”

    Terrible, terrible assessment, Rick. Something tells me you’re moderate in the sense that Andrew Sullivan is conservative.

    If you were confining your commentary to communication matters, I’d confine mine. But since you add your personal opinion over the candidates’ mettle, then Biden of all people, Mr. < 1% of the primary vote in Iowa and 3% in Delaware(!), for goodness sakes, leaves much to be discussed.

  16. Ok, easy does it, big fella. I love your passion and wit.

    I don’t care for what comes across to me in your comment as angry flailing and non-persuasive messages. Even if that’s not how you perceive what you’re doing, at least I’m giving you feedback that this is how I perceive it. Since all relationships come down to perception rather than reality, just as all life is subjective in our experience rather than objective, I think feedback is a gift. I’d love it if you would consider what I’m saying as exactly that. In fact, I’m hoping and believe that you can take my feedback and do better when you comment on my blog!

    For example, you are responding to my saying ‘Great assessment, David.” right?

    If that’s so, do you know what I am referring to when I say that? Or just think you know and having a reaction to it? Since you didn’t ask, it seems obvious to me that you assumed to know, and then reacted to your assumption.

    The alternative? In persuasion you might instead choose to call me out by asking me, “Hey Rick, when you say Great Assessment David, what are you referring to specifically?” You might even set the context by saying that David didn’t get his facts straight, and my comment therefore makes no sense. And then ask me what I meant. Such an approach would increase the odds of you gaining valuable information that you might then use to make a more persuasive case for your views.

    When you assume the worst, or compare me to someone you hold in contempt (I don’t know if you hold Andrew Sullivan in contempt, but that’s the impression I get from the way you say it) what response do you hope to get from me? A defensive reaction? An apology for evil doing? What good is that to you? To anyone? Darned if I know. And I’m guessing you will agree.

    Now, here’s what I mean by “Great assessment, David.” I am glad that David is choosing to post a comment on my blog, and to offer his view of the persuasive aspect of the debate. He’s a first time commentator, I want him to come back too. My response is offering encouragement to him to continue to comment.

    *Note to David…really, I hope you will keep coming back and participating!

    Further, in each point I made in my response, what I said about Biden referred, in my mind, to the persuasiveness of Biden’s communication, not a value judgment on the veracity of his facts. I did not say that Biden made a factual case, or that he was right, or anything of the sort. Under the circumstances of a debate, with no notes and no google, I doubt that I could have gotten my facts straight, and I don’t expect anyone else will either. What I was saying is that, from a persuasion standpoint, Biden did an excellent job of making the case. That’s a distinction worth noting, at least in my understanding of persuasion.

    The point of this reply to you? Facts are pliable things in this media age. I don’t know if your facts are facts, or opinion, either. Who conducted the poll of Palin’s popularity that you referred to? When? Under what circumstances? I really don’t know. (And I’m not asking you…I’m being rhetorical!) I accepted it when you said she was the most popular governor, even though you said it sarcastically. Why? Because I like you. That’s persuasion. But in this most recent comment of yours, I’m inclined, because of how you state your facts, to consider them suspect.

    Btw, I did read the referenced blog. Quite a list! In my view, it’s quite partisan, and I’d say that a fact check on the fact checking is called for before I would accept anything I read there. Only I don’t care enough to do it, nor have you motivated or inspired me to do it by referencing it. (I give you this much credit…you got me to look at it! /smile) Bottom line, it’s not my purpose in this blog to publish my personal background checks on anyone’s facts, unless I feel moved to do so for my own reasons.

    Other than my occasional venting about Bush and Palin (I am human, and like you, I have feelings and opinions, and I can’t always keep them to myself) and the dumbing down of McCain’s campaign (from a persuasion standpoint) I believe I have mostly focused on matters of communication on this blog, not too much on matters of history.

    Honestly, I don’t think you have any real understanding of where I stand in this election, at least not when you talk to me that way. I’ve not come out and said too much about where I stand, what misgivings I have, etc, because I’m not looking for agreement or disagreement from blog visitors. I am just trying to get conversation going about persuasive communication, and get some regular readers and responders (like yourself…by the way, thank you for your participation. I value it and hope for more of it. That’s my motivation for writing all this.) The political arena is a perfect context for talking about persuasion and communication at this time. Come December, I’ll find a different context to draw on in order to be able to keep writing.

    In my work teaching communication skills, I tell my students the following. If you want someone to feel bad, impugn their motives and call into question their intelligence. This leads to the persuasion outcome of polarization. I say tomato. You say tomahto. And pretty soon, we don’t know what to call it, but we’re throwing it at each other. And what will the polarized person or persons learn? Best case, to feel bad when they think of each other.

    If you want someone to consider something, I say approach them as if they can. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Be persuasive. Seek common ground. Make your case in a way that is approachable, understandable, effective.

    Christoph, I’d really love it if you stuck around and kept participating. And I would appreciate any attempt you make to communicate your views and reactions to the views of others on my blog in a way that is persuasive rather than angry and accusatory. Just so you know, I’m not an all-carrot kind of guy. So here’s the stick, here’s where I draw the line. This is my blog. I’ve got most of a year invested in working on it. My hope and intent is to make it a useful resource to a wide range of people. I’ve been on the net a long time, and seen too many good efforts towards communication destroyed by misunderstanding, anger, accusation, instead of inquiry, calm and communication. And I will not let my blog turn into a flame war. I do have editing power.

    I’ve checked out your blog. I know you’re a good guy. I’m asking you to do better. I’d love it if you tried. Fair enough?

    As for everyone who is still around, I’m interested in the effect of the tone of this conversation on other readers. Anything here persuade you? Dissuade you?

    best wishes,

  17. David says:

    Arrgh. I accidentally hit your blog link to check it out (going point by point) and inadvertantly erased my responses. Oh well, I’ll run through them quickly again, though not nearly in as much depth.

    You open your attack on Biden’s substance with attacks on his person. Wedge issues are a bad argument because they can be applied to McCain too.

    Rather than recompile my statements about the Afghanistan claim, all I’m going to say is that the spending Biden refers to is correct, though he was not referring to the total costs of each nation, rather combat costs in Iraq vs. rebuilding costs in Afghanistan. Look at:
    it is a CNN fact check page.

    As for meetings with other leaders, Obama has said he would first have lower level meetings and then possibly a presidential level meeting. However, he is not going to invite them over for tea and crumpets on the 21st of January. It would take a long time, probably a year at the very least before a presidential meeting would occur, and that would mean the other nations would have to work really hard to get on our good side. Also, it isn’t like Obama is taking the use of force off the table, he just wants to try diplomacy first. The Bush (until recently) and McCain doctrine has basically been, do what we say or we bomb you, and no we aren’t discussing it. We’ll talk only after every issue we would talk about has been resolved.

    Also, the coal line was an overheard one. He did make a gaffe there, but according to McCain it is okay for him to do that because it was only to a voter (oh, wait, that was Palin on Pakistan, nevermind then). Still, Biden doesn’t make the decisions, it is Obama’s call, and Biden appears to be very much opposed to non-clean coal plants at the very least. It could have been a simple slip, after all, only a few words different on his official comment and it becomes nothing more than an attack on non-clean coal plants rather than all coal plants.

    And lastly, I was assessing each one of them as it refers to their demeanor and the media’s expectations. I addressed my opinion on who was more persuasive, and if you look at the overall debate, Biden talked about policy a heck of a lot more than Palin, who had great deal of vague generalities. When I referred to substance I was talking about specific policies each mentioned, and Biden took that by a mile. Though there are other factors, and fact checks are important, Biden actually put out policy while Palin put out far less and did mostly regurgitating of figures, followed by the “should be now infamous” “team of mavericks” line.

    The fact-based knife cuts both ways, so your one sided assessment might be a little short sighted. I could write books on the flip-flops of McCain (abortion rights, tax cuts, etc.) and the lies and mischaracterizations he puts out about Obama, so getting into that fight really doesn’t help either side much, unless of course there’s a third party involved. They love that stuff.

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