Alex Massie

Biden vs Palin: The Debate for Which the World is Not Yet Prepared...

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You know what anticipation breeds, campers? That's right, disappointment. Steel yourselves for a let-down. It's almost inconceivable that tonight's Brouhaha in Missourah can meet expectations. We're not expecting a "debate" are we? We want a WWF show. Or, as the Politico boys put it:

With all their potential for pitfalls and insta-classic moments, the pair has made the build up to the showdown, to take place here Thursday night at Washington University, feel more like a NASCAR race than a serious political forum: the audience may be tuning in as much in anticipation of cringe-inducing pile-ups as they are to watch the typical parry-and-thrust of debate.

Expect Dullsville then. Which would be a shame since, lord knows, these events could do with a little craziness. Bear in mind too that for all her cor-blimey-did-you-see-that? awfulness in interviews so far, Sarah Palin has reduced expectations to such a low level she can scarcely fail to meet them. And yet, she has surprised us before, so who knows? For his part, Joe Biden offers his own rich brand of entertainment and, given how little attention has been paid to the Voice of Deleware, one must hope he lets it rip this evening. Which is to say, we want Joe Biden the (Lovable) Ass to turn-up.

With any luck, between them, Baden-Powell Palin-Biden will do enough to discredit the office of the Vice-Presidency itself, returning it to the obscurity for which it was once justly famous.

Anyway, god help us, I'll screw the old courage to the sticking place and live-blog the whole sorry spectacle. Strong liquor may be required but, united, we can stomach this absurdity. Check-in later for all the fun and games...

PS: If you ever debated in college you might enjoy Election Debates, a new blog where the grat and good of World Championships past deliever their verdicts on the Presidential debates. The adjudication of the first McCain-Obama stramash is up now; Biden-Palin to follow tomorrow morning.

PPS: The fine folks at Culture11 have a fun preview of tonight's nonsense.

UPDATE: See also the Economist's rules for scoring the debate.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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