Wherein Fr. Z Makes a Suggestion for the Vice-Presidential Candidates’ Debate

Other people are starting to comment about an upcoming vice-presidential candidates’ debate.

I have a suggestion.

Perhaps the organizers should have something like the “mercy rule” used in some sports.  

You know the rule: when one team runs up an insurmountable score against their hapless opponents the game is called so as to avoid the total humiliation of the defeated side.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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70 Responses to Wherein Fr. Z Makes a Suggestion for the Vice-Presidential Candidates’ Debate

  1. iowapapist says:

    Talk about engaging in a battle of wit with an unarmed man.

  2. acroat says:

    They’ll probably dump Joe before that can happen!

  3. mschu528 says:

    Since they both profess to be Catholics, how about a debate moderated by Cardinal Dolan? That would be fun to watch.

  4. Dennis Martin says:

    Expect to hear claims about a “designated hitter” rule being part of the Great Tradition of vice-presidential debates and then be prepared for James Carville to show up, batting helmet in hand. Chris Matthews will be chosen as moderator and he’ll be constantly moving his fingers from his mouth to the ball with a cherubic smile on his face whenever anyone accuses him of throwing spitballs.

  5. trad catholic mom says:

    Naw I want to see just how far down Biden can be tossed.

  6. lydia says:

    Biden could stand at the podium and drool for 60 minutes and be declared the winner by the media cheerleaders. The worst part of this is about 46% of Americans would agree.

  7. PostCatholic says:

    I’m sure Mrs. Palin would have been grateful for such a rule.

  8. robtbrown says:

    PostCatholic says:

    I’m sure Mrs. Palin would have been grateful for such a rule.

    How could anyone expect Palin to win a debate with a man of Biden’s academic record in law school and speech writing achievement?

    NB: Biden lied about his law school grades (76th in a class of 85), plagiarizing a paper along the way. And one of his speeches was plagiarized from that a Brit pol.

  9. lelnet says:

    Mercy, as a concept, is commendable. In practice, the result would be a waste of everyone’s time. Picture it. Paul Ryan and Joe Biden walk out on stage. They shake hands. And then the moderator announces the invocation of the mercy rule, and everyone goes home.

    :)

  10. mamajen says:

    As someone who squirms when people embarrass themselves on TV, this sounds like a good idea.

    On the other hand, I have no mercy for Obama and his ilk, and might actually enjoy seeing Biden pummeled.

  11. jessicahoff says:

    Father – 2 Chronicles 10:14 would apply here.

  12. gracie says:

    My bet is that the media will pit Biden’s “a-woman-has-the-right-to-control-her-own-body” pro-choice Catholicism against Ryan’s “the Church wants to control women’s bodies” pro-life Catholicism. Biden will probably fall back on ” the freedom to follow one’s conscience” schtick (because he’ll omit to mention that one’s conscience has to be informed and that means checking to see what the Church has to say about it) and everyone will applaud him because they hear the word “freedom” and isn’t that what America’s all about etc. etc.

    This may sound like an unusual suggestion to make to a politician, but I seriously think that Ryan should sit down with a Catholic bishop as well as a debating coach and go over every conceivable religious question that will be thrown at him and be secure in the answers he gives both as to their orthodoxy but equally important to figure out how to get the message across in the few seconds he’s given in the debate in a way that can’t be turned against him as being a mean-spirited man who wants to control women’s bodies. It’s going to be tough going but that’s what Ryan signed up for and he’d better be prepared to defend his faith in such a way that the media can’t destroy him with the answers he gives. Most people are in families and if he talks about saving children’s lives and supporting the future generations coming along and helping women and men to be parents to their kids, etc. he can get off defense and reframe the issue. If he lets the media define the issue as a women’s rights one, though, he’s sunk.

  13. oakdiocesegirl says:

    Gracie, you are spot on! Nothing but overconfidence defeats a winning argument. I hope someone in the Romney/Ryan camp reads your post!

  14. Tim Ferguson says:

    Since both Vice Presidential candidates are ostensibly Catholics, I suggest that the debate be moderated by three Catholic bishops. Dolan, Morlino and Cordileone would fit the bill, I think.

  15. Sword40 says:

    Not sure I put much faith in His Emminence, Cardinal Dolan. How about Cardinal Burke!
    Cheers in Fantasy land.

  16. Kathleen10 says:

    Oh heck I actually feel sorry for Joe Biden. I always have a soft spot for him, and it might be because I remember his losing his wife and daughter, and his brain tumor. He does give the impression of being a nice guy with a beaming grin. So I can’t help myself.
    But as far as Obama, that’s another story. He must be defeated, in no uncertain terms. This administration has always appeared to have such evil motives. If we pray and pray, perhaps God will bless us with a Romney/Paul administration.

  17. AA Cunningham says:

    If things go the way they should and Ryan starts mopping the floor with Joe “plugs, plagiarist, buffoon” Biden, I expect to see that mental eunuch lunge across the stage and try and choke Representative Ryan with his rosary.

    ‘The next Republican that tells me I’m not religious, I’m going to shove my rosary beads down their throat.” Joe Biden Cincinnati Enquirer 23 October 2005

    http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051023/NEWS0103/510230466

  18. AA Cunningham,

    As a rabbi once said about Liberman: “All Yarmulke, no Torah.”

    So I will say about Biden: “All Rosary, no Catechism.”

  19. Bryan Boyle says:

    i’d give bubble head biden as much mercy as his policies and support of the same offer the millions of unborn children who’ve been destroyed on his watch. i say hoist the black flag and give no quarter to him. none.

  20. wmeyer says:

    Imposition of the mercy rule for Biden’s sake would have to occur before his opening statement.

  21. JKnott says:

    Fantastic choice for VP!!
    gracie,
    No doubt about it the media will use the pro-life issue against Paul Ryan, but this articulate, orthodox and gutsy Catholic man can handle it. He knows the Faith.
    In NC Ryan said that “Obama’s Hope and Change has turned into Attack and Blame and we’re not falling for that.” It already appears that the game plan is to turn it right around on Obama and keep the economy as the focal point of the election. Bishop Morlino thinks highly of Paul Ryan and his Catholic understanding of the budget, much to the chagrin of the liberal bishops.

    I loved how Romney called him a “faithful Catholic” when he introduced him. It said a lot about Romney as well.

  22. frjim4321 says:

    I have suspected it would be Ryan for that past week. I did not think Portman, Jindal or Rubio would vet very well for various reasons. Portman was probably the runner-up. Rubio had a skeleton or two, and they wouldn’t risk Jindal for obvious reasons.

    The best thing for Romney/Ryan is that they have now spit up and won’t be on state together. Ryan has energy and enthusiasm such that he makes Romney look flat. Much better for them to be a very states apart for the remainder.

    We really won’t know how Biden and Ryan will do in a debate until we actually see it. I doubt that we will learn anything new about either of them; people already know that Biden tends to put his foot in his mouth from time to time and Ryan is a pedantic ultra-right zealot. Nothing really new to learn either way. Both are nominally Catholic, so they’re even on that count too.

    I don’t see Romney/Ryan debates altering the calculus very much but you never know. RCP metapoll has The President up by 4.7 and the extremist right Fox News is showing +7 points!

  23. mamajen says:

    Jindal or Rubio couldn’t be selected because they are ineligible for the presidency. Neither is a Natural Born Citizen, as their immigrant parents were not naturalized before they were born. A NBC has two US citizen parents at the time of birth. Obama has the same problem, but you can bet that the left still would have made an issue of it if Republicans tried to put forth Rubio or Jindal–they’d just claim that Obama’s one US citizen parent was sufficient. Incidentally my son isn’t eligible either because my husband was and still is a UK citizen. Oh well.

  24. dawnmaria says:

    I just decided that “Fr Jim” is not a real father. No real father, be he liberal or conservative, would have made the comments as written above.

  25. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:

    Both are nominally Catholic, so they’re even on that count too.

    Why do you say that Ryan is nominally a Catholic?

  26. B Haley says:

    Here’s an interesting website with a lot of information on Congressman Ryan:

    http://ressourcement.blogspot.com/search?q=paul+ryan

  27. robtbrown says:

    mamajen says:

    Jindal or Rubio couldn’t be selected because they are ineligible for the presidency. Neither is a Natural Born Citizen, as their immigrant parents were not naturalized before they were born. A NBC has two US citizen parents at the time of birth. Obama has the same problem, but you can bet that the left still would have made an issue of it if Republicans tried to put forth Rubio or Jindal–they’d just claim that Obama’s one US citizen parent was sufficient. Incidentally my son isn’t eligible either because my husband was and still is a UK citizen. Oh well.

    That the Constitution also recognizes as eligible those who were “a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution” indicates that citizenship is not limited to ius sanguinis. Further, if ius sanguinis would require both parents to be parents and be applied universally, then it would be impossible for those with parents of two nationalities to be a citizen in any country.

  28. Andkaras says:

    I’m thinking we should all take notes on that debate as it is likely that there will be questions lobbed at us the next day if any doctrinal issues come up. Carry a copy of the catechism ,bookmarked to the likely sightings .

  29. Archromanist says:

    “A NBC has two US citizen parents at the time of birth.”

    What is the authority for this?

  30. Former Altar Boy says:

    Forget the mercy rule. Ecc 3 — There is a season for everything, a time for every occupation under heaven: [...] A time for killing. I want to see Ryan annihilate Biden.

    Why would anyone nominate Dolan as a moderator? So he can pander to Biden as he is pandering to the ultra-pro-abortion Obama?

  31. mamajen says:

    I’m afraid I’m digging a rabbit hole, but here is an excellent synopsis of the natural born citizen issue for doubters: http://www.wnd.com/2010/04/134881/

    I wasn’t basing my assertion on jus sanguinis. And far from having no citizenship, my son has dual–I can get him a UK passport and he can live there someday if he wants.

    We’ve already seen what it’s like having a “citizen of the world” in the White House. Obviously the founding fathers had to make exceptions initially, but you can bet that at a time when the country was divided between patriots and loyalists they chose their words carefully for a reason. Requiring US citizen parents is the best (though not entirely foolproof) way to ensure that a candidate’s allegiances lie with the US alone. Mark my words, the libs WILL make it an issue if Jindal or Rubio ever run–hypocrisy has never stopped them before.

    Now I’m finished with this topic so as not to veer too far away from the subject of the post.

  32. Reginald Pole says:

    In addition to historical and textual analysis, numerous holdings and references in federal (and state) cases for more than a century have clearly indicated that those born in the United States and subject to its jurisdiction (i.e., not born to foreign diplomats or occupying military forces), even to alien parents, are citizens ‘at birth’ or ‘by birth,’ and are ‘natural born,’ as opposed to ‘naturalized,’ U.S. citizens. There is no provision in the Constitution and no controlling American case law to support a contention that the citizenship of one’s parents governs the eligibility of a native born U.S. citizen to be President.

  33. jflare says:

    As much as I detest this President, I must comment that I agree with Mr. Pole: If one can be demonstrated to have been born in some geographical location which can be legitimately defined as US soil, including the small scrap of land that is a US Embassy or Consulate, that person inherently qualifies as a natural born citizen, regardless of the nationality of the parents.
    I think it noteworthy that this distinction has, in fact, been something of a problem in the past century: I recall learning during 8th grade Civics class that various women of foreign birth have made particular effort to give birth to their children while on US embassy grounds. By doing so, the infant is recognized as a US citizen, thereby being eligible for various forms of US government aid. Thus, the term “anchor baby” came into being.

    I followed the link mamajen provided; it didn’t precisely declare that a person born of parents who weren’t both citizens could not be considered natural born. It offered several OPINIONS that declared that it ought to be so.

    I also saw the notes in the same link about the US State Dept manual that discussed security of dual-citizenship persons. It didn’t appear to me to focus on the President per se, rather focusing on security for any citizen of the US who might travel overseas. I don’t think it matters what the Dept of State thinks on the matter. If we have a President visit someplace overseas, I expect the Secret Service to be in charge of security. If someone else doesn’t like that, frankly that’s just too darn bad. They’ll live.

    Despite all the hubbub about the natural born citizen designation, I’ve never placed tremendous stock in it. Even if the law might be technically argued to forbid a man from holding a particular office, I’ve always assumed that his supporters would see to it that the law would be upheld as they saw fit, whether it REALLY allowed for that originally..or not.

  34. Kerry says:

    As ‘one side’ already occupies all the territories of total humiliation, the only equitable choice of whom to debate the Veepie has to be Homer Simpson’s father.

  35. frjim4321 says:

    Why do you say that Ryan is nominally a Catholic?

    We know that both candidates self-identify as Catholic, which as I understand it makes them nominally Catholic. The degree to which either of them practice their faith is another question. For either of them it is possible or likely that their Catholicism is more than “in name only,” but really we have no way of knowing that.

    I wanted to avoid the common error of denying the Catholicism of a person who I don’t like or don’t always agree with.

  36. Supertradmum says:

    I have really liked Ryan since I heard him speak at a conference in Wisconsin in 2003. He is a great American and a great Catholic. Being in Wisconsin and involved in the pro-life movement, one can look at Ryan’s fantastic pro-life voting record. He is truly a son of the Church. One only has to look at facts. As to a debate, well…the man has a brain the size of a planet. No contest.

    http://m.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/romneyryan-rally-planned-for-waukesha-sunday-night-096f6lt-165842666.html

  37. Peter in Canberra says:

    here’s some commentary on Paul Ryan from Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald.
    Not sure if there are lessons there or not.

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/memories-of-hewson-v-keating-as-romney-picks-policy-maverick-for-vp-20120812-242ur.html

  38. Fr. Erik Richtsteig says:

    In this case, no mercy. Thunderdome rules; two candidates enter, one candidate leaves.

    “Raise high the black flags, my children. No prisoners. No pity. I will shoot any man I see with pity in him.” — Field Marshal Gebhard von Blucher:

  39. Gregory DiPippo says:

    Rightly said, Father Eric. No mercy. No quarter asked or given.

  40. The term “nominal Catholic” as used in preceding comments–one who calls himself a Catholic or is so called by others–is quite interesting. The facts that a majority of nominal Catholics do not attend Mass regularly, do not believe in the Real Presence, do vote for pro-abortion candidates, etc–show that a majority of nominal Catholics are indeed Catholics in name only, not Catholics in belief and practice.

  41. PA mom says:

    I expect the moderators to twist the English language so thoroughly that no one with a brain can immediately answer. Instead of practicing with bishops, remember the questions posed to the presidential candidates in the fall. The list of moderators is on Drudge. None from Fox, of course.

  42. Archromanist says:

    His Eminence is correct. Mere birth on U.S. soil (ius soli) confers (natural born) citizenship regardless of parentage (with only two small exceptions: the children of foreign diplomats and of occupying enemy forces).

  43. Angie Mcs says:

    When you Google “Paul Ryan” the first reference that pops up at the very top of the page is an Obama site. Dirty tricks starting already.

  44. Facta Non Verba says:

    I recall earlier this year when Congressman Ryan explained his budget proposal as following the principles of Catholic social justice, in particular, subsidiarity. I was hearted to see him so publicly defend his budget using principles from his Catholic faith.

  45. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:

    We know that both candidates self-identify as Catholic, which as I understand it makes them nominally Catholic. The degree to which either of them practice their faith is another question. For either of them it is possible or likely that their Catholicism is more than “in name only,” but really we have no way of knowing that.

    Of course, we have a way of knowing it.

    Biden has associated himself voluntarily with abortion on demand and homosexual “marriage”. Both contradict Catholic doctrine. That makes him a nominal, rather than believing, Catholic.

    What has Ryan voluntarily associated himself with that contradicts Catholic doctrine and would qualify his Catholicism as nominal?

    I wanted to avoid the common error of denying the Catholicism of a person who I don’t like or don’t always agree with.

    It’s not a matter of whether you or I like or agree with someone. It’s a matter of the relation of their external forum to the Church.

  46. The Sicilian Woman says:

    I don’t have much hope for Obama being defeated, though I will vote for Romney and Ryan nevertheless. Our nation is poisoned and our influential press is poisonous; I have little doubt the latter will work against Ryan as much as possible in the VP debates and elsewhere. Though, maybe after another four years of Obama – if we still have the right to vote by then, and if he hasn’t had the 22nd Amendment struck down – Ryan might be a presidential contender, and this campaign might be a good way to set him up as such.

    AngMcs, I did the Google search. Ugh, you’re right. It’s a paid ad. It’s a dirty tactic, though it’s not as bad as what the top site site was that came up (until recently) when you Googled “Rick Santorum.”

  47. The Masked Chicken says:

    What a time we live in! Possibly, the nadir of honesty in debate. In the past, we had the Lincoln-Douglas debates – two gifted, passionate speakers who had the audacity to speak clearly, logically, and persuasively (and with their own thoughts) on the issues of the day (mostly, slavery). In the future, we will plop a helmet on each debater and project their real thoughts on a gigantic screen (should be either amusing or frightening, but either way, popcorn for all). Instead of past people saying what they mean or future people forced to mean what they say, today, we have scripts and almost a pay-per-view boxing match between debaters.

    I guess the fundamental difference between debates of the past, present, and future is that while the past believed there was a logical Truth that the debates could expose and while the future will leave no doubt about the human Truth of the debaters, the present debates are not meant to expose any truths, really, just provide a little refreshment for the lions seeking blood. Really, lock each candidate in a room with a dictionary for eight hours and let them write out their views for the ages. Too many politician’s opinions in the current age are made of mercury – liquid, flowing, never still. I want a politician to hold his opinions set in gold – incorruptible, stable, but able to bend. The best current politicians make their opinions in some gold alloy – some gold, some base metals, but I can live with that as long as they are willing to subject themselves to the purifying hot forges of Truth.

    Truth, truth, gentlemen, let us hear truth. Fire the speech writers. So, you are an inarticulate boob. I don’t care. One word of truth stammered in a desperate desire to say what is really your stand-before-God thought is worth a hundred lies covered in silk. Just once, I wish the tv moderator would vanish in the middle of the debate and the Cloud of Mt. Sinai would descend on the chair. Perhaps if the debaters really believed that they will stand before God for everything they say in the debate, it would go a long way towards making me less cynical about the do-it-yourself Truth kit that many politician are issued when they get into the national spotlight.

    The Chicken

  48. tealady24 says:

    Something new should be implemented, like the VP candidate sparring with the presidente in the debate. Now, THAT’S no contest! In the meantime, Mitt can pick up the best pointers.

  49. robtbrown says:

    The Sicilian Woman says:

    I don’t have much hope for Obama being defeated

    Scott Rasmussen, a very reputable pollster, was on TV last weekend and said that Romney is still a slight favorite.

  50. frjim4321 says:

    Though Rasmussen is giving the challenger the edge it is within his margin of error.

    The RCP meta polls still shows The President up 4 points.

    \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

    Yes, I’m a pastor of a >1,000 family parish.

    QUESTION: Does anyone else have trouble viewing this site on iPad?

    I can open everything else on iPad but WDTPRS closes Safari every time . . . also downloaded Chrome for iPad and WDTPRS crashes that also.

    This is a new iPad, practically virginal.

  51. mamajen says:

    @Fr Jim

    I’m on an iPad 2, and it works fine for me for the most part. There is an automatic iPad theme that appears now rather than the standard blog…I wonder if something to do with that is crashing it?

  52. acardnal says:

    And I was under the assumption that Apple products were flawless and easy to use. Hmmmmm. . . .

  53. Angie Mcs says:

    Since I don’t have cable, I haven’t watched CNN in years. Today I was at my daughters house and was to able to catch a few minutes of their coverage of Paul Ryan speaking in Iowa ( over the shrill screaming of some incredibly rude non- supporter, yet Ryan still kept his cool) . I was appalled at the quality of the coverage in general. Then the anchorperson told us how she had talked to one of the Nuns on the Bus, and used a quote from her to describe Ryan. Thats when I picked up the remote and turned off the TV. My daughter told me I shouldn’t use such language in front of the baby.

    TheSicilianWoman: I agree that” our nation is poisoned and that our influential media is poisonous ” and therefore have the same hopes as you do about Obama being defeated. However, I was cheered at your thoughts of four years down the line. (I already see Hillary lurking in the shadows…) In the meantime, we must use our vote according to our consciences and do whatever we can. (And I can work on my language :). )

    frjim4321: I have an original IPad and often have trouble on this site when I bring it up. It shows up in an awkward, difficult to read format . I then scroll down to the bottom of the page and hit a button for IPAD use ( cant remember the exact name) The original format returns right away, with the beautiful panorama on top and everything else just fine. This happened a lot last year and then went away for awhile. However, it has returned in the past few weeks.

  54. frjim4321 says:

    Angie Mcs, thanks, I was able to keep it alive long enough to go to the bottom and turn on the iPad theme.

  55. Angie Mcs says:

    frjim4321: You’re very welcome: so glad this worked for you. Let’s hope it clears itself up again. FYI, it’s not happening today on my machine but that can mean nothing for later. I do believe that Apple is overrated but don’t we love our IPads?

  56. jflare says:

    “I guess the fundamental difference between debates of the past, present, and future is that while the past believed there was a logical Truth that the debates could expose and while the future will leave no doubt about the human Truth of the debaters, the present debates are not meant to expose any truths, really, just provide a little refreshment for the lions seeking blood. ”

    I guess that strikes me as a needlessly pessimistic view of the state of affairs. We certainly DO see an element of showmanship in debates, but if we have real difficulties with discerning what they really mean, it might help to keep in mind that many do not accept the idea of objective Truth. If various factions don’t admit to anything more than moral relativism, it’s very difficult to sustain a functional debate. Two candidates who don’t even agree about the MEANING of a word or phrase won’t succeed much at explaining why their own point of view makes more sense than does the other guy’s.

    Moderators need to be there for a few reasons: They need to be able to ask difficult questions of candidates, the better to further illuminate what the candidate REALLY thinks. They also need to assure fairness as much as possible by providing appropriate amounts of time for each candidate to speak.
    Many debates have fallen well short of their intended goals because moderators were poorly chosen or didn’t demonstrate any interest in real fairness between the antagonists.
    But that’s a problem of picking a good, skilled, FAIR moderator, not a problem of having a debate.

  57. dawnmaria says:

    Yeah, that’s the ticket. It all depends on the definition of the word “nominal.” “Fr Jim,” I do not believe you.

  58. Former Altar Boy says:

    Fr. Jim:
    As to how “nominal” Congressman Ryan is or isn’t I cannot speak, but I have read and heard that he does not maintain a residence in D.C. but rather flies home every weekend to spend time with his family, which includes attending Sunday Mass together. To me, “nominal Catholic” has a perjorative connotation, so use that same term for pro-life Ryan as for baby-killing Biden, is a put-down to both of them, though, perhps, only apt for one. If you want to be non-committal, maybe “self-declared” or self-described”Catholic would be better term.

  59. robtbrown says:

    mamajen says:

    I’m afraid I’m digging a rabbit hole, but here is an excellent synopsis of the natural born citizen issue for doubters: http://www.wnd.com/2010/04/134881/

    It’s anything but excellent. Natural born citizen simply means a citizen by birth, i.e., one not naturalized. There is little doubt that someone running for President with dual citizenship creates a problem of possible dual loyalty, but that doesn’t make it a disqualifier.

    Any mention of slavery is not relevant because the Constitution did not grant slaves the rights of citizens, regardless of having been born within US jurisdiction. Further, the Dred Scott decision said that anyone descended from Africans, slave or free, is not a citizen of the US.


    I wasn’t basing my assertion on jus sanguinis. And far from having no citizenship, my son has dual–I can get him a UK passport and he can live there someday if he wants.

    In democratic societies the rights of citizenship include the right to run for office. In so far as you say that your son could not run for the Presidency, therefore, he does not enjoy full citizenship.

  60. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:

    Though Rasmussen is giving the challenger the edge it is within his margin of error.

    The RCP meta polls still shows The President up 4 points.

    I didn’t deny that, nor was I making a prediction–just pointing out that a very reputable pollster thinks R is a slight favorite.

    All political poll results have been massaged by the pollster.

  61. Absolutely no mercy rule, I think that’s part of the problem, we try to be too nice….Let Biden get pummeled.

  62. jflare says:

    Um, Joe (et al), not to put too sharp an edge on it, but…

    I thought Palin gave Biden quite the beating 4 years ago….
    (I know, the commentators didn’t agree, but I don’t precisely give them that much creedence.)
    Given Rep Ryan’s experience thus far, I expect him to handle the VP quite firmly and effectively.

  63. frjim4321 says:

    Angie, I got it mainly to run ForeFlight and just ordered the Dual XGPS150 for real (as opposed to derived or synthesized) GPS. I do like the iPad but was frustrsted that it jammed on wdtprs.

  64. frjim4321 says:

    Former… I thought he drove home in his pickup truck as the VP took the train home each weekend.

  65. frjim4321 says:

    Rbt … It all hinges on the size of the sample and the degree to which the sample is truly random – and of course the actual formulation of the question. The math is amazing – only a very sma sample is required so long as it is absolutely random

  66. frjim4321 says:

    Palin gave Biden a beating? Whoah, but somebody’s reality testing is a bit off.

  67. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:

    Rbt … It all hinges on the size of the sample and the degree to which the sample is truly random – and of course the actual formulation of the question. The math is amazing – only a very sma sample is required so long as it is absolutely random

    Size and quality of the sample notwithstanding, political pollsters always massage the data by anticipating certain outcomes. They’ll look at the results and think: 45% of a certain group for Candidate A–that seems low (or high), and it will be increased (or decreased).

  68. frjim4321 says:

    robtbrown, I don’t know about that, I didn’t come across that procedure in my post grad studies on social research methods and stats. j.b.

  69. StJude says:

    PostCatholic says:

    I’m sure Mrs. Palin would have been grateful for such a rule.

    ummm… actually Joe Biden made 15 mis statements/mistakes in that debate. It was Palin who won that debate.

  70. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:

    robtbrown, I don’t know about that, I didn’t come across that procedure in my post grad studies on social research methods and stats. j.b.

    For various reasons assessing potential voting is a bit different than other social research, among which are:

    - It is based on a contrary to fact conditional: “If the election were held today . . . ”

    - Turnout of various groups and sub groups must be predicted.

    - The relation of candidates to specific issues in the minds of the voters. Campaigns try to associate candidates with the concerns of voters.

    - The relation of candidates to job performance. NB: Clinton’s high job approval ratings vs his not so high likeability ratings.

    - The President as Head of State, thus a symbol of the nation, made even more important by the influence of TV.

    - The localization factor. The more local the candidates, the better we know them. Voters usually have very specific reasons for their vote for their Rep to Congress, less specific for Senator, even less for President.

    One other factor in this year’s Presidential election is that Independents don’t much like either candidate. NB: Because of the laws of certain states, incl my own, there are more Indys than the rolls indicate.