Advice for Sarah

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Oct 02, 2008 8:55 AM

If I were to give Sarah Palin advice for tonight's debate, it would be this ...

1.  Don't play merely to avoid losing -- and don't be afraid to take chances.  They say that a football player who is worried about getting injured is ironically the most likely to actually get injured.  This rings true to me.  Have fun tonight, and go on the offensive (without being offensive, of course).  John McCain wouldn't be in this race if he weren't willing to take chances; take some chances tonight.  I'd like to see Palin hit Biden tonight in a humorous -- yet biting -- way.  For example, she could open the debate by saying:  "Sorry I was almost late.  I came under sniper fire on the way in here" (okay, that's probably not wise -- but you get what I'm saying...).

2.  For crying out loud, learn to parry a question.  When Katie Couric asked Sarah Palin which Supreme Court decisions other than Roe she would overturn, Palin's response made it obvious she couldn't think of any.  This could have been avoided by instead saying:  "Look, I'm not going to get into the situation of second guessing other court cases.  I know how the game is played.  Whatever I say will become the headline tomorrow, and that would be unfortunate because the real issue is ..."

3.  Look sharp tonight.  This will give you confidence -- and will possibly distract Biden.  We all know the story of how Nixon didn't shave or wear makeup, while Kennedy was tanned and rested.  Studies consistently show that the primary way an audience judges someone is visually (not the words they literally speak or the tone of their voice)...

4.  If "experience" comes up (and it will), contrast your experience with Obama's.  Don't fall into the trap of comparing yourself to JFK (we all know how that worked for Dan Quayle).

5.  Lastly, be prepared to answer these questions.