US Vice Presidential candidates Joe Biden and Sarah Palin went at it head to toe last night in their first and last televised debate. The candidates flirted with topics ranging from the economy to the environment, Iraq to Hooters. Tension mounted when Biden accused Palin of skirting the issues and Palin shot back that Biden was premature in his interjections.
The preliminaries involved Governor Palin coyly asking Senator Biden, "Hey, can I call you Joe? I call all my men Joe. It makes it easier in my role." Biden replied off-camera, "You bimbo!" as he smiled and nodded his consent.
Wearing a low cut blouse and too much makeup, Palin at one point took off her glasses and shook her hair loose shamelessly in front of the camera. "We were taught to do that during the Miss Alaska beauty pageant", stated runner-up Palin in her own defense, quickly adding that she wanted world peace.
The talent contest portion of the debate seemed to be the real crowd-pleaser. Biden, decked out in a 1970s lycra disco jumpsuit opened halfway down his chest to display numerous gold chains, came out swinging to the left. Lip-syncing to the Bee Gee's "Staying Alive", he managed to improvise a line or two about withdrawing troops from Iraq.
Not to be undone, Palin got more than a few raised eyebrows from the men in the audience during her Marlene Dietrich-inspired routine. Dressed in a shiny black PVC bodysuit, complete with a police cap, high heel boots and leather whip, she slithered on stage accompanied by a pot-bellied pig on a leash wearing bright red lipstick. She certainly looked the part, but when she opened her mouth and uttered "I vant to be alone with my gramophone" in her shrill voice, hearts sank and much of the mystique vanished.
Moderator and PBS idol Gwen Eyefull generally received high marks for conducting a fair and unbiased debate. "Really, how could you have a preference between these two clowns? Thank God they're running for a totally inconsequential office. I only agreed to do it because I thought it was part of the PBS telethon to beg for public donations to keep us on the air a while longer, but I ask you, how many times can we 'cry wolf' anyway?", whined a well-balanced Ms Eyefull.
When Eyefull asked Biden how he would shrink the gap of polarization that has sprung up in Washington, Biden playfully suggested haemorrhoid cream. The remark didn't go down well with the audience, many of whom shifted uncomfortably in their seats.
On the question of the subprime lending meltdown, Palin made a vague reference to the Predator movie, starring fellow Republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. She warned every day American people, Joe Six Pack (she really does call every man in her life Joe), and hockey moms across the nation to band together and never be exploited and taken advantage of again by Hollywood.
Both candidates were queried about their positions regarding the energy crisis and the environment. To chants of "Drill, Baby, Drill", Palin drew upon her experience as Governor of Alaska. "In Alaska we're innovatively tackling these problems. My husband Joe Palin is a North Slope oil rigger who has developed a method to drill deeper and longer using penile implants injected into the rigs. He's hit pay dirt more than once with his technique."
Palin added, "I never thought of it, but a hockey mom told me that a great knock-on effect of increased North Slope drilling has been global warming and thawing of the permafrost. House prices have been steadily sinking in Fairbanks, as more log cabins sink into the soggy tundra making it much easier for first-time buyers to own their own homes. That's the type of change Joe McCain and I intend to spread across America."
Biden responded that partisan politics needed to be put aside when it comes to the energy crisis and the environment. "I applaud Governor Palin's accomplishments in Alaska. It seems we broadly agree on the outcomes and now we just have to thrash out our differences in how we get there. Sarah, could you have your husband email me more details about the North Slope penile implant project?"
In her closing remarks, Governor Palin took a cheap shot at Senator Biden's lycra jumpsuit. "Say it ain't so, Joe, there you go again pointing backwards again." Biden shot back, "You're one to talk, standing there in your eight inch Achilles heels and fingering your House Whip like that. Why I've got a mind to……" Biden trailed off as he got lost in his own private thoughts.
Polls taken immediately after the debate generally favored Biden's performance with 51% thinking he outperformed Palin to her 36% rating. However, by a score of 54% to 36% Americans thought Palin was more likeable and more suitably dressed.
Republican presidential candidate John McCain congratulated his running mate on a well-run debate in a pre-recorded early morning phone message. "Sorry I missed it as it was on too late, but Cindy said you were a hoot! She can't wait for the office parties once we're in the White House."
Democratic presidential candidate Barrack Obama was reportedly furious with his running mate following a briefing on the polls. "An intelligent, capable man has not been elected to the vice presidency since John Adams. Doesn't Joe know that life isn't fair? We've been torpedoed. If there's one thing I've learned from this, it's that the American people can tell a pig whether it has lipstick on or not. And they're all rooting for the underpig. I think I just saw a pig fly by with lipstick on."
Following a brief aside with a hovering and anxious campaign aide, Obama hastily added, "Now anyone who thinks I was referencing Governor Palin with that remark is just plain stupid."