I’ve never been much of a fan of pundit Andrew Sullivan. He’s a master of cognitive dissonance and he often goes for the cheap shot (referring to the antiwar left as a potential “fifth column” on the eve of Iraq War II, for example), but I think he may be onto something in his analysis of the veep debate last night.
In a series of entries, most recently this one, Sullivan makes the case that Cheney delivered the red meat to his base, but that Edwards spoke more effectively to undecided voters.
William Saletan has a similar take in Slate:
Cheney and Edwards apparently went into this debate with different theories of what it was for. When moderator Gwen Ifill asked them to discuss their differences, Cheney said “the most important consideration in picking a vice president” was having “somebody who could take over.” Edwards answered the same question by outlining Kerry’s platform, virtues, and accomplishments. Cheney seemed to think most viewers were tuning in to judge the vice presidential nominees. Edwards seemed to think they were tuning in to hear about the presidential nominees.
If Cheney guessed right on that question, he probably won. But if he guessed wrong – and I suspect he did – Edwards kicked his expletive.
Reminds me of when Bush was asked to compare Cheney to Edwards and snapped “Dick Cheney could be president.”