October 2nd, 2008
08:42 PM ET
6 years ago

Toobin: Not so great expectations

Expectations are low for tonight's debate.
Expectations are low for tonight's debate.

(CNN)–One word we're sure to hear a great deal tonight is "expectations." Either Biden or Palin "exceeded" or "failed to live up" to expectations. Well, I have a question. Who sets these expectations? Who is the executive director of debate expectations, and who gave him (or her) that job?

There is no such person, of course, and that's part of the problem with this whole concept. I think the whole notion of expectations is a fraud - a device which journalists used to enhance their own importance.

In this debate, of course, we've heard a lot about how Palin has "low" expectations because she has performed so poorly in recent interviews. But why is this so?

Both she and Biden are running for the same office. Shouldn't the expectations be the same for both? I think they should. But - listen carefully tonight - I think I'm in the distinct minority.

soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. Erin in Oklahoma

    Noel D,

    Amen! If you want to receive equal pay, you had better be prepared to do equal work. I am a woman and I don't want to be treated with "kid gloves" because of that.

    October 2, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  2. catmom

    Already the soccer mom and the plain speaking. Give me a break !!! The voice is killing me. Speak proper english please.

    October 2, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  3. GJ in Phx

    She's already sounding like Miss Teen South Carolina...

    October 2, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  4. Carrie Pa

    Palin: Same old talking points already.

    October 2, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  5. ChangeAgent

    Yes, Palin does have presence ..as a matter of fact ...it makes up for what she lacks in language substance!

    October 2, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  6. mcbush all over again zzzzz

    oh my GOSH has she answer ONE SIMPLE QUESTION

    my 13 year old could do so much better,

    she has not answer one questions,

    what is she talkingaobut
    mccain NEW and MAVERICK???

    what?

    he is 72 +

    October 2, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  7. Mike

    Please do not let her use the term Maverick again, unless she can find one in her party.

    October 2, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  8. Mike

    She is about as rehearsed as I have seen her yet. This is going to get good....bring on Tina fay

    October 2, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  9. Mike

    no substance when she goes to Joe 6 pack and "Hockey mom" give us something.

    October 2, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  10. Jona

    Who was talking about tax increases??? SHe is programed like a parrot

    October 2, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  11. Terri-Ann, TX

    Why aren't there any follow-up questions?

    October 2, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  12. Mike

    You are right Jona-she is showing major signs of staked answers. Biden is obviously more secure and calm.

    October 2, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  13. ChangeAgent

    Make sure to watch David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel and Jay Leno tonight to get the post wrap up on this debate to better understand what Palin will bring to the American people as a Vice President!

    October 2, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  14. Aaron in crappy Repub. Nebraska

    Maybe she should just keep repeating "can I call you Joe""

    A. Blah blah Blah

    October 2, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  15. Lynn X -Democrat now for McCain

    Go McCain and Palin !!!! Kick Obama and Biden's butts!!!!!

    October 2, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  16. Ed Senechal

    You are not alone. I think they both need to be held to the highest standard.

    By the way, I'm reading your book "The Nine" and love it. I have long considered you one of the most sensible commentators on television.

    October 2, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  17. hilary

    Wendy and Tracy you are right on!!
    DANG what a phoney!!

    October 2, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  18. Scot in NH

    Biden started out with a "programmed" speech spewing Obama-isms. There's nothing wrong with doing it, just in moderation. Palin has been doing it too.

    October 2, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  19. Julie

    Wendy in NC.... that is what i'm thinking... i don't think she is answering any of the questions from her knowledge.....

    October 2, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  20. hilary

    DANG she is a phoney!!

    October 2, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  21. Aaron in crappy Repub. Nebraska

    I vote bring back the show Northern Exposure, Palin could be the star with a real accent.

    A.

    October 2, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
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