Palin Talks Better than Biden

Amusingly, for all the talk — in these pixels included — about Sarah Palin’s lack of preparedness and Joe Biden’s seasoning, one professional analyst finds that Palin outshone Biden in the vice presidential debate.

An analysis carried out by a language monitoring service said Friday that Gov. Sarah Palin spoke at a more than ninth-grade level and Sen. Joseph Biden spoke at a nearly eighth-grade level in Thursday night’s debate between the vice presidential candidates.

She shouldn’t be too smug about, it though:

The analysis said Abraham Lincoln spoke at an 11th-grade level during his seven debates in 1858 against incumbent Stephen A. Douglas in their race for a Senate seat from Illinois.

And then there’s this:

But higher grade level doesn’t necessarily mean better sentence, Payack said. He pointed to Palin’s second-to-last sentence in the debate, which the formula put at a grade level of 18.3: “What I would do, also, if that were ever to happen, though, is to continue the good work he is so committed to of putting government back on the side of the people and get rid of the greed and corruption on Wall Street and in Washington,” Palin said. “When she said it, it sounded good, but on paper it’s a completely different animal,” Payack said. “It’s like, what is that?”

But Biden had his own challenging moments, such as this 32-word gem, rated grade 15.6: “The middle class under John McCain’s tax proposal, 100 million families, middle-class families, households to be precise, they got not a single change; they got not a single break in taxes.” Payack praised the usually longer-winded Biden for showing restraint here. “In a typical Joe Biden thing, this sentence would serve as a launching point to even more complex and convoluted statements. Last night, he was particularly reserved, and you only had to be a college graduate to decipher it, according to the readability statistics.”

I wouldn’t want to try to diagram either of those sentences.

via Memeorandum

FILED UNDER: General
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. sam says:

    Ah, for the advent of a new Calvin Coolidge. At a dinner party, a woman said to him that she had a bet that she could get more than three words out of him. Without looking up from his meal, Coolidge said, “You lose.”

  2. Fred says:

    Don’t you remember – biden was told by everyone that he had to lower his abilities less he look condescending. You can bring in any expert you want – America heard an incoherent woman from Alaska struggle to fill the void of time with catchphrases and talking points while Biden fought against the clock to get in as many ideas as possible – thus the next day attempt by conservative pundents to remind us that actual knowledge does not win debates…

  3. just me says:

    Um Biden also told a whole bunch of whoppers.

    Tell me again when we kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon?

  4. anjin-san says:

    I am curious. If Palin is old enough to remember the beginning of Biden’s career in the Senate, is she also not old enough to remember McCain’s junkets to the Bahamas in Charles Keating’s private jet?

    Kind of makes on think that the endless references to “ending greed and corruption” are strictly a slogan, with no actual conviction behind them.

  5. clarice says:

    Speaking perfect English isn’t all that important a leadership trait.
    When I was a kid, the press used to post graphs taken from Eisenhower’s press conferences, challenging readers to plow thru the mangled syntax and figure out what he’d said.
    The guys who wrote those snappy pieces, however, could never have done what Ike did:Successfully head the Allied Command or run this country.

  6. anjin-san says:

    The guys who wrote those snappy pieces, however, could never have done what Ike did:Successfully head the Allied Command or run this country

    If you read the things Eisenhower said, there was a great deal of wisdom in them.

  7. Ottovbvs says:

    You know I read this sort of rationalising nonsense and I wonder who the heck are we kidding. By signing onto this sort of nonsense we make conservatism, which once used to fight dumbing down, look like total buffoonery. A bit like opposing the bailout and then only passing it when it was larded with pork. Palin was awful. She talks gibberish, I don’t care what a linguistics expert says. Every poll, everyone, gave it to Biden by a mile and he increased his favorables while hers went down. Sarah Palin is a banal nonentity who couldn’t beat my 16 year old son in a high school debating contest. Reality.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hmm, I wonder what level of writing the title of the article gets? Observe this excerpt from a quote above, “convoluted statements”; doesn’t it seem a little subjective for science? When mediocre is good enough you know your voting in American politics. I bet Palin’s husband is enjoying every new hole Biden ripped her. She knows jack about the Federal Government and she doesn’t have her facts straight. Biden called her to the table many, many times. And yet, America thinks its a wash? The two party system always controls the masses with the illusion of choice. This author is another sheep aligning with the suicidal views of government policy.

  9. Web Smith says:

    Here’s Piper Palin making things a little more clear for her mother.

    It may be time to keep your eyes open too with the battle hardened 3rd Infantry being staged and trained for civil unrest in Georgia in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act.

  10. My 201k says:

    “In what respect, Charlie?”

  11. David says:

    Kind of makes on think that the endless references to “ending greed and corruption” are strictly a slogan, with no actual conviction behind them.

    Wow, anjin, do you mean like the endless references by Pelosi and Gang to “clean up Washington”? Methinks all politicians make careers out of slogans with no actual conviction behind them.

  12. anjin-san says:

    Wow, anjin, do you mean like the endless references by Pelosi

    So you are saying that you regard Palin and Pelosi as pretty much the same thing. Ok. Good information.

  13. just me says:

    I doubt it, after all Palin actually has cleaned up greed in her state.

    Last time I checked Jefferson still hadn’t been censured for his crimes, and Rangel is still chairman of his committee the one in charge of tax rules and regulations.

    I haven’t seen Pelosi do anything but utter slogans about cleaning up Washington. But then I knew it was an empty promise back when she made it.

  14. anjin-san says:

    Palin actually has cleaned up greed in her state.

    I suggest you look a bit beyond GOP talking points, unless you simply don’t want to know…