Question: Can Biden Query Palin Tomorrow Night?

| Wed Oct. 1, 2008 1:43 PM EDT

Here's a question. Will it appear condescending if Joe Biden asks Sarah Palin for specifics at tomorrow night's debate in St. Louis? For example, here are two scenarios that I image would lead to trouble for Palin:

Palin: Senator McCain and I are understand that force is the last option. We believe in exercising soft power in order to win the hearts and minds of the Muslim world.
Biden: With respect Governor, can you tell me, specifically, how you would do that?

Or another:

Palin: Senator McCain had the foresight to see the crisis on Wall Street coming.
Biden: Again, with respect. Name one way in which he did.

If you saw my blog post from two days ago, you know I believe Joe Biden will win the debate by shutting up and letting Palin stumble. Asking questions fits perfectly in that strategy. And it's not like Biden needs to make the case for himself. All the Obama campaign really needs out of this debate is one bad moment from Palin that will be played over and over in post-debate coverage, lampooned on SNL, etc. That will go a long way in solidifying the emerging consensus that Palin is not ready for the vice-presidency.

But the tactic can easily appear patronizing and disrespectful, especially if Biden does it too many times. I'm interested in your thoughts.

Get Mother Jones by Email - Free. Like what you're reading? Get the best of MoJo three times a week.