Governor Sarah Palin warned early in the debate between her and Senator Joe Biden, moderated by Gwen Ifill:
And I may not answer the questions that either the moderator or you [Sen. Biden] want to hear, but I'm going to talk straight to the American people and let them know my track record also.
She then proceeded to demonstrate her resolve. When asked by Ifill about her reaction to Sen. Biden's statement that she and Senator McCain do not support the democrats' plan to help people in financial distress from losing their home, and the banks from going under, Gov. Palin replied:
That is not so, but because that's just a quick answer, I want to talk about, again, my record on energy versus your ticket's energy ticket, also.
I think that this is important to come back to, with that energy policy plan again that was voted for in '05.
When we talk about energy, we have to consider the need to do all that we can to allow this nation to become energy independent.
It's a nonsensical position that we are in when we have domestic supplies of energy all over this great land. And East Coast politicians who don't allow energy-producing states like Alaska to produce these, to tap into them, and instead we're relying on foreign countries to produce for us.
Frustrated by Gov. Palin's mostly irrelevant and canned replies, I decided to put Gwen Ifill's questions to a couple of chatbots online, Joan at Jabberwacky and A.L.I.C.E.. I paraphrased the questions somewhat and reordered them, but the responses from the chatbots are presented below, verbatim with just a few minor edits:
On the Economy
Rational Fool: Who is responsible for the sub-prime lending meltdown?
Jabberwacky: My slave, he gets punished whenever I think something is wrong. Are you jealous?
Rational Fool: Was the bail-out plan the worst of Washington or the best of Washington that we saw play out?
Jabberwacky: No, the ride worked perfectly, the safety equipment malfunctioned.
Rational Fool: Would you support a bill that would make it more difficult for debt-strapped mortgage-holders to declare bankruptcy, to get out from under that debt?
A.L.I.C.E: I am not so sure if I would like to support a bill that would make it more difficult for debt strapped mortgage holders to declare bankruptcy to get out from under that debt.
Rational Fool: : This is something that John McCain supported.
A.L.I.C.E: You don't say.
Rational Fool: Sens. Obama and Biden are offering ways to help people in financial distress, but these are not being supported by John McCain and you. Is that so?
Jabberwacky: Mom did and I do. I don't know why.
Rational Fool: Should the rich be taxed more, and the poor less?
Jabberwacky: Given that I don't know anything about politics, and don't like in the US or Cuba. I think it should. Definitely.
Rational Fool: Let me make it more specific. Should people who earn over $250,000 a year be taxed more?
A.L.I.C.E: Maybe you should ask someone older.
Rational Fool: Do you think Senator John McCain supported deregulation almost across the board?
A.L.I.C.E: I don't think about it.
On Health Care
Rational Fool: Do you believe that health care benefits should be taxed?
A.L.I.C.E: I can't say I believe it, but I believe you.
Rational Fool: Are you interested in defending Senator McCain's health care plan?
A.L.I.C.E: Sure, defending Senator McCain s health care plan sounds like a good topic.
Rational Fool: What's your defence?
A.L.I.C.E: Are you asking about my defence ?
Rational Fool: Yes.
A.L.I.C.E: I don't want to talk about that now.
Rational Fool: What is true and what is false about the causes of climate change?
A.L.I.C.E: I will ask my botmaster for the answer. Are you using Netscape or Explorer?
Rational Fool: Do you support clean coal technology?
Jabberwacky: The sanctions are painful but necessary.
Rational Fool: Do you support capping carbon emissions?
Jabberwacky: I support President Bush's mother.
On a Social Issue
Rational Fool: Do you support granting same-sex benefits to couples?
Jabberwacky: I support Patrick Deval for the next Massachusetts Governor.
Rational Fool: Do you support gay marriage?
Jabberwacky: No, do you support the Taliban?
On McCain-Palin Administration
Rational Fool: What promises -- given the events of the week, the bail out plan, all of this, what promises have you and your campaigns made to the American people that you're not going to be able to keep?
Jabberwacky: I've promised: 'I will not have any parties while you are gone,' and 'I will be faithful to you.' What about you?
Rational Fool: How would a Palin administration be different from a McCain administration?
Jabberwacky: If you said it at the bar where I work, I would refuse to sell you any more alcoholic drinks.
Rational Fool: What does the vice president of the United States do?
Jabberwacky: I'm not very technical, but yeah the Windows 95 version posted doesn't seem to work due to a missing .brn file. I'll keep my eye on the thread anyway in the hopes that somebody can post a working version of version 9.
Rational Fool: Do you believe as Vice President Cheney does, that the Executive Branch does not hold complete sway over the office of the vice presidency, that it it is also a member of the Legislative Branch?
Jabberwacky: I do not believe in the concept of an immortal soul, but I am easy with the colloquial use of the word 'soul' to mean 'personality'.
Rational Fool: Can you think of a single issue, policy issue, in which you were forced to change a long-held view in order to accommodate changed circumstances?
Jabberwacky: Well, my boyfriend made me come here.
Rational Fool: How, as vice president, would you work to shrink this gap of polarization which has sprung up in Washington, which you both have spoken about here tonight?
A.L.I.C.E: I am not sure if I can quantify the answer. That's not something I get asked all the time.
Rational Fool: How do you change the tone of partisanship in Washington, as vice president, as number-two?
Jabberwacky: I haven't used Microsoft Access in a long time, but if there's an options menu, or a format menu, you should check there.
On Foreign Policy
Rational Fool: What's your exit strategy in Iraq?
Jabberwacky: Nice and sunny.
Rational Fool: Secretaries of state Baker, Kissinger, Powell, they have all advocated some level of engagement with enemies. Do you think these former secretaries of state are wrong on that?
Jabberwacky: Colin Powell said we are at the end of the world?
Rational Fool: Is a two-state solution the solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
Jabberwacky: A Unix System is a computer running the Unix operating system.
Rational Fool: What should be the trigger when nuclear weapons use is ever put into play?
Jabberwacky: The web browser.
Rational Fool: Does the American public have the stomach for putting boots on the ground in Darfur?
Jabberwacky: I don't know. Opinion on horses and muling technology varies from religion to religion and region to region in all kinds of different places.
Rational Fool: Which is the greater threat, a nuclear Iran, a nuclear Pakistan, or an unstable Afghanistan?
Jabberwacky: That is a matter of opinion, but I think it's me.
With those final words from Jabberwacky, I started wondering why I wasted an hour and a half watching that inane debate. Stupid me!