I Want To Debate Sarah Palin

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | September 29, 2008 9:24 am


Everyone’s worried that no matter what Biden says on Thursday, Republicans will cry ‘sexism‘. Well I’m a woman too. So why not? No I’m not on any ticket, but consider: I’ve got more experience in Washington than the governor and arguably better ideas on energy, foreign policy, the economy, and homeland security.


Please oh please?

There’s more… Sarah’s not so into natural history, I worked at the Museum of Natural History. She was mayor of a small northern town, and I lived in Old Town, Maine. She supports oil drilling, I don’t. I’m pro-choice, Sarah’s not. I’ve had my passport longer and you bet I love our troops and the fishing industry too. She did the sports anchor thing, I did pop radio. She played basketball and went by ‘barracuda‘ and I played soccer and have a strong affinity for sea cucumbers. Fuzzy logic, you say? Americans love fuzzy logic on the campaign trail.

But seriously folks, you want a real debate? I’ll give America one…old school. None of this Jim Lehrer ‘conversation‘ where we never make eye contact and spend two hours talking past each other. It’s not a cordial tea party, they’re called debates for a reason.

Because I’ve got some real serious questions for the individual who might one day be president. Someone’s got to step up and make it clear that we’re not going to settle for sound bites on script while tiptoeing around issues that matter. This is the United States and it’s our duty as citizens of this great nation to demand better.


Comments (23)

  1. Peter

    I’d love to see it and think you’ll talk circles around her.

  2. I had some tinned Alaskan Salmon the other day, and I’m pretty sure it could have beaten Palin in a game of trivial pursuit.

    I’m looking forward to the VP debate. I’m sure Biden doesn’t like being completely ignored as he has been since the Republicans announced their candidate. I hope he takes out his frustration on Palin. Really, there’s no need for mercy because Palin is a newbie or a woman, if she can’t hold her own in a debate, scripted or otherwise, she doesn’t deserve to be Vice President, that’s pretty simple.

    What would be really sexist and demeaning is if Biden patronizes her by not running intellectual rings around her (which I’m fairly confident he can). It’d be like saying “There there Sarah, it’s okay if you don’t know anything about foreign policy, you’re just a woman”.

  3. Wow, it great to see this sort of passion on this blog.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing this debate one bit.

  4. Susan

    Just the intelligence of the post you just wrote qualifies you way more than this female GOVERNOR, who can’t put two cohesive sentences together.
    How she became the governor of Alaska is a quandary.
    I think her appeal is that she is a ‘hot chick’ on an otherwise very dull, tired, and corrupt-carrying ticket.

  5. Salvo

    Kirshenbaum for VP! I’d vote for you any day, Sheril!

  6. To be honest, I’m worried you would rough her up even more than Joey the Shark…

  7. Cas

    Let Sheril Debate Sarah!

  8. Realist

    The truth is that if you were able to debate Palin, regardless of content of the debate, her supporters would see only a great victory, and your choir could boast no more than an excellent sermon.

  9. tguy

    But can you match her vast “executive experience”? And what foreign countries can you see from your window?

    Aw heck, go for it!

  10. Strider
  11. woohoo! I’m in. You should totally do it… we would all love it!

  12. This sounds like a marvelous idea.

    On a more serious note – I’m hoping Biden is very cordial Thursday night towards her – and speaks entirely about Obama (positively of course) and McCain/Bush (negatively of course.)

  13. martha

    bring it on sheril! you better hope your beauty pageant video doesn’t make it on youtube though!

  14. Man, I would so love to see you take her to school.

  15. Gerry L

    It doesn’t matter what Biden says or does, Rick & Steve have it all mapped out:

    Biden doesn’t look at Palin when she speaks: he’s dismissive.
    He looks at her when she speaks: he’s leering.
    He smiles or laughs: he’s mocking her.
    He maintains a poker face: he’s trying to intimidate her.
    He calls her Sarah: he’s talking down to her.
    He calls her Governor Palin: he’s patronizing her by being overly deferential.
    He interrupts her: he’s a bully.
    He doesn’t interrupt her: he’s a wimp.

    There is nothing he can do that will not be immediately attacked by the McCain surrogates, who are probably already memorizing all the responses. It’s what they do best.

  16. I would pay good money to see that debate. Someone should start a campaign to petition for that debate.

  17. qma

    Gerry, Love your comments.

  18. Ty

    yea, Sheril! Who’s wearing the lipstick now?!

  19. P3

    Can you please present your “arguably better ideas on energy?” All I see is a link that presents the candidates partial opinions on energy policy followed by a plethora of uninformed partisan comments.

    Rather than waste you precious time debating Sarah, why not put your money where your mouth is and debate me on the subject of energy.

  20. Dan

    Looks like Sheril’s preoccupied, but you’ll find some cool ideas at the energy blog .

  21. p3

    Posted by: Dan
    Looks like Sheril’s preoccupied, but you’ll find some cool ideas at the energy blog.

    Thanks for the link, I like the backing of efficiency standards, but I am thirsting to drink from Sheril’s better ideas on energy.
    In the interim, please feel free to review my energy rubric and discussion at Begging to Differ


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About Sheril Kirshenbaum

Sheril Kirshenbaum is a research scientist with the Webber Energy Group at the University of Texas at Austin's Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy where she works on projects to enhance public understanding of energy issues as they relate to food, oceans, and culture. She is involved in conservation initiatives across levels of government, working to improve communication between scientists, policymakers, and the public. Sheril is the author of The Science of Kissing, which explores one of humanity's fondest pastimes. She also co-authored Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future with Chris Mooney, chosen by Library Journal as one of the Best Sci-Tech Books of 2009 and named by President Obama's science advisor John Holdren as his top recommended read. Sheril contributes to popular publications including Newsweek, The Washington Post, Discover Magazine, and The Nation, frequently covering topics that bridge science and society from climate change to genetically modified foods. Her writing is featured in the anthology The Best American Science Writing 2010. In 2006 Sheril served as a legislative Knauss science fellow on Capitol Hill with Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) where she was involved in energy, climate, and ocean policy. She also has experience working on pop radio and her work has been published in Science, Fisheries Bulletin, Oecologia, and Issues in Science and Technology. In 2007, she helped to found Science Debate; an initiative encouraging candidates to debate science research and innovation issues on the campaign trail. Previously, Sheril was a research associate at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment and has served as a Fellow with the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History and as a Howard Hughes Research Fellow. She has contributed reports to The Nature Conservancy and provided assistance on international protected area projects. Sheril serves as a science advisor to NPR's Science Friday and its nonprofit partner, Science Friday Initiative. She also serves on the program committee for the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She speaks regularly around the country to audiences at universities, federal agencies, and museums and has been a guest on such programs as The Today Show and The Daily Rundown on MSNBC. Sheril is a graduate of Tufts University and holds two masters of science degrees in marine biology and marine policy from the University of Maine. She co-hosts The Intersection on Discover blogs with Chris Mooney and has contributed to DeSmogBlog, Talking Science, Wired Science and Seed. She was born in Suffern, New York and is also a musician. Sheril lives in Austin, Texas with her husband David Lowry. Interested in booking Sheril Kirshenbaum to speak at your next event? Contact Hachette Speakers Bureau 866.376.6591 info@hachettespeakersbureau.com For more information, visit her website or email Sheril at srkirshenbaum@yahoo.com.


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