To those who decided to have a good time by playing my drinking game last night during the VP debate (take a shot for every minute that passes before someone uses the word maverick): Sorry you didn't have as good a time as you could have, but I told you so. You would have had four shots. That gets me good and drunk, but for others it's just a warm-up, so I guess the outcome just depends. The initial utterance came during Palin's first chance to speak following opening remarks from each (boy, that was a clunky sentence.) I'll admit, this exceeded even my expectations. I figured she'd keep that one in her pocket until later on and everyone could get good and sloppy.
The real surprise, however, is that if you were keeping score (as Courtney-Bob and I started to do out loud), it ended up 9-6 in favor of Biden. After her first instance referring to her ticket-mate as a maverick, Palin put it away for a while before coming on really strong in the second half of the proceedings by pulling to a seemingly insurmountable 6-0 lead. Mavericks were falling from the St. Louis night sky. She was going for the kill.
Biden, consummate pro that he is, must have sensed the contest getting away from him but didn't panic. No, calmly waiting for Palin's volley of mavericks to subside, and absorbing every blow with that dignified yet un-patronizing half smile specially designed to convey respect without belittling his opponent, Joe Cool stood his ground. When his turn came, and briefly flashing that big ol' politician's grin that makes old women simultaneously hide their daughters and invite him in for pie, Biden unleashed a vicious, unrelenting flurry of mavericks, nine in all, in one tornadic exchange. Nine! And from the non-maverick side of the stage!
Palin, satisfied and understandably certain of victory with the A-Bomb's worth of mavericks she had just unloaded from behind her Washington University podium stronghold, could only watch in abject horror as Biden brushed it off with a smile and lobbed a veritable H-Bomb (Jumpin' Jesus! That's bigger than an A-Bomb!) back her way. Nine mavericks in just over one minute. Holy shit, Joe. Have mercy.
He pulled out another big gun with the story about losing his wife and daughter in a car accident, and choked up talking about his sons being critically injured in the accident as well. I only wish he could be there to pull that one out of his hat whenever McCain brings up that thing that he went through when he was in the military (dude playing him does look good in briefs, ya gotta admit.) They could have a good cry together. I'm so insensitive.
(The word maverick has been used nine times in this piece, just in case anyone has been playing a drinking game within my drinking game.)
(Also, I just noticed in that clip posted above the weird running graph at the bottom of the screen. If I had watched this live on CNN last night I may have killed myself. What the hell is wrong with these 24-hour news networks? Are they really that retarded?)