It's kind of like having to behave when your parents are around. You're fuming inside at your brother or sister and you're waiting patiently for your parents to walk out of the room. And the moment they do -- BAM!
Last night, the vice-presidential candidates behaved. They were gracious. From Sarah Palin's handshake with Joe Biden where she asked, "Hey, can I call you Joe?” To Biden saying that he "loved" John McCain. And the many heartfelt moments mixed in where the two candidates said they respected each other seven times.
Sprinkle in the folksy Palin'isms, including a couple "Durn rights," and it was almost as though Aunt Bee would walk out announcing she baked a new pie.
Then the parents (the national TV audience) left.
Let the clobbering resume.
Two new ads were launched today -- one claiming that a lie was told last night, the other seeking to clarify the truth.
Yesterday, Team McCain launched an ad featuring a boatload of Biden gaffes. "Ready to lead? No. Ready to gaffe? Yes." was the catchline.
Sighs and lies
Today, the catchline is "Ready to exaggerate, not ready to lead."
What are the charges?
We've heard them before -- many times. First, Team McCain goes after Biden on clean coal technology. In the debate, the Democratic nominee said, "My record for 25 years has supported clean coal technology."
The commercial then cuts to a clip of the Senator seeming to have an opposing position. "We're not supporting clean coal," he said to an environmental activist at an event last month in Ohio.
Biden waved off the charge last night, saying the quote was taken out of context.
"I was talking about exporting that technology to China, so when they burn their dirty coal, it won't be as dirty, it will be clean," he said.
The commercial then shows clip of Biden from last night saying, "He [Obama] did not say he would sit down with Ahmadinejad" -- the Iranian leader.
This is followed by a in which Obama seemed to offer an opposing position.
Obama clarified this point at the Sept. 26 debate.
"Ahmadinejad is not the most powerful person in Iran," Obama said. "He may not be the right person to talk to. But I reserve the right, as president of the United States to meet with anybody at a time and place of my choosing if I think it's going to keep America safe."
Al Gore returns
Then they play the Al Gore "sigh card." Back in 2000, Gore sighed heavily many times during a debate with George W. Bush. Since it received a lot of attention back then and since Joe Biden exhaled last night -- why not throw it up on the wall and see if it sticks?
The commercial concludes with a clip of Palin acting relieved that both candidates support Israel (as if there was a doubt) with a prominent Biden sigh near the end
The response from the Obama camp? We're not lying - they're lying!
“Only the McCain-Palin campaign would lie while accusing their opponent of lies," said Obama-Biden spokesman Hari Sevugan. "From Gov. Palin’s debate performance last night to their false web ad today, the McCain-Palin campaign has proven they offer nothing for working Americans but more of the same failed policies and discredited attacks."
The Obama campaign, meanwhile, launched a 30-second ad making sure everyone saw one portion of the debate where the two candidates discussed health care.
Palin is featured first, stating, "[McCain's] proposing a $5,000 tax credit for families so that they can get out there and they can purchase their own health care coverage."
Then cut to Biden's response: "Do you know how John McCain pays for his $5,000 tax credit? He taxes as income every one of you out there, every one of you listening who has a health care plan through your employer."
This is followed by a clip of the assuredly pre-planned, but still effective soundbite of Biden saying, "I call that the ultimate bridge to nowhere."
Of course, the McCain team had a response.
"It's a lie for the Obama campaign to say John McCain's health care plan taxes health care, when the McCain plan clearly provides the equivalent tax break for every American," said McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds.
Although we've got another battle a brewin', The Vote is certain that the candidates still have the utmost of respect for each other.
But in case there's any doubt we'll see Obama and McCain meet together again this Tuesday in Nashville.