VP Debate – Background Check….On The Facts
October 3, 2008
Last night we watched one of the most highly anticipated debates of the last decade…for Vice President! Normally a VP debate would not get so much publicity but these are different times. It’s not my goal to share my political views, but rather to discuss the facts. Senator Joseph Biden and Governor Sarah Palin did an excellent job of discussing the issues, answering the questions and debating the current state of the economy.
On two separate occasions before and during the debate the subject of background checks arouse. First there were questions about impartiality regarding Gwen Ifill, the debate moderator. Ifill has a book coming out on inauguration day called “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama”. This book had the news and many blogs buzzing about her ability to remain impartial during the debate. Further, the Commission on Presidential Debates did not know about the book because she didn’t tell them. Her credentials speak for her very well but the question was about the vetting process or background checks conducted on her impartiality.
The process of conducting a background checks is to seperate fact from fiction. How about background checks on the facts? A site that I follow regularly is FactCheck.org. FactCheck.org is a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. Politics. The site is run by the Annenberg Political Fact Check. The site takes different things the candidates have said or published and puts those comments to the test. Last night’s debate was no exception. See their FactChecking Biden-Palin Debate.
Background checks for employment purposes and vetting candidates are two completely different animals. It’s an important distinction to make because sometimes the term is very broad. When checking employees a release is signed and the employer is limited in what they can look for and use against the employee. In politics there are no limits and the records that are found speak to a different court; the court of public opinion.
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