Joe Biden did a great job tonight. I wish he had not said, "Look," so many times, but otherwise he was pretty good. He hammered on Cheney, who is even less popular than Bush. He hammered that John McCain is NOT a maverick. He was folksy, while Palin was almost a caricature of folksiness. Obviously, she has no clue what she said in confirming Dick Cheney's view about which branch the VP belongs in, nor does she have any concept of its implications. Her response to this question is much more alarming to me than the one the media is focusing on, which is her calling the general in Afghanistan McClellan instead of McKiernan, which to me is nothing more than a gaffe, not a major red flag like agreeing with Dick Cheney on the role of the vice presidency.
Everybody was exactly right about the expectations for Palin - she didn't sound nearly as dumb as she did in the Couric interviews, so for her the debate was a success. She was impressive in the amount of talking points she had memorized, and she did a pretty good job of matching talking points to the questions. She scored some good points in the rebuttals. But Sarah Palin is downright nasty, and it showed a little tonight. Though she wasn't nearly as nasty tonight as she was in some of her Alaska debates (which you can see on Huffington Post).
Anyway, the polls are showing the Biden won the night. In unscientific, online polls, Fox News was showing 56% for Biden and 43% for Palin, but now I can't get their results page to load. MSNBC shows Biden 53% to 37% Palin. In CBS News' scientific poll of 473 undecided voters, forty-six percent of the uncommitted voters surveyed say Democrat Joe Biden won the debate, compared to 21 percent for Republican Sarah Palin. Thirty-three percent said it was a tie. (not all the participants have responded yet)
Here are a couple of comment from the Fox News site that sums it all up for me: (note, if even these folks are seeing it, you know it's a problem)
by jmlam Colorado [Oct 2, 2008 11:27:07 PM]
So lemme get this straight: Sarah Palin needed to avoid looking to dumb. Joe Biden needed to keep from appearing too smart. What planet are we on? I'd love to have Sarah Palin on my bowling team, not in the White House. Wait, I'm pretty sure Joe probably carries a higher average. So why did McCain pick her again? As a conservative, I wish he would've made a better choice, seriously.
by tigerdahm Pennsylvania [Oct 2, 2008 11:26:32 PM]
She was "real?" Are you kidding me? She dodged direct questions and said the same things repeatedly. I don't blame Americans for seeing only the surface... she definitely had a nice outfit and great demeanor. But if you listened to what she said, you'd realize it was all fluff and a way to use the word "maverick" 20+ times. Wow, I'm amazed anyone could possibly take her seriously. We don't need a hockey mom running our government, we need a professional.
UPDATE: Here are the numbers from Fox News: Who won the debate?
Sarah Palin 40%
Joe Biden 60%
UPDATE #2: I love the polls from these sites that could be thought sympathetic to McCain - here are the New York Daily News poll results:
Poll Results Who won the vice presidential debate?