Watched the Vice Presidential debate last night. I thought it went pretty well. Gwen Ifill was nothing but a thoroughly professional moderator. The participants were gracious, for most part, and handled themselves quite well.
There was a stark difference between the two on substance, though. While it was apparent Joe Biden was bringing all his experience and knowledge, the only thing Sarah Palin was doing was rehashing a few talking points that she was given at debate school. She definitely performed better than her previous three network-TV interviews, but they were so bad that anything short of how she performed would have been nothing sort of catastrophic for the McCanin-Palin ticket.
While Biden actually seemed to answer the questions on hand, Palin seemed to be giving one-line responses and circling back to one of her talking points—energy, maverick, etc. Asked what campaign promise would a McCain-Palin administration have to break given the current economic conditions, her response was a measly “I have only been in it for five months, so I haven’t made any promises!” She kept on repeating the untrue line about Barack Obama raising taxes for all. Independent analyses have proven that it would not be the case.
Traditionally, the role of the VP pick during the campaign season is to attack the other presidential candidate. I though Joe Biden did that quite effectively, although he did let out a few misleading lines of his own. Governor Palin, on the other hand, wasn’t able to do that. Not because she didn’t have the opportunities—there were several openings that Biden provided that she could have pounced on. However, Sarah Palin was working too hard for herself, trying to quell the general perception (derived, most recently, from her Katie Couric interview), that she was not up to the task of assuming the Vice Presidency of the United States.