Surprisingly, even to plezWorld, Ms. Palin availed herself quite well! Even though the bar was pretty low and most of the watching public was waiting for her to fall apart under the pressure of an unblinking 90 minute debate. By that standard of very low expectations, she stood up to the challenge and delivered.
Mind you, the woman has a minimal grasp of the issues, facts are not her friends, she has no analytical skills, it is obvious that she has no familiarity with the Constitution of the United States, she presents no historical contexts, and she has an over reliance on coaching and talking points. I wouldn't count on her being to navigate her way out of a brown paper bag, much less the nuances of navigating the complex structures of Washington politics... I have no doubt that she is well suited to run the vast tundra of Alaska and its sparse population, but she would be a mere "pip squeak" on the national scene.
Gov. Palin brazenly announced that she didn't respect Sen. Biden nor PBS's Gwin Ifill (the moderator) enough to answer the questions that were posed... she would only speak to the American people (I guess those two aren't Americans). She proceeded for 90 minutes to bob and weave around pointed questions, never answering any to the satisfaction of THIS American.
Sen. Biden was in total command of the facts, figures, analysis, and historical context around every single issue that was presented. While Palin persisted in rattling off noted and memorized talking points and one-liners, Biden offered sound judgement, reason, and qualified responses. While Palin offered misquotes and mischaracterizations of Sen. Barack Obama, Biden laid into the spotty, right-leaning background of Sen. John McCain. Biden used sound judgement in responding to questions, Palin refused to answer them and went immediately to the well-worn talking points that had drummed into her dullard of a brain over the past 2 weeks (at times, she gave responses that weren't even related to the question).
The story of the debate was that Palin didn't screw up and caused no harm to McCain's flagging campaign. After her disastrous turns with reporters Gibson and Couric, it was a relief to the Republican pundits that she didn't offer up the trifecta!
Unfortunately, Biden was relegated to a side show... his total command and domination of the woman in this forum was lost because of the low expectations that were set for Palin. No gaffes from Biden. No major slip-ups by Palin.
Read the entire CNN.com wrapup of the debate here and here and here and here.
Read the debate wrapup in the New York Times here and here.
plez sez: the early line was a third round knockout of palin by biden. he won in a unanimous decision that had to go the judges' cards. even though he outperformed her by a large margin (it wasn't even close), she never laid a glove on him, but since she was so over matched, by all accounts, the debate was a draw! neither presidential candidate can expect a bump from last night's debate and lucky for mccain, he doesn't have to worry about any erosion to his support because of it, either. she undoubtedly quashed the calls for her to step down from the ticket.
i watched the debate twice last night. and something occurred to me during the second viewing, plezWorld figured out why palin does so poorly in face-to-face interviews with reporters. when she doesn't know what she's talking about, she has to resort to B.S. and her rudimentary knowledge of the talking points that have been given to her. it is awful hard to lie and B.S. someone to their face. so when sitting face-to-face with gibson and couric, palin literally became a blubbering idiot.
if you look at the debate, she never looked at biden nor the moderator (pbs's gwen ifill) while giving her full answers. she looked into the camera. the camera doesn't give a reaction, the camera's "eyes" aren't looking back at her saying, "b-word, you don't know what the hell you're talking about do you? as a matter of fact, you don't even understand the question i just asked you!" especially with couric (and at times with gibson while peering over the top of his glasses at her, "do you agree with the Bush Dotrine, governor?"), palin had that moment when she was in high school trying to come up with enough B.S. on an essay in hopes that the answer is written down somewhere - anywhere - on the paper!
by looking directly at the camera, palin could be herself. she wasn't held up to the scrutiny of her obvious lack of knowledge or lack of nuance or lack of analysis. she was coached for the debate to not look at the other two on stage, and she was able to perform quite admirably because of it.
because of this fact, it is pretty obvious that she won't be doing any more one-on-one conversations with any but the most faithful supporters over the next 4 weeks. more than likely, she'll be limited to large audiences and joint appearances with mccain.