Palin Did Well but Biden Won

By Alan Stewart Carl | Related entries in Biden, Debates, Palin, Veep

For anyone hoping that Sarah Palin would put the final nail in her own coffin, tonight must have been a disappointment. We saw none of the stumbling, deer-in-the-headlight moments we’d seen in her sit-down interviews. Overall, she came off as intelligent and middle American. But just because she held her own doesn’t mean she won. Nope, Joe Biden won this debate. Here’s why:

If you listened to their words and forgot the game of expectations, Biden clearly had a more comprehensive grasp of the issues from the economic to the international. He did an excellent job of picking apart Palin’s claims of maverick-leanings by pointing out how often the McCain/Palin positions mirror the Bush administration positions. Palin rarely had an answer for those assertions.

Just as significantly, Biden managed not to come off as a stuffy senator but as a real guy – at least as real as Palin. As a father who is very involved in my family, I appreciated his defense of his own parenthood. That was the kind of genuine moment he needed to counteract Palin’s charisma.

All that said, I don’t think Palin lost her side any votes tonight. In fact, I think she shored up support by calming the worries of McCain’s less-excited supporters. She seemed confident and I think she put her disastrous Katie Couric interview behind her. Don’t be surprised to see her attract large audiences for the remainder of this campaign.

And that’s my two cents.

This entry was posted on Thursday, October 2nd, 2008 and is filed under Biden, Debates, Palin, Veep. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

10 Responses to “Palin Did Well but Biden Won”

  1. gerryf Says:

    I don’t know. Palin didn’t embarrass herself with any strange gaffes, but seriously, was she in the same debate as the rest of us?

    The longer the debate went on the more I was irritated with her–granted I might be biased to begin with–because she absolutely refused to answer the questions.

    At one point, she even stated very clearly, “I may not answer the questions that either the moderator or you want to hear, but I’m going to talk straight to the American people and let them know my track record.”

    She had a speech memorized, she intended to give it, and she refused to be distracted with the debate.

    When the question was about healthcare, she said she wanted to talk about taxes. When the question turned to dergulation, she said she was still going to talk about taxes (and implied, stop interrupting me!)

    I think my favorite part was where she asked if they could talk about Afghanistan next (before she forgot that part?).

    She didn’t say anything stupid, but she ultimately appeared stupid.

  2. Sandra S Says:

    I’d give her an A for effort, but an F for substance. Definitely a Biden win.

  3. AubreyJ Says:

    Take away all of Biden’s misinformation he threw out there tonight and Sara comes away with a sure win. She didn’t have to mislead anyone to make her points… and I like that in my politicians. I believe the polls will reflect that over the next few days too. We shall see………

  4. AubreyJ Says:

    I Know– Sarah… not Sara.
    My bad… Typo.

  5. Glacia Says:

    All Palin had to do was not look stupid. And her past debate experience shows that she can, by using her trademark non-answer. Biden had a tougher order but he did it.

    I just wish she’d actually answer a question without giving those memorised slogans.

  6. DAVID Says:


  7. Bill Iles Says:

    Joe Biden showed a total understanding of each isssue and successfully wed McCain to Bush. He was sincere and Presidential. On the other hand Palen avoided answering the questions and resorted to a set of memorized talking points almost totally removed from the question on hand. Her little folksy mannerisms most probably went over well with her core supporters but seemed more like the high school cheerleader addressing a general assembly in the gymnasium. I think post debate polling will back up my contention that Senator Joe Biden won tonight’s debate.

  8. DDogbreath Says:

    It’s almost laughable when this type of a public forum can be classified as a debate. It lacked substance like they always do. The Democrat’s and Republicans are ruining this country. Minority party’s should be involved in these debates. We would then have a chance for Issues and solutions to be brought up. I’m tired of listening to empty rhetoric.

  9. Katharine Says:

    When you combine the first debate with McCain and Obama and last night’s debate with Palin and Biden, you get a profile of two highly intelligent, experienced, reasoned and reasonable adults vs an angry arrogant and erratic old man with a cute, folksy but empty headed slogan spewing tow-along. Obama/Biden have won hand down.

  10. Dano Says:

    I, too was annoyed with the non-debate aspect of this debate. If I’d wanted to listen to and hour and a half of political ads I could have done that by watching two hours of prime-time TV anyway. I am not generally a litmus-test kind of guy, but this year I am refusing to vote for any candidate for high office who cannot pronounce “nuclear”. That’s “Nook-lee-er” not “Nook-cue-ler” as Sarah Palin was pronouncing it all night long. Pronouncing it, I might add, exactly like George W. Bush has for the past eight years. Coincidence? I think not. Since this debate seemed to be measured by the press and bloggers almost entirely on style and not on substance (because on substance Biden would have walked away with it), I will measure it on whether it is presidential to drop your “g” on every word ending in “ing”. I live in the south where people tend to run multi-syllable words into single-syllable ones (“Durham” becomes “Durm”) and draw out vowels and such, and I do a lot of that myself, y’all, but I am not running for Vice-President, and I frankly would be seriously embarrassed for my head of state to greet the German Chancellor or any other ranking head of state with a series of gosh-darns, gollee’s or gee-whizzes, no matter what region of the country they come from. Well, that’s what I’m thinkin, and dang it, I hope some of the rest of you out there are like me, starvin for a little substance to these durn debates, and waitin for somethin that really is an exchange of ideas rather than a bunch of prattlin and speech-makin. God Bless the White City On The Hill!

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