Thursday, October 02, 2008

Palin v. Biden

I've been following the liveblogging along with the debate: Andrew Sullivan, Daniel Larison, Steve Benen, Think Progress.

My call? Palin is good at talking points. No matter what the question, she tried to bring it back to talking points. If she couldn't, she spewed some of the most incomprehensible jargon ever to come out of a politician's mouth. She's quite the tap-dancer, stonewaller, and, when necessary, blatant liar. Biden and Ifill have been handcuffed dealing with Palin directly, but Biden has been hitting McCain very effectively, whereas Palin has mostly been landing shots at Biden.

Did she "exceed expectations?" She lied more than I expected, and she'd memorized more lines than I thought possible. She said a few things that were absurd, had a few incoherent lines, but fundamentally this wasn't a high-pressure situation with follow-ups. The post-debate commenters on CBS are talking about how Palin didn't have any major blunders or gaffes -- though they are noting her tendency to avoid questions -- ignoring several incoherent and previously debunked lines.

Did Biden "win"? My spouse said that he did great; I thought he did quite well on substance, and had some stylistic successes. I'd not call it a win, but he did a good job rebutting some of her ridiculous charges, and making it clear that the Obama-Biden ticket has plans as opposed to "themes" and wishful thinking.

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