Come on folks, what did ya'll really expect?
As I told you yesterday, The Palin/Biden debate would produce few gaffes and zero explosions. Biden is smart enough to not fall for the sexism okey doke. Palin is the Governor of a state with fewer people than my zip code, but she's still a Governor, and most Governors can cram and regurgitate party talking points. I told you this would hardly be memorable, and as usual I was right.
That said, here's my general observations. Feel free to disagree you know where.
Palin - The GOP is walking around claiming victory, which is stoopid on so many levels. Keep it honest: the American people tuned in to see the Katie Couric version of Palin. The debate format (more on that later) didn't allow for this version. Palin stuck to talking points, artfully dodged questions she had no freakin' clue on how to answer (ie: the one about bankruptcy, which she turned into some discussion about Wall Street. WTF?!?), and generally was more of the aggressor. She talked her way out of trouble with her usual folksy anecdotes about soccer moms and "Main Street". On second thought, this woman may not have whipped cream for brains. Maybe it's cream cheese instead. I suppose I misunderestimated her skillz.
Biden - Crazy Joe had the night of his life. He knew more about McCain's record than Palin did. He sold his candidate. He knew his issues like a career politician should. He even "out-folksied" Palin when he nearly broke down talking about his wife and child who died in an accident. He looked Presidential, and anyone who comes away thinking he couldn't do the job if circumstances deemed it necessary is an idiot. I'm going to stretch here, but I'd say his performance was probably one of the 5 best I've ever seen in a debate. Obama should take notes.
Where's Bristol? - Anyone else notice a missing Palin kid of late? When Sarah launched into one of her folksy diatribes about how her family was "just like yours", she talked about the special needs child (check), and the son in Iraq (check), but the daughter knocked up out of wedlock was curiously absent. Nor was she, or that poor self-described redneck future son-in-law seen when the families met onstage afterward. Anyone care to explain that one? Maybe that black kid on Youtube really is the baby daddy. Hmmmm.
Poor Gwen Ifill - Gwen Ifill gave the shittiest performance of any moderator evar. Yeah, I said it. It was so obvious that the GOP sabre-rattling about that book got to her. She was unusually reserved and more or less allowed Palin to get away with blatantly dodging questions. Sarah Palin ran over Gwen like she was LaDanian Tomlinson. Personally, I wished Ifill had pulled a jack move before the debate and said "Hey damnit, I been in this game for years. I'm a professional. Fall the **** back. I Got This!" But instead, she very clearly buckled under the pressure and just caved in. I'm sure this is what the GOP wanted all along, and they got it. As much as it pains me to write this, Gwen Ifill ethered her own career last night. She will never moderate again. I haven't been this disappointed in a black woman since Allyson Felix got smoked in Beijing.
The Verdict - Many teachers grade on a curve. I'm an engineer, not a teacher. Biden gave a virtuoso performance. It was Debate 101, and he absolutely nailed it. Palin made it through, but let's face it: behind all the folksy stories and winking (seriously, WTF?) she did little more than recite GOP talking points bullet for bullet. There was no substance, no new ideas, little to distinguish her candidate from Bush. I don't spin stuff here, I call it like it is. And Pain's performance was an EPIC FAIL!!!!
The Aftermath - I don't expect either candidate to get much of a bump from this debate. But Biden sold Obama to this Independent voters who are on the fence about Obama. Palin sold herself to the idiots on the GOP side who'll be looking for someone exciting to trot out against Obama in 2012. I also predict that the McCain campaign throws her back in the closet from here on, since they want last night to be her defining moment. She won't do anymore interviews. She serves no purpose other than raising money. The "base" is already as energized as they're going to be. She can't help win anyone undecided. In short, all The Palin Experiment amounted to was a cute speech and a nice bump to Tina Fey's Q-rating.
Congrats Alaska! You're gettin' your Pitbull back!
Question: What did you think of the debate? Did Gwen Ifill roll over or was it just me?