I am troubled by the suggestion that because Palin did not have a truly spectacular brain-fart moment, that means she somehow "held her own." She did not hold a candle to Biden.
I am not just saying that because I favor Biden. I was genuinely undecided about who won the first Obama-McCain debate, as followers of this blog know. Biden spoke deftly and specifically, and seemed genuinely engaged in the conversation. Palin spouted platitude after platitude in some of the most un-musical language I have ever heard in my life. My notes:
Palin: "Can I call you Joe?" A little forced folksiness already.
Palin repeats John McCain’s "fundamentals of the economy" equals "the American worker" hogwash… and with a wink!
Didn’t take long to get to Joe Six-Pack and hockey moms.
Sarah trots out the $42,000 lie again. Biden should mention her regressive sales tax hike in Alaska.
Gwen Ifill should not be using the right-wing "class warfare" frame. An unnecessary defensive move on her part.
Biden: Nice line about McCain’s health insurance tax hike as the "ultimate bridge to nowhere."
Palin: Mortgage lenders "were starting to really kind of rear that head of abuse." Just like Putin rearing his head over Alaska. Lots of head-rearing going on in Palin’s world.
Biden, you shouldn’t have voted for that damned bankruptcy bill along with McCain. Gwen got you there.
Palin keeps going back to energy policy no matter what the question is.
Terrible answer by Palin on climate change. Her words are like a mallet hitting you in the forehead over and over and over.
Nice of Palin to correct Biden that the chant is not "Drill, drill, drill!" but "Drill BABY drill!"
It’s "Drill baby drill" versus "raping the intercontinetal shelf." For such a prude, Sarah’s getting pretty explicit.
Now she’s being "straight up" with Americans about opposing gay marriage!
Keith Knight (fellow cartoonist watching with me): "If there’s no change in the way these people say NU-CU-LAR, they won’t change anything else."
Palin keeps saying she’s gonna put government back "on the side of the people." As opposed to… rich and powerful Republicans?
Palin: "Say it ain’t so, Joe, there you go again…" Laying on the prefab snotty lines a bit thick there.
Wow, Biden just choked up a bit there talking about being a single dad. That was a strong answer.
Palin: McCain "is the man that we need to leave" — OOPS!
Good of Biden to allude to McCain’s vote against insuring children (SCHIP). Why haven’t the Dems talked more about that?
Palin closes with line about the "filter" of the mainstream media. Sarah, those answers you gave to Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric were filtered by nothing but your own cluelessness.
Clearly the Republicans are taking the same tack with Palin as they did with Bush — turning the folksy charm up to eleven, hoping her inarticulate speech makes her seem "honest." It’s an insult to our intelligence. The question is: will it work?