Here’s a comment by a reader of the New York Times article “The Vice Presidential Debate”. I thought this was a pretty good analysis.
“How many times can a person say the word maverick in one debate?
It is sad that this country should have such low expectations for a candidate going into a debate for the second highest job in the country. Palin did much better at this debate than she did in her interviews (and I think she did a fairly good job of talking up McCain), but that was mainly because the debate format allowed her to sidle past questions for which she had no good answers. She was allowed to throw in snark, and a bunch of inaccurate “facts”, several of which, thankfully, Biden was able to refute. Moreover, how often did she bring up energy issues into a debate where energy was barely a question? Of course, it makes sense that she would keep dragging it in, as it is the ONLY issue in which she is knowledgeable, but even there, her knowledge has clear, enormous gaps. Her knowledge of energy is solely related to gas and oil, and while I think it would be wonderful if America could end its energy dependence on other nations, she never once mentioned alternative sources of energy such as solar, wind, or hydrogen. Drill, baby, drill is so NOT the answer!
In the end, I agree with the NY Times editorial team that Sarah Palin did not present any coherent, cogent plan for the future. Cut taxes and create jobs sounds great. Just HOW are you going to do that? She never gave a good answer. Being a maverick isn’t enough, especially if the number one maverick on her ticket doesn’t have enough clout to persuade the members of his own party to go along with him (vide the debacle on Monday in the House when 2/3 of the Republicans voted AGAINST the bailout bill that McCain supported)
On the other hand, Joe Biden was clearly focused, answered most of the questions that were asked, and a good command of facts and figures to present and was able to keep his answers short enough for the time limit. He didn’t once get into being condescending or bullying and limited his discussion to attacking McCain’s record, even though Sarah Palin’s snark invited a fair amount of attack. He was able to clarify several of Palin’s misrepresentations of Obama’s and his own record, and he was able to inject a lot of confidence that he understood what was going on both domestically and politically, AND like most of us in the middle class, can understand what it means to struggle juggling raising a family, having a job and managing the bills. My expectations for Biden weren’t low and he did quite well. While there were no true TKOs, I think Biden won on points.
Oh, and btw, she said “maverick” at least 8 times.”
— Nai Mei Yao, New Jersey