A Short Debate Analysis: The Winner Is…

First off, I can’t complain too much about the fairness of Gwenn Ifill’s questions, but it is worth noting that she asked a couple of really wacky questions. Ifill asked a really foggy question about what would happen if someone got nuked. That one went to Palin first. She also asked another weird question about what differences the VPs would have if their President died. What are they supposed to say to that?

The debate started off with economics and both of them did OK, but Biden edged her out. He gave clearer, crisper answers and had stronger attacks on McCain. To be honest, I think the problem here has more to do with the McCain campaign’s messaging than Palin because McCain has exactly the same problems that Palin did.

Palin underemphasized McCain’s credentials on fiscal conservatism when they talked about things McCain would do and the tax cut for the middle class vs. the corporate tax cut helped Biden come out ahead.

Also, the fact that McCain has a long Senate record to pick apart while Obama doesn’t was helpful to Biden.

So, in the first half of the debate, Biden had a slight edge.

But, once they got to foreign policy, Palin just started landing huge blows on Obama. She got off more damaging attacks, had a lot more good lines, and just demolished Biden in the 2nd half of the debate.

Wasn’t. Even. Close.

Verdict: Palin wins, gets more great soundbites off, reassures Americans that she’s up to the job, and helps the ticket about as much as she could have during the debate. All in all, I was very happy with her performance.

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