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October 3rd, 2008
05:35 PM ET

What the Palin-Biden debate really told us

Carl Bernstein
AC360° Contributor

Who won the Palin-Biden debate? Barack Obama, I suspect.

Who was the big loser? In an historic fortnight that had already underscored his erratic nature, John McCain.

The fact that Palin was able to string her sentences together last night – which she couldn’t manage to do in her unscripted interviews with Katie Couric - shows only how low McCain has strapped his presidential quest.

Sarah Palin’s task was an impossible one: to demonstrate that she is ready to be president of the United States. McCain put her in that impossible position; and her performance — all prep and no depth — demonstrated the bind he has put himself in.

Yes, he “energized the base” with his Hail Mary pick of Palin as a running mate. But he also demonstrated cynical disregard for the requirement of stable governance were he to be elected president, and then - through his incapacitation or death - Palin be called upon to exercise the powers of the presidency.

Just how scary a notion that is went on full display last night: She appeared to lack any semblance of the requisite depth, knowledge, or sense of history we should expect in a president or vice president; then she sought to excuse it by saying, “I’ve only been at this for five weeks.”

Yes, she could wink, she could tell Biden, “Say it ain’t so, Joe, there you go again,” and she could remind us again and again that she is a hockey Mom from the land of Joe-Six-pack (as if Western Republicans don’t swill Pinot Grigio with the rest of the country at their fund-raisers). She seemed incapable of thinking through the American condition and responding to it except by scripted answers, theatrical gestures, and tested buzzwords — and by announcing at the outset that she would decide which questions from the moderator to answer and which to ignore.

Yet Biden’s performance (deeply knowledgeable, sensible, and generally responsive to the questions) was perhaps the best evidence that - considered non-ideologically, but rather on judgment and temperament — Obama may be ready to be president, and McCain — who ought to be ready — is not.

Time after time, Biden had to tell Palin what John McCain’s real record is - as instance after instance - she misrepresented it (or misunderstood the legislative process), repeated easy slogans and bromides and, for the most part perhaps, offended the intelligence of voters who are not already die-hard, ideological proponents of right-wing Republicanism, creationism, or simplistic solutions to tough problems.

“Maverick,” “Maverick,” “Maverick,” she kept repeating about John McCain and herself. Perhaps Biden’s best moment in the best night of his career as a candidate (and I have heard him at his awful worst — i.e., being his own worst enemy) came when he challenged McCain’s constant claim to the Maverick title.

The tactical and intellectual deficiencies of the McCain campaign have been best analyzed by conservative and Republican commentators, and even politicians. George Will, Charles Krauthammer, Peggy Noonan, Chuck Hagel, come quickly to mind. (Hence, Krauthammer, following last night’s debate: “You can't blame McCain. In an election in which all the fundamentals are working for the opposition, he feels he has to keep throwing long in order to keep hope alive. Nonetheless, his frenetic improvisation has perversely [for him] framed the rookie challenger favorably as calm, steady and cool.”)

As a former White House (Republican) chief of staff said to me, “Palin is evidence of desperation; she is an embarrassment.” That is the bottom line. (I generally check in with Republicans — not Democrats - to assess how the McCain campaign is doing.) He noted, “She wasn’t vetted, really; it’s an open secret in Washington, but the details of the negligence are better known to Republicans than Democrats.” That doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a future in the Republican galaxy, lacks star power, or couldn’t be a fine Secretary of the Interior in a McCain administration.

It’s too bad. Earlier in his career, until the presidency finally seemed within his grasp, McCain had demonstrated a real willingness to seriously and thoughtfully take on both his party and the Washington establishment when he thought they were wrong — albeit mostly on one issue: pork, an issue he has been heroic on.

But his real opportunity to show independence of his party’s reigning dogma and cultural-warrior-infantry was in his choice of a vice presidential running mate. Instead, McCain, who has lectured us about duty, honor, country first, has left many independent-minded voters who might want to vote for him at an impossible, dangerous impasse: an unprepared vice presidential candidate running on a ticket with the oldest presidential nominee in history — a 72-year-old with four cancer surgeries and medical records he has ordered sealed.

Conventional wisdom has almost always held (JFK-LBJ being a notable exception) that a presidential nominee’s choice of vice president makes no difference in the outcome of the election.

This time it is likely to be determinate, because it tells us so much not only about Sarah Palin, but also John McCain’s state of mind today, and the promise that his political career once held and now appears to have been left behind.


Filed under: Barack Obama • Carl Bernstein • Joe Biden • John McCain • Raw Politics • Sarah Palin
soundoff (115 Responses)
  1. Shereeta Stroud

    It's amazing that Palin thought it necessary to correct their little "drill baby drill" chant, but didn't think it necessary to get the Afghanistan top Army Commander's name correct or Biden's at one point (calling him O'Biden). I was not impressed at all to her admitting that she wouldn't answer the questions that the moderator asked. To me it just proved that she was only prepared to spit out whatever she practiced the week before, it didn't make me feel like she was "being real".

    October 5, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  2. Griffin

    I am a fifty year old female who registered as an independent in the 70's to make a point to myself that I would never be a party driven voter. Because of my conservative views, I usually have voted Republican and had decided to support John McCain in the presidential election. I have recently changed my mind simply because I find Palin such an insult to my intelligence, and sadly, I'm just average. If nothing else, a candidate for president/vice president of the United States should be a person whose very presence demands respect. After seeing Palin winking, blinking and nodding, I was just waiting for her to pull out her pom poms. It troubles me that McCain would choose such an embarrassing person as his running mate. My vote, which would have been cast for McCain, will now be cast against Palin. If I find her demeanor offensive, how will leaders of foreign countries view her! I also think most women find the hockey mom reference insulting. I know I do! I personally found, as a mother and a teacher, children's scholastic accomplishments more deserving of a prefix than any sport affiliation.

    October 5, 2008 at 1:01 pm |
  3. Wes in Texas

    What the debate really told us,are you kidding,McCain,never wanted her to begin with,they just kept him from picking his buddy Joe.So picking her,was a way to get even,with those people.And as far as i'm concerned,the republicans,went to the cross roads,for what they did to Sen Cleland.There is nothing,nothing the,republicans won't do to win.

    October 5, 2008 at 8:19 am |
  4. jamessye

    How dare you speak the truth with balance... Seriously, McCain had my respect until he started running his campaign like a jack in the box. You really never know what you are going to get. This isn't the time for drama queens, and I'm not speaking about Palin. McCain has become a drama queen everytime there is a problem, he goes off the deep end trying to appear presidential.

    McCain is the one who is supposed to be the cool hand luke, but it's Obama who is acting like he's been there before. When you are losing, you show your true character, and I've had enough of McCain's desperation politics. Unfortunately, it's only going to get worse with 30 something days left until election. I expect McCain to throw everything in the book to make Obama a shade darker if you catch my drift.

    October 5, 2008 at 1:18 am |
  5. debbi

    Palin is an insult to the women that have worked hard to acheive an education and success. In my world, if I used the cutey pie gosh darn personna, I would be dismissed as a fool. The women that are falling for the " hockey mom, aren't I cute, " VP candidate, in my opinion need to look around at some real down to earth, intelligent women that work hard & juggle family & work. What's inside that cute little head? Not much. Face it she's not very sharp–only her tongue is sharp.

    October 4, 2008 at 11:38 pm |
  6. Niki

    Alan,

    The reason why Obama only released one page is because there is only 1 in which is physician said that he is extremely healthy and has almost no body fat. He only needed one page because there isn't much to say beyond he has a perfect bill of health. Yes, McCain did release over 1000 pages of his medical records, but only to a few select journalists and only for a few hours. Oh what to do....... so many malinomas and so little time. Perhaps you need to check your facts.

    October 4, 2008 at 10:40 pm |
  7. Emma, California

    Again, an astute analysis by Carl Bernstein. Her vacancies were replaced with no substantive lines and flirtatious gestures. What kinds of judgement goes into supporting her for a job she cannot handle.

    October 4, 2008 at 9:56 pm |
  8. Nathan

    Palin is a joke, for the rep who think that she is ready to be VP, shows they have a very low appreciation of the VP office of this country

    October 4, 2008 at 9:31 pm |
  9. Gene Penszynski from Vermont

    You know this McCain campaign of late kind of reminds me of Mel Brook’s Movie ‘Blazing Saddles’ in real Life ! Thats REALLY Scary !

    October 4, 2008 at 7:46 pm |
  10. Chelz

    Right on Mr. Bernstein! I was beginning to think the political analyst's were all crazy after the debates or I was the crazy one. You said so many things I thought anfd more! Thanks for asurring my sanity!

    October 4, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  11. Charlie from Cali

    WOW! I really enjoyed reading your comments which I agree with wholeheartedly. I wonder why it is so hard for many Republicans to accept the reality you portray and why is it so difficult for people to accept the truth. Denial is defined by some as an unconscious acceptance of what the conscious mind cannot accept. Isn't it scary that so many of us seem to be walking around unconscious and like zombies unable to see what is right before their eyes. America needs real help and something needs to happen to unit us so we can live out the greatness we're so capable of. When I see and participate in the Obama rally's across the country, I see diversity and something happening beyond my wildest dreams, and I too am Proud to be an American for the first time in my 57 years. I didn't feel this way when I returned from Vietnam, I didn't feel it when I graduated from college, grad school, when I got married, had children, etc, etc. But I feel it now, and my pride is at experiencing People of all races, and ethnic groups coming together to vote into office the best man for the job regardless of the color of his skin. This is the America I love, this is the America I dream of, this is the America I hope the Republican Party will wake up to. I pray.

    October 4, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  12. Carla

    Thank you Carl! I was afraid that no one was going to "tell it like it is" and accurately describe the train wreck a/k/a Sarah Palin's performance at the debate.

    October 4, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  13. Linda/Michigan

    The reason to support the McCain/Palin ticket is that the alternative is deeply frightening. I won't bring up the associations of Obama but the world we are living in now does not need a president who would even consider cutting defense spending.
    Does Obama still believe that Iran is not a threat as he did earlier?
    What about Russia!

    October 4, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  14. Karen

    Palin in know way shape or form shaped the room in her debate with Biden. She is a soccer mom who probably does really well at soccer games but is she ready to be in an all important role of VP of the US – a role she does not even know what the job is. I think not! At this time in our countries situation financially and globally we do not need someone who needs ON THE JOB TRAINING. We need someone who has experience with politics – someone who knows the Washington ropes. This is not the time to experiment with an unknown. What Palin said on stage was no more then I could have said. I know all to well generally what needs to be done, what I did not hear from her was specifics on what Palin and McCain's plan of action would be. I did hear what Biden and Obama's plan was. For goodness sake Palin did not even know who many troops were currently in Iraq. How on earth could she be trusted to run this country if the unspeakable ever happened - that scares me...... She can only hide behind cute winks and the good old boy talk for so long – it's not impressive it just shows me how inexperienced she really is.

    October 4, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  15. Jean

    I watched Sara Palin with the thought, What if she became President?
    Her folksy language may look cute in small towns, but no world leader would take her seriously. They would laugh at her.
    .
    If she were meeting with Heads of State would she just ramble on about her favorite topic and not discuss the topic at hand?
    Senator Biden choked up at the memory of losing his wife and daughter in the car accident and almost losing his son. She was so programed with her memorized answers she didn't even have the decency to acknowledge his loss. She was rude. Is that how she would handle a world leader who just had a tragedy? Just babble on about energy.
    She is not fit for a Cabinet Post let alone VP
    If the GOP wants to groom her for the future they have a lot of work to do. Educate her on events in the world, how our government works and teach her some manners.

    October 4, 2008 at 1:11 pm |
  16. Catherine in New Hampshire

    It is right to point out the intellectual deficiencies in the McCain -Palin ticket. We have just finished 8 years with a president full of intellectual deficiencies. Given Palin's performance on Thursday, we have to ask ourselves whether we want a vice president conducting diplomatic relations using "Palin Speak". I suggest that the answer is no. First and foremost, she does not listen to the people who are the other part of the conversation. That is why she does not answer the question. Secondly, she is woefully ignorant regarding our constitution and the laws surrounding it. This was evidenced by her answers to the "right to privacy" question by Couric and the vice president question as posed by Ifill. Thirdly, she cannot think on her feet. This is evidenced by her inability to answer even simple questions which take her off guard, such as the magazine question. She lacks all of these qualities which are necessary if the United States is to conduct itself in a worldwide forum. It is part of her job. They will not be able to hide her under a rock, as they are doing now, should she be elected to the position of vice president. Or will they?

    October 4, 2008 at 12:23 pm |
  17. Dan Stewart

    Carl
    Excellent article. It scares me to my core that Republicans continue to put their narrow minded, black and white ideology above the well being of the country, have they not learned from the last 8 years of incompetence?

    Cindy, rather than reguritating talking points try and educate yourself please.

    Alan
    Regarding medical records, Obama released his and there was not much to see, hence the one page. McCains 1000 page "book" was released to the press in a locked room for a few hours. Lets face it McCain is not exactly what you call a picture of health.

    October 4, 2008 at 12:19 pm |
  18. denise

    McCain is reckless and Irresponsible for selecting Palin as a running mate. It's very dangerous politics.

    The sounding point Carl..."an unprepared vice presidential candidate running on a ticket with the oldest presidential nominee in history — a 72-year-old with four cancer surgeries."

    She is a bigger idiot than the character protrayed on SNL.

    October 4, 2008 at 12:03 pm |
  19. Dorothy C.

    Excellent article, Carl Bernstein! You said it all and said it very well! I hope that your views are widely published. Thank you.

    October 4, 2008 at 11:14 am |
  20. Vani

    I felt like I was watching a Saturday Night Live skit. Biden sounded positively presidential while Palin would have a fight on her hands runnng for class president.

    October 4, 2008 at 10:21 am |
  21. Sandra

    I seriously believe that we, the american people are much smarter and insightful than we are given credit. McCain-4 more years of pain. Our focus should be: Who can get us out of this mess? I believe the american government should reflect the lives, values of its people. The majority of people are realize that the time has come for some fall house cleaning.

    October 4, 2008 at 10:06 am |
  22. Raj

    I agreed with what you wrote. It disturbs me that the candidates are not answering questions. This has more to do with the presidential debate where Jon McCain kept berating Barrack Obama and not mentioning his views. I can see how that works from a tactical standpoint, but was I the only one who noticed that on many key issues he simply just said that Obama is wrong. Palin had very little substance, but she is a piece of work and the camera loves. The question has to be raised if we would want Palin to lead the country if something were to happen to McCain.

    October 4, 2008 at 8:00 am |
  23. Mohammed Ali

    It's a big deal that the debate was more than just a typical attack of
    party diffrences, or econemy debate sure Sarah Palin took more
    camera attention and more smiles, does that make her the win-
    ner. Not so much about winning there was the Presidential candidates on their debate last month attacking each other.
    For this one it was more about showing what both VPs can provide
    the american middle class as far as change, Also being on point
    about how will they show support, from the white house into
    tax matters I felt closer into the problems more clear in the way
    questions were answered.

    October 4, 2008 at 5:18 am |
  24. Ann

    As an undecided voter, I wanted to base my vote this November on the debates, interviews and VP picks. As we all know, last night's debate was equivalent to an NFL team losing without fumbling the ball or throwing an interception. Palin gave basic answers and didn't once look confused, but she paled in comparison to Biden's experience and political knowledge .
    As a woman, I can't help but feel that Palin makes me look bad. I wish she would execute her interviews and comments with more diplomacy. The winking and soccor-mom talk is somewhat offensive. The McCain campaign has absolutely no reason to call the uber-hilarious SNL skits sexist; not after this past VP debate. I can't take Palin seriously anymore. My bottom line is this: McCain has disappointed me with his VP pick. This is the time that Americans need reassurance and can trust our leaders. I'm not sure the McCain/Palin ticket will do that. If McCain loses the election you can mark my words that it would be largely in part to his VP choice.

    October 4, 2008 at 4:05 am |
  25. Zadie Be

    While I do not like to see anyone lose a debate we all know that someone does have to lose. Palin was good and she really did get the point across. I watched Biden and I saw that he really liked her and I think he respects her. Biden has also had a hard life but, I feel he is stuck in good old boy politics. He seems a decent man and I wish him well, However, I feel Plain won the debate. My problem with this whole issue is that Obama has less experience as Biden himself said during the debates for Presidents and no one brings that up but, because Palin is a woman she get her experience dragged though the mud. Do not listen to what is on TV go to your books, computer and Library to really look up those facts and you will see that Obama is simply not as good as Palin.

    October 4, 2008 at 3:50 am |
  26. Katie from Oregon

    Wow, frightening that the whole world is watching as an incompetent, uninformed person like Palin is in a position of potential power. The terrorists must love this and are hoping McCain wins, especially since he has less than a 40% chance of living out a full term. I am sure that Palin, with all of her foreign relation experience will be able to handle the terrorists. I bet she can't even pic out foreign diplomats out of a line up.
    Women in America get some education and self respect. Palin is DANGEROUS for this country- what part of that can't you see.

    October 4, 2008 at 3:12 am |
  27. Midwest Vi

    Sarah Palin made it clear that her and John are without a plan. How nice.

    October 4, 2008 at 3:04 am |
  28. Dani

    When Gov. Palin was debating for the Mayor and governorship, video shows she was not in the character of "Elle May Clampett". Palin hammed it up for the biggest debate of her life, only to lampoon and make a fool of herself, Sen. John McCain, The Republican Party and American people. What a waste and a setback for women.

    October 4, 2008 at 2:36 am |
  29. Pat of Las Vegas

    This is the first presidential election that I have been interested in. Therefore I do not know or understand a lot about politics. What I found helpful was the journalist reviews. "Picking" apart the speaches and debates. Through thier informative analysis I have learned what really happen in a situation". I appreciate the work that the journalist do in thier fact findings missions.....thank you!

    October 4, 2008 at 2:30 am |
  30. M

    Excellent article. Thank you.

    October 4, 2008 at 2:29 am |
  31. Roger

    I cannot disagree more with most of the TV pundits right after the debate on how much Sarah Palin beat the expectations. Yes, she may not have tripped on the stage. But, she has never answered one question with straight and intelligent answer. She probably treated this debate as the Q&A section in her beauty contest, in which most contestants divert the answer to "world peace" regardless of the question. She did the same by diverting everything to energy, Iraq, or Maverick, even providing no convincing specifics on these talking points. I think she is a disaster. Selecting her is clear evidence that John McCain is very selfish and only has winning the election in mind. What an irony to his "country first" or "straight talker" campaign slogan! Every American with a slight sense of consciousness should do his best to make sure this team of Bozos does not get elected.

    October 4, 2008 at 2:20 am |
  32. C. J. Grube

    As commented on earlier – a Blogger argued that Sarah Palin has every right to hace Todd campaign with her is indeed normal as Obama, Biden's and McCain's wivws are helping them campaign.

    I believe that the negative comment regarding Todd may have been put forth as an irritation just as it is an irritation to me – Not because he campaigns, but because it has been brought to our attention that Gov. Palin copies Todd on E mails regarding Alaska State Business, That Gov. Palin has had Todd sit in on meetings regarding Alaska State Business and that Gov. Palin has sent Todd on errands to be her eyes regarding Alaska State Business.

    I don't believe that Todd is on the Alaska State Payroll or that he has been hired by the Governor's office to perform specific duties -–

    So, Why does Todd have to help Sarah Palin be the Governor of Alaska??

    Well, after watching Sarah Palin over the past 2 weeks it is certainly obvious why she needs help.

    October 4, 2008 at 2:16 am |
  33. beth

    Anderson,
    My Brother travels the world extensively & he said all over Europe
    G W Bush is called a buffoon. We certainly do not need a buffoon as VP
    (Palin) & most certainly not another one as President.
    Beth

    October 4, 2008 at 1:57 am |
  34. Randy

    Frankly I am not impressed being called a Joe Six-Pack or my wife being called a Hockey Mom. We are intellectual people with minds and we know what matters. Drill Baby Drill.....great but we won't see any gas or oil from this for TEN YEARS!!! Sarah ....you are small time and we need BIG minds to solve and turn this country around.....Go back to Pageants and play your flute and tell judges what you beleive in....Elections where you receive 900 votes (Wasilla election) or 114,00 votes for Alaska Governorship. Bow out and go wink at someone who doesn't know any better. Maybe you should talk to the people who know how detrimental drilling in Alaska will be.....primarily the Inuits and other native people.....they have a pulse on the Alaskan wilderness.

    October 4, 2008 at 1:53 am |
  35. tony

    Biden looked good in the debate......he should he has been a public speaker for the last 30 some years.....he should have performed better than Palin. As for Palin, it looked like she stuck to the script and never deviated...... as for change, that is all we heard from both, it is going to change, I am just not sure I heard how.

    October 4, 2008 at 1:51 am |
  36. D.R. Brown

    Palin wouldn't "talk down" to Alaskans the way she talked "folksy" in the debate.... it is an insult to everyone that she thinks that is appealing! And for those who think the she has a high approval rating in Alaska, you are only listening to McCain campaign claims. She might have been the lesser of 2 evils in the last governor's race, but she sure isn't fooling anyone here with her biases and favoritism.

    October 4, 2008 at 1:41 am |
  37. Tony

    Once upon a time when post office employees were losing it and shooting up the place someone coined the phrase “going postal”. Well, I’m gonna do the same thing here now. When someone’s at a loss for words, acting dingy, babbling, and uttering complete nonsense it’s now called “going Palin”. She gives one interview and completely flops, so her next interview she comes back with her babysitter…I mean her running mate John McCain and we’re supposed to elect this woman vice president? I don’t think so!

    October 4, 2008 at 1:16 am |
  38. Greene

    This country is in such a mess, don't know when we'll ever get out of it. This bill is alful, however if not passed, small business will go under therefore lost of more jobs. Job lost is out of the ballpark, so no matter who voted or who didn't just doesn't matter.
    McCain is to old to think straight(he is my age and no way do I want him in the WH, especially with that dim whit with him. ) I don't want a vP who winks and says you betcha with other world leaders. God forbid.

    October 4, 2008 at 1:12 am |
  39. MARK

    Truth is in the ear of the beholder.... In this day & age who ever thinks Palin is a good pick as VP must be from another planet !

    October 4, 2008 at 12:59 am |
  40. Brent

    Does America even have a heart or common sense anymore? What u left wing media and liberals don't understand is that Sarah Palin is just like us middle class Americans. We are sick and tired of politicians like Joe Biden or Barack Obama. Don't you people understand that they're lying. She called out Joe Biden last night and all he could do is smile because he knew. In America you work your butt off to get to where you want to be in life. NOBODY wants a handout. You earn everything you receive in life, gov't doesn't give it to you. You see what gov't gives you. I'm always proud to be anAmerican and the people who cling to their guns and religion are the reason you people have your freedom first place. Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, Harry Reid, CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, and Barack Obama are stealing the country and taking your freedom right under your noses and you don't even know it. It's funny how they all say the same thing. I guess they all get the same memo. DO RESEARCH, your media won't do they're job. WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!

    October 3, 2008 at 11:10 pm |
  41. annetta

    they are really scraping the bottom of the barrell,with pallin.does she not realize that alaska is not a separate country?also she must have x-ray vision to see russia from her home or office.she also need to get her eyes checked that's a very distracting tic in her right eye,i hope that it's a medical problem,because it is definitely not cute,and for goodness sake losethesexual come on!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 3, 2008 at 11:05 pm |
  42. Shane

    Well maybe I'm just a sucker for falling for women but she really seduced me with those winks and at the same time she was a good debater really levelled the playing field with Biden. You know she reminds me of a superhero, someone that sweeps out of nowhere and saves te party. Look, we've been at this "change" angle for the longest time now and no one has been able to define it in my opinion.
    Since no one has been able to tell me what "change" is, I'm going to vote for Sarah since she has the power to seduce world leaders much less the one's in congress to pass bills and folks, that's bi-partisanship in my books ... Thank you ...

    October 3, 2008 at 11:01 pm |
  43. Lansha

    It is obvious that Palin doesn't have a clue to the issues going on in the country. I am a firm believer in first impressions are lasting impressions and her interview with Katie Couric is the true Sarah Palin. The Debate last night helped me make my mind up on who to support. She is trying to decieve the American people that she is informed but she's not. I did not hear a straight answer from her. She looks pretty as a woman but silly as a politician. I'm proud of what she has accomplished in her life but she is not ready for Washington and she is not ready for the United States.

    October 3, 2008 at 10:53 pm |
  44. Gabrielle

    Clearly anyone could see how coached, rehearsed, Palin was....all she did was read from her notes....she was rarely on topic....had she not had coaching then you would have seen a repeat of the Katie Couric interview. I am not looking for a hockey mom ...or boys and their 6 pack to be running our country. Senator Biden was strong, educaated, knowledgable, and clearly very experienced. His tears talking about his family won my heart and my vote...Where does the media get off saying Palin held her own...she was a total wreck.

    October 3, 2008 at 10:50 pm |
  45. judy mitchell

    I am amazed that Americans can even consider that this woman could possibly be VP of the greatest nation in the world. A heartbeat away from the presidency. John McCain has done serious disservice to our country by choosing her and she, by accepting.Ludicrous! Can we please move on from this debate issue as it is of no importance. Biden was knowledgeable and at least courteous to her since she obviously is clueless and he was gentlemanly enough not to call her on it. What good would it have done and who would have cared anyway. The 850M is the problem. Buffet is typical of Wall Street. Buying up GE cheap and will sell high. Just like Wachovia, AIG, Sachs, all of them and more to follow. Should be in jail. Don't know if we have enough room in the jails for all the crooks from Wall Street supported by members of congress. Can't believe Obama and Biden voted for pork barrel. Thought they wanted Change! To be expected by McCain. Total disappointment. If Obama wants to make good time next month, better have some relief and help for recession rather than tax cuts, etc. There won't be any money for anythingIts going to be scary time and we don't need promises that can't be kept. We need change all right – No promises, just action.

    October 3, 2008 at 10:37 pm |
  46. Tonya

    I am very pleased with this article! More importantly, I am deeply saddened at the turn that the Presidential campaign has taken. Yes, people are sick of Washington, yet being sick of Washington does not say put someone like Sarah Palin in office. I am shocked at anyone who says that she did well last night. Yes, she remained calm, but she did not say anything with any substance and she did not and could not state what McCain stands for. She could, however, state what she would change if McCain died. Which leads me to my next point, with McCain being 72, it is highly likely that he will not live through the next 4 years -I am fearful for the hands the country would be left in. At, least where Obama falters, Biden picks up. Palin does not balance the Republican ticket at all. Next, she is not common – her family is sort of dysfunctional! It is bad enough that the divorce rate is sky high and teenage pregnancy. Is this the message and example we want displayed for America – I don't! Her "beliefs" says that it is okay to be pregnant and a teen and it is even okay to force teenagers (the young man obviously does not want to marry her) to get married -what happened to encouraging teenagers to go to college? I don't want normal in the White House, I want someone who I will be/feel comfortable with in office. She obviously cannot run her family – I am not opposed to women being in office; I am opposed to Sarah Palin. Where is America's sense of respect?!

    October 3, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  47. Jimmie P Guffey Jr

    Anderson, I watched with awe as Gov. Palin took on a 30 vet from the Senate. How can Sen. Biden say his canidate is the one to vote for when he said himself he was not fit to be Commander in Chief? Or that he would serve on Sen. McCain ticket? As a Soldier and Officer I would much rather have Sen. McCain as my Commander in Chief and Gov. Palin advising him from what the people of Main Street are feeling and thinking? Not Sen. Obama who wants to tax those who make over $250,000 so I turned down the job, and have chosen to return to Iraq and hopefully stay until we finish the job and not work toward a timeline of 12 months from Sen. Obama.

    v/r

    Jim P. Guffey Jr.
    Fort, Knox KY

    October 3, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  48. Rajan Thomas

    1 She was not answering half of the questions at theV P debate rather than answer the question she by hearted some fraces repeting that again and again.
    2 She said a small business hire an employe that effect on their tax. All payment for the employies right off as a business expences, so the business don't need to pay the tax for any salary or any expencesses for the business and no way it effect on the tax

    So Sara Palin don't have no clue what she talking about.

    October 3, 2008 at 10:03 pm |
  49. Cindy...OK

    Carl, thank you for the straight delivery. I agree with all you said.

    There are a few things that I feel that I need to comment on as well. I believe that Biden did win the debate. I am an Obama supporter; however, McCain was one of the republicans in DC that I actually respected. Well, I did before the last four years.

    I would like to say that for the lady that believes women are making negative comments because we are jealous, this could not be further from the truth for this lady! I am an educated, middle-age, confident mother of two who has been married to her husband for almost 17 years. Oh, by the way, I am a proud member of the middle class. I make my decisions based on facts and figures, not on other people's opinions. I have stated from day one when the media was saying that women love Sarah Pallin, this woman is not impressed.

    She touted an energy policy that is non-existent. "Drill, baby, drill!" does nothing for the energy crisis that we now face. Nuclear energy should be investigated, but I have no idea what "nucular" energy is! In addition, she praised "no child left behind," which is one of the worst failures the federal government has ever promoted.

    I do not need more interviews from her, and I definitely do not need her to "speak directly to the American people." I do need for other people to seriously look at all of the very critical issues that face us today and explain to me how they believe that a McCain/Pallin ticket can lead this country where it needs to go.

    October 3, 2008 at 9:52 pm |
  50. lampe

    Obama, is the one who should be ashamed of himself. He is the man you all want for POTUS, this man who doesn't know how many states we have. And why shouldn't Gov. Palin's husband be allowed to help her campaign. Obama and Biden's wives have been out on the campaign trail, and so has Cindy McCain. you people are doing nothing more then nit-picking. Biden, tried so hard to cry last night, because he knew he was losing. There's nothing worse then a man tries to cry, and doesn't shed a tear. I think all you Obama Supporter's are starting to see that this is not the sure win, you might think it's going to be. Sam, maybe you should read a book, or at least know how to spell, before you blog about someone else's faults.

    October 3, 2008 at 9:14 pm |
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