It is intersting to note the post-debate polling all shows that Senator Joe Biden won the debate this evening. Yet it is worth noting that Governor Sarah Palin did not lose either. The reason for this is more significant than anything that was actaully said tonight.
The expecations for Gov.Palin were so low, going into the debate tonight, that all she had to do for Republicans to be able to claim a victory was not fall down, pee her pants and set the stage on fire. Seriously.
What we saw tonight was a politician that has shown she is very good at memorizing talking points and repeating them relatively in the right context. Had moderator Gwen Ifill actaully asked any follow-up questions, forcing Palin off-script, we would have seen enough disasterous material to keep Tina Fey well employed for years.
Joe Biden had one task tonight, ok two tasks. The first was not put his foot in his mouth with any major gaffes. The second was to hammer home the point that there is essentially no difference between John McCain and George W. Bush. He managed to accomplish both, relatively easily.
And as much as Pat Buchanon is on MSNBC desperately trying to convince people that Palin won on "energy", the facts are clearly proving otherwise. Her "spunkiness" came across as forced and fake, her folksy manner failed to connect, and by halfway through the debate started to grate. Three different network commentators have compared her to a contestant in a spelling bee. Only able to work off of what she had memorized, unable to stray from her script.
By comparison, Joe Biden who often comes across like an out of control fire hose, firing ten differnet directions at once, was poised, clear, direct and had what polls show was the the most connecting moment of the debate.
Joe Biden won tonight Here is the one moment says it all as to why.