Assessing the Biden-Palin Debate
Viewers and pundits are weighing in on the vice presidential debate between Alaska GOP Gov. Sarah Palin and Democratic contender Del. Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr.
U.S. News & World Report said that most polls and focus groups declared Sen. Joseph Biden the "clear winner" in the vice presidential debate with Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on Thursday night.
Palin entered the debate as the central focus, amid uncertainty over how she would perform. According to the Chicago Tribune, Gov. Palin did well at reinforcing her reputation as a "charismatic, composed performer." Debate watchers noted, however, that Palin often avoided questions by steering her answers toward issues on which she felt more comfortable, such as energy policy. "She resuscitated herself, but I'm not sure she did quite enough to do anything for John McCain,"
Sen. Biden's task during the debate was to remain "disciplined."
"In the end, voters were able to see two distinct personalities, with two different styles," the San Jose Mercury News concluded.
Some conservative criticism arose during the latter half of the debate, relating to foreign policy, especially the U.S.-led efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan—sentiments echoed on more Biden-friendly sites, such as Talking Points Memo and Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish.
The candidates' discussion of Iraq took on an especially personal tone as both candidates have sons deployed or on their way to active duty in Iraq. Palin’s son Track left for Iraq earlier in September, while Biden’s son Beau is scheduled to leave today.