Thursday, October 2, 2008

Early Response to Biden-Palin Debate

The question coming into tonight's debate was whether Sarah Palin would be the clueless disaster she appeared to be in interviews with Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric. Matthew Yglesias of Think Progress nails the key point.

As I predicted yesterday the lack of followups allowed Palin to avoid any Couric-style gaffes. All of her bad screwups in interviews, after all, came during followups. If she becomes president and, miraculously, manages to get through a term in office without ever needing to address a topic outside the three or four things she’s comfortable talking about she might even do a good job.

The conservative pundits (such as MSNBC's Pat Buchanan) are calling this a big win for Palin. I think what we are hearing from them is primarily relief.

I keep seeing conservative commentators on TV calling this a triumph for Palin based on emails they’re getting on the blackberries from other conservatives. But the name of the game is to reach beyond that twentysomething percent of the public that likes George Bush.

Exactly. Early insta-poll results seem to support this:

CBS: Biden 46%, Palin 21%, tie 33%

CNN: Biden 51%, Palin 39%

Final thought well put by Steve Clemons of The Washington Note.

But Joe Biden showed what a steady, thoughtful, capable pro he is. And while Palin didn't have any of the disasters she has had in her recent interviews, she came off as an impressive amateur.

--Ballard Burgher

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