So the vice presidential debate was, apparently, a civil affair in which neither candidate made a gaffe big enough to give the win to the other. Palin was well spoken, and gave some good rehearsed answers, I guess. Apparently she did not answer every question, or at least she didn’t answer the questions how Biden and Ifill wanted, but said she was “speaking straight to the American people.” Okay, that’s all well and good, but I’m sure the American people (at least some of them) wanted to hear her answers to the questions she did not answer outright or completely. I cannot really comment on the debate because again I am in a place where I did not get to watch it, but I am not surprised by its outcome. So much had been made of this debate that it was destined to disappoint.
It was being heralded as the make or break point of Palin’s career. There was a scrutiny being placed on her performance that would then offer immediate judgment as to her ability to handle the national stage in prime time. The general consensus was that if she did not explode, she would be considered to have held her own. And apparently, that is exactly what happened. She did not explode, nor was she able to goad Biden into self-destructing.
Palin called him out, mocked him and chided him, but Biden would not take the bait. This was the smartest thing he could have done, if not very exciting. Had Biden focused his attacks on Palin instead of McCain he would have run the risk of being condescending and sexist–simply because she is a woman with less experience who in recent days has had even her staunches supporters questioning her intelligence. To appear as an attacker and misogynist would have hurt Biden, and the Obama/Biden campaign at large. So he played it smart and safe, and directed his attacks at McCain.
After all the hoopla concerning this debate, and the test it was supposed to be, I feel let down. I wanted this debate to mean something, or at least to demonstrate Palin’s ineptitudes to a larger audience. Didn’t get that though. Hell, we didn’t even get a real clear winner as some exit polls show Palin won, and others show Biden. And even in those showing Biden won, some of the people polled said that Palin did better than expected. That is not hard to believe either as all she had to do to do “better than expected” was speak clearly and maintain a single train of thought for each question. That is a simple task, and one, at least in this case, that she was able to accomplish.
Thankfully it does not seem to be enough to really change the minds of people, or sway undecided ones to her and McCain’s cause.