Palin Debate – Immediate Reaction

October 2, 2008

A few quick notes:

– Palin was nowhere near as much of a disaster as I expected her to be. But I think she was far too folksy and flustered to be taken seriouly by most voters, especially with a normal politician there for contrast.

– 3 out of 4 of the people on the two major party tickets think there is an ‘r’ in the word ‘Washington’. This is profoundly depressing.

– Palin lapsed into Couric-interview-level incoherence only once or twice, most severely during her attempt to talk about global warming. This is, again, much better than I predicted, but it will be new to many viewers; this was a much higher rated event than the much dicussed CBS interviews

– Joe Biden pretending to be on the verge of tears reminded me of why I wish I never had to look at Joe Biden again, but I think that was probably a very effective moment for him, and I think Palin did a terrible job responding to it.

Bottom line: I expect the net effect of tonight will be to hurt the McCain-Palin ticket, but the damage will be fairly minor. This is a much better outcome than I would have expected for McCain, but a much worse outcome than McCain needed, given how little time he has left to contest this election.

UPDATE 11:20PM: I forgot to mention – What was Biden thinking with his bit about never questioning another politician’s motives? Expect a YouTube juxtaposing that with his claims that Obama “voted against funding the troops” for political reasons, hitting the Democratic ticket in two spots at once.

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