Palin Lives Up to Low Expectations

The vice presidential debate is over and the analysis is beginning. Predictably, those who liked Palin before like her now and those who liked Biden before like him now. In a poll taken immediately after the debate by CBS News/Knowledge Networks uncommitted voters say Biden won. To try to get an unbiased look at the debate I turned to Politco.com.

Here's some debate analysis from writers John F. Harris and Mike Allen that says Palin met the low expectations set for her and that the McCain campaign needs more help than Palin can bring:
ST. LOUIS — Millions of Americans were watching Thursday night’s vice-presidential debate waiting for a demolition derby moment — another crash by GOP running mate Sarah Palin, another serving of raw material for the writers at "Saturday Night Live." By that standard, she got out alive, though there were white-knuckle moments along the way: questions that were answered with painfully obvious talking points that betrayed scant knowledge of the issue at hand, and sometimes little relevance to the question that had been asked.
But recent days have given John McCain’s team little reason to suppose that not-that-bad is good enough. The Republican ticket’s sliding polls and narrowing electoral map gave it a different imperative in her showdown against Joe Biden. That was to alter the trajectory of the race in a way reminiscent of how Palin first enlivened Republicans—it seems long ago now—when she joined the ticket in late August.
What is little talked about this morning but is frightening is Palin thinks Cheney somehow changed the U.S. Constitution and thinks the Vice President now has  more control over running the Senate.
I'm thankful the Constitution would allow a bit more authority given to the vice president if that vice president so chose to exert it in working with the Senate and making sure that we are supportive of the president's policies and making sure too that our president understands what our strengths are.
Let's go back to Harris and Allen at Politico for an unvarnished look at Palin's performance.
To the contrary, it is hard to count any objective measures by which Biden did not clearly win the encounter. She looked like she was trying to get people to take her seriously. He looked like he was running for vice president. His answers were more responsive to the questions, far more detailed and less rhetorical. On at least ten occasions, Palin gave answers that were nonspecific, completely generic, pivoted away from the question at hand, or simply ignored it: on global warming, an Iraq exit strategy, Iran and Pakistan, Iranian diplomacy, Israel-Palestine (and a follow-up), the nuclear trigger, interventionism, Cheney's vice presidency and her own greatest weakness.Asked which is a greater threat, a nuclear Pakistan or a nuclear Iran, Palin seemed to be stalling, or writing a term paper, when she said: “An armed, nuclear armed especially Iran is so extremely dangerous to consider.”
The bottom line is today's vote in the House on the financial rescue or bailout is making last night's debate forgettable pretty quickly.  Every poll now shows Obama leading McCain in electoral votes continuing an upward trend for Obama-Biden.

The next debate is Obama versus McCain on Tuesday October 7.