I just typed out a full, brilliant blog post that my computer decided to replace with the letter C. Hopefully that's not an omen for the day.
Anyway, I thought that last night's debate went exactly as I thought it was going to. I know that people usually see what they think they're going to see, so perhaps my rightness isn't exactly surprising. But I really was right about last night.
First, Biden cam across as calm, prepared, and ready to go. He had the facts ready to go and continually hit McCain as being the second coming of George Bush. For the most part, he pretty much ignored that Palin was even on the ticket, which was probably a smart choice. I thought Biden did a great job presenting his case. His "John McCain is not a maverick" series was just great.
Palin was exactly what I thought she would be. There was never a point where she was reduced to the babbling that has become her hallmark during network television interviews. That being said, I did think she came across as someone who'd spent the night cramming for a test rather than someone who actually understood the basic facts and realities. Her down-homeness was on full blast as every answer seemed to incorporate "ya know", "you betcha", "darn right", and a talking point that had little to do with the actual question being asked.
I liked the moment in the debate where Palin said something along the lines of how Biden kept looking backward to the Bush years rather than focus on McCain. Of course, Palin never once during the debate offered a single instance in which McCain differed from Bush on major foreign or domestic policies. I wish Biden had made a bigger deal of that.
The CNN post-debate poll showed that people mostly agreed with me. A majority said that Biden won the debate, but that Palin was more likable. The most telling detail, though, was that while 87% of people thought Biden was qualified for the job, only 42% said the same for Palin. You betcha there's a leadership gap there. I'm just surprised that she got up to 42%.