Watch the full debate now:
A few observations about the Vice Presidential Debate last Thursday…
1. The VP candidates are better debaters than their running mates.
In the first debate, Obama came off like he was trying to incite McCain to anger, while McCain didn’t show great confidence even on foreign policy questions where his experience smokes Obama. Overall, there wasn’t a focus on the actual issues being debated.
By contrast, Palin and Biden debated without interrupting each other or resorting to personal attacks. It was worth watching, and over 70 million Americans did.
2. Joe Biden is a force to be reckoned with.
Conservative media, particularly Sean Hannity and the RNC (see their website NotYourAverageJoseph.com), have mistakenly portrayed Biden as a buffoon. This U.S. Senator knows a lot, and he shares his knowledge tactfully.
3. Sarah Palin is a smart, likable leader.
Even many Republicans were doubting this after Palin’s recent interviews with Katie Couric and Charlie Gibson. Yet Palin has a strong command of the issues and relevant facts, with the added plus of being a Washington outsider who calls out blatant political deception when she sees it.
Inexperienced in government? No, Palin managed a $6.6 billion budget as governor of the largest U.S. state. Inexperienced at the media “gotcha” game? Absolutely, as we’ve seen these past weeks.
4. Gwen Ifill was a non-factor.
Except, she did seem to give Biden the last word on a majority of the questions. I will not spend time here to take Ifill’s employer (PBS) to task and challenge why taxpayers are funding the left-leaning programming on NPR and PBS… perhaps another day.
5. This election will be very close.
Neither campaign is doing a stellar job of presenting their message. In the final analysis, Biden got enough of his facts wrong to make his very authoritative statements suspect.
Meanwhile, Palin failed to clearly connect the dots that Obama+Biden = Big Government. Since a majority of Americans believe government is the problem not the solution, the race could change quickly if McCain/Palin continually reinforce this core conviction of their platform.
2008 will surely be a lot like 2004 (when a few thousand Ohio voters determined the next president) and 2000 (when a few hundred in Florida decided who would lead the free world). Except this year, there are over 10 “swing states.”
Make your voice heard and register to vote if you haven’t already.