Liveblogging the Palin-Biden Vice-Presidential Debate!

[Final] The more I hear “ya know, people don’t really vote for the Vice-President” from Dem-leaning analysts, the more I will think that Palin “won”. If I had to make a lame sports analogy, I would say that Palin pitched a scoreless 7th with her team one run down.
[10:33] Nothing remarkable in the closing statements.
[10:27] Palin’s answer of I don’t need to compromise because I can be bipartisan is not a model of coherence.
[10:25] Biden says his decision to apply ideological litmus tests to judges was a change away from what he previously believed.
[10:24] Good emotional appeal by Biden in response to the “maverick” issue.
[10:22] …except she just choked while trying to force “McCain” and “maverick” into her answer yet again.
[10:20] If you’re into it’s all about expectations reasoning, Palin is winning the last third of this debate with safe but coherent answers.
[10:18] I predict lots of chatter from the more serious parts of the blogosphere tomorrow that Biden’s answer on the VP, the executive and the legislative branch was just Joe being Joe.
[10:15] Still here. Just not finding anything worth typing about.
[10:13] If I’m lucky, I’ll lose my connection again during this “what’s the importance of the Vice-President” question.
[10:10] Lost my connection for a second. Fortunately, it was during the stupid how-would-your-administration-be-different-from-your-running-mate’s question.
[10:08] Biden just criticized the Bush doctrine he tacitly endorsed in his previous answer. Just Joe being Joe, I guess.
[10:05] Biden is pretty much articulating the Bush doctrine right now, we should intervene if we think we can make a difference, and countries that harbor terrorists lose the full protection of sovereignty.
[10:04] Palin supports a no-fly zone in Darfur.
[10:03] Biden supports pretty direct military involvement in Darfur.
[10:00] The pool camera-guy gave Palin a good angle on her answer on counter-insurgency principles! She cowed Biden for a moment, then he defaulted over to fibilbuster mode.
[9:57] Palin’s answer on nukes: see my comment at 9:24.
[9:54] What’s Biden’s point on Israel? I got the we’ll stand behind Israel part. But we’ll stand behind Israel and then…
[9:51] Biden’s point about Spain saves his substantively incoherent answer.
[9:49] To use the progressive lingo, Ifill goes with the Obama “frame” on pre-conditions and negotiations. Palin gets the anwer right, but probably too subtly for most of the public to pick up on.
[9:48] On no, it’s the preconditions issue again…
[9:46] Ifill is a terrible moderator. Lots of charged, contentious stuff is left hanging there, and she just moves on.
[9:44] Call me biased, but I don’t think the “McCain voted to cut off funding for the troops” charge is going to stick.
[9:42] Wait…calling the Obama plan a “surrender” is a pretty strong charge. How will Biden respond…
[9:41] I’m not learning anything new from either candidate’s Iraq answer.
[9:38] No support for gay marriage from either candidate. Andrew Sullivan might have a fit about Biden saying he doesn’t support gay marriage, then going on to say he supports full civil rights for gay couples — if Biden were a Republican, of course.
[9:36] I’m still confused on the clean coal issue.
[9:33] Will Ifill push Biden on his clean-coal answer? Stay tuned…
[9:32] But the mention of the Alaska climate-change sub-cabinet is fair. It does involve actual governing.
[9:31] Palin obviously doesn’t like talking about the details of climate change.
[9:27] Biden is winning on the who’s a better financial-industry reformer question because he’s being more specific.
[9:24] Palin has mastered the art of the televised debate: give good, coherent statements, even if they’re only marginally related to the questions.
[9:22] Biden is apparently going to pay for $700B in new spending by not cutting taxes.
[9:20] Let me get this straight. Biden wants us to be shocked that health insurers will receive the payments for health insurance?
[9:18] Palin should be asking is a Fannie Mae for healthcare a good idea? Otherwise, a pretty good defense of the McCain tax plan.
[9:15] I don’t believe the “no one under $250,000 will see a tax-increase” claim. Isn’t the Obama tax plan based on a child tax-credit?
[9:12] Neither side is glorifying themselves on substance…
[9:09] Palin noticably relaxes whe she doesn’t feel she has to work McCain’s name into her answer. SO STOP TRYING TO FORCE IT IN.
[9:08] Good defense against Biden’s canned talking point against McCain.
[9:06] Palin was doing well until she started robotically mentioning McCain’s name.
[9:03] First gaffe is Ifill’s — the bailout “passing” the House on Monday!
[9:02] No book promo in Gwen Ifill’s intro.
[9:00] Chances are, either the race is even tomorrow, or conservatives are on day #1 of planning for the aftermath, so this is a good night to do a liveblog.

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Justin Katz
12 years ago

A thought on Ifill: I disagree that it was an unwise choice from Republicans. She’s so in the spotlight to be fair that she may lean the other way and avoid too-harsh questions.

Monique
12 years ago

Re cause of financial problem, her answer was fine otherwise but why did Palin miss the opportunity to point to the biggest culprit: Bill Clinton?

Greg
Greg
12 years ago

I’m done. Listening to her is like watching “Fargo” while drunk, donchaknow.

Justin Katz
12 years ago

Not sure, by the way, why she let Biden make deregulation the only villain.

Monique
12 years ago

Is it a strategy? Looks like Biden will focus on attacking McCain, unless he has to criticize Palin.

Justin Katz
12 years ago

Aww, Greg, you’re just frustrated that Obama’s starting to look more scary than warm and fuzzy and you’re resisting the need to vote the other way.

Justin Katz
12 years ago

And Joe Biden reminds me why I’ve never bothered to watch these debates before.

Monique
12 years ago

YES! Thank you, Gwen, for again asking what campaign promises the candidates will have to give up as president in view of the bailout.

Justin Katz
12 years ago

Great move Biden: “And John McCain… well, I’m not sure of this, but maybe… doesn’t support that.” (Paraphrasing.)

Monique
12 years ago

Senator, you are deluded about anthropogenic global warming.

Greg
Greg
12 years ago

Actually, Justin. If I don’t vote Obama, I’ll be voting for the Constitution Party.

Justin Katz
12 years ago

These things ought to have commercials.

Monique
12 years ago

“I’m still confused on the clean coal issue.”
It’s easy, Andrew. Biden was opposed to it until someone reminded him that the campaign probably shouldn’t flush Penn and Ohio.

Justin Katz
12 years ago

We’ll have to wait for the transcript to check, but it seems to me that Ifill is giving Biden the final word quite a bit and then changing the subject dramatically.

Monique
12 years ago

Ha! Greg, she pronounces it “nucular” …

Justin Katz
12 years ago

I hope somebody in the McCain campaign has the DVR running and caught Biden saying “talk, talk, talk.” That’s YouTube fodder if ever there was such.

Justin Katz
12 years ago

I got the feeling for moment on the “looking back” hit that Biden might have let his tongue loose a bit if Palin had stopped her spiel a little shorter.

Monique
12 years ago

Great aggressive comment by Palin on Afghanistan. Biden answers defensively.

Justin Katz
12 years ago

Another last word for Biden.

Monique
12 years ago

Yup. And he didn’t ask for it – in fact, he wasn’t really prepared to say something.

Greg
Greg
12 years ago

Rule #1: Can’t pronounce “Nuclear” you can’t have the football.
BTW, the closed captioning spelled it correctly.

Justin Katz
12 years ago

I’ve been listening, and she’s actually somewhere between “nucular” and “nucleeear.” Might be how the pronunciation shifted.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
12 years ago

Justin-I was wrong,apparently about Ifill-she isn’t trying to bag Palin anymore than Biden-maybe she is really worried about being seen as biased for a monetary reason

Justin Katz
12 years ago

Oooo. Tantalizing from Palin: “The Constitution allows a bit more authority for the Vice President who wants it.” (Paraphrasing.)

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
12 years ago

Greg-YAH,a little reminiscent of Marge Gunderson,but that connects more with people than that inside the beltway crap coming out of Biden-he might impress Jack Reed,though.
Monique-“nucular”-ARGH!!

Justin Katz
12 years ago

Too many of Ifill’s questions are in the style of a lame job-interviewer.

Greg
Greg
12 years ago

Biden stomped her on the Veep question

Monique
12 years ago

(In case anyone missed it, she’s from an energy-producing state.)

Greg
Greg
12 years ago

At 10:22 she reached “Maverick” maximum occupancy.

Justin Katz
12 years ago

Why does Biden keep looking like he’s reading from notes, even on ostensibly unexpected questions?

Chuck
12 years ago

It’s not my style, but I think we are going to find that, at the end of the day, Palin will give McCain a boost after this debate. Some might even say she won. She at least held her own and did no damage.

Anthony
Anthony
12 years ago

Anyone else get the impression that Biden would fit better as a third party on the McCain-Palin ticket? He seems to agree more with them than with Barack Obama.
Ifill has done a good job playing it fair.

George
George
12 years ago

Did anyone notice that Palin mostly looked at the camera whereas Biden mostly looked at the moderator? THIS is why Palin connected so well. You have to look people in the eye for them to trust you. Don’t trust those that don’t or won’t.

George
George
12 years ago

Did anyone notice that Palin mostly looked at the camera whereas Biden mostly looked at the moderator? THIS is why Palin connected so well. You have to look people in the eye for them to trust you. Don’t trust those that don’t or won’t.

Will
12 years ago

They let Sarah be Sarah, and it worked wonderfully. She not only kept up with him, but she out-shined him.
I love when she said “government is not the solution to our problem” and the other Reaganesque allusions she made. The Reagan quotation in her closing remarks was just out of the ball park.
I think Ifill tried to be fair. She’s a full-blown liberal, so that’s a tall order. That being said, I didn’t really detect any “gotcha” questions.
However, I agree that it seems that Ifill let Biden have the last word a lot more often, where a quick follow-up by Palin would have sufficed. Most likely, it was due to the 5 minute total time limit per question — and also that he’s a windbag who probably sucked up her time.
The only time in the entire debate where I think she could have done better, was to more directly address that deregulation question, because I think she could have turned it around and used it better against him. It wasn’t a big deal though. The actual answers she gave were better and more informative anyway.
Her answers on the health care questions were wonderful.
“Biden stomped her on the Veep question”
He cited the wrong Article of the Constitution, regarding the job of VP. He actually said at least 5 things that I caught that I’m sure are going to get fact checked and used against him. I won’t call them gaffes, I would call them untruths.
After the debate was over, did anyone hear Biden say to Gov. Palin:
“Please governor, may I please have my a@@ back?!”
That might have just been in my mind. 🙂
It was a GREAT night!

Anthony
Anthony
12 years ago

Will,
Ultimately, I think Sarah Palin had an advantage in this debate. She actually believed in the positions she was promoting.
Biden was in a more difficult position. He was defend positions held by Obama with which he disagrees.
To Biden’s credit, he made all the points that he was supposed to make.
But Biden reminded me of a defense lawyer defending a client in a case where everyone knows the defandant is guilty.
The defense lawyer goes into the courtroom and puts on the best case he can, even though jury can see that the defense lawyer himself knows that the defendant is guilty.
You respect the defense lawyer for doing his job, but at the end of the day, the defendant still goes to jail.
Palin won because she was genuine and articulated her beliefs. Biden lost because he came across as someone trying to convince voters to believe in something in which he himself didn’t believe.
That’s a tough hurdle to overcome.

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