Tonight's VP Debate
As bad as Palin's been all week, we knew that she couldn't live down to that level of ineptitude tonight. Literally anything she said tonight wouldn't be as bad as everything she said to Katie Couric. As it turned out, that's pretty much what happened: as expected, she exceeded expectations.
But what does that mean? She didn't make any stupid statements. Her statements and arguments were almost devoid of content. As before, she adhered very closely to her preloaded talking points, including repetetive claims that she and McBush are "mavericks". Lucky thing we weren't playing the Palin drinking game tonight. Nevertheless, content or no, she was perky, spunky, and stuck with her scripted persona. It was like watching Biden try to debate Kelly Ripa.
Biden, on the other hand, was great. There were a few points where his remarks probably got deeper into the details of what happens in the Senate than was good for him. On the other hand, he displayed a breadth of knowledge, judgment, and a commitment to the real people of the United States that was very impressive. One of the television commentators said it was the best debate of his life, and I'm prepared to accept it. While in past years he's come across as a lightweight, too fond of the cute smile and quip, tonight, he was a statesman.
The TV commentators were observing that Palin's performance were designed to, and did, shore up support among the Republican base. Maybe so, but that's fine with me. At this stage in the campaign, if the ticket that's behind has to devote this effort to shoring up the base, that means they're not passing, or even catching up, they're just trying to avoid losing any more ground. Maybe they did that, but that's probably not good enough for them.