Okay, we're watching it on CNN simply because David Gergen is on that channel, and I quite frankly find him to be the most credible talking head on TV.
I'll keep posting and updating as the night goes on.
Biden is boring.
Palin is nervous.
CNN has that graph thingie tracking Ohio uncommitted voters, split by males and females. It's interesting to see the split.
Okay, she is not answering the questions. She's tracking huge talking about moms and dads on the sidelines of soccer games worrying about their finances, talking directly to the camera. Biden, making a huge error, is indeed answering the questions, and toward Gwen Ifill.
Oh my god, she has just said she is not going to answer the questions "the way you or the moderator want me to" because she is going to talk "directly to the American people." Wow. She has just gone balls out telling us that she does not plan to answer the questions! Holy mother of god!
Okay, back to the tracker graph. The uncommitted men of Ohio are sheep. They track high on hating deregulation, but also track high when she talks about getting the government off their backs. You can't hate and love the same thing, Ohio men!
I have no idea how this whole thing is going to play out. It's mystifying, to be honest, because she simply does not answer the questions, she simply pivots to her own talking point without even an attempt to answer even the general outline of the question. Oh yeah, Palin's got cojones, all right. But not the courageous kind; the chutzpah kind.
More to Come...
OH MY GOD! She gave a one word answer, "No" and then said, "now I want to talk more about my record." She's tracking huge talking about energy independence from foreign oil. Climate change? "I don't want to argue about the causes," the important thing is to figure out what we're going to do about it. Biden is tracking huge talking about clean coal. Palin just used the "Drill, baby, Drill" and thank god no one responded.
Okay, I've got to give it to Ohio men, they held steady as Biden said that there would be no distinction in an Obama administration between committed couples, whether gay or straight. However, they also went huge for not redefining traditional marriage.
On to foreign policy:
Biden is rocking the house with his line to have the Iraqis spend their own money and use their own troops. Palin is in the basement with her "your plan for Iraq is a white flag of surrender." Sweetie, no one is convincing Americans that ending this war is a bad thing. Not even you.
Regarding "funding for the troops," she just keeps repeating a lie, that Barack Obama voted against funding for the troops, failing to note that John McCain voted against that same bill. Biden keeps correcting her and she keeps repeating it.
Aha! She said nuk-u-lar! I was waiting for it. Republicans can't say nuclear, any more than they can remember that we are not the "Democrat Party." She has said "Ahmadinejad" about 12 times, perhaps thinking that if she says it enough we will think she has thought deeply about it.
Okay, now we're on to Israel. Two state solution, says Palin. Tries to link the holocaust with diplomacy toward Iran. Biden is just so far beyond Palin in his knowledge of this issue and our Israel policy. Whether that will matter to the average person, who knows? But Biden just knows his shit inside and out on this..as evidenced by his actual answers to Ifill's actual questions. Palin's answer? She applauds Biden's support of Israel.
Palin has yet to drool on herself, which will mean of course that the debate will be called in her favor, even though she has answered--actually answered--maybe two questions. She's calling out Obama for saying that we're bombing villages and killing civilians in Afghanistan. Biden corrects her.
More forpol coming up...
More program notes: Biden loves to point with his pen. Palin loves to smile and get all chatty-looking when she's saying something anti-Obama/Biden. She has a habit of winking too. I'm wondering if that's a turnon for male voters or a turnoff? It's a massive turnoff for me.
She just said that John McCain "knows how to win a war." Which war is that, now?
Ifill just "went there." If "the worst happened" and you ended up as President, how would your administration differ from that of the top of your ticket? What an ugly--but I suppose necessary--question. Palin is tracking high on her "Wasilla mainstreet" talk.
Oh my god. She just did a "shout out" to the kids in some school like she's on a radio call-in show. Again, will middle America find that endearing? I don't know. But it's not entirely comforting to me thinking of her as a potential president.
Another note: for all the drama about Gwen Ifill, IMHO she has done a perfectly fine job as moderator. Fair, no-nonsense and completely professional.
Biden just nails it when he disagrees with Cheney's definition of the office of the Vice President. I'm going to try to youtube it for you because it is so well said.
They were asked about their Achilles Heel as VP. Palin is now discussing her experience. She is saying "mom, special needs kid..." as her qualifications. Biden just spoke frankly about being a single parent when his wife and daughter died, leaving his sons critically injured. His voice broke a little, and I hope that doesn't hurt him a la Muskie. I hope we're in a different era. Palin is smart enough to leave that alone and just move on to her talking points.
Biden is just laying it out tonight: "John McCain, God love him, has not been a maverick on the issues that matter to people."
I really want this to end now. Is that wrong to say? I'm over this now.
The question is How Will You Change the Tone in Washington? Biden says he'll work as VP to return to the days of not questioning other people's motives but rather their judgment. Palin's answer is ... I don't know. She's talking about building infrastructure and cutting taxes.
Her final statement is "Proud to be American. Fight for our freedoms." Quoting Reagan.
Biden's final statement is about how he and Barack measure progress by how people can pay their bills, how America has credibility at home and around the world. When you get knocked down, get up. It's time for America to get up together.
More after the pundits get started...
Okay, just one question that will perhaps be considered terribly sexist. Why is a brand new baby up at 10:40pm?! In a university auditorium?! That poor infant! Can't they just let the kid go to sleep in a nice quiet place? I'm just wondering whether I would have taken my months-old baby with me to such an event, preferring instead to let her sleep at home or at least in a safe, quiet place.
More and better stuff than mine over at TPM: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/221584.php
Okay. Really. The baby is still up at 11:10pm, being held by his sister, having his little hand waved at the crowd. Somebody put this baby to bed! Oh my god! I know I'm stuck on this, but it is bugging me.