Here’s a few parting thoughts…
First, that Joe Biden is a charming son of a gun when he wants to be. And when he is on his home ground — law — he is superb, even though I feel he has done some dreadful things with that skill.
I do think that his reactions toward Palin ELEVATED her somehow. He seemed to regard her with real affection at times, and I didn’t get any of the sneering condescension I got with Charlie and Katie. His ability to laugh with her was the first time I have seen ANY Democrat or media maven treat her with anything more than veiled contempt. It was good to watch.
Certainly, I feel we avoided a Palin MELTDOWN. I do feel she needed to address the questions more head on. There were moments when I felt she was struggling a little, and my general criticism of Sarah was that she was more vague than I would have like to see.
That said, this is the first time since the RNC stage that I have seen that raw enthusiasm that you are going to either love or hate. I love it. How will it play in American living rooms? I just don’t know. What I do know — from 2 years on high school debate teams — is that the very format of these things heavily favors lawyers and their skills. There are only a few politicians without those skills that can succeed in these contests. Reagan did. I believe that GWB mostly did not.
So how will Sarah rank? Biden’s been debating almost as long as Sarah Palin has been out of diapers. I think there was no question that he was more substantial than she was, but I also think that Sarah did go a long way to refute the notion that she’s an empty-headed swimsuit model.
Here’s the big imponderable: she had her common-person energy and enthusiasm out there in spades. When I hear a politician say things like “doggone it!” or “her reward is in heaven,” well, it just makes me feel good. Biden skillfully twisted most everything Obama has actually done — that’s a good lawyer.
So which will play better? Lawyer polish or Alaskan mom? I guess we’ll just have to see. But I DO believe, emphatically, that a disastrous performance on her part would have ended the campaign, and I most certainly do not think we saw anything like that this evening.
Thanks for letting me play along with the big kids, Kathryn.