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A Night with Three Victors

By Jon Cohen
Immediate reaction polls should be taken with a load of salt, but two of the best showed tonight's vice presidential showdown had three winners. Both presidential candidates gained ground and moderator Gwen Ifill won points after almost all those tuning in said she had treated the rivals "fairly."

In polls by CBS News of uncommitted voters and by CNN of all debate watchers, more respondents said Democratic Sen. Joe Biden was "the winner." But GOP No. 2, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, scored some important points.

More than eight in 10 voters in the CNN poll said Palin exceeded their expectations. Before the debate, 43 percent of uncommitted voters said Palin is knowledgeable about important issues. After the debate, that figure jumped to 66 percent.

At the same time, both before and after the debate, majorities of those polled by CNN said she lacked the qualifications to be president.

Biden, too, was widely seen as doing better than predicted, and he, like Palin, saw his favorability ratings go up in both polls.

But the bottom line is how many voters will be swayed by the event, and here, the preliminary evidence suggests that not many will; 71 percent of uncommitted voters in the CBS poll said they remained so after the debate. Among those who said they had shifted, slightly more said they tilted Democratic (18 to 10 percent).

By Web Politics Editor  |  October 3, 2008; 12:08 AM ET
Categories:  The Debates , The Pollster  
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Next: Candidate Reaction: September Jobs Report


I am a Republican who has voted for every Republican Presidential candidate since Nixon. I've served at the local level as a Republican elected official. I believe the Republican Party of today has failed the broad middle class. The Republican Party of today makes up names (like the unitary executive theory) to justify not following the law. US prosecutors are fired for reasons that I find to be totally unjustifiable. Republicans continue to press to privatize social security which would be a horrible disaster for those over the age of 45 who have paid in for 25 or 30 years into the system. The Republicans have today, I am afraid, turned into the party of "I've got mine - and I don't want anyone else to get a piece of the pie." I'd just like one person to tell me where Republican policies are not based on greed, selfishness, fear, hate, envy, and anger. This is why I will most likely vote for Democratic Party candidates in November.

Posted by: Fred30 | October 5, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

It is highly perplexing to see Americans declare - and be happy - Sarah Palin to have passed the "test" while the whole world is amazed and amused at the "state" - standard - of the US to have gone down so low that it is willing to accept anybody with below mediocre performance.

Time to introspect, America, else soon we all would be actually living in a "Post-American" world!

Posted by: AnjuChandel | October 5, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Gwen Ifill would be a better choice for the VP slot than either of those chosen. She is the Barbara Jordan of our time and always straight with the public. After years of watching PBS I have never found a time where I was right and she was wrong. That's a hard admission to make and I have to respect her opinions even if I disagree.

Posted by: anOPINIONATEDsob | October 4, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Lauraa, I assume you did not see the video about Obama that they showed at the Democratic convention. That tells his story about fighting for poor etc. Here's a link:

Also, re his constitutional knowledge, he was a constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago Law School, one of America's top law school. He was editor of the Harvard Law Review, the most prestigious law review in the country.

Please watch that video. I think you'll be impressed. He's a good person.

Best regards,


Posted by: PhilaMike | October 3, 2008 11:49 PM | Report abuse


Thanks for the response.

Could you provide me some concrete examples relative to 'McCain and Palin lack the intellect and fully-considered judgement needed to restore health and credibility to this country' versus the Archilles you mentioned? This example you gave doesn't carry any weight what so ever from a political standpoint.

Aslo,'His history proves it, his career has been fighting for the middle class and poor. Plus, he actually has a very high level of knowldege about the contitution'. ** Where are you getting this information from as I would be very interested in reading the information for myself.


Posted by: lauraa | October 3, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

lauraa, you are wrong to suspect my views about Palin are sexist. I think Christie Whitman, former governor of New Jersey, (and many other women) would be excellent candidates. I have no compunction about voting for a woman. But I won't vote for a smug, self-satisfied, "hockey mom (or even a stupid hockey dad) who has made clear that they are LIGHTWEIGHTS and not very intelligent. The fact that you can be a governor means nearly nothing. Bush was a governor. Jesse Ventura was a governor. In my book, the fact you can become a governor doesn't mean you don't lack intelligence. And Palin clearly lacks it. (She didn't even know what Achille's heel meant. Just one small example). I appreciate your fervor, but there is a greater chance that every person in Canada will pledge allegiance to France tomorrow morning than that I will not be voting for Obama.

Posted by: PhilaMike | October 3, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Hey PhilaMike,

If you look up to 2005 there was economic growth in the US economy considering the 9/11 attacks onwards. Also keep in mind, 9/11 is now only a reminder of the next imminent attack that will occur on US soil. With a bailout issue on everyones minds, don't forget that McCain, years ago was pushing for more regulation of the bailout companies at hand. Obviously his voice was overruled by the majority. Doesn't mean he he didn't see the issue at hand. You can say the same for Obama on differnet issues as well.

Point being: you cannot say that McCain will be a duplicate of Bush.

I don't question Obama's sincerity to make an attempt to change the U.S. With that, the same can be spoken for Palin and McCain. Palin, as well, with an excellent track record of reform and cleansing. Just remember, Palin has been on the scene for only a few months with limited public interviews for us to observe her. Obama has be campaigning for well over a year to you feel comfortable with his behaviours and deliveries. Could it possibly be the underlying fear of having a female president not fitting the bill (picture) make you uneasy as well?

One last comment, you make a statement, 'And McCain and Palin lack the intellect and fully-considered judgement needed to restore health and credibility to this country'. Can you give me some direct examples of this?

Your comment, 'His history proves it, his career has been fighting for the middle class and poor. Plus, he actually has a very high level of knowldege about the contitution'. ** Where are you getting this information from as I would be very interested in reading the information for myself.

Well, I must say that I am absoutely concerned about the outcome of the US's economy as well as it ultimately affects the Canadian markets, directly and indirectly, through time.

Take care.

Posted by: lauraa | October 3, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

lauraa, I will only say a few last things. The last 8 years is the evidence of what the trickle down theory has done. We're worse off, and jobs are disappearing by the tens of thousands every month. And add to that the highest deficit in the history of the universe, probably by a factor of twenty or more. We also invaded a foreign country that wasn't threatening us, mainly to keep oil flowing, and McCain has been a stalwart supporter of that fiasco. You say look at "who they are, what they stand for, what they have accomplished and most importantly, the magnitude and depth (deceit) of major judgement calls." I agree. Based on that, in my opinion, there's no contest. McCain and Palin fail on every one. McCain, a basically decent man, made a deal with the devil (Rove, Schmidt, the Bush operatives), requiring him to foresake his principles because he believes, mistakenly, that it's the only way for him to win. And he wants to win at all cost. He is a victim of Bush as much as anyone, but it's too late for him to admit that. But aside from that, he is really not a leader. I respect and am grateful for his service, espcecially as a POW. But that doesn't translate into the abilities needed to lead this country in a better direction (the opposite of where it's headed), to improve lives, and to restore respect to this country (which has zero credibility except for the respect that countries that depend on us are required to give us for self preservation). McCain has stolen Obama's campaign theme ("change") right down to the "not more of the same" slogan. It's pathetic. If McCain is such a change agent, why for 25 years hasn't he fought to make any of the types of changes now under discussion? Obama's not perfect, but I think he's genuine in his commitment to make things better for the masses at the expense of the fat cats who control Washington. His history proves it, his career has been fighting for the middle class and poor. Plus, he actually has a very high level of knowldege about the contitution (the only thing that truly sets this country apart from other democracies), in contrast to McCain and Palin who know only the bare generalities. I will go with the really smart guy who cares because he made his own way from nothing and knows what it's like to be in the other person's shoes.

Posted by: PhilaMike | October 3, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse


Just remember, when making a decision, you need to separate the emotion from the facts. You need to see the facts in their entirety. Lies, deceit & track records are a significant factor. We can get all emotional over a decision and overlooked some obvious facts. If running mates, or more particular, primary candidates flip flop decisions throughout their campaign, red flags do get raised.

Let me be clear. I do believe Obama has a fantastic presence, charm and has excellent public speaking skills and is an extremely likeable candidate. However, taking the personal emotion away, seeing an individual (as you're going to fire back at me saying the same against McCain - just saving you the time) for who they are, what they stand for, what they have accomplished and most importantly, the magnitude and depth (deceit) of major judgement calls, inclusive of much of his proposed policies (which comes to what you believe in - which, by the way, many people overlook as they vote on emotion versus facts) - should be why a decision is being made.

I can only hope you have delved into the policies of Obama, investigated patterns of truths and deceptions along the road to candidacy; and I would highly recommend you scrutinize the sources for your information. The media has done an EXCELLENT job of pursading their audience to a direction they are pushing for. In addition, I would ask that you look at historical perspectives of what raising taxes for businesses (in particular) larger organizations that employee thousands to hundress of thousands of employees does to the market conditions. In essence, this stunts market growth. Large Business - major goal - reduce organizational overhead, which also equates to job & job opportunities. This, in turn, trickles down to the middle class; thereby having a reverse effect on the economy one is trying to stimulate.

Take care PhilaMike.

Posted by: lauraa | October 3, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

All that right-wing picking on Gwen Ifill was ridiculous. She is about the best in America when it comes to this sort of task. Just shows how the McCain campaign is less about issues than about character assasination.

Posted by: MarcMyWords | October 3, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

lauraa, both McCain and Palin have been proven to have lied in this campaign. Even level-headed conservative Republicans have been shocked at the lies in their campaign. "Proven reformers?" Yeah. McCain: member of the Keating Five. Has ALWAYS fought so that Wall Street greed could run amok. Palin: lied through her teeth about the bridge to nowhere, and keeps lying about it. Even most Republicans have conceded that. Lied about numerous other matters as well. Lied directly to reporters in televised interviews. Both McCain and Palin are liars. I agree it's disgraceful for "Mr. Clean POW" to have turned into a liar. But I am going to believe my eyes, not some bullsh_t rhetoric that "I'm a maverick, we're mavericks." The mavericks can go back to the horse farm. I don't want our future in the hands of scumbags who are also dummies. And McCain and Palin lack the intellect and fully-considered judgement needed to restore health and credibility to this country. We already have the class dunce running the country. Eight years ago we could vacation in Canada becuase your dollar was about 60% as valuable as ours. Now they're about even and yours might even be worth more. We don't need any more people from the bottom of the class to "lead" our country. (And military service and being a POW does not translate into good judgment for military strategy or anything else). We need people with very high intelligence. McCain and Palin are sorely lacking, and if enough Americans have learned from the incalculable mistakes of 2000 and 2004, we will never hear of McCain or Palin again. If she's a great governor, then that's wonderful. She can keep on governing Alaska. Feel free to respond, but keep in mind, I am voting for Obama and I have persuaded many other people to do so as well. The same ones I persuaded to vote for John Kerry in 2004. And I guarantee you, not a single one of them (and probably no living person) would ever say they wished they had voted for Bush. Lucky for me, you can't vote here and have no real ability to influence any votes here. But, if you want to tell me how crazy I am to to recognize Palin's "brilliance" or McCain's "integrity," go ahead. I've heard it before.

Posted by: PhilaMike | October 3, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse


Thank you! It is absolutely fantastic to see someone call it for what it is! This is not a pageant contest, about belittling someones personality with condescedning remarks and personal attacks. This is about truths and most importantly, honesty and integrity and getting the job done.


Actually , that’s not ‘how politics works’. That’s called deceit and lies, saying whatever you need to say to get the votes for the election. You have a stance one month and then change it so as to appeal to the audience. Isn’t this why the U.S. citizens no longer believe the politicians anymore? Saying one thing at one moment in time, only to revert back to a previous stance at another so as to please the audience? In our books this is called lies and deception. It’s not ‘just the way politics are’! You finally have someone out there that has a proven track record for tackling corruption, deceit, greed and powerhouses front and centre and all you can say in Biden’s defense is ‘That's how politics works’.

Hmmm, how hypocritical. The very same people that are crying out for change & reform from these politicians are the very same individuals that are so against those that will bring this change to the table.

Posted by: lauraa | October 3, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

JW1944, that is hilarious! Hahahahahaha! You really should try to get a job writing for The Daily Show. Thanks for the hoot!

Posted by: PhilaMike | October 3, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Does a debate really need to be TRUTHFUL? Is that really important? Obviously Sen. Biden doesn't think so. So far he catagorically LIED on 14 points and another 27 points are in question. That would make about 3/4 of what Biden said as UNTRUTHFUL or LIES. Biden's ability to LIE and convince followers that he knows what he saying speaks volumes on what is WRONG with our LEADERS in Government and with US for not holding Biden ACCOUNTABLE for his lies. Shame on us. We can't live in ALTERNATE REALITIES. We MUST hold Biden and all others that practice this brand of DECEPTION accountable. NO...Biden didn't win the debate. He did what Joe Biden and most of the other Congressional Representative DO WELL. He LIED. Governer Palin clearly WON the debate on EVERY ACCOUNT; strategy, tactics, and most importantly TRUTHFULLNESS!! It is important to note that Biden DID UPHOLD the most honorable Obama tradition of DECEPTION and LYING!! Biden IS the PROBLEM...NOT THE SOLUTION!

Posted by: JW1944 | October 3, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse








Posted by: fu_buki | October 3, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse








Posted by: fu_buki | October 3, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

lauraa, George Bush has staggering ignorance as well. The country has "functioned," albeit miserably and embarrassingly, for eight years. Keep in mind, the population of Alaska is TINY. The governor's chief function there is to make certain that Alaskans get oil royalties. It's not exactly rocket science, but it keeps Alaskans happy enough.

Posted by: PhilaMike | October 3, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse








Posted by: fu_buki | October 3, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse


Her 'staggering ignorance'. Wow, how ever has she been able to function in any role, especially as she has been in Alaska? The whole state of Alaska should be in chaos - shouldn't it?

Posted by: lauraa | October 3, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

McCain's campaign pitch boils down to: "George Bush's policies have failed miserably, and therefore, you should trust me, one of his ardent supporters, to fix things." Good luck with that.

Posted by: PhilaMike | October 3, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

seemstone, P.S. I find Palin anything but charming. I think she's a smacked a-s-s, and a smartass and her folksiness is a cover. Just listening to her is like fingernails on a blackboard to me.

Posted by: PhilaMike | October 3, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

seemstone, I must have totally misundertood your prior post because I completely agree with your last one.

Posted by: PhilaMike | October 3, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

You're right Philamike. This is what I really think;

How is it that McCain, Obama, and Biden can do press conferences and not Palin?
Is it that because she's a woman?
Hillary never had any problems. Can you picture her responding the way Palin did with Gibson and Couric?
Unlike Biden, Hillary would have had license to utterly destroy her in this debate.
Like Bush, Palin is almost proud of her ignorance of facts and figures. She relies on folksy charm and generalities to the extent you feel you are watching a beauty contest.
Because of her staggering ignorance of foreign policy, constitutional law, supreme court rullings and the economy, Palin will never pass the presidential sniff test, unless you want George Bush with lipstick.

Posted by: seemstome | October 3, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

seemstome, I don't know who you think shares that candyland view of Palin, but I think it's crap.

Posted by: PhilaMike | October 3, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse


'That's how politics works'. According to who?

Posted by: lauraa | October 3, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

By no stretch of the imagination could Sarah Palin be considered dumb as in lacking intelligence. To the contrary, she is a master debater working with a severe handicap and still manages to be seductively charming and convincing.
What's her handicap? She is breathtakingly ignorant of so many commonly known facts concerning foreign policy, constitutional law, supreme court decisions and the economy.
Yet she dances around issues with such exquisitely folksy charm that we imagine she knows what she does not. We want to believe in her, even if we know it's an illusion.

Posted by: seemstome | October 3, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

lauraa, Biden's statement? That's how politics works. Biden's been proven wrong about that and he knows it. If you're looking for the perfect, pristine politician, good luck.

Posted by: PhilaMike | October 3, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

lauraa, how are things up in Canada? I ask because I think it's a great country, and I know a lot of people who may want to move up there if McCain and Palin win. We are tired of our country becoming a laughing stock.

Posted by: PhilaMike | October 3, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

PhilaMike, Independent4tw,

Ah, the personal attacks. As for Biden's statment about Obama, your thought's?

Posted by: lauraa | October 3, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

lauraa, your argument on behalf of hockey mom that "yes I'm stupid but don't worry because I'll get good advisors" is not going to persuade any intelligent people.

Posted by: PhilaMike | October 3, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse


Seriously? This is what you think? I'm sorry for Canada and the company yoiu run.

Posted by: Independent4tw | October 3, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

My goodness people! I just read the posts and can't believe what I am reading. Get the facts; hear the facts & most importantly, absorb the facts. For those of you who comment that Palin is scripted and doesn't have enough experience, you may want to take a step back and look at the opposition Obama, for who he is. You have Biden (his own VP running mate), just a few short months ago (yes, only a few short months ago), made the clear statement that Obama was not at all qualified to be a president. President, did I hear him say President. Yes, President! Palin is VP, and is not even running for Presidency. Absorb this. Take the impact of Biden's statement - absorb it and see it for what it truly is!

I run a company in Canada. For those of you who have never run a business, especially at large scales, you have numerous key strategic advisors. You have a tremendous amount of input to table and be able to make informed decisions from. As is the case for Palin, she too will have advisors to provide input through decision making processes. Don't be mislead by the media to assume decisions are made spontaneously and without discussion.

Clear the scaling crusts from your eyes people. Palin is a dominant force not to be reckoned with and she would prove as a fantastic running mate to McCain and especially to the people of the United States!

Posted by: lauraa | October 3, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

"Don't bother me with your elitist facts. I have my opinions and that's good enough." Sarah Palin

Posted by: PhilaMike | October 3, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

McCain claims legislation designed to teach young children how to recognize sexual predators was really comprehensive sex education including stds and birth control. The bill expressly says that all material was to be age appropriate. Planned parenthood has determined McCain's claims to be false. Still, he persists in his attacks during the Des Moines Register interview.
McCain disingenuous and reprehensible behavior brings to mind what Bush's campaign did to him with claims that McCain's adopted Bangladeshi daughter was really his natural offspring.
McCain and his campaign are corrupt. There is no honor in what he does.

Posted by: seemstome | October 3, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

pator123, please, tell me, how in God's name can you be undecided? What are you looking for that would tip the balance one way or the other? I am truly dumbfounded because I cannot see how anyone would be on the fence.

Posted by: PhilaMike | October 3, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

"How in the world is Barack Obama qualified to be President?"

Graduated first with a law degree from harvard. How many people can say they have done that?

He put aside making money to help people. Sounds like someone who cares about the people that matter.

What has McCain done that would make him a good president? Crash a plane? Crash 4 of them? Fail out of college? Fail out of highschool? Get a brand new car from his daddy when he failed highschool?

Posted by: Independent4tw | October 3, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Palin didn't know what "Achille's heel" mean. She's as dumb as a post.

Posted by: PhilaMike | October 3, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

LauraA, your post proves nothing except that Canada apparently has some people who are dumber than event the dumbest Americans. McCain's alleged "integrity" is a freakin' joke. He has completely sold himself to Rove, Schmidt, and other Bush operative who have convinced him (since he lacks good judgment but is absolutely desparate with the thought that he'll never be the president) that the only way to win is to lie lie lie. He is now just as shameless as they are.

Posted by: PhilaMike | October 3, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Funny how when the polls go the republican way they should be taken with a grain of salt. When you think Obama wins a poll you tout it like it is gospel. Funny Democrats, I take you with a grain of salt.

Posted by: Richdoode | October 3, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

"Palin called Biden on NUMEROUS misrepresentations in the debate. Hello people??? Does this not reflect the underlying nature of an individual?"

If she did, Biden told her she was a liar. And he was right.

Where was Palin everytime Biden said something negative about McCain? She was busy changing the subject because she knows Biden is right and McCain is wrong.

Posted by: Independent4tw | October 3, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

First, the whole "is Palin competent?" thing is a diversion. September saw the most jobs lost in 5 years. McCain is finished. He has shown the country his utter lack of any leadersip ability. He truly is out of touch, as Obama has asseted all along. The Republican strategy now is just how to save face when they lose.

Second, while saying "I'm not gonna answer the questions the way you want," Palin didn't answer some questions at all. The debate proves she's able to memorize tag lines and slogans and to keep repeating them without messing up the lines. It also proved she lacks knowledge and substance. On substance, Biden obliterated her. As long as McCain decided to go to the PTA meeting to get his VP nominee, he should have chosen the PTA president rather than the mom in attendance who just likes to talk and talk like a battery-operated doll.

Posted by: PhilaMike | October 3, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

"The most telling moment in the debate for me was when Biden stated that he had learned that ideology was more important than competence. .......

(Cites Bidens response)

But I did change on that, and -- and I'm glad I did."

Where specifically did Biden state that he had learned that ideology was "more important" than competence. ????????

You seem to leap the conclusion that because he realized judical philosophy was important, that it was more important judicial competence.

He did not say that, and you cannot cite where he did.

Posted by: plaza04433 | October 3, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

"How in the world is Barack Obama qualified to be President?"

LOL! Just for starters:

Obama chose Biden for his VP
McCain chose Palin for his VP
You do the math

Posted by: plaza04433 | October 3, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

HELLO AMERICANS. WAKE UP! Watching this unfold from Canada, you need to focus on who truly will make REAL change and bring accountability and truth to government. Biden and Obama are not reformers. Is it not about truth, honesty, integrity and making sure the people are first? Palin called Biden on NUMEROUS misrepresentations in the debate. Hello people??? Does this not reflect the underlying nature of an individual? A political move to get the votes yet not the true underlying beliefs of the individual? Again, you people will be putting in place another politician that the people will have a hard time trusting and believing in.

Palin and McCain will be sure to make ripple effects in the government. Honesty, Integrity, change, accountability, moral judgement... tell it like it is. This is how the average person can relate and begin to trust again. No more deceit!

STOP assuming McCain and Palin are the same as Bush. Palin and McCain are not the same - they run different ships heading for the same destination. The fact that Biden states he will carry out the policies of Obama if worst came to worst... Come on now. Hello! Come on now. There will be some issues that do not resonate the same for all individuals. Be Honest Biden. Palin had to call you on them during the debate!

Have you ever invested in a company that wasn't based on management? Take a company that's on the verge of bankruptcy. Same company but now replace the management. The company completely changes course with sometimes only one or two critical moves. This is McCain and Palin. Biden's been in politics for 25 years. Palin's been in the public eye for less than 3 months. Look at her impact in just a blink of time!!! The opposition is freaking and is threatened. You can just see it. Just imagine what this lady will be 1 year from now. An absolute tiger! but, with the U.S. peoples interests at the forefront. My gosh people... integrity, honesty, change, reform. It's so crystal clear to those of us in Canada. How can you be overlooing this?

Posted by: lauraa | October 3, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Palin is no more qualified or capable of being VP than I am to dance the Swine Lake ballet.

What an absolutely totally unmitigated fool.

Posted by: AbolhassanBaniSadr | October 3, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I cringed when she pronounced the word "nuclear". She said "nucular" like GW Bush. I thought she was truly pathetic. She didn't answer questions and continued lying about things even after Biden explained the true facts. She had five talking points which she kept reiterating, even when the topic had changed, This morning, the so-called "elite" media raved about her performance. Since when do we consider a it to be a great performance when a politician can complete her sentences and knows minimal information about the issues?

I voted for Hillary. I would never vote for McCain/Palin, because she is stupid, misinformed, and a liar.

Posted by: trescharmante1952 | October 3, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I was undecided before the debate, and I am still undecided. The debate was without fire works, Watching Palin and Biden Practice is much more interesting.

Posted by: pastor123 | October 3, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Palin did sway my Independent vote, to Obama.

All bun, no beef, Palin was very scripted, providing a canned answer for every category of question, and a generic catch-all for the others (an example: the question of what she would do in the event Mr. McCain, bless his soul, expired on the job).

The McCain-Palin economic policy, in these unreal times, is tax cuts for the wealthy as if the middle class cannot also create businesses, given means. I find their plan insulting, personally.

And tax cuts as an economic policy is not only too simplistic but its whats been going on now for 8 years and here we are, falling off a cliff.

McCain-Palin will get their Republican Party votes, from party members who put Party First. One cannot simultaneously vote McCain-Palin and care about America.

Posted by: bushieisa | October 3, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

"Democrats for John McCain and Sarah Palin in 2008" DO NOT EXIST.

Posted by: Independent4tw | October 3, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

The data reported by CBS indicates that 18% of previously undecided independents will vote for Obama now, whereas 10% of undecided independents will vote for McCain now.

Nearly two to one, that's the entire 'message' of the debate.
Palin lost. That 18% figure turns into 2% of the electorate.
The 10% she won is 1% of the electorate.

Biden added 1% to the Obama lead. Palin lost.

Whether you like the winks of Palin or the lists of details of Biden doesnt matter. The measurement that counts is that 28% of the previously undecided independents have decided, based on their view of the 'debate'. No one in their right mind thinks it was a 'debate'. If it were a debate by high school debate rules, Palin would not have been allowed to have talking point cue cards and she would have been tossed from the debate in mid-process for not following the required format. She didnt actually answer the questions she didnt want to try. Instead she put out a blither of chaff, like a plane trying to avoid a missile.
Binen won by the practical measure of changed voters and of course, by debate rules, which dont matter at all.

Posted by: ottothewise | October 3, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

What a waste of time. It was clear, that Palin's goal was not to harm McCain rather than shed some light where she stands on issues. I found it particularly annoying while the questions were read, she studied her cheat sheets prepared by her handlers. Her "darn","there you go again"(Reagan) only added to my frustration. She didn't answer any direct questions. The moderator for the fear of appearing biased did not press for answers. Sen. Biden took on this role briefly.
Verdict: Sen. Biden confirmed his being a well rounded politician, familiar with the issues, prepared for his role. While Sarah Palin is still a mistery, other than being a mouthpiece for McCain with a pretty face.

Posted by: prindle23 | October 3, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Democrats for John McCain and Sarah Palin in 2008

Posted by: hclark1 | October 3, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Sarah's supporters are happy because she didn't screw up the debate. She recited faithfully all the lines that had been fed to her. Her long and hard coaching and mock debates paid an extent. What does it tell you? That she is an intelligent and an independent person? No way! It only tells us that she is a puppet and a good looking mom from nowhere who can make a marvellous first maid to McCain but not a President.

Posted by: thisworld | October 3, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I dont need a poll to see who was the better candidate, it was Biden clearly. I didnt hear one clear plan from Palin. The fact that she dodged questions to go back to energy was a telling moment for me. She forget to mention the 500 million she has given an oil company to build a pipeline that has been drawn up yet. Same ole GOP, give money to big business, i bet those Alaskans would love to have that 500 million back............

Posted by: rharring | October 3, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin proved she hasn't lost her small town sports TV reporter touch. She can look at the camera, read off her cards, smile sweetly and occasionally wink. If you go back and look at her early work videos on UTube you'll find it was remarkably the same.

I also was turned off by the "can I call you Joe" line. It's one of the oldest ploys in the book, used when one needs to disrespect/downplay the other person or their title.

Finally, I'm quite shocked to see that so few analysts and commenters have identified one of the biggest revelations (yes, she wove in that word, too. guess why?) of the debate - Sarah Palin wants to extend the authority of the VP beyond what is mandated in the Constitution. I had it wrong when I marked her as Cheney lite. This is Cheney to the max. If America goes this route, you can expect to see our freedoms totally eroded and the new McCain/Palin/Cheney/Rove police state rolled out with a wink and a creepy grin.

Posted by: IndeVoter | October 3, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

"Are we not already indirectly paying for these people's care? Either with increased taxes, or the loss of ER facilities."

Exactly, we aready are caring for some of these people. McCain's health plan will ADD 20 million more of them.

That is why Obama's plan wants to make healthcare more affordable so these people can pay their own way through a health issue.

That is why Obama's plan will be better and McCains plan will destroy the American Health Care System.

Posted by: Independent4tw | October 3, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I Love Joe! Sarah Palin did redeem herself by coming in second. Still, Palin came across like a pageant contestent with the head tilts and winks. Sarah's lucky that the expectations (given her recent displays of terrifying ignorance) were so low that by not talking in unfinished sentences and bizzare, incoherent thoughts leading to nothing, she did much better than expected. For many reasons (my children and grandchildren) I hope that Palin stays far from the presidency. I think that Palin's beautiful newborn son deserves and needs the full attention of his mom way more than a fragile America needs Sarah Palin.

Posted by: collette0779 | October 3, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Are we not already indirectly paying for these people's care? Either with increased taxes, or the loss of ER facilities.


Posted by: nowanna3 | October 3, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

The "Can I call ya Joe" thing made me cringe and she never won me back. (Biden should have responded "Sure, if I can call ya Sweetie Pie")

But never mind. On the question of substance, this is where I was disappointed in the moderator:

Governor Palin went on and on about the evils of taxes. (Taxes = BAD THING)

Governor Palin went on and on about the evils of leaving Iraq anytime soon (Leaving Iraq = "White Flag")

So the question is, and should have been asked:

"Governor Palin, how do you propose we continue to pay 10 billion dollars a month for the ongoing war in Iraq if we do not raise taxes?"

It seems to me that the real reason for the entire financial crisis we face now is that we have used our collective national credit card to charge a war, and the bill is now due.

Posted by: PeterIII | October 3, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

The most telling moment in the debate for me was when Biden stated that he had learned that ideology was more important than competence. That explains a lot about why our government is deadlocked.

Biden unfit to be dog catcher... unless they are pit bulls....... they are closer to his ideology.

Posted by: georgiarat | October 3, 2008 10:01 AM

===========================================Below is what was said. I think he is right, judicial appointees should be judged on judicial temperament, had not committed a crime of moral turpitude AND their ideology.

IFILL: Final question tonight, before your closing statements, starting with you, Sen. Biden. Can you think of a single issue -- and this is to cast light for people who are just trying to get to know you in your final debate, your only debate of this year -- can you think of a single issue, policy issue, in which you were forced to change a long-held view in order to accommodate changed circumstances?

BIDEN: Yes, I can. When I got to the United States Senate and went on the Judiciary Committee as a young lawyer, I was of the view and had been trained in the view that the only thing that mattered was whether or not a nominee appointed, suggested by the president had a judicial temperament, had not committed a crime of moral turpitude, and was -- had been a good student.

And it didn't take me long -- it was hard to change, but it didn't take me long, but it took about five years for me to realize that the ideology of that judge makes a big difference.

That's why I led the fight against Judge Bork. Had he been on the court, I suspect there would be a lot of changes that I don't like and the American people wouldn't like, including everything from Roe v. Wade to issues relating to civil rights and civil liberties.

And so that -- that -- that was one of the intellectual changes that took place in my career as I got a close look at it. And that's why I was the first chairman of the Judiciary Committee to forthrightly state that it matters what your judicial philosophy is. The American people have a right to understand it and to know it.

But I did change on that, and -- and I'm glad I did.

Posted by: funkyminnie | October 3, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse




Posted by: fu_buki | October 3, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

She sounded better than any of her previous interviews, but of course it was obvious she had cheat cards to read from like the television prompter at the convention. And when she didn’t have the answer on her cheat cards she would say, “I may not answer the question you asked, but I wanted to mention energy.”

She giggled, winked at the camera and went back to her “sockermom”, “mavericks” and her “joe 6-pack” dialog that’s getting a little old since Americans are really worried about the economy and not silly references.

Curious to note that if Biden and Palen had their words / comments reversed last night, the Republicans would say Biden was very rude to ‘poor Sarah’ and unfair. It would have been nice to see the debate as equals and Biden not have to walk on eggshells because she’s a ‘woman’. After all this is for the same job whether you’re a man or a woman..Oh yeah, does McCain’s vote against equal pay for women doing the same job affect what Sarah would get as VP?

Posted by: ksmoneal | October 3, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

America's economy is in crisis. We've suffered 9 straight months of unemployment. People are losing their homes AND their health care plans. Our troops are being killed every day in the Middle East. This is a time for serious discussion.
So how does the Republican candidate for VP respond? Silly, folksy language. Winking at the camera. Giggling like a teenage girl at inappropriate times. Refusing to answer the questions she was asked. Giving a "shout out" to an Elementary School!?! Sarah Palin's "performance" in the VP debate was painfully upresidential and unprofessional. She proved she did not belong on the same stage as Joe Biden. In times like this, America deserved much more than what Sarah Palin offered. Palin, as well as the entire Republican party, should be ashamed of themselves.

Posted by: jgarrisn | October 3, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

An unbranded range animal, especially a calf that has become separated from its mother, traditionally considered the property of the first person who brands it.
-- American Heritage Dictionary

Posted by: n_mcguire | October 3, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

McCain's Plan
"So I have a solution [to the health care crisis]. And it will cost not one thin dime," John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, told the Dallas Morning News in an interview published August 28, 2008.

"The next president of the United States should sign an executive order requiring the Census Bureau to cease and desist from describing any American – even illegal aliens – as uninsured. Instead, the bureau should categorize people according to the likely source of payment should they need care. So, there you have it. Voilà! Problem solved."
Are these people delusional or what?

Hospital emergency rooms cannot technically turn away anyone for financial reasons.

Posted by: funkyminnie | October 3, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

The most telling moment in the debate for me was when Biden stated that he had learned that ideology was more important than competence. That explains a lot about why our government is deadlocked.

Biden unfit to be dog catcher... unless they are pit bulls....... they are closer to his ideology.

Posted by: georgiarat | October 3, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

"Judges refuses to halt Troopergate investigation"

"An Anchorage judge Thursday refused to halt the Legislature's investigation of Gov. Sarah Palin and denied the Alaska attorney general's challenge of legislative subpoenas.

Superior Court Judge Peter Michalski heard arguments from both sides Thursday morning and issued a written ruling just before 5 p.m."

"The Texas-based Liberty Legal Institute, which helped represent the five Alaska Republican legislators who sued to stop the investigation, said that it planned to appeal to the Alaska Supreme Court. Any appeal would have to be fast.

That's because the investigator hired by the Legislative Council, Steve Branchflower, is to present his report in a week."

"The Liberty Legal Institute said Thursday's ruling is a dangerous decision and declared that "Judge Michalski is the same judge who ruled in 1998 that same-sex marriage is a fundamental right, a decision subsequently overruled by a constitutional amendment approved by the voters of Alaska.""

Posted by: nowanna3 | October 3, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin brought to you by the same people who gave us Bush....We have had enough of down home deciders. We need a fundamentally new direction for our country and Evitah Palin did not make the case that they are really going to change anything....Change isnt just a slogan...

Since she didnt make her case that they are change and she didnt make the case that McCain has better judgment than Barack could anyone with a brain say that she won?

BTW I hope the media is done with her...Because her Asinine Alaskan accent has to be the most irritating thing I have ever heard since Cheney's grumpy growl and Bush's texass twang.

Posted by: Beka13 | October 3, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

cnn and cbs.. and from the other side are they gonna post polls from Drudge (69% Palin win, and Fox (52% Palin win)?

Posted by: newagent99 | October 3, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

The question for me is were they Presidential? Biden was warm, thoughtful, intelligent and Presidential. Palin was smart, cute, folksy but not Presidential and she didn't quite answer the questions given to her. But all in all her base is happy and she stopped the bleeding to many of us Democrats dismay. The bottom line is though, Palin will become much less of a story over the next 5 weeks as the fundamentals of the race have not changed. The economy and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will become front and center as they should and what was made clear to me last night is that the McCain/Palin ticket will not change the dynamics needed on either. Biden made the case for change and Governor Palin did not! End of Story!

Posted by: kaytemmel | October 3, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Geraldine Ferraro: "I really wanted her to get up there and do a good job, and I think she did." "I think it was a good evening certainly for Sarah Palin." "I think she showed she's certainly capable of going toe to toe with a man who is more than qualified to be Vice President, if not President." "So many of us were worried about whether or not she would be able to deal with the issues, and she was able to deal with it."

Posted by: JakeD | October 3, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Palin relied on her folksy charm to win over voters and Biden showcased his understanding of the issues. Personally, I'd much prefer the latter. Bush won on the power of his folksy charm and look where that got us. Do we actually want more of that? Give me someone who understands the issues.

And as for her line about looking into the past, maybe someone should remind her that those who don't study their history are doomed to repeat it.

Posted by: JW9288 | October 3, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

If McCain's healthplan is passed. My work will drop healthcare. I will be stuck paying $12000 a year for something I pay $3000 through my employer for now.

That is a net loss of $9000 a year. You can garrentee that I will be one of the people that has no health insurance, gets injured, and hands the emergency room bill to the government to pay, just like the other 20 millionn people that will be like me.


Think short term, get short returns.

Posted by: Independent4tw | October 3, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Joe Biden won without a doubt. It was a simple case of Biden's answering the question asked with facts versus Palin's answering the question she wanted with folksy talk and a few inaccurate facts that Biden quickly called her on. Personally, I don't want a "team of mavericks" in Washington. America has the greatest challenges now we have seen in recent memory- a collapsing economy, a banking industry in crisis, fighting a war on multiple fronts, much needed health care reform, a developing energy policy, environmental challenges, veterans and elderly in need of care. We need the smartest and brightest minds to get us out of this. Somehow I don't think someone who took six colleges to get a Bachelor's in Journalism is our person. Just about question she was asked came back to energy as she is a one trick pony which became more and more evident as the night wore on.

Posted by: politicsandamericanpie | October 3, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse


I'm not sure which debate these people were watching. Certainly not the one you and I watched -- nor the one Geraldine Ferraro and Peggy Noonan watched on NBC -- she won hands down.

CNN Quick Vote is not a scientific poll.

Posted by: JakeD | October 3, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

"She said she wanted to focus on the future, not the past. Biden's command of the facts is impressive, but are we intersted in voting for people who can recite history, or people who want to make it? Biden had command of the issues, but let us not forget,over the past 25 years, he was part of the legislators that have gotten us into the terrible mess we are in."

Joe Biden gave specific examples how he voted differently over the last 26 years then McCain. He was part, but not the cause, of "this terrible mess."

I personally want a candidate that does know the history and facts. If you do not know how something happened, say global warming, YOU CAN NOT FIGURE OUT HOW TO FIX IT.

I am astonished that people heard Palin that it doesn't matter how Global warming started, that we just have to fix it. WELL PALIN, YOU IDIOT, IF WE DON'T KNOW THAT THE COAL FACTORIES AND CARS MAKE THE CO2 THAT CAUSES GLOBAL WARMING, HOW WILL YOU FIX GLOBAL WARMING?

John Stewart gave a great example. He said pretending to be a doctor, "Well sir, it seems you have lung cancer, I don't know what caused it but here, (hands a pack of cigs to the camera), this should help."

Posted by: Independent4tw | October 3, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse


If you can increase your own income and wealth by using a public position to do so, then you face a conflict of interest. Last night, Gwen Ifill was moderating a public debate. The questions she asked and the body language she exhibited could have had an impact on the outcome of the November election. Her book is coming out in January. If Obama and Biden win, she gets more book royalties and buzz. THEREFORE, she faced a conflict of interest and should have withdrawn as moderator. Face it: Liberals have to face ethical dilemmas too.

Posted by: rwe123 | October 3, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

The femmebot didn't completely fail. She kept shooting her mouth off, regardless of the fact she kept making the same tired points over and over and over and over again. And to the poster who said McCain made better points last time, NO. Yes McCains answers made sense, and you knew what his stance and policies where, unlike the femmebot, but most Americans are tired of the past eight years. If you vote for McCain/Failin, then you look to the past because that is your future. If you want public investment, stable regulated markets, and to get Osama bin Laden, vote for Barak and Joe.

Posted by: sarlat | October 3, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

dbw1, I don't mind you never-say-die right wing zealots sounding off, since you'll finally be out of power. Spin it, sift it, lie about it, it won't matter ... you're losing, thank god for America and for the world. Keep talking, we'll listen, and who knows? Maybe someday you'll actually say something useful. A man can hope.

Posted by: williamboling | October 3, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

"I don't see how anyone can say Biden won when he makes up facts as he goes. Biden had at least 10 unquestionable misstatements and several more that were questionable. I don't have time to list them, but I am sure someone will if you look."

Name them. Just because you don't know the truth, doesn't mean Biden is wrong.

Besides, this isn't the SATs, Sarah Palin does NOT get points for avoiding answer questions she doesn't understand.

Posted by: Independent4tw | October 3, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face in marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
- Theodore Roosevelt

What have all of you critics been doing for our country????

Posted by: ch11 | October 3, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

The media and the Democrats did their best to belittle Palin. Perhaps they went too far, alowing her to greatly exceed expectations. Palin said one thing that made sense. She said she wanted to focus on the future, not the past. Biden's command of the facts is impressive, but are we intersted in voting for people who can recite history, or people who want to make it? Biden had command of the issues, but let us not forget,over the past 25 years, he was part of the legislators that have gotten us into the terrible mess we are in.

Posted by: saelij | October 3, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

I wake up this morning to see, of course, the usual GOP propaganda assets claiming the Palin was brilliant. She’s now free to be herself; they revel in her down-home folksy Reagan-esque persona from up there in Alaska (head tilt, wink).

If by that they mean largely incoherent, unfocused, and pandering, then, yes, she was Reagan-esque.

Watch the debate again. And judge her by the same standard you would Biden or someone who didn’t have a series of disastrous interviews before the debate. She was terrible. Yes, she may have jumped over the bar at floor level by not pausing, like a moose in the headlights, for ten seconds and then breaking out in tears, but she repeated (with again weak syntax) hollow talking points, did not answer questions, and was insulting to huge swaths of the voting public.

She has suggested that every American (a majority) that wants withdrawal from Iraq is waving the “white flag of surrender.” How dare she? There are hundreds of thousands of independent voters who don’t share her view. Is insulting them a smart strategy?

She dismissed the Bush “blunders” of Iraq and the economic meltdown as the past, as though she forgot to write a thank-you note after a party. I’m sorry, but Americans take these issues seriously. As Biden put it, the past is prologue. It was a blithe dismissal of the primary concerns of American voters.

Biden, for his part, was brilliant. Focused, informed, a glimpse of the man behind the politician, and most importantly, above the fray. He stayed focused on McCain. Not on Palin. And didn’t bite when she let loose with the white flag remark. That was genius. Who on that stage looked presidential?

It surely wasn’t Sarah Palin. She simply looked like she was trying too hard.

But, if you are part of the GOP Washington elite on the hated East Coast - men like David Brooks and Bill Kristol - then Palin aced the test.

This is one of those times where the conventional wisdom is wrong.

Main Street did not see what they saw on K Street.

Posted by: nahnopenotquite | October 3, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

peeeuuu Palin did not answer any questions only have vague and simplistic answers that made no real difference McCaint and Bush2 policies.....

Biden clearly had a grasp of the issues and peeeuuu Palin was grasping at his pant leg....

The only thing I heard from peeeuuu Palin was her desire to change the US Constitution for VP control of votes...

In the history of the United States has there ever been a least understood, most ridiculed, and most often ignored constitutional office in the federal government...and she wants more control over HOUSE votes?

Two were never elected by the people.
One was the target of a failed assassination plot.
One was mobbed in his car while on a goodwill mission.
Seven died in office — one in his room in the U.S. Capitol and two fatally stricken while on their way to preside over the Senate.

And one piano-playing vice president suffered political repercussions from a photograph showing him playing that instrument while famous movie actress Lauren Bacall posed seductively on top of it.

The Vice president "shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be evenly divided" (Article I, section 3). In practice, the number of times vice presidents have exercised this right has varied greatly. John Adams holds the record at 29 votes, followed closely by John C. Calhoun with 28.

Since the 1870s, however, no vice president has cast as many as 10 tie-breaking votes

Palin appeared to be just like a "Chatty Kathy" doll, pulling the string on her own back and spewing the same old rhetoric and crapola.

That "By Gosh" demeanor came across as nothing more than a pageant queen's way of trying to win a crown.

She is what I have described in other blogs as an "Empty Bag" filled with a steaming pile of crap filled up almost to bursting with all of the pathetic McCaint talking points but made no discussion on how they are in tune with the needs and diesires for change for this nation...

As for the debate, No contest. Biden is intelligent and obviously cares about people, like most liberals, while Palin is your typical racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-intellectual who uses GOD, War, and economic lies in the same sentence and can barely walk and chew gum at the same time.

She obviously didnt know what she was talking about and didnt answer most of the questions.

But she does know foreign policy, cause, gosh, she lives next to Russia!!!

Oh, and why are we not hearing more about Palin and her witch hunter pastor?

I know it wont make a difference to many conservatives out there, but I've just been wondering we had to hear about Obama and his pastor, why isnt the fact that Palin is really even more stupid and ignorant than anyone could possible imagine (except the stupid people like her) being reported more, and gives it another reason not to be being reported at all...


Obama/Biden '08
Obama/Biden '12

Posted by: AlexP1 | October 3, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

"Only if you were high on drugs and on the short list waiting for a brain transplant could anyone believe Sarah Palin was a winner....the game was about looking good and making a flashy presentation."

So since the media crowned Obama 'debate winner' last week because he sounded good and looked good and had better mannerisms than McCain, even if McCain trounced Obama on actual points of policy debate, then I can only assume you MUST agree that Sarah Palin was the clear winner last night! She was at least as good as Obama in all those "flashy" areas, smiling, connecting with the populace.

Idiot liberals are spinning their arses off this morning.....they thought Palin would barely be able to walk on to the stage after getting beat down again and again for the past couple weeks, and she came right out and kicked Obama/Biden in the groin....again.

You Democrats are so two-faced, it's hilarious. Policy and substance doesn't matter when it's Obama vs McCain.....but suddenly that's all that matters when it's Biden vs Palin.

Posted by: dbw1 | October 3, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

I was unable to watch the debate so I have no first hand knowledge but I knew what the comments would be.. " the Republicans are phony and just spouting party lines' and the Democrats are truthful, brilliant sincere , honest and absolutely saintful. The Republicans are just lying again and jealous because Senator Obama has more experience than any person on the planet. ..and Senator Biden taught him. Good thing the Wall Street experts that started the sub prime mortgage had a lot of experience otherwise it could have gone poorly.

Posted by: jstratt2 | October 3, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

A week ago, George Stephanopolous and the other liberals in mass media tripped all over themselves to anoint Obama the debate winner mainly due to:
- him exceeding expectations, even if he didn't actually win on a 'point-by-point' basis.
- connected with voters by looking into the camera, while McCain spent most of his time looking at and talking to Jim Lehrer.
- McCain was supposed to win 100-50, but since McCain only scored 90, and Obama scored 80, you just had to say Obama 'won'.

Now, look at the post-debate chirping by the pundits last night. Stephanopolis sat there with his hands in his lap as you had to wait well into the post-debate broadcast for someone else to finally point out that Biden did the same things Steph criticized McCain for last week.

And since Palin obviously blew away all expectations and was clearly Biden's match, all the pundit were rushing to pronounce her winner like they did with Obama last week....right?

Ohhhhhh, that's right. All Mark Shields on PBS or Diane Sawyer on ABC could talk about was "Biden wins this debate, if you go through it point by point."

Funny how the unbiased media's perspective can change in 1 week's time.....

Posted by: dbw1 | October 3, 2008 8:26 AM | Report abuse

I don't see how anyone can say Biden won when he makes up facts as he goes. Biden had at least 10 unquestionable misstatements and several more that were questionable. I don't have time to list them, but I am sure someone will if you look.

Posted by: MyView49 | October 3, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

The time is now!
To remind Americans that Barack Hussein Obama is just another politician that will do or say whatever it takes to fulfill his political ambitions. Barack is calculated and methodical about hiding his true convictions and intentions, and uses deception to get elected.

The time is now!
For Americans to remember Barack Hussein Obama’s intimate 20 year relationship with the Priest of Hate, Jeremiah Wright, who blessed Barack and Michelle marriage and baptized both their daughters. AND, to remember the hideous videos of Jeremiah Wright’s congregation which included the Obamas, damning America with bombastic joy, after the Muslim’s criminal attack on America on 9/11.

The time is now!
For Americans to remember how Barack's Priest of Hate, Jeremiah Wright used his tax-exempt church to exercise a radical political agenda, and how he refers to Israel, as well as America, as a "racist" State. Barack's religious leader, Jeremiah Wright believes that the true 'Chosen People' are the blacks; and that black values are superior to middle-class American values.
 Indeed Barack's Priest of Hate, Jeremiah Wright is a black supremacist.

The time is now!
To remind Americans that Barack Hussein Obama wants to be president to implement Jeremiah Wright’s dream of a black supremacist society in America.

The time is now!
For Americans of all political parties to come together to preserve the future of the country we love and have always been proud of, by voting for a True American Patriot and War Hero who risked his life for our country:
John McCain for President of the United States of America.

Country First!
Americans for John McCain/Sarah Palin

Posted by: Manolete | October 3, 2008 8:22 AM | Report abuse

There was no "financial" conflict of interest. That's when investments are involved. And any "conflict of interest" was already in the open well before the debate took place; both sides had known about it were ok with it. If anything, it worked to Palin's advantage, as Gwen seemed unwilling to cross examine Palin on many issues. She gave Sarah a free pass when Sarah said she wasn't there to "answer questions."

For that matter, I'd say the press seems unwilling to "call out" Palin's lame, "small town values" performance. Probably for fear of being called "liberal."

Posted by: franglais | October 3, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Only if you were high on drugs and on the short list waiting for a brain transplant could anyone believe Sarah Palin was a winner of anything beyond the "managed not to drool on herself or fall down" prize.

From the media who are eager to manufacture controversy to attract attention because they are bleeding out market-share and audience, the game was about looking good and making a flashy presentation - kinda like everyday media - which Palin was as a weather reporter.

But for substance and critical thinking skills, she came to this contest unarmed, except for the handlers notes and memorized talking points. Might be acceptable for doing the weather or running a state with a smaller population than Baltimore, but for the job she perspires too, she isn't just under-qualified she is clearly un-qualified.

Posted by: m1ke_h | October 3, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Just to refute what someone else said: the candidates were not given the questions in advance. Neither was the commission.

Posted by: ethel08 | October 3, 2008 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Three winners? Perhaps Gwen Ifill was perceived as being "fair" last night, but that was AFTER a wave of protest over her clear financial conflict of interest in serving as debate moderator and writing a book about the Obama candidacy. I guess that conflicts of interest don't matter when they are faced by liberal journalists.

Posted by: rwe123 | October 3, 2008 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Just a quick note: 18% is nearly twice as much as 10%. In my book, this is not the same as "slightly more."

A more accurate description might read:

"Among the small percentage of previously undecided voters who were swayed by the debate, nearly twice as many have tilted Democratic (18% to 10%)."

Posted by: athos26 | October 3, 2008 7:57 AM | Report abuse

The entire idea of a debate is that the country gets to hear a candidate get asked tough questions----and answer the questions. Palin changed very little from her on stage rally performances of the last month. The only difference tonight was that she memorized the teleprompter! She spewed her memorized talking points and speeches, but she didn't answer any questions that were outside of her memorized speel. That's not a debate. And Palin's Darn Tootin act is just disgusting. I live in a rural town of 6,000 near the Indiana/Michigan border. We haven't heard anybody talk like Palin since the last time we watched old reruns of "Green Acres" and "Pettycoat Junction". She is a cartoon version "country folk". Joe Biden on the other hand will always be one of the regular people, no matter where he lives. He doesn't need to wink at us or not blink or talk stupid vernaculars to prove it. He just is. We can tell the real deal when we see it----------and we can spot a phony from a mile away. Go back to Alaska Sarah. Apparently people are less picky about who their leaders are.

Posted by: karela | October 3, 2008 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Head of State

Thursday, October 02, 2008
Shorter Debate

Part I: Palin did not answer questions directly.

Part II: Biden incredibly strong--pointed out Palin "I heard no plan" on Iraq, very strong on economic and FP issues.

Veep issue devastating against Palin--actually claimed broader powers for VP, clearly without knowing actual constitutional powers. Biden powerful on Cheney--dials way up.

And then...The turning point. The Biden tears. After that, Biden was most clear, passionate and strong, and from there, Palin was gibberish.

Biden win.



National poll of Debate Watchers:

Who won:

Biden: 51%

Palin: 36%

Head of State

Posted by: robthewsoncamb | October 3, 2008 7:24 AM | Report abuse

These types of comments just make me laugh:
"It really is amazing that McCain is willing to put America and the world in grave danger by picking such an unqualified running mate."

If Democrats truly believe that Barack Obama is qualified to be President of the United States, then it becomes more than obvious to the rest of us that all four of these candidates can easily meet the Democrats' threshold.

However, I still can't get Hillary Clinton's Truth out of my head:
"Senator McCain brings a lifetime of experience. I bring a lifetime of experience. Senator Obama brings a speech he gave in 2004."

How in the world is Barack Obama qualified to be President?

Posted by: freespeak | October 3, 2008 6:41 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin smiled a lot, talked in circles, and avoided answering questions, especially the tough ones. Very much the performance that her training as a beauty contestant prepared her for. By the way, "gaypastor", you need to watch something besides FoxNews. Gwen Ifill did a great job as moderator, was totally fair, and both candidates were given copies of the debate questions in advance. That was part of the rules agreed upon in advance. Otherwise, I feel poor Sarah would have done much worse.

Posted by: iaacog | October 3, 2008 4:32 AM | Report abuse

In its modern usage, hubris denotes overconfident pride and arrogance; it is often associated with a lack of knowledge combined with a lack of humility. An accusation of hubris often implies that suffering or punishment will follow, similar to the occasional pairing of hubris and nemesis in the Greek world. The proverb "pride goes before a fall" is thought to sum up the modern definition of hubris. In reference to someone being in hubrity: hubrity is a fulfillment of being hubristic or a continual behavior of being prideful. Victor in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein exudes hubris in order to become a great scientist, but is eventually regretting this previous desire. Faustus in Christopher Marlowe's play Dr. Faustus exudes hubris, all the way until his final minutes of life.

Posted by: nacnudbob | October 3, 2008 3:03 AM | Report abuse

It really is amazing that McCain is willing to put America and the world in grave danger by picking such an unqualified running mate. I will give Palin one thing , she can talk in circles for 90 minutes and never give a straight answer to a single question.

Posted by: cakemanjb | October 3, 2008 3:02 AM | Report abuse

Ifill's performance does NOT prove she was objective nor free from making an unethical decision. None of us know what this clear Obama supporter did (or didn't do) behind the scenes! For all we know her bias motivated her to give Biden a look at all her questions before the debate or she coached him on how to respond. We don't know! But her objective performance does not prove that she was the right person for the job. She is an author of a book about one of the candidates and she lied about her book to the Commission...she was the WRONG person...and we'll never know how her position of great power changed the dynamics of this debate!

Posted by: gaypastor | October 3, 2008 2:57 AM | Report abuse

From "Fact Of The Matter"

The debate with Senator Biden and Governor Palin was interesting yet, instructional. Governor Palin demonstrated tonight that she is really a PUPPETTED MOUTHPIECE of the Republican Party. On a personal note: I became convinced the Gov. Sarah Palin was a forced choice for VP on the Republican side, that it was last minute, and that it was totally for 'POLITICAL EXPEDIENCY'.

Tonight we saw an image, a very beautiful, dressed up, republican image, of an RNC,, SYCOPHANT. Perfect analogy. defines sycophant as a self-seeking, servile flatterer; fawning parasite. In modern terms, "A yes man/woman, flunky fawner, flatterer. Nothing more. Governor Palin demonstrated this perfectly. She in other words was the perfect "republican talking point".

Governor Palin tried to attack Senator Biden on supposedly flip-flopping on issues of which he now agrees with Senator Obama and at one point had agreed and supposedly even endorsed Bush/McCain's war strategies. This accusation led Senator biden to trounce the policies of Bush/McCain by pointing out the failures of hese policies especially our position in NATO as to not be a dictatorship, as Bush/McCain have allowed and endorsed as diplomatic policy. It was a wonderful moment of silencing a someone parroting a republican lie. I loved the fact that Senator Biden used the term of the title of this blog "Fact of the Matter." The Fact of The Matter is Governor Palin came out on the stage to Parrot Lies.

One of the most defining arguments occurred when Governor Palin endorsed The Bush Cheney, idea of what is the job of the vice president. Senator Biden pointed it out that the Constitutions latitude for the Vice President was very smaller than that of which Cheney abused it's powers as. The defining job of the Vice Presidents role is two things, in the unfortunate event that the sitting President dies the Vice President then steps in to that office. the other definition of the office of Vice President is too be the tie breaker in the senate vote. Biden knocked that one out of the ballpark.


One final comment I have is this the title, "Maverick", which the Corporate Media has invented for John McCain, was thoroughly undone when Biden went down the voting record of a POLITICAL YES-MAN that is McCain's TRUE record. Many things which have adversely affected our economy, our standing in the world, but especially Main Street. John McCain has shown non support for the regular American person, which would constitute a Maverick standing. It was pointed out that McCain sided with Bush on all of the failed policies of this Administration. I LOVED IT.

I have felt that the Corporate Media and Senator McCain use that title as well as his supposed Hero status much too loosely. General Wesley Clarke pointed out RIGHTLY that getting shot down while in an airplane doing illegal maneuvers, and becoming a POW was not the LITMUS TEST for Presidential readiness.


In Bidens final statements he brought up this point about what the RNC and John McCain has been engaging in during this campaign. He said He, like Senator Obama would NEVER question the motive of someones ambition for the office of public service. John McCain has engaged in this UGLY STYLE OF CAMPAIGN EVEN AFTER HE PROMISED HE WOULD NOT. Governor Palin in her attacks endorsed john McCain and the RNC's political strategies. She in a sense said, "John's lying and being very ugly and demonstrating political immaturity, I'm Governor Sarah Palin and I approve this propaganda style campaigning."

Now for the facts from Factcheck the Wire :

Troop Levels Off
Palin got her numbers wrong on troop levels when she said that troops were now down to “pre-surge” levels. The surge was announced in January 2007, at which point there were 132,000 troops in Iraq according to the Brookings Institute Iraq Index. As of September 2008, that number was 146,000. President Bush recently announced that another 8,000 would be coming home by February of next year. But that would still be 6,000 more than when the surge began.

Posted under

This post was written by Justin Bank on October 2, 2008

Killing Afghan Civilians?
Obama did say that troops in Afghanistan were killing civilians, a claim that Palin calls “untrue.” Here’s the whole quote, from a campaign stop in New Hampshire:

Obama, August 2007: We’ve got to get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops so that we’re not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous problems there.

The Associated Press fact-checked this one, and found that in fact U.S troops were killing more civilians at the time than insurgents: “As of Aug. 1, the AP count shows that while militants killed 231 civilians in attacks in 2007, Western forces killed 286. Another 20 were killed in crossfire that can’t be attributed to one party.” Afghan president Hamid Karzai had expressed concern about these civilian killings, a concern President Bush said he shared.

Posted under

This post was written by Jess Henig on October 2, 2008

2005 Energy Bill Deja Vu
Palin threw out an old canard when she criticized Obama for voting for the 2005 Energy bill, saying, “that’s what gave those oil companies those big tax breaks.”
It’s a false attack Clinton used against Obama in the primary and McCain himself has hurled. It’s true that the bill gave some tax breaks to oil companies, but it also took away others. And according to the Congressional Research Service, the bill created a slight net increase in taxes for the oil industry.

Posted under Barack Obama,

This post was written by Justin Bank on October 2, 2008

The Iraqi Surplus
Biden said that Iraq had an “$80 billion surplus.” Obama said the same — $79 billion — in the last debate, and we called him on it then. Seventy-nine billion is an out-of-date projection. The Iraqis currently have $29 billion in the bank, and could have $47 billion to $59 billion by the end of the year.

Posted under

This post was written by Jess Henig on October 2, 2008

Obama Voted Against Troop Funding?
Palin repeated the claim that Obama “voted against funding our troops.” The claim refers to a single 2007 vote against a war funding bill. Obama voted for a version of the bill that included language calling for withdrawing troops from Iraq. President Bush vetoed it. (McCain supported that veto, but didn’t call it “vetoing support for our troops.”) What Obama voted against was the same bill without withdrawal language. And he had voted yes on at least 10 other war funding bills prior to that single 2007 no vote.

Posted under

Posted by: need4trth | October 3, 2008 2:40 AM | Report abuse

I voted for Bushes four times and I am concerned that we have not gone forward, but deeper in the hole, way deeper. Tonight's debate concerns me in that Gov Palin did what she wanted and avoided questions. The ONLY reason she survived was that she did not stick with the questions. If the moderator would have made them answer the questions, we'd all have a better understanding. I guess before I vote McCain Palin I want to see MORE honest to god interviews by the media so I can see a leader, not a hockey mom. The term maverick does not sound like a uniter or team player. Not sure I want a maverick in charge of the war, or the economy. It is not the ups and downs in life that bother me, it's the jerks. I mean that BOTH ways. Whoever wins we have to be steady. I want details and intelligence.

Posted by: 1concernedvoter | October 3, 2008 2:38 AM | Report abuse

I watched with a pro-Obama group of 40, and there was much laughter at Palin's run-on sentences and referring to "the Castro brothers." We made a drinking game (most of us drank soda or water) of taking a drink when she said "Maverick" (OT, can there be a team of Mavericks? Don't Mavericks by definition not run in teams or packs?) or when she dropped a g, as in "workin'" instead of "working."

Interesting that Mr Cohen doesn't site the CBS poll that showed 98% (that's right--98%!!) of uncommitted viewers thought that Biden was knowledgeable (compared to 30% less than that for Palin).

Posted by: michellehaus | October 3, 2008 2:27 AM | Report abuse

My wife and I agree with seemstone. Gwen Ifill did a horrible job and was not a "winner".

Posted by: JakeD | October 3, 2008 1:55 AM | Report abuse

Did I hear Palin say that McCain tapped her? She sounds like a hammered Frank Luntz, the buzz word and dial session pusher. What I heard from Palin was buzz word after buzz word, and a few scripted attacks that would be thrown no matter what the topic was.

I really liked this one from Palin ... "And I may not answer the questions that either the moderator or you want to hear."

And this is a flat LIE being perpetrated by Palin:

"That doesn't cost the government anything as opposed to Barack Obama's plan to mandate health care coverage and have universal government run program and unless you're pleased with the way the federal government has been running anything lately, I don't think that it's going to be real pleasing for Americans to consider health care being taken over by the feds."

Seriously people ... if that's what she thinks is Obama's healthcare plan, SARAH PALIN IS DANGEROUS AND CONFUSED.

Bottom line, Joe Biden did a much better job answering the questions, and answering them intelligently. In addition, I thought Joe was particularly on the ball when Palin claimed that Obama voted to raise taxes 94 times. Biden replied, by the same standard, McCain had voted to raise taxes 477 times. Joe's point underscores the fact that there is simply no honesty in the McCain campaign. Its an ends justifies the means, no matter the lies told, people misled, or harm done mentality.

Posted by: hesingswithfrogs | October 3, 2008 1:49 AM | Report abuse

John McCain chose his VP because he wanted to win the elections with more female voters. Obama chose his VP because he thought of AMERICA's future. He could have chosen Hilary and won hands down BUT instead he chose for America. The VP debate showed us who deserved the job. Biden is the correct candidate for America

Posted by: kala24 | October 3, 2008 1:39 AM | Report abuse

Approximately half way through the debate Putin reared his head but I resisted the impulse to abuse him.

Posted by: seemstome | October 3, 2008 1:29 AM | Report abuse

Gwen Ifill had no control of the debate after Palin challenged her. A trained seal flipping over cue cards could have done a better job.
The so called debate devolved into a series of brief rambling speeches containing each candidates talking points.
Occasional attacks against Biden spiced things up but otherwise it remained boring.

Posted by: seemstome | October 3, 2008 1:21 AM | Report abuse

Palin has a great smile and used it to good effect in distracting split-screen viewers while Biden spoke.
She has potential as a politician. Her greatest weakness was not Sarah Pail but John McCain for not giving her any factual ammunition to fire back. In the end, great smile versus convincing facts is at best a draw.

Posted by: quatzecoutl | October 3, 2008 1:02 AM | Report abuse

The MSM's definition of an "uncommitted" voter may differ from yours. For instance, several of CNN's "uncommitted" voters seemed to be "easily persuaded":

That link also describes a possible Biden gaffe about NATO that someone else pointed out (in the update). I'm sure the WaPo will be all over that.

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | October 3, 2008 12:58 AM | Report abuse
See Out Takes From The Practice Debates.

Most People are saying Biden Won the debate, to participate in a national poll go to

Posted by: pastor123 | October 3, 2008 12:58 AM | Report abuse

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