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Twittering the Showdown in St. Louis

Tonight's vice presidential debate between Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Delaware Sen. Joe Biden is among the most anticipated political events of a campaign that has been chock full of memorable moments.

We'll be twittering the debate starting around 9 p.m. ET so make sure to sign up for The Fix feed. (Don't know what Twitter is? Check out this cool video tutorial that explains it all.)

Help me, help you. See or hear something interesting? Reply to one of my tweets or shoot me an email at chris DOT cillizza AT washingtonpost DOT com and I will do my best to work them into the discussion.

  • By the way: We wound up with 2,551 people following the feed. Next Tuesday's debate: we go for 3,000! less than a minute ago
  • Sorry for that last minute glitch! But thanks, as always, for joining me. And don't forget to check out The Fix shortly for my take. less than a minute ago
  • The most important question to watch in the post-debate analysis: Who connected? about a minute ago
  • Biden has done well in not appearing patronizing or condescending to Palin. 2 minutes ago
  • Biden's best moment of the debate: His emotional response about the loss of his wife and daughter and the perils of being a single parent. 3 minutes ago
  • Palin works an MSM hit in at the end! We were worried. Media was getting off too easy. 4 minutes ago
  • Ok....after eight minutes of being blocked out...we are back 4 minutes ago
  • ARGH 4 minutes ago
  • Biden's Achilles Heel is his "excessive passion". The Fix's Achilles Heel: "I care too much" 13 minutes ago
  • Ten minutes left. Palin got her feet back under her in this answer. But she staggered badly on the role of the veep question. 14 minutes ago
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Previous Updates »

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 2, 2008; 7:30 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Showdown in St. Louis: What to Watch For
Next: The Showdown in St. Louis: First Thoughts

Comments

Even though I am a female democrat, I was willing to look at McCain as a responsible presidential candidate even though personally, he is essentially a man who dumped his first wife after an accident disfigured her and chose to have an affair while still married, with a millionaire's heir who could put him in the right political circles.

However, the moment he made the most irresponsible decision of his life by choosing Sarah Palin, an individual even more arrogant, inarticulate, uninformed and inept than our current president, all respect for him went out the door.

Watching the debate tonight, I was filled with anxiety as I heard Sarah Palin's rehearsed, empty, vacuous generalizations, thinking that this individual could be a heartbeat away from leading the American public in a global community which is already full of resentment towards the US thanks to the actions of George Bush over the last 8 years. I am an educated, informed mother who cares about this country, and am insulted by Mccain's arrogant assumption that putting Sarah Palin on the ticket will make every woman in this country vote for her. Shame on you, McCain, you put yourself first and the country last!

Posted by: anteater | October 3, 2008 1:44 AM | Report abuse


I thought the one place where Gov Palin clearly didn't understand the question was about whether she agreed with the Cheney interpretation of the Vice Presidency. She basically said she agreed with Cheney. Biden made it pretty clear that he understood the Constitution & that the VP is clearly part of the executive, not the legislative & not some kind of hybrid non-branch, as Cheney has argued. Biden did not call attention to Gov Palin's apparent unfamiliarity with the issue. I suspect most voters are unfamiliar with the issue, and therefore the exchange should be scored as 'not gaffe'. Did this stand out to anyone else?

Posted by: bsimon1 | October 2, 2008 11:30 PM | Report abuse

CNN:

National poll of Debate Watchers:

Who won:

Biden: 51%

Palin: 36%


-------------------

Drudge is showing that Palin is winning at 75%. LOL...Drudge's click finger must be getting tired.

Posted by: wpost4112 | October 2, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Palin proved that she's still unable to answer the questions posed to her, but she also didn't fall flat on her face. And in the ridiculously depressed expectations for the governor of Alaska, she didn't crash and burn. But she didn't need to maintain the status quo. That's toxic territory for her. She needed to prove that she could get beyond pre-packaged talking points to demonstrating some capacity for analytical thought. In that regard, she failed.

Posted by: DrainYou | October 2, 2008 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Sarah Palin---"NO soup for you", NEXT!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: popasmoke | October 2, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

CNN:

National poll of Debate Watchers:

Who won:

Biden: 51%

Palin: 36%

Posted by: robthewsoncamb | October 2, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Palin was very appealing but reinforced the fact that she is no way prepared to be in the White House now. She's really George Bush in a dress: cheerleader personality, shallow knowledge base, xtain right ideology, ambitious, high energy, darkly humorous, plays up a psuedo-gee-shucksness.
I expect a small uptick in the polls.

Biden was uneven but strong where he needed to be. Solid. Dependable.

No major or permanent poll change.

Posted by: wpost4112 | October 2, 2008 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Sweet Jesus of Nazareth! I pray before you that I will not have to live in a country that places Sarah Palin as the second,or perhaps first, most powerful person in world government.I humbly beseech thee,oh Lord,to redirect the soul of our nation toward a course of purpose,reason,depth,and guidance that reflects the path that You have chosen.
Is there a reason,Oh mighty King,that you did not ever place a mindless,partisan woman in the highest realms of governance within the greatest nations on earth from time immemorial? It seems so.We remember that you are the same yesterday,today,and forever.Precious Jesus,do not allow this nation to be an imitator of a poor and useless Hollywood 'B' movie.The stakes are too high and your purpose is too great for this to happen.Thy will be done.
In the Name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen and amen.

Posted by: klowry57 | October 2, 2008 11:03 PM | Report abuse

From:
Head of State
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/10/shorter-debate.html

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.


From:
Head of State
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/10/shorter-debate.html

Posted by: robthewsoncamb | October 2, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Palin was folksy, but Biden really connected and spoke to people about what they wanted to hear. Its tough when Palin is confined to a script. I don't know if people will notice that she very often didn't answer questions, but I hope so.

The line about the teacher's reward being heaven...wow...that was pretty messed up.

She wasn't nearly as halting as she was during the interviews. That was a product of not really having to face followups. Biden only challenged her once on not giving an exit strategy from iraq. Other than that, neither Ifil or Biden pressed her for answers.

Maybe I'm just biased, but I don't see how this inspired independents to think she is capable of leading.

By the way, people. Watch the last two debates on CSPAN, not CNN if you have a choice. The graph thing is annoying and the split screen is awesome. Watching Biden during Palin's Cheney answer was a laugh out loud moment.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 2, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse

The first thing out of her mouth was she was not going to answer the questions the way they may like. Then when asked a question just answered by saying " I want to talk about (fill in the blank)" while never asking one question. Why did they let her get away with this. She is completely clueless.

Posted by: popasmoke | October 2, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Can someone explain what a Bosniak (sp? Bosniac?) is? If Palin had called a Bosnian that, MSNBC would not be able to contain itself.

Posted by: john131 | October 2, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Palin comes across very well for mid-America. Her appeal is to folks from small towns. McCain is not going to win the votes from the big city anyway. Her connection is towards average people.

Posted by: Verrazzano | October 2, 2008 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Palin was a walking, talking bumper sticker. All slogan, slick, and thin as paper.

Posted by: staticlinejumper | October 2, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

So who is going to invite the other for Thanksgiving dinner next month?

Posted by: Verrazzano | October 2, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

I want my VP to use perfect pronunciations, vague answers, and spell correctly. Subtle nuances, such as "I did not have sex with woman," "I am not the Baby Daddy," and "Cuber" have all proven the superior intellect of Democrats.

And Biden surely can welcome me to his neighborhood. Welcome to Mr. Biden's neighborhood! Can you say Hedge Fund? Sure you can. Yes we can. Can you say Lobbyist? Sure you can. Can you say $3,000,000 lakeside mansion? Sure you can.

Vote for me. I'm for the little people.

What Biden/Obama? The friggin leprechauns?

Posted by: 7thDayNonConformist | October 2, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Best. Twitter. Ever.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | October 2, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Closing comments: Palin = scripted, Miss America statement, and a bit rambling. Biden = made the point about economy and foreign policy, a bit rambling also.

Posted by: CaptainJohn2525 | October 2, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

OMG. did I miss Biden's tear moment? I was away for only 5 minutes!

Posted by: austinlee82 | October 2, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse


Who won the vice presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri?


http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=3626

.


Posted by: usadblake | October 2, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Biden just sealed the deal....Palin is clueless when it comes to having to change on an issue in order to progress change in America. She is clueless.

Posted by: bkbeall | October 2, 2008 10:26 PM | Report abuse

What's his name? McCain
he's the man we need to leave

Posted by: MILLER123 | October 2, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Biden won the kitchen table discussion. And Palin should have acknowledged Biden's loss of his family 30+ years ago. Poor etiquette.

Posted by: CaptainJohn2525 | October 2, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

I don't want folksy. I want a vp or Presidential

Posted by: MILLER123 | October 2, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

uses his family's memory for leverage.

http://bidenisaslytherin.blogspot.com/

Posted by: aaronhardy1000 | October 2, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

I don't want folksy. I was vp or Presidential

Posted by: MILLER123 | October 2, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Have to say, it was the same last week, neither candidate wants to answer the questions.

Posted by: Verrazzano | October 2, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

she got lost

Posted by: MILLER123 | October 2, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Staying on script may suit Biden better, his experience is widely known already. All Palin proves is already what is already known, that she can prattle talking points, she needs to show she has something more than this.

Posted by: pdgnz | October 2, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Remember Matt Damon's comment about this being the bad Disney movie about the hockey mom from Alaska becoming President? This is the scene in which the relentlessly folksy hockey mom outjokes the boring-but-smart elite professional politician played by Barry Bostwick. Be more funny, Joe.

Posted by: msherida1 | October 2, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

There was at least the third 'wink' from Palin. And her 'simple-folk' talk (for lack of a better term) does not sound in the least bit vice-presidential material.

Posted by: CaptainJohn2525 | October 2, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

There goes the glaze look again

Posted by: MILLER123 | October 2, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

The way Biden is looking at her, makes you think he likes her in some sense.

Posted by: Verrazzano | October 2, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

JoeBiden.com worked for me

Posted by: daniel14 | October 2, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: el_barto | October 2, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Did I hear Palin correctly? Did she say McCain has won a war before? Vietnam? ???

Posted by: CaptainJohn2525 | October 2, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Palin is holding her own, i.e. she doesn;t look like the idiot she did with her Couric interviews. BUT, whenever she starts talking, my eyes start to glaze over, I keep trying to remember, what the heck the question was and what is she trying to say.!

Posted by: bluecam | October 2, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, Gwen Ifill has done a terrible job tonight controlling this debate. When will she call either candidate on not answering the questions asked and demand answers? For example, did Palin say anything about bankruptcy legislation before veering off onto her energy tangent? To my mind, this is a waste of everyone's time.

Posted by: mcbloke | October 2, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Biden speaking eloquently and passionately about Darfur -- but speaking to Ifill. Mistake.

Posted by: msherida1 | October 2, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

palin is to scripted. She forgot her talking point and had to ask ifel to respond to question asked earlier

Posted by: MILLER123 | October 2, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Palin IS too scripted. She keeps going back to talking points.

Posted by: CaptainJohn2525 | October 2, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Biden should directly ask Palin who the members of the six-party talks on North Korea are. He needs to ask her direct questions!

Posted by: CaptainJohn2525 | October 2, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

In recent years, a somewhat controversial pronunciation has come to public attention, with these two final syllables said as /-kyələr/[-kyuh-ler]. Since /-kliər/[-klee-er], the common pronunciation of ‑cle·ar, might also be represented, broadly, as /-kləyər/[-kluh-yer], the /-kyələr/[-kyuh-ler] pronunciation can be seen as coming from a process of metathesis, in which the /l/[l] and the /y/[y] change places.

The resulting pronunciation is reinforced by analogy with such words as molecular, particular, and muscular.

Although it occurs with some frequency among highly educated speakers, including scientists, professors, and government officials, it is disapproved of by many.

Werner Von Braun had a nasty accent. What a dunce. Other left wing priorities. Sheeesh.

That Minnesota accent is a disqualifier.

And to remember "Cuber" from JFK. Oh, he's a Dem.

Posted by: 7thDayNonConformist | October 2, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

ifel let palin off hook and let her respond to question asked earlier

Posted by: MILLER123 | October 2, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Does Palin not just sound completely scripted?????? She seriously sounds like she's reading the answer McCain typed up for her!

Posted by: bkbeall | October 2, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Prediction: Biden knows what he's talking about. Palin has sound bites. In terms of style, however, there's a huge difference. Biden is frankly boring. Palin looks directly at the camera, but Biden looks at Ifill often. Palin sounds like she has a bit of a bubbly laugh in her voice -- isn't that cute? but Biden sounds grumpy. Palin will be seen as 'winning' the debate on style, Biden will 'win' on content.

Posted by: msherida1 | October 2, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

"Facts Matter" - Biden. Major point.

Posted by: CaptainJohn2525 | October 2, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

1. That's good news for Biden and Obama since they're ahead

------------------
That's a point that many pre-debate commentators seemed to miss. The main call seemed to be that if Palin seemed reasonable coherent and didn't make a fool over herself should would have won. Maybe as a personal achievement. But McCain/Palin surely have to do much more than tread water, a lot of the damage has already been done and will take a lot to undo it.

Posted by: pdgnz | October 2, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

This is just painful

Posted by: DDAWD | October 2, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Excellent hit on the West Bank elections gaffe

Posted by: jelliotb | October 2, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Biden didn't 'give away' the gay support. As a gay man, I know their stance. Civil rights, lose the word 'marriage.' Fine with me.

GOP doesn't want to grant those rights.

Posted by: CaptainJohn2525 | October 2, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Interesting. When attacking Obama, Palin is unassailable. Biden can't call her out on being characterized by her own critiques of Obama (e.g., inexperience) without looking unchivalrous, mean, and offensive.

Posted by: msherida1 | October 2, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

She keeps saying "nukular". Did I miss something or is this still not a word?

Posted by: jelliotb | October 2, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Did she just call Biden naive?

Posted by: CaptainJohn2525 | October 2, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Now there's a sound bite for a GOP ad: Biden: "John McCain, I love him"

Posted by: msherida1 | October 2, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

WHO?

Posted by: MILLER123 | October 2, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

She had no plan

Posted by: MILLER123 | October 2, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Re Palin's tolerance -- methinks she doth protest too much.

Posted by: msherida1 | October 2, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

ifel need to keep her opinion out it

Posted by: MILLER123 | October 2, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Biden is giving away the gay support. Both he and Obama do not support gay marriage. That is interesting.

Posted by: Verrazzano | October 2, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: aaronhardy1000 | October 2, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

You are so addicted to oil that you need a fix drill baby drill

Posted by: MILLER123 | October 2, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

ok joe get off energy

Posted by: MILLER123 | October 2, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

how can u fix climate if you don't know what the problem

Posted by: MILLER123 | October 2, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, that should read science experiments

Posted by: bdickson | October 2, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Hundreds of thousands of potato-based battery science experiences have just been vindicated by Palin's alternative energy comments...

Posted by: bdickson | October 2, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

east coast politicians?

Posted by: MILLER123 | October 2, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Has there ever been a debate where the candidate didn't answer a single question posed to her?

Posted by: DDAWD | October 2, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Ifil need to question Palin first and not give her a head start on her question or any suggestions

Posted by: MILLER123 | October 2, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Palin is emphasizing that she is one like us.

Posted by: Verrazzano | October 2, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Palin said "...the toxic mess on Main Street affecting Wall Street..."

Quotable~!

Posted by: CaptainJohn2525 | October 2, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

9:27 pm -- Palin seems very well trained and she's doing well with her script. In terms of how low the bar was set for her with the various Couric interviews, she's clearing it easily.

Posted by: msherida1 | October 2, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Biden scores on the oil windfall profits tax point.

Posted by: CaptainJohn2525 | October 2, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

She winked. You didn't miss that. It won't play out well, nor will the 'darn rights.'

Posted by: CaptainJohn2525 | October 2, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Biden refers to McCain as Senator McCain and Obama as Barack Obama. What, we're not all Senators here?

Posted by: bdickson | October 2, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Palin only needs to stay away from big mistakes and make Biden look either tired or angry - or both.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | October 2, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Can I call you "Joe"???

Posted by: dgloo | October 2, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

test nnnnjjjjiiiiiiiiii

Posted by: popasmoke | October 2, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

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