Biden-Palin Vice Presidential Debate Reaction: HuffPost Bloggers Weigh In

Biden-Palin Vice Presidential Debate Reaction: HuffPost Bloggers Weigh In
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Madeleine Albright: Senator Biden's Night:

Given the challenges our nation now faces, we need a vice president who can be persuasive with foreign leaders, tough with congress, and relentless in his drive to serve the American people. Tonight, Joe Biden showed why he is the right person for that job. On question after question, he demonstrated knowledge, careful thought, and a willingness to make hard decisions. And with every answer, he vindicated Senator Obama's judgment and showed why he is considered one of our nation's wisest and most experienced leaders. READ MORE

Nora Ephron: The Graph and I:

This was the first time I've watched a debate on CNN, and it turns out to have this graph running along the bottom of the screen, a graph that allegedly represents the moment-by-moment feelings of a group of supposedly independent voters in Columbus, Ohio, who sit, with some sort of electronic devices, and register their warmth or cool as the debate goes on. Well, this is no way to watch a debate. ... This graph on CNN affected me, it affected me so much that I could barely focus on the debate, I was so busy watching the graph. I knew it was completely unreliable and irrelevant, and yet my heart sank and rose according to it. READ MORE

Sarah Palin has experience being a runner-up -- which will come in handy in November. Tonight she barely kept up. In advance, the commenteriat almost unanimously agreed on a false measure of this debate. Judging by "expectation" meant that pundits could conceivably award a faux victory if she was half-coherent and modestly informed after a cram session in Arizona. But voters apply an absolute standard, not a low water mark of expectations: With America facing two wars and economic disaster, Americans ask if a candidate is up to the job. READ MORE

I thought the moment where Senator Biden talked about the death of his wife and child, and raising his sons himself was tremendously moving and genuine. It was a bold -- and very relevant -- point to make; that just because she's a mom and drives a van to soccer games doesn't mean she's cornered the market on real life. I thought he was superb. READ MORE

Nothing she says makes sense but the eyelashes never stop batting. Catch phrases and buzz words bounce in the air above her head. She adores the word "also." Also, she adores herself. She is so doggone cute she turns herself on. READ MORE

Not only do I want to grab a beer with Biden but I might even have three or four and maybe some onion rings. He was masterful tonight. Biden is a stone cold pro in a world where most politicians just become cold or stone-like. But Joe Biden managed to communicate on every issue in a clear and laser focused way. READ MORE

I, for one, am terrified that all the "soccer moms" and the "Joe six-packs" will fall for the likable candidate as being qualified to lead our country. I don't want someone who is likable, I want the smartest, most prepared team, and that does not include the spunky Sarah Palin. The major component she has working for her is that she knows exactly when to throw in the statement, "John McCain and I are Mavericks!," a self-appointed label. READ MORE

Michael Showalter: Shakespearean Tragedy:

I think, when it comes to being the leader of the free world, as in Shakespeare, it's not enough to learn the words, you've got to know what the words mean. Macbeth's "Tomorrow" soliloquy seems apt in describing Ms. Palin's performance in the debate: "It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing." READ MORE

Sarah Palin, who is vying to be a heartbeat away from the presidency, a presidency with a seventy-two year old heart, that is, would do well to understand that the United States actually should second-guess its allies, particularly if that ally intends to commence military action against another state with airplanes, armaments, and bombs made in America, and paid for by American taxpayers. READ MORE

Forget the tight stripper skirt, forget the metallic eyeshadow inappropriate for anyone over the age of 40, forget the cloying sitcom delivery, the lies, the cruel and calculated needling of Biden by calling his college professor wife a "school teacher" and saying "she'll get her reward in Heaven" (to a man whose first wife died in a car accident) -- she's an idiot. READ MORE

In general, there wasn't a car crash of moose-killing proportions. It was just more of the same -- someone who was so far out of her league on the issues that she could not help but be as nervous as a baby seal at a polar bear pot luck. This came out when she kept calling General David McKiernan, our commander in Afghanistan, "General McClellan." READ MORE

2008-10-03-palin_biden_shaw.jpgSleeper highlight of the evening? Surprisingly, it was how the Biden family neutralized the PR power of the Palin family in the post-debate milling around. ... If partly calculated, it was also touching the way the Biden clan hung out with Gwen Ifill in light of the pounding she took from conservative pundits the past few days. READ MORE

Now, in most cases, this type of oversight on the part of a politician could be dismissed--maybe even attributed to nerves. But when Afghanistan is exploding and on the verge of failure, details matter. Facts matter. Being familiar with the situation matters--a lot. The troops depend on it. READ MORE

Couric's interviews with Sarah Palin were excellent for one simple reason - follow-ups. She did what, unfortunately, so little journalists do these days - she asked pertinent, revealing (yet polite) follow-up questions. This allowed us to see behind the veneer of Sarah Palin and realize it was backed up by absolutely nothing. Real journalism led to real facts we would not have otherwise seen. Imagine if Couric had not done those interviews - or had not asked those tough follow-up questions - and all we had seen were Gwen Ifill's standard queries from Thursday night, we might never have known how very little Sarah Palin really knows. READ MORE

Joe Biden did more for the equality of the sexes with his honest display of paternal emotion during the vice presidential debate than Sarah Palin's presence on the executive ticket has or will ever do. READ MORE

Art Brodsky: Welcome To Sarahland:

Welcome to Sarahland. It's a magical place, where the sun always shines, everything is just perfect and where reality is simply an optional mode of existence. In Sarahland, answering questions asked to you is optional. You say what you want to say, regardless of what that old-school questioner has to offer. Want to talk about education, or taxes? Go right ahead. It doesn't matter what the question is. She cheerfully admitted she won't answer the question the moderator, Gwen Ifill, wants to ask or even stick to the topics Ifill wants the candidates to discuss. READ MORE

Palin had told Katie Couric "I'm not going to solely blame all of man's activities on changes in climate." The debate transcript reveals she still can't get her talking points straight on this issue. READ MORE

So, as robotic Republicans repeated their straight-talking points, many of us saw a repeat of George W. Bush's pseudo-folksiness and fundamental dishonesty, together with his unquenchable thirst for power that he (like she) is unqualified to wield. And, by an overwhelming margin, viewers saw a candidate lose a debate. READ MORE

Thursday's vice presidential debate was a serious and substantive affair. With superb moderating by Gwen Ifel, the conversation stuck to policy-driven sparring, but the footage is already taking a different shape on YouTube. READ MORE

Jacob Heilbrunn: The Moose That Roared:

Bless her heart, Sarah "drill, baby, drill" Palin strove mightily to hit a gusher tonight against Joe Biden, but came up empty. No, her performance was not the disaster that some in the GOP have been fearing. She'll probably get extra credit, to use a term she employed, for just showing up. But cliche was piled upon cliche as Palin sought to paint Barack Obama, or "Barack," as she referred to him constantly in an attempt to diminish him, as a goofy radical, paired with a more sensible Lieberman, who would end up running America off the rails. As though it hasn't already run off them? The albatross around the neck of the McCain camp, doggone it, is the most unpopular president in American history, George W. Bush. Biden had it right: "past is prologue." READ MORE

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