Debate Wrap Up Thoughts

Amanda Carpenter
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Posted: Oct 02, 2008 10:31 PM
Sarah Palin was shaky at times tonight, but never lost her footing. She even managed to trip up her debate veteran opponent Joe Biden on occasion.

And, wow, what a closing statement. (With the surprise invitation to have more events...?!?!)

Ironically, Palin was at her strongest debating Biden on foreign policy, the very subject of which he is considered an expert. Palin deftly reminded viewers, over and over, Biden had openly criticized Barack Obama’s positions on the war, funding and withdrawal throughout the Democratic primaries. “I watched those debates, so I know what that was about,” she grinned. She knowingly gave the media an open invitation to replay those old tapes against the contradictory statements Biden made this evening.

At another point she fiercely labeled Obama’s withdrawal plan, “the white flag of surrender” and promised John McCain knows how to win. Gutsy.

On the negative side, she awkwardly ducked a question on complex bankruptcy law and dodged a few other questions that appeared to be over her head. Instead, she referred to her extensive experience in the energy industry and status as a reformer. Not a bad distraction.

Going into this debate there was concern moderator Gwen Ifill may not treat the candidates fairly because of the financial stake she has in a yet-to-be released book about Obama’s impact on race and politics. I did not detect any outright bias and believe her questions were fair at first blush.

Although the media may not give Palin the “win” outright, she can be proud of her performance. Most importantly, she did not violate the time-honored vice presidential rule: “First do no harm.”  That’s a win in itself.

After all, as Palin said, “How long have I been here, like five weeks?”

Kudos, Governor.