This piece on the debates at the Politico was pretty brutal, which means of course that I loved it:
Millions of Americans were watching Thursday night’s vice presidential debate, waiting for a demolition derby moment — another crash by GOP running mate Sarah Palin, another serving of raw material for the writers at “Saturday Night Live.”
By that standard, she got out alive, though there were white-knuckle moments along the way: questions that were answered with painfully obvious talking points that betrayed scant knowledge of the issue at hand and sometimes little relevance to the question that had been asked.***
To the contrary, it is hard to count any objective measures by which Biden did not clearly win the encounter. She looked like she was trying to get people to take her seriously. He looked like he was running for vice president. His answers were more responsive to the questions, far more detailed and less rhetorical.
On at least 10 occasions, Palin gave answers that were nonspecific, completely generic, pivoted away from the question at hand, or simply ignored it: on global warming, an Iraq exit strategy, Iran and Pakistan, Iranian diplomacy, Israel-Palestine (and a follow-up), the nuclear trigger, interventionism, Cheney’s vice presidency and her own greatest weakness.
Asked which is a greater threat, a nuclear Pakistan or a nuclear Iran, Palin seemed to be stalling, or writing a term paper, when she said: “An armed, nuclear armed especially Iran is so extremely dangerous to consider.”