Girly Stuff prodded me for my thoughts on last night's VP debate so here and they are. Overall, I thought it was boring. They were both well prepared. Biden didn't put his foot in his mouth and didn't act condescending; Palin managed to answer questions without sounding like she was completely clueless. Neither of them laid the smack-down and handily won it. I would give the edge to Biden mostly because he stayed on the subject better and did an excellent job rebutting the points Palin made.
First, I was not a fan of the "if I attack you with a sweet voice and smile America won't think I'm a bitch." Personally, I'd rather she just go after him and not sugar-coat it. It's one of the things I admired about Hilary Clinton, is that you really got the feeling she was tough. For me, Sarah Palin seemed more "fake" than "tough."
As for Biden, there was a question or two that he bumbled through, but then again, Palin did as well, especially when responding to the question on climate change. She finally tried to make a point by turning it to oil drilling again and made a tenuous connection to American's drilling being more environmentally friendly than other countries and that would help the environment. That is not the issue, it's the fact that China is running rampant with pollution, burning dirty coal, not controlling emissions, etc. As a country, the United States has always been a leader, or at least, we have been leaders in the past (can't speak for the last decade or so). We can be a leader again if we develop renewable energy technology that is clean and efficient (cheap! affordable!). Other countries will want our technology and we can export it. If our only solution is "drill more", well, that ain't gonna do diddly squat for the environment. It's not anything new, not something we can export to other countries, not innovative, and, again, is just going after a resource that has a finite limit. When all the oil is gone, and it gets more and more expensive to find whatever oil is left - what do we do??? Is that the situation we want to leave for our grandchildren?
Biden did an excellent job rebutting Palin's argument for John McCain's health care plan, pointing out that giving Americans a $5,000 tax credit for health insurance while taxing our employer provided benefits as income is a recipe for disaster. Businesses and people are struggling as it is with health insurance premiums; if you then tax it, you can expect employers to throw up their hands and give up. Five thousand a year is NOTHING when compared to the cost of insurance. And that $12,000 is accurate for a family plan. For individuals, it's more like $6-7K a year, if you want a plan with a reasonable deductible.
And when Palin was not able to respond, she would just completely change the subject. For example, she was not able to respond to John McCain's track record of de-regulation, and she starting talking about something completely different - her experience in Alaska and taxes and energy. This happened at least one other time, I just can't remember what the question/issue was.
I could go on, and on, and on. Overall, she performed better than expected, but I give the win to Biden. He was better at answering specific questions and he was always able to rebut her points. Palin did not do as well staying on the topic at hand, and she was not very good at rebutting specific arguments made by Biden.