Can I call you Joe?

Daughter's down to bed, so I just started watching debate. An hour behind rest of my countrymen and womyn. So now this is my first half-assed attempt at live-blogging. Criticism welcome.

I was on the phone with el lechero, and he thought Biden was going to spank Palin. I'm not so sure. The clips I've seen from her past debates--she was smokin' her opponents. She does the Joe six pack thing well, and I think she is better under fire than in these friendly interviews where she's been deer in the headlights.
Can I call you Joe?

Beautiful way to begin! Biden didn't fall for it, so we'll see if she calls him Joe.
The American workforce is the greatest in the world.

She's a great caricature of America. It sounded pretty cynical.

She just criticized Biden's years. She's trying to make him snap, and he definitely looks annoyed.

Palin just blamed the crisis on predatory lenders who sold people mortgages they couldn't afford. If she holds her own, she wins by a mile.

She just spoke directly to camera, "to American people," explaining what taxes she cut as governor. Good tactic, but it will get old fast.
In the middle-class where Todd and I have been paying taxes isn't always patriotic. Patriotic is, "govt. get out of the way."

20 minutes in Joe Biden just called McCain's Health plan, "Ultimate Bridge to Nowhere." The audience laughed. They promised not to laugh!

Biden: Post-office box off-shore tax haven is "unpatriotic."
You know what I had to do in the state of Alaska? I had to take on those big oil companies...break up a monopoly. Those tax breaks aren't going to big corporations...Obama voted for tax breaks, and I had to turn around as governor and undo in my own area of expertise, and that's energy.

Biden owns the facts, but he looks mad.

Good Biden line: "I agree with the governor. We want a windfall profits tax to benefit American people. So I hope governor can convince McCain to support windfall profits tax." Here, strategy needs to be, celebrate your opponent and give her all the rope she needs.

Palin is gritting her teeth. Pushing for domestic supply of energy. "Energy independence is key to our economic future."

Let's talk about climate change!

Alaska feels the impact of climate change... I don't attribute all changes to man's activities, but there are real changes. I don't want to argue about the causes, but about impact. I was first governor to form climate change sub-cabinet. Need to reduce emissions. We have to become energy independent because we care about climate more than other countries do
The country's IQ just dropped a few points. She started to run on too long. Started stringing nouns together at the end.

Biden: "Climate change is man made." Clean-coal, clean-coal, clean-coal. What a joke. "Dirll, drill, drill! Drill we must, but it will be ten years before we get any oil out of the ground."

Palin: "The chant is "Drill, baby, drill!" Because people are hungry for more oil."

Both support capping carbon emissions.

Now we're off to same-sex marrriage.
Biden: "We support same constitutional guarantees as heterosexual couples."
Palin, somehow, got to say she was tolerant. Apparently, some of her best friends are gay. They wouldn't prohibit hospital visitations. Palin almost ate her toes, but moderator left her off the hook.

Long on Iraq, Biden is way more detailed, and Palin way more stark and emotional.

As debate goes on, Biden treating Palin with respect is starting to pay off. Everyone knows his knowledge is an order of magnitude above hers, and so as debate wears on, the feather-weight is wearing through. However, her statements are punchy and powerful. She's done a great job prepping for the debate.

Fifty minutes in, we're deep in Iran. Biden: "Our friends and allies are saying, "Talk, talk, talk!"

Nice, Biden just stated: "McCain won't even meet with govt. of Spain! They have troops in Afghanistan." Of course, Palin will not touch that... And she doesn't.

Israel love-fest! Who hearts Israel more? Did anyone see this post: if Israel doesn't eliminate settlements, Israeli democracy is dead. Wonder how long that will take? Palin: "I'm so glad, Senator, that we both love Israel." That was a creepy, creepy line.

Palin: "Too much finger pointing backwards. We will learn from mistakes of past administrations."

Respect, respect, respect. Does Palin respect Biden more than Biden respects Palin? She turned the table on him good there.

Palin appeared to drop some knowledge on counter-insurgency in Afghanistan. Biden refocused on McCain's judgement.

At one hour in, Palin smashed Biden on his support for Bush's war resolution. As an outsider, it's hard to understand: for it, before I was against it. Good. He deserved that.

Now, they're both humanitarians on Darfur, and sweeping away the line on trigger for intervention.

Palin: "John knows what evil is!.. He'll know how to win a war!"

Iffil just asked them, what wil they do if they become President. Heart-beat away, and all that.
Biden, unfortunately in my mind, injected a dab of assasination fear-mongering. "A tragedy of historic proportions. But I would follow Obama's wishes all the way." They should have role-played that question, and had a lighter answer.
Palin: "A tragey, tragedy. [rubbing hands] We're a team of mavericks! We disagree on ANWR, and we will disagree. McCain wants deliberative debate to make good policy... Govt. get out of my way."

Biden spends a lot of time in Home Depot. Why? Apparently, everyone there knows that McCain equals Bush. "Walk with me in my neighborhood. Middle class has got short end. Obama will change it."

Palin: "Say it ain't so, Joe. Pointing backwards, again. Bush administration."
Apparently, her family is full of teachers. Shout-out to 3rd graders at Gladyswood Elementary School. She's got Biden beat on the name-dropping.

Palin just asked for more authority in working with Senate! No!!! She is scary.

Biden: "Every major decision, I'll be sitting in the room... I look forward to working with Barack... "

Palin opened herself up to questioning on Cheney. Can't really give an answer, except says she agrees with Cheney. Again, No!!! "My executive experience will be put to good use in White House."

Biden: "Cheney is the most dangerous Vice-President in American history. He doesn't understand that Article I defines executive role... Preside over Senate only when there is a tie vote. No authority to Congress. A bizarre notion to aggrandize the power of a unitary executive."

Biden is getting emotional towards the end. Palin is sneering almost as much as during the convention. She is the ice queen.

Palin: "We've not got to allow the partisanship... Whether Republicans in charge, I didn't see a lot of progress there, but neither with the Democrats in charge."

Biden: "A maverick he is not."

As with Bush, Palin has no regrets.

Biden is on top of every McCain policy proposal, and is all about selling Obama. Palin is all about selling herself. And she's all cute and folksy. "It's gonna be okay." She is projecting optimism.

So, she had to call him Senator Biden. She's glad to be able to speak directly without "filter" of media commentariat.

As with Obama and McCain, Palin went to Biden's area of expertise and held her own. Even though she did not get specific, I think she wins. But Biden did right by not attacking Palin and always going after McCain.

She did a great job, but I don't think the fickle polls will bounce. Too late for that.

Maddow thinks she was too gimmicky and way-over caricatured.
Buchanan thinks she was phenomenal. Astonished at how well she did.

I think they're both right, but the crisis and bailout are too present in people's minds. Palin was powerful, but you wouldn't want to put her in charge. Not now. Not anymore.

Palin did skip a lot of the questions. If people picked up on that, she didn't win. If they didn't pick up on that, she did. This was Ifill's failure to keep Palin on point. She must have been cowed by the McCain attacks on her role as moderator.

And now we know the next focus of the McCain campaign will be: "We're looking forward, Obama's looking backwards."

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