Palin Did Well but Biden Won

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For anyone hoping that Sarah Palin would put the final nail in her own coffin, tonight must have been a disappointment. We saw none of the stumbling, deer-in-the-headlight moments we’d seen in her sit-down interviews. Overall, she came off as intelligent and middle American. But just because she held her own doesn’t mean she won. Nope, Joe Biden won this debate. Here’s why:

If you listened to their words and forgot the game of expectations, Biden clearly had a more comprehensive grasp of the issues from the economic to the international. He did an excellent job of picking apart Palin’s claims of maverick-leanings by pointing out how often the McCain/Palin positions mirror the Bush administration positions. Palin rarely had an answer for those assertions.

Just as significantly, Biden managed not to come off as a stuffy senator but as a real guy – at least as real as Palin. As a father who is very involved in my family, I appreciated his defense of his own parenthood. That was the kind of genuine moment he needed to counteract Palin’s charisma.

All that said, I don’t think Palin lost her side any votes tonight. In fact, I think she shored up support by calming the worries of McCain’s less-excited supporters. She seemed confident and I think she put her disastrous Katie Couric interview behind her. Don’t be surprised to see her attract large audiences for the remainder of this campaign.

And that’s my two cents.