Several people asked me ahead of time what I thought of the debates. I'll gather my thoughts here and refer everyone here. Please share your thoughts on the debate and/or my takeaways in the comments section. Thanks!
Here are comments I left at a couple of newspapers this morning. Click on the newspaper titles for links to the original articles and to read comments from other readers.
At the New London Day:
1) This debate was miles better than the 1st presidential. Both Palin and Biden seemed to be enjoying the exchange and each other. What I take from this is that Palin will work comfortably "across the aisle" in Washington. Check out the before and after debate exchanges between the candidates. Particularly afterwards when they stood for several minutes with Palin's daughter between them and had what looked like a meaningful exchange. So if McCain/Palin do go to Washington look for Palin to forge amicable ties with Biden immediately.
2) What was that Biden said about the role of the VP? And particularly him as VP? "I will be sitting right next to Obama in all top-level meetings giving him advice." "But Barack's the president, yes, he is," Biden immediately sought to reassure us. But if Obama's ready to be president, why does he need Biden sitting next to him at all top-level meetings giving advice? Talk about increasing the powers of the Vice Presidency!! Biden just about declared that he will be the Co-President! And yet he had to drop out of the primaries fairly early 'cause his own party doesn't want him to be president ...
At the Boston Globe:
A couple of points here:
1) Can all of you who keep chirping that Palin was preprogrammed, etc., please acknowledge that Biden spent the same amount of time prepping for the debate as Palin? That both candidates basically took this whole week off from campaigning to prep for the debate? Please acknowledge the whole story! And Biden's a 36-year Washington insider, why did he need all that prep time anyway?
2) And for those who comment on Palin's statements about the role of the VP, please again tell the whole story. What did Biden say about his role in particular as VP? "I will be sitting beside Obama in all top-level meetings giving him advice and counsel. But he's the president, yes, he would be the president," he felt compelled to immediately qualify. Huh? If Obama's qualified to be president, why does he need you sitting right next to him at all top-level meetings? Talk about increasing the powers of the Vice President!! Sounds to me like Biden is running to be Co-President!
- Just looking at the candidates on stage for 90 minutes, it was clear that Sarah Palin represents change. Joe Biden looks like the typical Washington politician and insider that he is. It will be VERY hard for him to go back to his haunts of 36 years and try to instigate change. Sarah Palin looks like nothing we've seen in the White House - but something it's about time we did - an accomplished, young, professional woman with new energy who can go to Washington as a new face and change things. Because her very presence there represents change.
- Sarah Palin, by speaking with a different syntax and not giving the fawning respect to the media that politicians constantly do to woo their support - and therefore, good press - also proves she's about change. She will deal with the media on her own terms. Yes, she will speak with them but not will not let them control the conversation. GOVERNMENT LEADERS DO NOT WORK FOR THE MEDIA, THEY WORK FOR THE VOTERS. Sarah Palin understands that.
- Sarah Palin "walked the walk" of bipartisan cooperation and respect in this debate. Several times she said she respected Biden and some of his stances, both against Obama and with McCain. Again I think the exchanges before and after the debate showed two people of opposite parties who could very well be working together in a few months - and who could work together very well. Give credit to both here. I took that away as a powerful image of the bipartisanship that Sarah Palin can bring to Washington.
- Joe Biden is running for Co-President. He may "talk the talk" about the dangers of expanding VP powers, but the walk he presented in almost his next sentence was that he would be sitting (or is that babysitting) next to Obama at every top level meeting giving advice and counsel. So, as Joe said several months ago during the primary and doesn't seem to have really changed his mind about: BARACK OBAMA IS NOT READY TO BE PRESIDENT.