by Zack Huhn
Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) and Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) entered the stage and met for the first time at the vice presidential debate in St. Louis on Thursday, Oct. 2. Palin was immediately confident and seemingly enthusiastic to be there. I felt that Biden was initially rather reserved, and he allowed Palin to control the first third of the debate; although he eventually kicked it in gear and overwhelmed Palin with facts and figures on everything from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the economic crisis that our nation is facing today. He ruthlessly called the governor out on Sen. John McCain’s voting record and policies — when Palin tried to do the same to the Obama campaign, Biden was ready with his facts and figures.
One might argue that Biden seemed too scripted or Palin seemed too much like a soccer mom, but the fact is that this debate was lacking any passion from either vice-presidential candidate. I wondered to myself if there was an unwritten rule or a simple strategy that said Biden wasn’t allowed to be his typical, condescending self since Palin was a woman? How many times did Palin reassure Biden that she respected him? Yeah, maybe they handled each other with class, but I argue that without emotional fire in a debate, the candidates are able to stick with their predetermined scripts and play the games of old politics instead of being raw and honest with the viewing audience.
I don’t think anyone will argue that Biden was the clear victor in this debate, but Palin certainly was able to hold her own and managed to surprise much of America in doing so. She did an excellent job of "talking up" John McCain, so to say, and was never left speechless — always referring back to one of her strong points, energy or Alaska.
(The photo of Sen. Joe Biden shows him at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in 2005. The photo is © copyright the World Economic Forum and is by photographer Remy Steinegger. However, the World Economic Forum offers this photo for use through Flickr, using a Creative Commons License. To see a segment of the debate, please check below. To see more videos of the debate and further analysis, please check: "Vice Presidential Debate Highlights" on the iVoryTowerz blog.)
vice presidential debate
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