Both entered tonight’s debate with mountains to climb. Joe had to overcome the impression that he is long winded and “boring”. Sarah had to convince a sometiems doubtful American public that she is competant and capable. Now both of these candidates are confident people, both having winning smiles, and both would grace a debating team, but that is where the similarity ends.
Unfortunately this evening showed that even the intensive training given Sarah Palin by the Republican party in recent days could not prepare her fully for this debate as she skirted questions, and spend entire answers deriding her opponent’s policies rather than addressing the issue in hand. In contrast Joe Biden’s performance was entertaining to watch, especially while Governor Palin was answering questions. Watching him struggle not to smile too much, and not to laugh at obvious errors was almost too much of a distraction. He was professional in his conduct, neither condesending nor too easy on his inexperienced opponent. He didn’t bring personal or family issues to the debate until Governor Palin had mentioned both her own family, and his own family circumstances.
On the economy and on foreign affairs the difference between the experienced and learned politician, and the small town mayor became even more apparent. Biden managed to answer every question given him, bringing cross party examples to the table. Palin’s reliance upon rehearsed topics, and her “small town charm” appeared to play well with the audience that CNN were monitoring in Ohio for the first few questions, but then they spotted the familiar pattern of answers and consistently scored her lower through the latter half of the debate.
In my mind, if you listened but did not watch the two of them, and cast party politics aside, then Joe Biden’s greater experience and more solid answers made him an obvious winner. If you watched through the lens of the popular media then both were warm, entertaining, and polished orators. Biden may show a greater ability at public speaking, but both could deliver heartfelt answers to the “everyman on the street”. Both have struggled with family issues, and experienced hardship before succeeding in their lives.
So now for that clincher question. Imagine the chips are down, a global crisis has occured and the United States must send one of these two candidates into a critical conference with global leaders. Now be honest with yourself, which would you want to send in to that conference? If you look at that question impartially you’ll see that, like her or not, Sarah Palin’s lack of experience and inability to roll with the questions and keep answering them would not serve America well. Joe Biden’s confidence and personality make him a far more believable world statesman… I just hope America agrees with me.
My final score – Biden wins on points
Palin tried hard and got some good popularlist lines out. This wasn’t a repeat of last weeks terrible interview by any means but she didn’t convince. Biden was polished, fair, and delivered real options as well as answers.
For more on the debate, and to see that most other pundits agree with my declaration of a Biden win, go and check out Politico.com!