Feature

Who won, Biden or Palin?

Scoring the vice-presidential candidates' performances in their only debate

“Sarah Palin saved John McCain again Thursday night,” said Peggy Noonan in The Wall Street Journal. Joe Biden seemed to have walked into the vice-presidential debate thinking she was “an idiot” and all he had to do was wait for her to prove it. Instead, she “killed” with her “good-natured” appeal to “Joe Six-pack” and “hockey moms.”

Expectations for Palin were so low this must feel like a victory for McCain, said E.J. Dionne Jr. in The Washington Post. But she did nothing to change the impression, left from her recent interviews with CBS anchor Katie Couric, that she is “profoundly uninformed.” It was Biden who looked like he “knew what he was talking about,” and who reflected well on the presidential candidate who chose him.

Biden’s superior experience, especially on foreign policy matters, was “transparent,” said USA Today in an editorial. But there's no denying that Barack Obama supporters who were hoping that Palin would embarrass herself—and McCain—came away disappointed, because she displayed the same “folksy grit” that made her an instant GOP star. So, let’s call the lone vice-presidential debate a draw.

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