I just finished watching the VP debate and I think that if I were to assess the intellectual merits of the debate, clearly Joe Biden won a rousing victory. He was cool, informed and passionate at the right times, while Palin was at times stuck on talking points. Biden gave the best debate performance of his career. Of course, we all know that debates are not about who is intellectually superior. And in the expectations game I spoke of in earlier blogs, I believe Palin won the debate.
Unscientific Grade: A-
1. Attack John Mccain relentlessly
Achieved -- he hit Mccain as hard as she
2. Don't gaffe! (it'll be the only thing played on the news the next day if you do)
Achieved -- no missteps tonight
3. Do not, under any circumstances attack Sarah Palin or her qualifications directly, if you feel a need to attack, see#1
Achieved -- he stuck to Mccain, never going after Palin
4. Avoid coming off as smarmy -- Biden has to put forth his "Blue Collar Delaware Joe" persona without grating with his "Bare-Knuckle Joe" persona
Achieved -- the highlight of the debate was Blue Collar Joe passionately talking about raising two sons as a single parent.
Unscientific Grade: A
Obama will probably be up by 3 to 5 points going into next Tuesday's #2 Presidential Debate. He still needs a breakthrough performance to pull within striking distance in the closing weeks of the campaign.