Well, for some reason, the prospects for the election are riding on this debate. How screwed up is that? Live-blogging and updating as needed...
• Gwen Ifill makes no mention of her giant conflict of interest. Nothing to see here. Move along.
• Crap. Had to reboot. Scrambling to catch up. Moose-Slayer is wearing a slick black outfit with heels. Biden isn't. She asked if she could call him Joe. Real small town polite.
• Right off the bat, Biden is throwing out incomprehensible streams of dates and numbers that don't make a point. Palin is really folksy and hitting the points. They're both talking a little fast with nervous energy. Palin has been talking to the camera like Obama did. Biden's been talking to Ifill, but has switched to the camera.
• 20 minutes in, she hasn't slipped up yet and has been popping off her spiel AND getting this folksy charm - it's VERY Reaganesque. Biden is coming off blustery and a little angry in his replies as he hurls out numbers. People can't follow numbers they hear - they need to see them - so he may be coming off yappy. OTOH, Palin is starting to sound a little canned. Then again, this isn't Lincoln-Douglas throwdown of Titans; these are smaller times we live in.
• Palin just regurgitated the "$700 billion to countries who don't like this" talking point about oil. Missed an opportunity to tie that number with the pork-slathered bailout bill. Ugh, her response to climate change got a little like "talking point refrigerator magnet" bingo. Biden has clearly indicated he worships at Al Gore's Church of the Almighty ManBearPig and blames climate change on mankind. This should earn him a ticket to a padded room, not the Veep House.
• Here goes the dynamite: Ifill asks about gay rights. Biden throws down 110% for gay everything. At least he's being honest, though he backs off from calling it "marriage". Palin is a little rough because she knows she's gonna get lit up unless she announces she's she's gay and all her children are Bristol's, including Bristol! XD They end up both saying they don't support gay marriage. Wanna bet that tomorrow's spin will be that she wants to kill gays? (j/k - you know it's gonna be that way.)
• Yikes, The Corner is down and Red State keeps dropping and their chat room is full.
• Iraq War: Biden thumps his lectern and promises to surrender in 16 months. Palin calls him out and calls it a "white flag of surrender". She's throwing his prior support for the troops and bashing of Obama before he became the veep pick back in his face and sticking the shiv in with a smile.
• I've noticed two times where Biden got off a slam that should've had a brief response from Palin, but Ifill quickly changed the subject to prevent anything getting in the way of her big book payday. What media bias?
• Palin pronounces it "NEW-cue-ler", so that's all it's gonna take for the Left to disqualify. Her folksy twang drives the coastal elites crazy. Too bad for them there are more unwashed heathens in the Flyover who talk like her then them.
• Biden is getting angry and yelling. I wonder if anyone is gonna call out his temper or whether only McCain is on temper watch? (j/k We know there's a double standard.) Ifill just allowed him another free shot. The way the questions and responses and rebuttals are stacked, Biden's getting the last word and thus the last impression. Oh jeez, while I was writing this, she gave Biden another one! She called him out for their backward-looking finger-pointing with a smile, but then wandering into canned slogans.
• Biden is getting madder. He's yelling more then McCain ever did. I wonder how this is playing with those dial groups. Whoops. Biden just talked himself into three corners and now is sighing like Al Gore. Uh-oh. Doesn't he remember what sighing did to the Goreacle. Now he's backing off on his yelled portion after she slapped him down.
• We're an hour in and Moose-Slayer is beating his ass and has only had a couple of talk-speaky moments. He's starting to come unglued and losing the ability to put together coherent answers. The gaffe machine Biden is starting to come to the fore. She's inside his head.
• Asked what they'd do if they became President, Biden says he'd follow Obama's plan to "reinstitute the middle class"? Que? How would you do that exactly? Wave your Emperor Wizard wand? Jeez. Palin says that she's gonna keep working on McCain about ANWR. "He didn't ask me to check my opinions at the door." KAPOW!!!
• 10:10 already? Wow! This is just sailing by like a rocket.
• Biden is playing the "I'm middle class card". Yeah, right! Palin threw down Reagan's "there you go again" and it sounded awesome! Unless she self-destructs in the next 20 minutes, no one is going to remember the bad interviews.
• OMG!!! She just SICK BURNED Biden by saying, "I guess that was a lame attempt at a joke because no one got it." After crapping himself, he came back with a smile, but man, he did not see that punch coming. The audience laughed. Wow.
• The knock on Palin coming in was that she was only good with a scripted bit and that the interviews showed she couldn't think on her feet. She must be a faster study than anyone could've believed because she's assembling on target replies on the fly. Biden's not doing badly from a mechanical viewpoint - he's not bumbling around - but he's lacking in charm in general and he's being KILLED by Palin's Dolly Parton vibe. (Her charm, not her rack!)
• BTW, I'm watching this on NBC because I heard that they (among others) have put up split-screens with both candidates up. PBS, which I've watched all prior political stuff on, doesn't.
• WTF?!? I think Biden just got to have an extra reply to spiel off a spittle-flecked rant about McCain. I need to see if that's what happened for sure, but if so, that's a pretty big favor Ifill granted her side. The Red State chat room has some comments about the time disparity.
• Closing comments - Palin takes a shot at the Treason Media by saying she appreciates speaking to the people without the filter of the media. ZING!!! A lot of little digs in the language she used, but it was a positive sunny outlook. Biden's closer was more of the dark, "Grapes of Wrath", misery where stray dogs are eating our elderly that is the stock and trade of the Democrats.
• The Winner? MOOSE-SLAYER!!!! Not even close, but Chuck Todd, the NBC News Political Director, has declared it meaningless. Yesterday, he said that the election was, for all intents and purposes, over because the Obamessiah had it in the bag, so we know how objective he is. Brokaw is positive toward Palin, but naturally tempered any praise.
• Flipping over to PBS, Mark Shields was bitching about how Dubya's tax cuts cause job losses - sane people say, "HUH?!?!?" - which means Palin killed and he's not happy. Wah. Presidential historian Richard Norton Smith said that the conservative pointy-heads who have be calling for Palin to GTFO - read: Kathleen Parker - will probably STFU. A woman (I'm missing the Chyrons) is annoyed by her folksiness - what did I say above? - so that's another sign the Left is back to crapping their pants.
A NY Times reporter (Kate Zernike) who's covering Palin said that the McCain people are pleased, but tempered it with the damn-with-faint-praise "She won by not losing" crack. John Harris from Politico declared Biden the winner, but that site has veered hard left in the past few weeks. He brings up the Couric interview as examples have how she sucked and ludicrously claimed that "she was hanging on for dear life" on her answers. I'm gonna have to take Politico off my RSS reader because they're no longer the balanced outfit they used to be. Too bad. Palin Derangement Syndrome and Obama Compulsive Disorder are ugly diseases.
Beschloss trots out the hoary trope about Lloyd Bentsen slapping down Dan Quayle with the "You're no Jack Kennedy" line but conveniently omits that Quayle got to be Veep and Bentsen didn't. The way they tell the story over and over, you'd think that Quayle turned into a pillar of salt after that crack.
• Flipped back to NBC and caught the end of a Truth Squad segment that was calling out Biden on misrepresenting a McCain position. Wish I could've seen more of this than the PBS blather of bitter partisans being sad. Brokaw just said that Biden's crew are glad that there was only one debate. Sounds like he saw the reality of Sarah Palin's killing, gutting and mounting of Biden's head on her rec room wall.
• Up next: John and Barry dance next Tuesday with Brokaw moderating. No word as to whether he has a book coming out.
• Nightline's panel of liberals all called it for Biden (No? Yes!) and pissed all over Palin. Matthew Dowd said that poor McCain has had two losses in a row (he said Obama won the last debate - I'm so suprised) and has little hope and should just go off on the ice floe to die. (Paraphrasing.) The divorce from reality of these guys is astonishing. My girlfriend called me up and I was surprised to hear she'd watched the debate and she thought Palin buried Biden and she's not anywhere near as politically, um, "engaged" as I am.
The Treason Media has ascended to propagandistic levels that would make Goebbels blush. The trope, "Who are you going to believe? Me or your lying eyes?", is writ large in Times Square-sized letters for all to see. If these guys were sports reporters, they'd be declaring the pro-in-name-only Detroit Lions undefeated and ready to repeat as Super Bowl champs.
Obama Compulsive Disorder has them going beyond just covering up Obama's close ties to terrorists, racists, and criminals to outright Orwellian DoubleSpeak where they tell you the exact opposite of what has happened. In a downpour, they'll tell you to have a barbecue because it's so nice. Will McCain speak the inconvenient truths about Obama that the Treason Media isn't covering? (I doubt it.)
• About The Corner being down:
I'm Deeply Sorry [Kathryn Jean Lopez]A lot of the Cornerites are whining that she didn't break from McCain's unwillingness to defend free enterprise. How exactly would that work, kids? Yeesh. Babies.
We have at least five times the traffic we had last Friday night and our server couldn’t handle it. Most of us couldn’t access the NRO because of it. I am sorry. Cnn.com has more money so it doesn’t happen to them. We will do our darnedest with our resources that it never happens again.
• Charlie Rose's panel is in typical form, poo-pooing Moose-Slayer's performance and slobbering over Biden. Then they shifted to bashing McCain and just slamming everything he's done or tried to do as "failure". McCain's attempt to do something about the bailout was derided as rash while Obama's hanging back and doing nothing was hailed as stability. WTF?!?!? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills listening to these jokers! Now they're saying he's angry and annoyed - Mark Halperin said he's "a big mess...angry guy", while Obama is "cool". Shameless. Orwellian. Disgusting.