He won. She totally won. At least she didn’t fall on her face. Thank God he kept it brief. Does anyone really buy all this “betcha, gosh, golly wow, Joe Six-pack” crap? What was that dude even talking about? It’s kind of hard to fail when the bar is set below the bar. Is winking a debate tactic? What about crying? Does it count as an answer if you don’t really answer the question and just talk about whatever you want to talk about? Do vice-presidential debates even matter? Is anyone seriously going to be swayed by either of these two?
Those are just some of the rants, raves and rhetorical questions that came up in the MTV News editorial meeting on Friday morning following Thursday night’s vice-presidential debate between Republican Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Democratic Senator Joe Biden. Except for the copious cursing, it was probably not unlike a million other conversations that took place at those now famous Average Joe and Jane Six-pack breakfast tables all across the country.
By our count, the debate that had the potential to be a Lindsay-Lohan-meets-Britney-Spears-during-their-dark-years train-wreck on top of a shipwreck turned out to be, for the most part, a tie. But you’d never know it if you slipped into the spin alley/zone/corner/vortex of the media. The homepage of the unabashedly left-leaning HuffingtonPost.com currently reads: “The Verdict: GOP Strategist: Palin’s Performance Will ‘Help Stop The Bleeding… It Won’t Change The Trend Line’ … CNN: Biden Dominated Among Undecideds… CBS Focus Group: Biden Won.” The blog’s founder, Arianna Huffington, has a decidedly more partisan take in a column titled, “VP Debate: McCain’s Big Gamble Comes Up Snake Eyes.”
Over at the conservative Drudge Report, there is a poll that has Palin beating Biden by a 70 to 28 percent margin. CBSNews.com says, “He Looked Presidential, She Looked Mayoral.” The Boston Herald smirks, “Smilin’ Sarah Palin Sinks With Winks.” The New York Times‘ TV critic praises Palin for recapturing her image, and the Washington Post goes so far as to say everyone won (including moderator Gwen Ifill, who wasn’t even running for anything), even as one of its chief political writers claims in his column that Palin is a “Hockey Mom on Thin Ice.”
For the most part, outside the conservative blogosphere, Biden is considered the winner. Former Clinton White House insider George Stephanopoulos told “Good Morning America” that Biden’s strategy edged out Palin’s. Time magazine’s Joe Klein states that “Plain Was Fine, But This Debate Was No Contest,” and a commentator on CNN.com decides that “For Palin, a tie is a win.”
So, what do you think? Tell us your verdict on the debate now!