It sounded to me like Sarah Palin got the mame of the U.S. Commander in Afghanistan wrong. I heard McClellan, but it's McKiernan. Biden didn't call her on it though. I imagine the liberal blogs will make hay out of this, but think it's pretty thing gruel.
Not a band, but Sarah Palin's first references to these Middle Americans tonight. Palin repeats McCain's Wall Street stuff but says "never again" and touts personal responsibility. Might not be as effective as Joe Biden's policy specifics and strawmen about deregulation.
My sense is that Sarah Palin has more to lose than she has to gain. If she exceeds expectations, it may help relieve doubts about her readiness, but
I would be surprised if McCain gets much of a bounce out of it, because the focus will soon shift back to the bailout plan. However, if she messes up, it will keep the focus on whether or not she's up to the job, and that's a loser for McCain. Fair or not, that's the field of play.
Joe Biden would be best off ignoring Palin as much as possible. He should just answer the questions and keep attacking McCain and try not to engage Palin and risk a backlash. But will he be able to keep himself from saying something really stupid? We shall see.
Palin needs to play to her strengths and recapture that likable authenticity that she had coming out of the convention, while at the same time, come across as confident in her answers. She can't afford another one of the Couric moments on such a large stage.
But at the end of the night, relax. Historically, the VP debate has very little influence on the outcome of the election, if any. Remember this?
Matt Lewis, echoing Rush Limbaugh and Erick Erickson, takes conservative writers to task for daring to question Sarah Palin's readiness for higher office, even putting quotes around the word "conservative" as if to question their ideological purity. Given that I've been critical of Palin in recent weeks and have received some reader feedback on this myself, I'd like to address this issue.
Let me say right off the bat that I don't get out of bed every morning and ask myself what I can do to get Republicans elected. If that were the way I operated, I'd work for the party or join a campaign. Were I to merely say whatever is helpful to Republicans at any given moment, I would have no value as a writer. All I can do is tell the truth as I see it.
Marc Ambinder gives Mike Huckabee a plausible shot at winning the Republican nomination in 2012, should Obama win this year. No chance. Although Huckabee defied expectations this year, at the end of the day, he was not able to expand his appeal beyond the evangelical base, and I don't see that changing much. His fiscal record is still atrocious and his national security views are erratic. He benefitted this year from coming out of nowhere and thus avoiding a lot of negative press until the very end, but this time around his record in Arkansas will get a lot more scrutiny. Also, it's hard to know who else would decide to run in four years and how that might shake up the race. This year, Huckabee was able to dominate among evangelicals because he was running in a heterodox field and none of his competitors were particularly appealing to that key constituency. But that would change if, say, Sarah Palin ran. She'd go back to Alaska after this election and get four more years of experience, and have time to study up on national and international issues and rack up more accomplishments.