For our Observers the face-off between Sen. Joe Biden and Gov. Sarah Palin was much better than the presidential debate. For some it was a tie, for the others Palin clearly won the battle if not the war.


"Biden attacked all the time"

Jim Wilkinson, Business owner, Mercedes TX (Republican)

It was a tie. The points are even.

A mistake from less experienced-Palin was expected. But her biggest mistake was she didn’t attack enough. On the contrary, Biden attacked all the time. She was quite mechanical in the form. But she had to because she was facing a 35-years experienced politician. She wanted to seem like an average American."

"Biden's substansive answers were more superior"

Julissa Reynoso, Attorney, New York (Democrat)

This debate is much more enlightening than the presidential debate.

It was a very energetic engagement. Biden and Palin present their respective sides in a way that Americans can clearly make out the differences between the Democratic and Republican tickets.

The questions are direct and leading, allowing for differences in policy objectives and philosophies to be revealed and scrutinized.

Biden's experience in foreign policy matters is obvious and he demonstrated total control of those questions. Palin showed, however, that she has been studying the issues and is more competent than some members of the chattering class are willing to acknowledge. And, of course, Palin has a persona that simply connects with regular voters.

However, philosophically and, indeed, in practical terms, Biden's substantive answers were superior. Biden more clearly than Palin laid out a concrete plan of action (incorporating economic recovery, diplomacy, energy independence, healthcare reform, and on and on) which has material possibilities of helping us Americans recover from our current state of dispair."

"Biden spoke over the people, Palin spoke among the people"

Alexander Stone Dale, Taxi driver, Manhattan NY (Republican)

Everybody’s looking for flubs so here’s one (sorry about the bold) so here’s one - Biden said he warned Bush about allowing the ‘West Bank’ to hold elections that Hamas would win. That’s the Gaza Strip Joe – Not the west Bank!

When Palin said that Barack Obama’s troop withdrawal plan was ‘Waving The White Flag Of Surrender” I almost fell out of my chair – Good thing I’m on a sofa.

When Joe Biden said nuclear Pakistan was more dangerous than Iran because of its 7000 Madrassa’s and we should build schools there – Ah – Madrassa’s are schools Joe! 3. Those Pakistani Madrassas are built with Saudi money. Make America energy independent and we cut off some of that Saudi Money. So “drill Now Drill here” Joe

I loved it when Moderator Gwen Ifull repeated that stupid Jim Leher question “what promises will a bad economy make you cut back on and Palin said “I’ve only been campaigning five weeks. I haven’t made enough promises yet to have to cut back on anything.” Sorry it was: “I’ve only been campaigning five weeks so I haven’t promised much Gwen so there’s not much I won’t be able to deliver.” (just went to my notes)

Also Palin: “You keep talking about Exxon BUT I TOOK THEM ON” was priceless.

When Biden wouldn’t shut up about Bush, bush, bush and Palin says “Enough is enough on looking backwards for a ticket talking about change.” (Damnnn!)

“I am such a Washington outsider, I’m just not used to the way you operate there.” Biden spoke over the people to them. Palin spoke from among the people to them. She kicked ass irregardless of Biden.

"Biden lost"

Ernesto Haibi, US Army medic, Copperas Cove TX (former Republican, now Democrat)

Seeing this through the eyes of an American voter, Biden lost. He gave facts, numbers, and trumped Palin several times with facts about McCain's voting record. She gave rhetoric, tugged heartstrings, and used the standard buzzwords.


Sadly most people will follow the fluff into the dryer's lint trap. When you give hard numbers and facts versus trite rhetorical political language you will lose most people. Like the man said, never confuse them with the facts.

As for the outsider nonsense, when I go to the doctor I want the one who graduated top of his class, is a member of every certifying board, and has been practicing for a few years. Not the one who just graduated and has his diploma in the most expensive frame."

"Sarah did it - Goal Palin!"

Edgar Thorton, Director of a college department, Iowa city (Republican)

Governor Palin looked strong, smart and warm. Sure Senator Biden is experienced but Governor Palin held her own against a guy who went to the U.S. Senate when she was in second grade.

Let's face it: she, me, you and anyone else would face a tall order facing off with a Washington insider like Biden who has been in the US Senate since the early 1970's.

But Governor Palin showed how she could get up to speed with the issues and even challenge him on some issues. Biden was Biden, an insider who has done everything and been everywhere over a 35-year career. Biden did what he had to do for Obama.

But I am extremely pleased Governor Palin passed the test and showed that she can represent us - the average people of America's Heartland and the Western U.S.

I loved Palin's mainstreet America speak. I was extremely delighted with Governor Palin's comments about personal responsibility and fighting corruption in Washington and that this Wall Street fiasco is not our fault.

I believe her appearance connected with regular everyday Americans. Her common sense comments tell me this woman will one day be the actual leader of my party - the Republican Party. I loved her at the convention and I think she will be a refreshing voice for change in Washington. She passed !"

"Palin is adorable, but scary"

Tim Kenney, Branding consultant, Bethesda, Maryland (Democrat)

Wow. This debate was MUCH better than the Presidential debate, even though Palin basically told the Moderator that she wasn’t going to answer any questions. Good tactic. It kept Palin from stepping into the mud of ignorance.


Tim Kenney watched the Palin-Biden debate with his friends and family


Interesting that to win this debate, all Palin had to do was show up and not fumble.

Biden was his usual best. Confident, extremely knowledgeable, and thank God not condescending to Palin the way McCain was to Obama. Did you see the hesitation and tear in his eye when he started talking about his injured sons and being a single parent. Very moving.

I'm so glad Biden brought up the “maverick” question. Sort of like watching a Gunslinger throw a coin in the air and shoot it in the middle. McCain ISN’T a maverick, he’s a staunch right-wing, pro-big oil Republican, and Palin is... well... Palin is just scary. Adorable, but scary."

"Palin vs Biden: A puddle vs an ocean"

Linda Sharp, Parenting writer, Austin TX (Independent)

I give Palin credit. She crammed for her exam. The problem is, she never took the class.

She had her talking points, had memorized how to pronounce Ahmadinejad (but sadly is still a graduate of the George Bush School of Pronunciation when it came to NU-CU-LAR - mispronounced TEN times.), and looked good on camera, but that's where her strengths ended.


Linda Sharp and her three daughters screamed at the TV when Sarah Palin pronounced it NU-CU-LER.


Her folksy schtick - the bad grammar, the "Heck, yeah"s, the dropping of the endings of so many words, the constant I'm-one-of-you-ing grated my nerves like a block of fresh Parmesan.

And judging by CNN's audience reaction meter at the bottom of my screen (this time of Undecided voters in Ohio), I was not alone. The meter dropped like an Alaskan moose turd every time she started to speak.

For the first twenty minutes of the debate, she never truly answered the questions being asked of her, even finally stating, "I may not answer the question the way the moderator or you wants me to, but I'm gonna talk straight to the American people." About herself.

That was the overriding thrust of her part of the debate: constantly drag us all up to Alaska to talk about her great achievements in a state with a population less than that of San Diego, California - and remind us that she and McCain are "mavericks." But as the title above states - she is a puddle, ergo her depth is not even worthy of water wings.

Biden, on the other hand, is an ocean. He is a statesman. He has experience, he has decades of foreign policy knowledge, decades of real world interaction with real world consequences. He was able to intelligently and confidently speak to every subject broached by Gwen Ifill.

More importantly, having been in the Senate with McCain for so long, he was able to directly rebut the lies and warpings of votes Palin tried to bring up. More importantly, he was able to speak extemporaneously because he knows how to think on his feet and has vast knowledge upon which to draw.

Palin constantly dragged the discussions back to what were obviously carefully scripted talking points, items pounded into her memory by advisors over the past weeks, cutesy terms that were must-say, like "Darn right", "Joe Six Pack", and "Hockeymom." I give her this much - she presented herself much better than anything we have seen in any interview up to this point.

She was prepped well. But cramming for a debate, and regurgitating information you have been spoon-fed is a far cry from being prepared to hit the ground running on Inauguration Day. If I'm going to jump in headfirst in terms of my vote, I choose the party with the depth to insure I won't break my neck. For me, my vote is with Obama-Biden."