In the only Vice Presidential debate between Vice Presidential candidates Joe Biden and Sarah Palin, the Republican nominee charmed her way to a grand slam victory. Repeatedly looking directly into the television camera... and in a folksy, "gee-gosh-I-am-just-like-all-of-you-red-blooded-Americans" style, Governor Palin was able to connect to voters in an undeniable way.
Having been the brunt of many media jokes and critiques the last few weeks, Palin was able to put to rest doubts of many naysayers as to whether or not she could hold her own in the national spotlight, and could operate a heart beat away from the presidency. Senator Biden, although more knowledgeable on foreign policy, came across far too angry and dated. He seem stuck in a Bush/Cheney era time warp.
Palin's eye winking, nose twitching, and 'gosh darn it' mannerisms added to her charisma and authenticity... and probably played well to those fence-sitting, 'gun toting, bible thumping', swing voters who will determine this year's election. Palin delivered several one-line zingers and attacked both Obama and Biden's record... all with that sly smile on her face. This disarming technique threw Biden off his nice-guy game plan, and helped to re-galvanized the Republican base, which had been in the doldrums of late.
As the only candidate in this race with any executive experience, Governor Palin boasted her managerial bona fides as she spoke of having to deal with State budgets, and working with legislators to get successful outcomes for the people under her leadership in Alaska. Indeed, she is no 'Einstein', but she is able to own the conversation and light up a room.
In comparison to the boring Obama/McCain debate in Mississippi last week, Biden/Palin's show down in St. Louie yielded more substantive information on the campaign's contrasts and positions... and by far was a much more spirited dialogue. A repeat performance would be a plus.