Friday, October 03, 2008

So she didn't freeze up, meltdown, or just flat out went bonkers on us -- and that makes her performance superior to Biden's? And we thought the bar was an inch from the ground when GW was wowing us with his debate prowess.... (Apparently Biden won).

The fact is her answers to most questions sounded much better than her astoundingly bad replies to Katie Couric's queries, but you just have to scratch the surface a bit to realize there's not much there. Lots of memorized talking points, colloquial phrases ("gee whiz," "well gosh"), and ad hoc references to the base that frequently had zilch to do with Ifill's question(s). In the end, she came off as a slightly nervous, overly prepped 10th grade debater who just had to have that extra-large espresso before going on stage.

Biden was fine, although at the start he could've used some of that espresso. It felt like he had to initially get his bearings, to allow some time to feel how the tone of the event was going, before he could shed some caution and begin to truly engage. Once he did, he was often terrific.

In the end, neither candidate made any huge gaffes but neither did they likely make a hugely positive impact on the poll numbers. We'll see.

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