Vice Presidential Debate Live-blogging

Watch Sarah Palin and Joe Biden debate with us on Thursday night, October 2nd 2008. The Palin-Biden debate time is 9pm ET / 6pm PDT.

The one and only vice-presidential debate is sponsored by the liberal PBS network. The moderator is Gwen Ifill, who has come under fire for rooting for Obama. She has written a kissy book lavishing praise on the Democrat presidential candidate, something which she did not disclose to the McCain campaign. The name of the book is “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.”

Many legitimate journalists are aghast that she would presume the role of arbiter. They say that she should have recused herself from the debate but the show must go on over her stubbornness.

Everyone will be watching Sarah Palin. This may be the first time in history that the VP debate gets higher television ratings that the presidential debate. The list of debate questions has not been released yet, but we will post it if we get a leak.

In one sense, Palin cannot lose. The Obama attack machine has caricatured one of our nation’s most important governors as a lightweight, mostly because she is a woman with an appealing rural demeanor. Therefore, pre-debate polls (there is such a thing!) tell us that viewers expect Biden to win. So he can only go down from there, and any major gaffe or coming across too much as a patronizing know-it-all may become the story.

Post-debate Reactions:

FoxNews focus group of undecided voters: almost unanimous that Palin won.

CNN focus group of undecided voters: Palin won.

Cable news pundit reactions: Palin won, mostly. Biden on tactical points. Palin connected.

Keith Olbermann: “Nobody expected this performance.”

Fact checking unraveling: large number of Biden misstatements. Command of legislative history was weak despite confidence.

First poll on who won: Palin 86%, Biden 12% (Fox Online)

Drudge online poll: Palin 73%, Biden 26%




Watch for Ifill to subtly participate in this picture through the questions that she chooses. The Obama tactics smell of sexism and politics as usual in Washington, the same old same change we can believe in.

Palin will presumably present a better picture than the caricature, that of a strong and decisive woman, with middle-American values and an appetite for real change. And all she has to do is sound smarter than Tina Fey to win the debate since nobody will be paying attention to Joe Biden.

On the other hand, the media and Obama operatives will seize on any slip of the tongue or gaffe, no matter how trivial, to continue their smear on the governor. So that will become part of the story in the major news media, which will serve to influence those who did not watch. They will ignore who Joe Biden thinks he saw on TV in 1929 and whose words he plagiarizes this time. So the combination of the debate itself and the media spin will determine who won the debate, Palin or Biden.

You can watch the debate on-line in many places including here. Watch for the live-video embed later, and you can see the preparations for it here.

Videos and transcript of the debate will follow when available. This will be one of the highlights of the 2008 campaign.

Meanwhile start the conversation!

Update: You can read the transcript of tonight’s debate here


Vice President Debate (Video)
(after TV show ad)