"You know how when you make a copy of a copy, it's not as shap as, well, the original."
I'm pretty sure that explains the Republican nominee for Vice President. You see, George W. Bush has always fancied himself a copy of Ronald Reagan (he's not, but that's a whole separate discussion). And Sarah Palin is a clone of George 43. She's trying to emulate the populist aura he exuded during the 2000 election. She's trying to support his concept of a nearly unrestrained executive (that's why she appeared to agree with Cheney when Ifill asked her whether Palin felt, as does Cheney, that the VP is "outside the executive branch"). And, of course, she decided that Dubya really has been correctly pronouncing the word "nuclear" all these years.
But Bush isn't as sharp as Reagan, and Palin isn't as sharp as Bush.
I always knew that when the torch is passed to my generation (I was born in 1974), we'd have politicians winking into the camera, as if it's a person with whom the candidate is having a conversation. After all, we grew up watching things like Ferris Beuller's Day Off and Saved by the Bell, where TV characters threw off convention and regularly made asides to the camera. But Palin's about ten years too old to have been influenced by that, and winking into the camera just looked weird.
That having been said: I think Palin did pretty well. She wasn't as substantive as Biden was, but Biden came off a little whonk-ish at times. I'm not sure she made any real connection with the voters, but the debate didn't really focus on social issues, which I think is where she'd have liked to stoke the fires of the conservative base. Biden came awfully close to advocating for gay marriage (fine by me, but not a winning issue in this country yet), but cleaned it up. Biden had two good moments, I thought: first, when talking about Afghanistan and Iraq, and comparing the amount of money we've spent in each. And second, when he choked up a little bit talking about being a single father. That was unexpectedly unscripted--one of the few non-canned responses either candidate gave all night.
What were your thoughts on the debate? Did it change your mind about anything? And try not to feed the trolls....