I just watched the vice presidential debate on my TiVo. I don't think Palin did as bad as I expected, but I'm just shocked at the after-debate commentary I heard on NBC where they were praising her. She didn't say anything! Any time she was asked a tough question she "turned on the charm" and avoided it.
Speaking of the charm, the analysts all praised her for looking at the camara (where else is she gonna look...), smiling, and using her "by gollys" and "you betchas". Personally, I think she came off as slightly fake and rather than being endeared, it just helped remind me how she does not seem presidential - she seems like another bush. I didn't get a feeling of respect. I didn't see someone that inspires confidence. I saw the image that she wanted people to see of an everyday, middle-class, mother, and I really have nothing against middle-class mothers, but is that really someone that should lead the country? A president needs to be in touch with the people in the country of course, but he/she also needs to be someone that commands respect and can see issues on a national level, and I didn't get that from her at all.
Even though I don't agree with everything he says or all his policies, I do plan on voting for Obama and I think Biden did a good job. I honestly don't know much about him, but he seemed to be on the ball and I think he actually answered most, if not all of the questions asked of him. He made valid points, poked a number of holes in the opposition, and reasonably defended against the accusations. I also agreed with most of the points he made and Palin didn't have a good response to the holes he poked in the McCain plan and McCain's record.
Biden and Obama were criticized by Palin for looking too much at Bush's career rather than "looking at the future", but the whole point was showing how similar McCain's policies are to Bush's. We don't want the same policies. We need change. I'm not saying that Obama's change is necessarily the change we need, but we can't have more of the same.
The biggest issue discussed for me was energy. McCain and the Republican party in general criticize Obama and Biden for voting against domestic drilling and some other methods of getting independence from foreign oil, but it irks me to no end because Obama and Biden do support independence from foreign oil - they just support it the right way via alternative, renewable energy rather than looking for oil in environmentally protected areas. The only way to truly break dependance on foreign oil is to get away from fossil fuels entirely. We need renewable, clean energy. This isn't debatable. Oil is limited, we will run out and it's far better to make the change now then wait until it's simply gone.
Neither candidate went into great detail about anything - this is one of the things that irks me about capaigns in general - but I think Biden won here as well, stating more real points rather than broad generalizations. From Palin I heard a lot of "maverik" comments about cross-party cooperation, but from Biden I got actual examples. From Palin I heard "we're going to change", while from Biden I heard "here are some things we're going to change".