The debate is actually ongoing, so I’m not going to speculate who the winner is. I’m sure the media is already prepared to announce Joe Biden won and tells us why, with the exception of Fox News. I would like to point out the obvious to anyone carefully listening to each question and answer: neither candidate will answer the questions being asked. Early in the debate, I watched Biden not answer his question, and Palin proceed to answer a different question that had not been asked. The question was about Capitol Hill, pertaining to how they did this week. Was it their best, worst, etc. The senator did not answer that question at all. The governor from Alaska, when she could have been jumping all over him for his allusive response, answered the question in terms of how our economy is doing, not how Washington is doing.
At one point the moderator asked these candidates a question that she pointed out the Presidential candidates had failed to answer in their debate, the question of what campaign promises would have to be left unfulfilled. Biden started to answer, then got sidetracked into what McCain promises could be not fulfilled by an Obama presidency. Palin did a good job answering, but only after the question was repeated as a rebuttal.
What’s the bottom line? I’m afraid the bottom line is that the American public will fall for it. Both candidates “spoke directly to the American people,” which means they grandstanded with pre-rehersed speeches that make nice little soundbites. The media will spin the debate in their reports, and the average viewer/voter will believe about the debate what they are told, either by the news media or by the party of their choice. By in large the candidates do not answer the questions, and the voting public does not think critically enough to notice. The smoke and mirrors seem to be working just fine.