As might be expected, Sarah Palin appeared to be more than a little nervous, especially at first. By contrast, Joe Biden, who has experienced a lot of high political drama, seemed much more comfortable.
Because last night's vice-presidential debaters were there mainly to promote presidential candidates, they often sounded like a series of ads, first for Obama, then for McCain, back and forth. There were times when I expected to hear the standard voice-over: "I'm _______, and I approve this message."
Since Michele laughed at me because I watched the debate with pen in hand and a notepad on my lap, you should be especially thankful for the following list of a few other things I noticed:
1. Joe Biden got in a good line when he compared a McCain policy to "the ultimate bridge to nowhere."
2. Considering the pressure that was on Sarah Palin, I thought she performed remarkably well. There were a few times, though, when she couldn't seem to do much more than throw out a string of phrases, reminiscent of the Katie Couric interview.
3. I was amused by a Palin line, used more than once, to the effect that we've got to "Stop the greed and corruption on Wall Street." Good luck with that one.
4. Why is there a correlation between running for high political office and not being able to pronounce the word nuclear? It started with Jimmy Carter, continued with George W. (did his dad do this too?), and now Sarah Palin. They all say "Nucyooler." What's up with that?
5. For all of the grumbling about "politics as usual" this campaign certainly does feel different from previous ones. For example, it seems to me that John McCain's stature as an former prisoner of war generates a deference to him that winds up being returned, at least some of the time. More than once last night, Joe Biden said of McCain, "I love him." Can you imagine, in the Bentsen-Quayle debate featured in yesterday's post, Lloyd Bentsen saying something like that about the former President Bush? This race is very different.
What did you think? What stuck out to you?