For starters, Biden won the debate on all counts. If you read a lot of the immediate punditry, you're hearing a whole lot of "she got through it unscathed and therefore won." This just shows me how out of touch the media can be, and how they become so tied to the theatrics of politics, the fail to see the forest for the trees. I've read that Palin's "fans" probably saw this and liked it. Considering her low approval ratings, it sounds like those fans are about 10 guys in Georgia. Biden wiped the floor with her. And he did it without appearing condescending, without falling into any traps, and without committing any major gaffes. In fact, he appeared not only experienced and intelligent, but human.
Palin came off as a joke. Americans are in a serious mood, and have the sense that we are in a serious crisis. Watching Palin wink, make cute jokes, barely hold it together, repeat talking points doesn't put them at ease. I don't care if you're a hardcore Christian conservative or a hockey mom, you can't see this as a credible performance by a major candidate for office. It's amazing that her performances on CBS and ABC were so stunningly awful that THIS debate performance appeared to be an improvement.
What I found most terrifying (and I'm sure I'm not the only one) is the way in which she said "blunders." "Sure," she said, "there have been blunders." With an eye roll. Blunders? George Bush didn't drop a paperweight on his foot. He lied to the country and to congress in order to start an illegal and senseless war that is still going on; he sanctioned the torture of prisoners; endorsed extraordinary rendition to black sites; he left of thousands dead and billions wasted.
I think most people understand this. Palin, clearly, doesn't.
- Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.