Friday, October 03, 2008

VP Debate - Who Won?

I watched the Biden Palin debate and was struck by the after debate commentary by the news pundits. One WSJ columnist said it was a big win for Palin. Others described it as a win win. One person described it as a win for Biden - that person was Andy Hiller, a local political commentary on Channel 7 in Boston.

Here are my brief observations:

1. Biden was calm, coll and collected. His oratory and debate experience showed.

2. Biden was well prepared. His answers were generally concise and to the point.

3. Palin spoke to the camera.

4. Palin was not at ease but she was well prepared.

5. Palin used her home spun, down to earth personality which differentiated her from the Washington types.

6. Many times Palin would redirect her answers away from the specific question and to her areas of expertise - energy and "executive" experience.

7. Biden successfully countered her home spun approach by referring to his own "small" town experiences and the loss of his wife and child.

Here's the big point - neither candidate made a news worthy blunder and that is what the media was watching for. Instead, both candidates came in well prepared and delivered.

So who won? The commentators were giving it to Palin since she handled the pressures of this national event. However, I agree with Andy Hiller. Overall, Biden was better poised, demonstrated his years of experience and foreign policy knowledge, and was presidential. Biden presented the "X" factor whereas Palin appeared as an out of towner who had not yet acquired presidential poise. Based upon the debate - Who would appear stronger in a situation that required the use of military force? Answer - Biden.