From the Washington Post's Dana Milbank: Joe, and Sarah Six Pack
When she took the stage Thursday night here at Washington University for the vice presidential debate, Sarah Six-Pack all but popped open a cold one. Wearing a glittery flag pin on her jacket, she blew a kiss toward the audience. She gave a wave that Tina Fey would probably describe as adorable. Then she regarded her Democratic foe, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
"Nice to meet you," Palin told Joe Biden. "Hey, can I call you Joe?"
"You can call me Joe," the senator obliged.
"Okay, thanks," she said brightly.
"Thank you," Biden replied.
"Thank you," she told him again. "Thank you, Gwen," she told moderator Gwen Ifill. "Thank you, thank you, thank you," she told nobody in particular.
It was going to be a long evening.
WaPo's T.V. critic Tom Shales commented that Palin was "debating her own public image and not Joe Biden." If you want his non-pundit analysis, read Palin Takes on a New Foe: Her Image.
Hand-in-hand with that is Chicago Sun-Time's critic Robert Ebert's scathing assessment of John McCain's rudeness toward Barack Obama in last week's debate. Check out Guess Who's Not Coming to Dinner. (A shout-out to my friend and fellow photo blogger Virginia, who sent that one my way.) He also has a thing or two to say about Sarah Palin: The American Idol Candidate.
Getting back to the WaPo, Howard Kurtz had this to say: "In a normal debate, I'd say Biden won. But Sarah Palin didn't need to beat Joe Biden. She just needed to erase the scattered, deer-in-the-headlights image of herself created by the Katie and Charlie interviews." Read the rest of his commentary and his round-up of the MSM in Palin Digs Herself Out.
And the opinion writers at PostPartisan offer these snapshots: Biden's Distortions, In the Cold Light of Morning: Veep Debate Not a Game Changer, Sarah the Speedy, Palin Good, Biden Better, and Palin's Big Mistake.
Over at The Atlantic, Andrew Sullivan opines that both candidates did fine but "what we need now is a press conference with Palin. She needs to be forced to answer follow-ups. She needs to be made accessible to the press and thereby the American people." Read The Bottom Line.
Emily Bazelon at Slate explains why Sarah Palin is so hard on the hearts and minds of women voters. Here is The Un-Hillary: Why Watching Sarah Palin is Agony for Women.
Meanwhile, over at Time (incidentally, one of the magazines that Sarah Palin doesn't read), Belinda Luscombe gives us three reasons why women hate on Sarah Palin. First, she's pretty; second, she's too confident; and third, she could embarrass us. It's a bit high-schoolish and shallow in content, but here is Why Some Women Hate Sarah Palin.
Joe Klein, of the same magazine, gives us a rundown of the debate in Palin Was Fine, But This Was No Contest.
Amy Sullivan was in Colorado last night with a focus group of 40 undecided women voters watching the debate. She brings this report: Did Women Like Palin? I think you'll be surprised by the outcome. I'll give you a teaser: 8 - 8 - 24. And no, those aren't my measurements!
Salon's Mike Madden starts off with a view similar to a few other articles here, but he digs a little deeper after he says, "There were two debates going on in St. Louis Thursday night. Joe Biden was debating John McCain. And Sarah Palin was debating Sarah Palin -- at least the version of her that most of America has seen on TV for the last few weeks." Read Sarah Palin Exceeds Expectations--And Still Loses.
Over at The New Yorker, the Editors provide a lengthy (isn't everything in The New Yorker?) commentary about this election and how it really is important. Here is The Choice.
Hendrik Hertzberg dissects Sarah Palin's claims to foreign policy experience in Foreign Countries.
And finally, a bit tongue in cheek, George Packer offers a Zagat Guide to the Debate. Probably the best bit I've read all day!