Judge: Ian Lising
Scores: Biden 82 | Palin 75
This debate was almost a non-starter for me when Governor Palin a few minutes in said ‘And I may not answer the questions that either the moderator or you want to hear, but I’m going to talk straight to the American people and let them know my track record also.’ Early on, she often sounded much like an actress too afraid to improvise off-script. Her responses were repetitive and lacked coherent linkage to the themes provided by either the moderator or the responses of Senator Biden.
Palin seemed to cling to her prepared responses and shoehorned them in with the nuanced underpinnings of the round. Then, she resorted to cutesy antics by saying, ‘Say it ain’t so, Joe, there you go again pointing backwards again’ and ‘doggone it,’ to get herself out of corners.
Biden was deliberate and resourceful in his presentation. But his nonverbals confused me a bit. His smile seemed to be the same whether Palin was on the offensive or defensive. However, his consistent tone and line of logic were overwhelmingly convincing. To illustrate, every time Palin would use the term ‘maverick’ to describe herself or Senator McCain, Biden would retort with specifics as to why that would not be the case. Palin would simply restate the claim again as if Biden had said nothing.
Biden possessed the gravitas that was appropriate for the occasion. Palin’s flippant attitude towards issues such as health care, the economy, and foreign policy undermined the dire situation that the United States finds itself in.
And these are the reasons why I would give this round clearly to Biden.