No links for this, must more pure personal reaction. Palin did OK, but a little too much Energizer Bunny fembot reciting talking points to have won, goshdarnit! (wink) She really believes in that GREAT AMERICAN HERO: John McCain, David Petraeus, her brother the schooteacher, whomever. As Joe Biden once said in moment of truth (called a "gaffe" by Washingtonians), Palin's pretty, which made her easier to look at--except when her smile dropped, her lips tensed, and she seemed about to scowl, SCARY! Luckily, she usually recovered he beauty-queen poise (see below).
Biden came across as an old pol...not 100 percent credible, but, on the other hand, able to think on his feet. He looks like he had one too many Botox injections on his forehead--bring back some wrinkles please, so we can see expression on what otherwise looks like a rubber mask--but he did show some emotion in a corny "choking up" moment, which worked to humanize him. He actually seemed more real than Palin. Plus the God Bless Our Troops ending was good.
Best of all was Biden saying that McCain was not really a maverick (he really meant that the OLD John McCain was a maverick, while the NEW John McCain running for President is a Bush water-carrier). That took some wind out of Palin's sails. I also liked Biden saying he changed his mind about judicial ideology in the Bork hearings, a way of getting the abortion issue into the debate.
Nice to see that Palin supports gay rights along with Biden! That clarification during the debate should cheer the Christian base of the Republican party no end. Somehow the discomfort showing on Biden's face made him appear more conservative on this issue than Palin, at least to this observer... We'll see how this plays in Peoria--or Michigan.
Meanwhile, Biden turned out to be tall, and Palin turned out to be short! That's always interesting. Palin had a bit of a hunch. She might want to consider taking classes in the Alexander technique...
One thing missing--a discussion of prinicples. Palin was a hero-worshipper, Biden seemed a deal-maker. What's needed is an injection of priniciples into the race, rather than ideology or hero-worship. Principles are what enable people to make rational decisions and plans for new situations, and the President always faces a new situation...
On to the Presdential debates next week.
UPDATE: Snap polls seem to show that the majority of Americans feel the same way I do.