[Sarah Palin] succeeded Thursday in one crucial respect: re-establishing herself as a charismatic, composed performer. The evening had offered a needed opportunity to reverse a growing perception among voters that she lacks the intellectual firepower and experience to be a heartbeat away from the presidency.
… But after Thursday, that question may recede a bit as an election issue, switching again to whether McCain and Palin can present a convincing case that their administration would offer something different than the current one.
And that’s where Biden seemed the most commanding. Avoiding directly attacking Palin, he went after McCain again and again: on the economy, branding the Arizona senator as a deregulator who encouraged the current Wall Street crisis; on foreign policy by tying McCain to the war in Iraq; and on health care, where Biden labeled McCain’s health care plan, which involves tax credits, “the ultimate Bridge to Nowhere.”
“Look, all you have to do is go down Union Street with me in Wilmington or go to Katie’s Restaurant or walk into Home Depot with me where I spend a lot of time and you ask anybody in there whether or not the economic and foreign policy of this administration has made them better off in the last eight years,” Biden said. “And then ask them whether there’s a single major initiative that John McCain differs with the president on. On taxes, on Iraq, on Afghanistan, on the whole question of how to help education, on the dealing with health care.”
At one point near the end of the debate, Biden seemed to be overcome in referring to the car accident that killed his first wife and his baby daughter in 1972.
At the close of the debate, both sides claimed victory.
via Chicago Tribune: The winner? It’s Debatable