Ok, here we go! Biden needs to not put his foot in his mouth by saying something outrageous, which he is prone to do. Palin needs to show that she has at least a basic idea of what she's doing, which she so far hasn't done. This is basically Palin's night to win or lose: unless Biden does something really outrageous it's Palin who has to prove something.
8:58PM - John King just said something really smart: "It's much easier for the VP candidate to send their running mate down in the polls than it is to send them up." Very true, and given the candidates and the circumstances, it's a risky night for McCain/Palin.
9:01PM - Here we go!
9:02PM - Gwen (the moderator) reminds me of The Chief from the old Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego.
9:03PM - Palin: "Nice to meet you! Hey can I call you Joe?" ... wha!?!?! Did she know the mic was on?
9:04PM - Biden comes out swinging, says the economic crisis is all Bush's fault.
9:06PM - Palin's studied up on her economics. She's definitely playing to her strength, the "soccer mom" candidate.
9:09PM - "Ok, neither of you answered that question, I'm gonna come back to that." Oh SNAP!
9:11PM - Palin's really coming off strong on the economy.
9:12PM - Biden keeps saying "degregulate", which really just doesn't resonate. "Loosen the rules" sounds much better.
9:13PM - "Darn right!" Ok, that's the 2nd time she's said that.
9:13PM - Ok, the $42k tax thing is just false, it was a technicality that got fixed, plus McCain voted the exact same way.
9:17PM - Biden's answer on taxes is strong. Palin's response that the tax would hit small businesses is a good point, but so is Biden's response that 95% of small businesses don't make that.
9:20PM - Biden's point about the health care thing is a good one, but he's stringing together a lot of numbers, people are tuning out. Simple version: Your employer tax benefits have an average value of $12k. McCain will tax your employer health benefits, which means you won't get them anymore. Then you get a $5k tax break to help you get health care back, but it doesn't come close to the $5k.
9:21PM - "the ultimate bridge to nowhere." Oh snap #2!
9:26PM - Lots of blabber back and forth on energy. No one is really saying anything, just haggling over past votes.
9:29PM - Biden: "quote, and I'm paraphrasing" der!
9:30PM - Palin: "east coast politicians who don't allow states like Alaska to drill." Please. Most west coast politicians vote that way too, plus drilling in Alaska won't do squat. Best case scenario is that 30 years from now we'd have a 5% jump in performance.
9:36PM - Oooo... a gay question. Wow, Palin feels the need to tell everyone she's tolerant. A step in the right direction, I guess.
9:39PM - Ok, they both agree they don't support gay "marriage". Well, it was nice while it lasted.
9:40PM - We're on Iraq now. Palin had her talking points and voiced them admirably, but is now kinda going long and weird.
9:42PM - Biden's Iraq is strong, very much so.
9:43PM - Palin: "umm...... your flag is a white flag of surrender!"
9:45PM - Hmm.. interesting question: which is the greatest threat? A potential nuclear Iran, or an unstable nuclear Pakistan? According to Biden, it's Pakistan because Iran isn't close to getting a nuke, which is true, and because bin Laden is in Pakistan, which is also true.
9:47PM - Palin's been studying her names.
9:49PM - Palin: They hate us! They hate us all, because we're America!
9:51PM - Hmm.. Palin says two states is the solution for Israel/Palestine. That's pretty counter to most conservatives' views.
9:54PM - Wait, wasn't Biden just saying Iran wasn't a threat?
9:56PM - Ok, we get it, it's the same as George Bush's. Although according to insta-read on the bottom of the CNN screen the undecideds are eating it up.
9:57PM - Palin stumbles a bit on the nuclear weapon use question.
9:59PM - Biden, let me say this again! Don't you ever say "Let me say this again!" again! Oh dear, Biden you really shouldn't change topics mid sentence.
10:11PM - Biden has a GREAT response: "Look, come back to my neighborhood, and ask whether the past 8 years have been good!"
10:13PM - Palin: "I guess yours was a bad joke too cause nobody got it." Oh snap #3!
10:14PM - Palin says the constitution gives the VP more authority than's been used over the Senate and leading it? Huh?
10:17PM - Ok, actually, it's Article II that defines the VP, I hope Biden knows that and just slipped.
10:18PM - Umm, Governor, she asked you what your achilles heel is, not why you were chosen. Ok, both of them are turning this into a general why-is-your-candidate-best questions.
10:23PM - Biden goes after McCain the Maverick. According to insta-read, people like it. Wow, that was powerful.
10:30PM - Palin just said she wanted more chances like this. Well, no one's stopping you, if you want them then have them!
10:32PM - Biden: "Fundamental change". Good line.
Ok, that's it. Palin didn't implode, or if she did I somehow missed it, which means she passed. Biden rambled a bit, but didn't make any major gaffes. I think overall Biden had stronger answers, but Palin proved she wasn't just some ditz.
Overall not a game changer, which means Republicans did as well as they could've expected to, but no better.