Lively, but polite is the conclusion after the eagerly-awaited vice-Presidential debate between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden. In an event littered with potential pitfalls, each candidate managed to avoid gaffes, and the polls indicate a draw. The economy naturally dominated the early exchanges. Republican Palin went first:
“You know, I think a good barometer here as we try to figure out has this been a good time or a bad time in America’s economy, is to go to a kid’s soccer game on Saturday and turn to any parent there on the sideline and ask them how they aaer feeling about the economy. And I bet you are going to hear some fear in that parent’s voice.”
Democrat Biden hit back at her boss: “It was two Mondays ago that John McCain said at nine o’clock in the morning that the fundamentals of the economy were strong. Two weeks before that he said we have made great economic progress under George Bush’s policies. At nine o’clock the economy was strong, at eleven o’clock that same day, two Mondays ago, John McCain said we have an economic crisis. That does not make John McCain a bad guy, but it does point out he is out of touch.’‘
Much had been made of Palin’s lack of foreign policy experience, but she held her own when Biden attacked over Iraq: “Barack Obama and I agree fully and completely on one thing. You have got to have a timeline to draw down the troops and shift responsibility to the Iraqis.”
Palin accused him of giving up: “Your plan is a white flag of surrender in Iraq, and that is not what our troops need to hear today, that is for sure. And it is not what our nation needs to be able to count on.”
Honours roughly even, then. Two polls taken immediately afterwards judged Biden the winner, but showed many voters thought Palin had done better than expected. Obama and McCain clash for a second time next Tuesday.