9:02pm: Wow. How did I not know Gwen Ifill was moderating?
9:04pm: Okay, so far so good (in the first 30 seconds): Biden sounds reasonable and calm. That's my biggest fear; that he'll get self-righteous the way McCain was last week.
9:05pm: Do you think perhaps Palin may be a pod person? How come one minute she can sound totally composed and then the next she sounds like she doesn't even know what "politics" means?
9:08pm: I'm glad they're looking at each other and not interrupting Gwen Ifill (so far), but Palin is just reciting talking points like nobody's business...
9:10pm: It seems to me that the questions Gwen is asking are a lot easier/more straightforward than the presidential debate questions. A lot more opinion questions and questions that set-up for Biden and Palin to support their running mates. Is this normal? Or is this part of the new more-scripted debate format?
9:13pm: Didn't McCain make that comment about Obama taxing people who make as low as $42,000 and the fact-checkers showed that wasn't true. Oh wait, that's what Biden just said. Never mind.
9:15pm: Okay, what Palin just said about McCain and government regulation vis-a-vis tax cuts didn't make any sense to me.
9:16pm: A little part of me (very tiny) wants to be happy that there's a woman up there during the VP debate. And then I remember who she is and I have to smack myself. That's kind of scary.
9:19pm: Okay, Palin, that health care rhetoric you spouted is just crazy-talk. Oh yes, universal health care sucks. Why would we want that? And how many times does it have to be explained that Obama's plan is not government-run in the way McCain/Palin are making it out to be.
9:24pm: I can't decide if it's good or bad that Sarah Palin sounds relatively smart and together tonight in comparison to earlier this week (even if I don't agree with her and she's making stuff up). Good: It doesn't make her look completely stupid so people can't say, "oh, women can't handle politics." Bad: It doesn't make her look completely stupid so she may regain her footing after the ridiculous Katie Couric debacle. Or maybe not.
9:31pm: Okay, now I've lost you Palin. That climate change response is the most roundabout thing I've heard recently. The "effects of impacts"?
9:33pm: It's freaky how much Sarah Palin and Tina Fey look alike, especially when she smiles. I find this particularly frustrating because I like Tina Fey. A lot.
9:35pm: "Drill, baby, drill," is the scariest slogan ever. And drilling can be compared to raping the continental shelf, Gov. Palin. Sorry, it just is.
9:36pm: Gwen Ifill is awesome! I can't believe she just asked about LGBT rights. Also, she's way better than Jim Lehrer at interrupting the candidates.
9:38pm: AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH. Sarah Palin is "tolerant" of gays (she only used the word about ten times in 90 seconds). Great.
9:39pm: I hate that Obama-Biden have to be officially anti-gay marriage (even though Biden used to be for gay marriage). I understand the political strategy, and I know that they are waaaay more gay-friendly than McCain-Palin and that they won't suddenly try to add something to the constitution about marriage being between a man and a woman, but it still frustrates me.
9:47pm: She really likes saying Ahmadinejad. Maybe proving she's not like Bush and can actually pronounce words.
9:50pm: Diplomacy is "hard work by serious people." Wow. I didn't know that.
9:56pm: Yes, Biden. We don't want anymore Bush. Okay, Palin? So you better learn how to pronounce "nuclear."
10:02pm: Well, Biden, I'm glad to hear you don't "have a stomach for genocide when it comes to Darfur." Do you have a stomach for genocide in general? What a funny turn of phrase.
10:03pm: Almost everyone voted for the war, didn't they? And, as for this argument Palin keeps making regarding Biden disagreeing with Obama during the primaries, all Biden needs to say is that they're different people and that's it a good thing that they have individual opinions about issues and work out those issues and through those issues as a team. Urgh.
10:06pm: Again with the "winning" of wars. Oh yes, because we won Vietnam, didn't we?
10:08pm: Palin just winked at the camera. Seriously. Oy.
10:10pm: Again the annoying tax argument. Obama is not going to raise taxes for the middle class. Argh.
10:11pm: "Now doggone-it!"
10:14pm: Yes, let's get back to education. For example, how can you claim to support education if you want to teach creationism (thereby undoing the separation of church and state) and don't want comprehensive sex-ed.
10:18pm: Good question about what they feel their weaknesses are, Gwen. Too bad Palin didn't feel like answering you.
10:21pm: Biden almost started crying. I'm sure people will see that as heartening and moving instead of thinking that it's over-emotional. Can you imagine what people would say if Palin got all choked up? Not that she would. Doesn't seem her style.
10:25pm: Not vetoing budgets? That's what you're using to compare with Biden's discussion of judiciary procedures in the Senate? Okaaay.
10:30pm: "Back in the day when men and women were free?" Wahuh?
10:31pm: Nice closing, Biden.
I appreciate that Bob Schieffer just pointed out that Palin often didn't answer questions and just stuck to the talking points.
And Katie Couric just called Palin and Biden "happy warriors," referring to their civil, composed debate. Why I think that's so hilarious, I don't know.
I probably should have been watching CNN and its live voter meter. That would have been fun. Now I'm going to go retroactively read the The Huffington Post's live blog of the debate. Check it out:
Right off the bat, Palin makes her move: I will OUT-MIDDLE CLASS YOU, JOE BIDEN (Can I call you, Joe? Yes? Great!) Parents at their kids soccer games, expressing fear over the economy. My parents weren't nearly so distractable at my soccer games, but then, my play was probably poor enough that they feared for my life.
Biden hewing to the Bill Clinton manual on "How To Attack John McCain." He's a great guy, but he doesn't get it. Palin, though, is completing sentences, with subject-verb agreement and anything. Four buzzwords, though: TEAM OF MAVERICKS, NEW ENERGY, JOE SIX-PAC, HOCKEY MOMS. Start marking off your bingo cards.