The stage is a cage, the mic is a third rail


OK folks here we go...

Conclusion: I can't tell you who won. I thought, though, as the debate wore on Biden really put on the pressure. They seemed even early, I guess with an edge to Palin. But you can't keep repeating the same talking points.

10:32 Final statement--edge Biden.

10:24 "Maverick he is not..." again, very good.

10:20 OK, now Biden is killing. He's talking about himself. That was fucking great. He's a great foil. All she can do is counter with generalist blather. "Take on my own party," "Both sides of the aisle," "Maverick position that he's in."

10:19 LOL!!! She didn't even answer the Achilles Heel question. Was that even an attempt at an answer?

10:17 Very, very very good answer on Cheney--by Biden.

10:16 That was barely an answer on the VP. She doesn't seem to understand the argument. She's just agreeing with Cheney because he's a Republican.

10:10 I think the whole "government get out our way" line is dead these days. It just doesn't seem like the best line in these times.

10:04 This is interesting. She is running out of ammo. It's like watching a fighter punch himself out. She doesn't really have another line of attack besides Biden agreeing with McCain on certain foreign policy questions. Maybe that's the point. But this "you agree with me" strat didn't work well last week.

9:55 Fallows says:

The loser 38 minutes in is Gwen Ifill, who is doing nothing at all to keep the discussion on track or having the candidates engage.

The circumstances don't allow her to do anything close to what Katie Couric achieved, but she seems not even to be listening to the answers when moving to her next question.

Man, was I wrong?

9:49 I'm finding this really hard to gauge. She's basically bullshitting her way through much of this. I think it all depends how effective the deception is.

9:44 Her attacks are so passive-aggressive....

9:38 Ugh. That "no supporting gay marriage" answer makes my ears hurt. Ouch.

9:35 Is she answering Gwen's questions? It may not matter. I don't know.

9:31 Bad on climate-change. Not just that she doesn't agree with us lefties. She doesn't sound convincing on the whole "not arguing about the causes" thing.

9:21 "The ultimate bridge to nowhere." Cute line from Biden.

9:13 It's the "gosh darnit" thing. Again, maybe that works for some people. I don't know.

9:10 Smart nod to predatory lending by Palin and living within our means. Really smart not to blame the American people. There's something about her that lacks gravitas. It's really weird. But, meh, I'm not an undecided voter.

9:06 Good first answer for both. She seems fine.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Social Security: The Greatest Government Policy of All Time?

It's the most effective anti-poverty program in U.S. history. So why do some people hate it?

Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus


Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.


Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.


Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.


Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.


The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air



More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In