8:57 PM. Well, I'm excited. And crossing my fingers. CNN's John King says that if Biden has a bad night, don't look for Obama to fall that much in the polls. If Palin screws up, however, McCain might really sink. I tend to agree with that.
9:03 PM. "Can I call you Joe?" That was nice. And clever.
9:05 PM. Biden starts similarly to the way Obama started, enumerating a set of points and immediately tying the current economic mess to Bush and McCain/Palin, by extension.
9:06 PM. Palin talks about fear over the economy and says something about a kid's soccer game. Smart, but of course I see it as transparent. She says the federal government has not provided sound oversight, and says McCain pushed for reform of Fannie and Freddie.
9:07 PM. Notice how the first legislative accomplishment Biden mentions is fighting violence against women. Good dig about McCain's 9:00 AM/11:00 AM "fundamentals of the economy are strong."
9:08 PM. We hear "maverick" for the first time!
9:09 PM. FYI, the Phillies have won, 5-2 and have taken a two-games-to-none lead in the NLDS.
9:11 PM. Palin is going to great pains to connect on a personal level. It's smart, because she doesn't know the actual facts about anything, but it appears to me to be somewhat transparent as well.
9:16 PM. Biden: "The economic engine of America is the middle class." Middle class, middle class, middle class.
9:18 PM. Judging from CNN's graph, uncommitted women in Ohio don't seem to like it when Palin goes after Obama directly.
9:19 PM. Biden should be talking to Palin directly, not just to Ifill and the camera.
9:21 PM. "I call that the ultimate Bridge to Nowhere." Ba-zing!
9:22 PM. Biden gives a good answer to what plans he and Obama would have to cut back on: he says they would cut foreign assistance, which middle America doesn't care about anyway.
9:25 PM. Palin says there's nothing that she and McCain have promised that wouldn't now come to fruition as a result of the Wall Street crisis. I say she's lying.
9:28 PM. Women like Biden more, men like Palin more. Well, she's hot, and Republican. And Biden's a Democrat. So that's not a big surprise.
9:31 PM. Palin "doesn't want to argue about the causes" of climate change. Right. Because you'd look like an idiot.
9:33 PM. The focus group really likes answers on energy independence.
9:34 PM. Palin corrects Biden on "Drill Baby Drill." Somewhere, Rudy Giuliani is smiling.
9:36 PM. Biden approves granting benefits to same-sex couples. Excellent, though not surprising. Can't wait to see what Palin says on this one.
9:38 PM. Palin once again pulls out the "I have a gay friend" thing. According to Andrew Sullivan, no evidence of such a friend exists.
9:39 PM. Palin doesn't answer the question - twice - on same-sex benefits. Bitch.
9:40 PM. Here comes the surge...
9:45 PM. Palin seems a little more nervous and uneasy now that the conversation has shifted to foreign policy. It's clear that she's not as comfortable simply reverting back to her talking points and folksy demeanor here.
9:46 PM. On the flip side, you can just tell how much more comfortable Biden is talking about foreign policy. He has the potential to really ace her here.
9:47 PM. I think it's interesting that, since the GOP has fucked up foreign policy so badly, they choose now to just throw out General Petraeus's name whenever they came, as if that somehow saves their asses. Anybody else notice that? And GOD DAMNIT IT'S NUCLEAR, NOT NUKE-YOU-LAR!!!!!!!
9:49 PM. Hah. I wonder what Palin and Henry Kissinger talked about.
9:51 PM. Biden just played the Zapatero card. I love him.
9:54 PM. People like it when Biden goes after Bush, and goes after him hard. That's not a surprise, he's got like a 3% approval rating.
9:55 PM. You can tell when Palin doesn't know what she's talking about, or isn't comfortable. She gets a little half-smile and speaks in an almost whispery tone, and frankly I think it's rather transparent, as I've said endless times.
9:56 PM. Finally! Biden: McCain = Bush, McCain = Bush, McCain = Bush, McCain = Bush.
10:01 PM. I think it's so interesting how men consistently like Palin more than women.
10:03 PM. Biden gives a strong, very passionate answer on the genocide in Darfur. This is gonna go over well with a lot of people, and CNN's focus group seems to love it as well.
10:05 PM. People like Palin's answer on Darfur, too.
10:08 PM. In an answer on what would happen if he were to assume the presidency, Biden says he'd continue Obama's work and ties him to all the "good" Democratic talking points - middle class, health care, fuck Bush, etc.
10:09 PM. "LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!" Finally!!!
10:10 PM. I just don't understand how the Republicans can continue to run on the "small government" meme. Ever hear of the Patriot Act?
10:11 PM. Did Palin really just say "goddawngit?"
10:17 PM. Palin has an incredible habit of not answering the question but managing to blab something about "ordinary Americans" and other bullshit. It's cute though that someone taught her a thing or two about the Constitution... kinda.
10:18 PM. Women in Ohio apparently hate Dick Cheney. Join the club that I started!
10:19 PM. It's interesting how Palin is talking about "shining city on a hill" and the "perfect ideal" of the United States when the question on the screen is "What is your real Achilles heel as a V.P. candidate?" ANSWER THE QUESTION, SARAH!!!
10:21 PM. Biden just choked up a little bit. It's important to remember that he has truly gone through some terrible ordeals in his life, and has gotten himself up and fought through it every single time.
10:26 PM. Palin's act really gets tiresome after a while.
10:30 PM. Attention Republicans: Get over Ronald Reagan. He wasn't that great a president, he didn't end the Cold War, and you all need to stop being silly.
10:31 PM. Biden has said "funnnnnndamental change" a lot.