VP Debate Reactions

Well the debate everyone was waiting for is over, so now we can get to the tale of the tape and see what everyone had to say about it.

(by the way, my live-blog of the debate is here)

On to the feedback...

* Malkin says "Sarah Rocks!"

She was warm, fresh, funny, confident, energetic, personable, relentless, and on message. She roasted Obama’s flip-flops on the surge and tea-with-dictators declarations, dinged Biden’s bash-Bush rhetoric, challenged the blame-America defeatism of the Left, and exuded the sunny optimism that energized the base in the first place.

McCain has not done many things right. But Sarah Palin proved tonight that the VP risk he took was worth it....

Pause to reflect on this: She matched — and trumped several times — a man who has spent his entire adult life on the political stage, run for president twice, and as he mentioned several times, chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee.

* Ed Morrissey: "Palin hits homerun"

Sarah Palin demonstrated both the wisdom of adding her to the ticket and the folly of the McCain campaign’s press bubble for the last four weeks. Palin was confident, assertive to the point of aggressive, knowledgeable, and open. She repeatedly went after Biden, which is not usually a tactic seen much in VP debates (candidates usually attack the presidential nominees), and Biden had no answer for Palin. On foreign policy, she offered good answers, made only a couple of rhetorical stumbles in segues when she wanted to change the subject, and delivered an exceptionally fine performance. ...

Will this boost McCain’s standing in this race? I think it will, and I thought that even before I saw the Frank Luntz focus group. McCain needed this debate victory tonight, and it may restart the Palin phenomenon, just in time for the final stretch of the election. This time, though, the McCain campaign has to get Palin out in press conferences, interviews, and contact with the people. She’s sharp, able, and energetic, and she could win this election for McCain if he would just let her.

* The Next Right: "Sarah is back"

Tonight, Sarah Palin was sharp, articulate, and connected with the middle class. The #1 political effect tonight will have is an important one for the McCain campaign: she shut the doubters up, and then some. In this important sense, she stopped the bleeding. I suspect that a very tough couple of weeks ends tonight, and it will be up to John McCain to get the comeback going next Tuesday.

Conservative weak sisters like Kathleen Parker and David Brooks can turn their pens in another direction. Tonight, they've been silenced. ...

Palin can no longer be defined as a liability in any meaningful political or analytical sense. Her claim to leadership in the next Right stands stronger than ever.

* National Review: "Palin's Triumph"

Gov. Sarah Palin, once again, confounded her critics with a strong performance. She did it at the Republican convention, and she did it again last night in her debate with Sen. Joe Biden. She performed with poise and charm. She effectively made the case that Senator Obama would be naïve in foreign policy and harmful to economic growth, and that Senator McCain would be a common-sense reformer. She handled questions about Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran well. She connected domestic-policy arguments to the lives of average voters. Anyone who hoped — or feared — that she would fall flat on her face was proven wrong.

* Roger Simon (via the Politico): "You betcha Sarah can debate"

Sarah Palin was supposed to fall off the stage at her vice presidential debate Thursday evening. Instead, she ended up dominating it.

She not only kept Joe Biden on the defensive for much of the debate, she not only repeatedly attacked Barack Obama, but she looked like she was enjoying herself while doing it. ...

Criticizing Obama for saying he would meet with some foreign leaders who are hostile to the United States, Palin said: “Some of these dictators hate America and what we stand for. They cannot be met with. That is beyond bad judgment. That is dangerous.”

* Powerline: "Grand Slam"

Given Governor Palin's performance, Biden had an impossible assignment. He made things worse with his inappropriate grins and grimaces while Palin was speaking, much like Al Gore in 2000, only worse. Palin, in contrast, kept a steady demeanor while Biden was taking shots at her, like a pro. Throughout, she commanded the stage and displayed more poise and confidence than her opponent.

* Even the NY Times had to say something nice and not completely ignore reality:

Gov. Sarah Palin made it through the vice-presidential debate on Thursday without doing any obvious damage to the Republican presidential ticket. By surviving her encounter with Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. and quelling some of the talk about her basic qualifications for high office, she may even have done Senator John McCain a bit of good, freeing him to focus on the other troubles shadowing his campaign.

You just know it hurt those guys to write anything like that....

More:

* The Luntz focus group, (showing an overwhelming opinion of Palin as the winner) is here.

* K-Lo: Doggone-it, She Winked!

* Gateway Pundit has some nice photos from the Palin debate "after party", featuring about 10,000 people

* Byron York: "Sarah Palin, the winner by a wink"

* Stop the ACLU: Peggy Noonan and David Brooks eat crow

* Polipundit: Hockey mom Palin scores the hat trick

* Wizbang: WOW! Palin shock and awe

(cross posted here)

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