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article imageSarah Palin: The Debate, The Reactions And The Party Afterward

By Susan Duclos     Oct 3, 2008 in Politics
While pundits from different sides of the political aisle saw last night's VP debate between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden, differently, some headlines today have the McCain campaign feeling good with Palin energizing the conservative base.
For weeks conservative pundits have been begging the McCain campaign to "let Sarah be Sarah" and from the reactions today of conservative forums, blogs, websites and pundits, they received exactly what they asked for when Sarah Palin walked out onto the debate stage and said "Nice to meet you. Hey, can I call you Joe?"
The Headlines Making The McCain Camp Happy.
David Brooks from the New York Times headlines with "The Palin Rebound" and he describes how conservatives were weary about whether they would see the Palin they met when McCain announced her and the woman that gave the Republican Convention speech they so liked, or whether it would be the uncomfortable woman from the recent interviews she had given, and he points out that those concerned Republicans ended up on the standing on the couch cheering Palin last night as he calls her performance "vibrant and tactically clever."
The Boston Globe headlines with "Rivals shine, Palin a bit more brightly," as they point something that was said to me a time or two during the debate, Palin "seemed to be having a good time" and was almost "gleeful" at the type of format the debate offered, to which she acknowledged when she said "I like being able to answer these tough questions without the filter even of the mainstream media."
They fairly point out that Biden comported himself well except when he tried to match Palin's colloquialisms, he showed strength and a wealth of knowledge and they assert the "evening nearly free of gaffes, large or small."
With so few mistakes, a clear winner was hard to determine. On CNN, a real-time measure of reactions from a group of Ohio voters - which took up nearly a fifth of the screen - rarely dipped into the negative, no matter who was talking.
But throughout it all, Palin was the one who smiled most broadly. Even the flag pin on her lapel had sparkles.
The Politico headlines with "You betcha Sarah Palin can debate," and they start off with "Sarah Palin was supposed to fall off the stage at her vice presidential debate Thursday evening. Instead, she ended up dominating it."
That piece goes through a list of comments by Sarah Palin which resounded throughout the conservative blogosphere last night with those that were live blogging the debate, from her statement criticizing Barack Obama for saying he would meet with foreign leaders hostile to the United states, where she 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. An issue like that taken up by a presidential candidate goes beyond naiveté and goes beyond poor judgment.”
They point to lines well received from Joe Biden, specifying when he got choked up about his wife and child dying and being a single parent.
The Wall Street Journal headlines with "Palin the Populist" with a sub title stating "Joe Biden was no match for "Joe Six-Pack." They discuss a number of issues, but the piece brings up another line of thought, which is the reaction to Sarah Palin's performance on the right side of the political aisle.
Sarah Palin saved John McCain again Thursday night. She is the political equivalent of cardiac paddles: Clear! Zap! We've got a beat! She will re-electrify the base. More than that, an hour and a half of talking to America will take her to a new level of stardom. Watch her crowds this weekend. She's about to get jumpers, the old political name for people who are so excited to see you they start to jump.
Not all headlines were as favorable but titles such as these are the ones energizing the base and exciting the McCain campaign.
Reactions From The Base
From one end of the conservative blogosphere to the other, the reactions varied in words but not excitement, with Michelle Malkin declaring "Sarah Rocks", all in caps.
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.
Malkin then goes on to predict a "whole new, severe strain of Palin Derangement Syndrome to begin tonight."
Ed Morrissey from Hot Air points out "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."
Jazz Shaw, Assistant Editor of the Moderate Voice, which is a left leaning centrist site, ends with "Point to Palin for the race from me. The pundits will tear the individual statements apart for weeks, but Governor Palin not only beat expectations, but beat Biden fair and square."
These reactions are representative of what is being seen from the conservative side of the blogosphere, which is the base Palin needed to energize.
The video shown at the beginning of the article is of Frank Luntz's focus group, to which during the first presidential debate, those listed as undecided gave it to Obama and in this one they overwhelmingly gave it to Sarah Palin over Joe Biden.
Media polls such as CBS and CNN say the undecided voters asked favored Biden for last night night's debate.
John McCain's Campaign Reaction.
Tonight, Governor Palin proved beyond any doubt that she is ready to lead as Vice President of the United States. She won this debate, putting Joe Biden on defense on energy, foreign policy, taxes and the definition of change. Governor Palin laid bare Barack Obama’s record of voting to raise taxes, opposing the surge in Iraq, and proposing to meet unconditionally with the leaders of state sponsors of terror. The differences between the Obama-Biden ticket and the McCain-Palin ticket could not have been clearer. The American people saw stark contrasts in style and worldview. They saw Joe Biden, a Washington insider and a 36-year Senator, and Governor Palin, a Washington outsider and a maverick reformer. Governor Palin was direct, forceful and a breath of fresh air.” –Jill Hazelbaker, McCain-Palin 2008 Communications Director.
The Party.
There was a rally thrown for Sarah Palin after the debate to which Gateway Pundit attended and he has provided some pictures of the party thrown afterward and he says "There were 10,000 people there and they were FIRED UP!"
The Questions.
Did Sarah Palin gain any supporters last night for the McCain/Palin ticket?
Did she lose any support from the base?
Did she impress undecided voters?
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