The good news for Republicans from the vice presidential debate Thursday night was that Gov. Sarah Palin provided solid answers and went toe-to-toe with Democratic Sen. Joe Biden in verbal exchanges that she peppered with folksy colloquialisms and campaign talking points. Comfort the base? Mission accomplished.
The bad news is that too often the answers she provided did not synch up with the questions asked by the moderator. When asked about taxes or the economy, Palin explained her energy policy. When asked about almost anything, she explained her energy policy.
Biden started out droning on like the Washington lifer he is, and seemed taken aback that — egad! — he had a real opponent on stage with him. In the end, he made no gaffes and Democrats breathed a sigh of relief.
As with almost everything in this election, the buildup was greater than the result. We finally got to see these much-discussed candidates in the spotlight, and they reinforced their backers’ belief in them. But in the end, the debate likely didn’t move undecided voters in either direction.