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A national poll of people who watched the vice presidential debate Thursday night suggests that Democratic Sen. Joe Biden won, but also says Republican Gov. Sarah Palin exceeded expectations.

Poll respondents give Sen. Joe Biden the edge over Gov. Sarah Palin in ability to express views.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. said 51 percent of those polled thought Biden did the best job, while 36 percent thought Palin did the best job.

But respondents said the folksy Palin was more likable, scoring 54 percent to Biden's 36 percent. Seventy percent said Biden was more of a typical politician.

Both candidates exceeded expectations -- 84 percent of the people polled said Palin did a better job than they expected, while 64 percent said Biden also exceeded expectations.

How Palin would perform had been a major issue for the Alaska governor, who had some well-publicized fumbles during interviews with CBS' Katie Couric leading up to the debate.

Respondents thought Biden was better at expressing his views, giving him 52 percent to Palin's 36 Tell us who you think did best

On the question of the candidates' qualifications to assume the presidency, 87 percent of those polled said Biden is qualified and 42 percent said Palin is qualified.

The candidates sparred over which team would be the better agent of change, and Biden came out on top of that debate, with 53 percent of those polled giving the nod to the Delaware senator while 42 percent said Palin was more likely to bring change.

Respondents overwhelmingly said moderator Gwen Ifill was fair during the vice presidential debate, repudiating critics who said that Ifill, of PBS, would be biased because she is writing a book that includes Biden's running mate, Sen. Barack Obama.

Ninety-five percent of those polled said Ifill was fair.

CBS : Uncommitted Voters Say Biden Won 46%-21%  

Much like the first presidential debate, a CBS instant poll is showing that undecided voters are dramatically swinging toward Joseph Biden as the winner of the debate tonight with Gov. Sarah Palin:

Forty-six percent of the uncommitted voters surveyed say Democrat Joe Biden won the debate, compared to 21 percent for Republican Sarah Palin. Thirty-three percent said it was a tie. Eighteen percent of previously uncommitted percent say they are now committed to the Obama-Biden ticket. Ten percent say they are now committed to McCain-Palin. Seventy-one percent are still uncommitted. Both candidates improved their overall image tonight. Fifty-three percent of those surveyed say they now have a better impression of Biden. Five percent say they have a worse opinion of the Delaware senator, while 42 percent say they debate did not change their opinion.

Fifty-five percent say they now have a better opinion of Palin. Fourteen percent say they have a worse opinion, while 30 percent say their opinion hasn't changed. After the debate, 66 percent see Palin as knowledgeable about important issues – up from 43 percent before the debate. But Biden still has the advantage on this – 98 percent saw him as knowledgeable after the debate. That figure was 79 percent before the debate.

Howard Fineman : Attack, attack, attack, Keith Olbermann

OLBERMANN: Good evening. This is Thursday, October 2, 33 days until the 2008 presidential election, and about 30 minutes after the vice presidential Palin/Biden debate.

Instead of answering the questions that were asked of her, the governor reverted to whatever topic she preferred, often energy, instead of the hesitance and silence that characterized her recent media interviews, Governor Palin aggressively attacking Senator Biden and the Democratic ticket.

The question tonight, on this special post-edition of COUNTDOWN: Was it enough? Was Governor Palin's performance tonight the game-changer that was needed to reverse the downward slide of the Republican ticket?

The governor Beginning the debate with a request to keep things informal, asking Senator Biden, with microphones open, at the handshake, -- quote-"Hey, can I call you Joe?"

From there, it was a short trip to attempting a connection with working-class voters and the proverbial Joe Six-Pack.


PALIN: One thing that Americans do at this time, also, though, is let's commit ourselves just every day American people, Joe Six-Pack, hockey moms across the nation, I think we need to band together and say never again. Never will we be exploited and taken advantage of again by those who are managing our money and loaning us these dollars.

We need to make sure that we demand from the federal government strict oversight of those entities in charge of our investments and our savings.


OLBERMANN: Senator Biden calling out his opponent on dodging certain questions and on getting certain facts wrong, as he did when Governor Palin falsely claimed that Senator Obama had voted 94 times either to raise taxes or to fight against tax cuts.


BIDEN: The charge is absolutely not true. Barack Obama did not vote to raise taxes. The vote she's referring to, John McCain voted the exact same way. It was a budget procedural vote. John McCain voted the same way. It did not raise taxes.

Number two, using the standard that the governor uses, John McCain voted 477 times to raise taxes-taxes. It's a bogus standard.

GWEN IFILL, MODERATOR: ... before we move on?

PALIN: I'm still on the tax thing, because I want to correct you on that again.

And I want to let you know what I did as a mayor and as a governor. And I may not answer the questions the way that either the moderator or you want to hear, but I'm going to talk straight to the American people and let them know my track record, also.

As mayor, every year I was in office, I did reduce taxes. I eliminated personal property taxes and eliminated small business inventory taxes, and, as governor, we suspended our state fuel tax. We did all of those things knowing that that is how our economy would be heated up.

Now, as for John McCain's adherence to rules and regulations and pushing for even harder and tougher regulations, that is another thing that he has-is known for, though. Look at the tobacco industry. Look at campaign finance reform.

IFILL: OK, our time is up here.


IFILL: We have got to move to the next question.


OLBERMANN: In addition to viewing those actual debate questions as optional, another Palin strategy, when things got uncomfortable, straying into energy, no matter what the original topic was.


BIDEN: That would keep people in their homes, actually help banks by keeping it from going under. But John McCain, as I understand it-I'm not sure of this, but I believe John McCain and the governor don't support that.

There are ways to help people now. And there-ways that we're offering are not being supported by-by the Bush administration nor do I believe by John McCain and Governor Palin.

IFILL: Governor Palin, is that so?

PALIN: That is not so, but because that's just a quick answer, I want to talk about, again, my record on energy versus your ticket's energy ticket, also.

I think that this is important to come back to, with that energy policy plan again that was voted for in '05.


OLBERMANN: The debate shifting from economic issues and energy to foreign policy, Governor Palin, with a son already in Iraq, or due to be there shortly, with the Alaska National Guard, Senator Biden with a son, the attorney general of Delaware, heading to Iraq tomorrow with his National Guard unit, the Democrat calling McCain the odd man out for his refusal to accept a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, the Republican calling that tantamount to a white flag of surrender.


PALIN: Your plan is a white flag of surrender in Iraq and that is not what our troops need to hear today, that's for sure. And it's not what our nation needs to be able to count on.


OLBERMANN: Senator Biden, meanwhile, wondering how a McCain/Palin administration would differ on foreign policy from the Bush administration, the one the country has right now.


BIDEN: Past is prologue, Gwen. The issue is, how different is John McCain's policy going to be than George Bush's? I haven't heard anything yet.

I haven't heard how his policy is going to be different on Iran than George Bush's. I haven't heard how his policy is going to be different with Israel than George Bush's. I haven't heard how his policy in Afghanistan is going to be different than George Bush's. I haven't heard how his policy in Pakistan is going to be different than George Bush's.

It may be. But so far, it is the same as George Bush's. And you know where that policy has taken us.

We will make significant change so, once again, we're the most respected nation in the world.


OLBERMANN: Joining me now from Washington University in Saint Louis in the immediate aftermath of this debate, Howard Fineman of "Newsweek" and MSNBC.

Howard, good evening again.


OLBERMANN: Governor Palin did not crash, did not burn. But she also did not question-answer the questions as they were asked in many, many occasions. Is that something outside the spirit of this thing?

FINEMAN: Well, sure.

You know, she-my dominant impression, stylistically, was of a wolverine attacking the pant leg of a passerby. I mean, she got ahold of Joe Biden and hung on for dear life, using every attack line she conceivably could.

Obviously, they had rehearsed tons of attack lines in Sedona, the white flag of surrender, there you go again, Joe, on and on and on. She repeated her record from Alaska at any time she conceivably could, whether it related to the question or not.

She attacked on taxes. She attacked on differences that Biden had had with Obama during the primary season, certainly a legitimate area to attack. It was attack, attack, attack, resort to Alaska when necessary, not listen to the questions or answer them when necessary, all to get through the 90 minutes by attacking.

And, at least in that sense, it was successful, because, when David Axelrod came out here-that's the chief strategist for Barack Obama-into the spin room, where I now am, to begin spinning the assembled press corps, he didn't say, this woman is not ready for prime time. He didn't dare say that, because, in this context, in this kind of thing, she was more than ready for prime time.

What he said was, she didn't distinguish herself or John McCain from John-or John McCain from George Bush, that she didn't do the key thing that needs to be done, if you're a Republican, which is to distance yourself from George Bush. In no way, shape or form did she do that in this debate.

And that's what the Biden strategy and accomplishment was here tonight.

OLBERMANN: Other than stanching the hemorrhage that the last two weeks had been for her, in terms of her interviews, did she do anything to advance the cause of the ticket for Senator McCain in particular? Did she do anything, other than make herself less of a liability than she was this afternoon?

FINEMAN: No, I don't think so, substantively, no.

And her answers-or non-answers-will be picked apart in the minutes and hours and days ahead. She didn't defend John McCain's health care proposal very well, if at all. She didn't really explain his tax proposals or defend them, other than to say that tax cuts create jobs.

She didn't talk about the deficits that would result. She didn't defend the-the budgetary aspects of it. She didn't really defend or explain in any detail how John McCain's foreign policy would differ substantially-or at all-from George Bush's.

So, in substantive terms, and in the terms of the lay of the land of this campaign, I don't think she helped at all.

The one thing that she did do was stand toe to toe with Joe Biden in this weird kind of setup that we have in what we tend to call debates. It was a very rapid pace, an almost frantic pace, that actually, in a way, suited her. But she didn't really defend or explain or distance her ticket from those-from-from the George Bush years. And that's-that's the key, in the view of the Obama campaign. And I think they're probably right.

OLBERMANN: And, of course, the mean coming out of the McCain campaign is, well, that's just looking backwards anyway. You don't have to worry about the past, because it's all gone now.

FINEMAN: Yes. Don't look backwards.

OLBERMANN: Howard Fineman of "Newsweek" and MSNBC.

FINEMAN: Don't look backwards.

OLBERMANN: Don't ever look back. Something might be gaining on you was-was Satchel Paige's version of this.

McCain flip-flops on bailout bill and More lay off

OLBERMANN: If tonight's debate, 26 minutes hence, has already given the McCain campaign one advantage, it is this: it has taken attention from McCain himself today saying that the president should veto the Wall Street bailout bill. In our third story tonight, McCain just voted for the bill.

The truly gob smacking video clips in a moment. But both campaigns focused on the economy today. Senator Obama, once again, needled McCain for saying the fundamentals of the economy are strong, with the Labor Department tomorrow expected to announce another 100,000 jobs vanished from the US economy. He said, the country needs a president who understands what it means to hear a grown man choke up because he can't provide for his family.


OBAMA: Because he hasn't lost his job, he has lost his pension. He's lost his health care. And he's trying to figure out how he's going to go home that day and explain to his wife and kids that they are in trouble, that he may not be able to take care of them the way he wants.

There's something wrong about that. There's something un-American about that.


OLBERMANN: McCain, too, was talking about the economy today. McCain's prescription for America's economy is, of course, based on reducing government spending, which he bases on eliminating Congressional pork barrel spending, pet projects slapped onto larger bills. With that in mind, here on MSNBC today, McCain was read a considerable list of pork projects added to the Senate bailout bill, and was asked why. Remember, Senator McCain voted for the bailout bill last night.


JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC ANCHOR: Why did these items have to be in this critical bill?

MCCAIN: Well, that's just the way the system is working in Washington, and the reason why it's got to be fixed. It's got to be changed. No matter what the stakes are, you have to stop this by starting to veto bills that come across the president's desk. They can't help themselves.


OLBERMANN: McCain voted for the bill. Because McCain voted for the bill, the bill he just said the president should veto no matter what the stakes are, Mika Brzezinski asked the obvious follow up, reminding Senator McCain how he himself just described the bill that he himself just voted for.


MIKA BRZEZINSKI, MSNBC ANCHOR: Why, then, didn't you vote against a bill that is corrupting, and stand-up to pork and all the spending during an economic crisis that some say puts this country on the brink of economic disaster?

MCCAIN: Because of what you just said, Mika. This bill is putting us on the brink of economic disaster.


OLBERMANN: Repeating our third story tonight, McCain voted for the bill, for the bill he now says is putting us on the brink of economic disaster. No, he did not correct himself. For the bill he now says the president should veto.

Here's my colleague Rachel Maddow. Can you help him out here? What was he trying to say? What is he trying to say?

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC ANCHOR: If we want to be as generous as possible, we can guess that he was trying to say that we are only considering this bill because we are on the brink of economic disaster. But, as you say, he did not correct himself. He seemed very sure of himself and actually sort of mad when he said that the bill puts us on the brink of economic disaster.

So we have no idea what he meant. In the larger sense, we are at a point where his position on the economic crisis, on the bailout and what we ought to do next is sort of indecipherable, as is the Republican party's. McCain said he's for a bailout. The RNC is running five million dollars worth of ads attacking Barack Obama for being for the same thing. The Republican leadership says they are for it. Their members voted against it. The members say they're against it because it's too expensive, but adding an extra 100 billion dollars to it brought their votes along.

McCain voted for it last night and then told Joe and Mika this morning that it should be vetoed. I don't know what the Republican position is on this or Senator McCain's position is on this.

OLBERMANN: I think we have an analogy finally, with 33 days to go. It is those giant fire hoses in the old fashioned fire fighting departments, with the giant hoses and they are all manual labor, and the thing is just pumping like crazy. They lose control of it and it swings wildly. It's very forceful and might occasionally put out a fire, but it's just utterly out of control, and bears no resemblance to what happened 30 seconds earlier.

MADDOW: They are either an unmanned fire hose or drunk, would be another way to look at it, or they have a strategy, which is to seem incoherent and confusing and noncommittal for as long as possible, until the Democrats actually decide that something needs to be done, with or without the confused Republicans. The Democrats make a move essentially on their own, without majority Republican support, and then the Republicans attack the Democrats for having passed something.

That seems like a cogent political strategy here. Just don't commit to anything and attack whatever the Democrats do.

OLBERMANN: But, there seems to be-I'm not one to accuse you of sophistry there, but that does seems to have an element of sophistry to it. It sounds very nice, but does it not also imply that there's an incapability of making up one's mind, one's collective mind, or it's a shame to lose one's mind here? Given how many opportunities McCain has to address these issues and make similar gaffes in the remaining 33 days?

MADDOW: But what is the economic position here that he could take a stand on? Is it for fiscal conservatism? Why is the pork helping them pass this bill. That was pork put in to attract House Republican votes. They had to make the bill less fiscally responsibility in order to attract fiscally conservative votes. It makes no sense.

McCain wanting to campaign for the bill while the Republican party campaigns against it. They are taking every position on the bill possible. The only thing I can think is they are looking ahead to an economy that is going to stink no matter what happens. This bailout bill is designed not to make the economy all better, but to stop it from getting a lot worse a lot quickly-much more quickly than it otherwise would.

The economy is not going to be great. If you can attribute whatever happens next in the economy to Democrats, because Republicans had no obvious position on it, then at least you have politics, even if you have no policy.

OLBERMANN: All right, 40 seconds, that's about how much time I have for you to give me just a random thought about tonight's carnival in St. Louis.

MADDOW: I think Sarah Palin is personable. She is poised and there are very low expectations for her. No matter what happens, she can't do worse than she did with Katie Couric. It's going to be a good night for her.

OLBERMANN: She doesn't accidentally light the stage on fire?

MADDOW: That would be exciting. That could be positive. Look, she shook up the race again.

OLBERMANN: Rachel Maddow, we will see you again after the debate and figure out what happened, if anything.

MADDOW: Thanks.

OLBERMANN: This is how bad it is for the governor, as of this hour. Elizabeth Hasselbeck yelled at her on "The View" today. T-minus 18 minutes in our COUNTDOWN to the debate on MSNBC.

Debate doesn't change anything for McCain

Congressman Harold Ford about the Debate

Biden : 'We will end this war'

Biden : McCain voted against troops

Biden : McCain no maverick

Biden : 'The most important election'

Biden : 'Say it ain't so Joe'

Biden : Israel policy an 'abject failure'

Biden : 'The worst economic policies

Biden gets emotional

Debate doesn't change anything for McCain

Latest Collection of Tina Fey and Sarah Palin on SNL

Originally posted to Election2008USA on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 06:05 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for the diary (0+ / 0-)

    a nice compilation of clips

    Culture Wars: Alive and Well

    by ehalperin on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 06:10:47 AM PDT

    •  Nop Problem anytime that's why I am here for (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kitty, freelunch, WineRev
      •  2 HUGE Takeaways in the comments above (0+ / 0-)


        On the question of the candidates' qualifications to assume the presidency, 87 percent of those polled said Biden is qualified and 42 percent said Palin is qualified.

        87 to 42??!!! Not even half of America thinks she's qualified---even AFTER the debate where she showed off her capacities?
        DAMN! A life-long worldview of the American voting public shot to hell. Now I gotta go out and get a NEW paradigm! (20 cents in 2 coins anyone?)

        Respondents overwhelmingly said moderator Gwen Ifill was fair during the vice presidential debate, repudiating critics who said that Ifill, of PBS, would be biased because she is writing a book that includes Biden's running mate, Sen. Barack Obama.

        Ninety-five percent of those polled said Ifill was fair.

        95% thought Ifill was fair. 95%! Which goes to show with devastating precision just how "broad" support the Reich-wing has in the USA.
        (And THAT is "let-a-deep-breath-out" reassuring.)


        Obama/Biden= minimum 350 electoral votes on election day

        "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

        by WineRev on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 06:57:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The SNL skit was right on target (0+ / 0-)

    when they said you seem to get more adorable when you can't answer the questions or don't know.  Maybe in Alaska that BS flies.  But I am hoping the people of the lower 48 saw that cute won't cut it.  And it's not even that cute.  

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