Palin did reasonably well. She sounded programmed; Biden sounded informed. But she stopped the interview-caused bleeding most likely.

Biden was controlled, careful and even likable.

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Palin all but lied about Democratic positions on war financing, repeatedly, but the McCain debate proved she and he are preaching to a small choir on war policy. Her other key talking point was taxes, the familiar Republican theme about tax-happy Democrats. The CNN meter of undecided voters showed that this tactic registered little.

The Palin winks, smarm and rote recitation left me cold, but that’s me.

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The key issue: Which candidate leaves you most comfortable a heartbeat away? No question: Biden.

You?

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