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.

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.


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