Live-blogging: Back to the future on Iraq

Looking for an argument about the war, Sarah Palin fell back on some old chestnuts, but they didn't serve her well.

By Alex Koppelman
Published October 3, 2008 1:50AM (EDT)

One interesting thing about watching the vice-presidential debate is the way this matchup is in some ways a reversal of the matchup at the top of the ticket, at least in terms of who comes in with an advantage on foreign policy. This is Joe Biden's home turf, while Sarah Palin's credentials are thinner than the Bering Strait.

Now, in both the presidential debate and the vice-presidential debate, the Democrats have an advantage when it comes to policy, especially on the issue of the Iraq war. And it was interesting watching the exchange Biden and Palin had on that issue, which came off as a clear win for Biden.

He was able to score some convincing points about the Democratic ticket having a plan for withdrawal from Iraq, but when it came time for Palin to respond, she didn't do so well. She paused for a moment, but even then the best she could come up with was a lame line about Democrats waving the white flag and hurting the troops. It's just not 2003, 2004 or 2005 anymore. That stuff is old, and it doesn't work now, not after more than five years of war. (And again, I note my obsession with CNN's graph showing real-time reactions from a group of uncommitted voters in Ohio -- in this case, they loved Biden's answer, and were completely unimpressed with Palin's.)

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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