Iraq and Afghanistan

Biden got stuck at one point, but Palin is just too unserious.

By Thomas Schaller
Published October 3, 2008 2:11AM (EDT)

Biden got stuck a minute there during the follow-up on the surge and the "chief commander" talking point.

But he is much stronger on genocide and Sudan. She had nothing to say other than an unpassed divestment bill.

Another folksy, "Oh, man ..." phrase to set up her non-Washington credentials.

Biden dropped a McCain-Cheney pairing. Nice. Wondering if we were gonna hear his name.

Ouch ... she just started riffing and talking about the media coverage the next day when she had nothing left in the tank on Iraq. She clearly is thinking about how the debate is going to play in the after-debate conversation and spin. It comes across as a bit too self-conscious and maybe working the refs a bit.

McCain knows how to win a war? Which one? Not Vietnam. Not Iraq. Not Afghanistan. Which war is that, Sarah?

Team of mavericks? Oh, geez.

And did she just wink? Is that sexist when a woman does it?!

Thomas Schaller

Thomas F. Schaller is professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the author of "Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South." Follow him @schaller67.

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