Does Sarah Palin purposely umm...'under-perform' in media interviews so that when she can sound half way coherent, we get impressed? That's what I'm thinking after watching the debate (which I couldn't watch live as my commitment to my trivia team, I am sad to say, trumped my responsibility as a citizen of the world.)
Yes, she didn't make too many gaffes, she didn't make any obviously funny mistakes and generally kept it together. She was also vague and stuck to rehearsed stock Republican talking points. Nothing wrong with that per se but I'm just sayin'. Biden, in contrast, actually really performed- he kept a lid on his impulsiveness, handled the difficult balance between politeness and forcefulness and was much the more informed debater.
But the law of low expectations being what it is, Palin comes out looking better than she actually did.
Anyway, so as not to be uncharitable to Palin, I shall give her some free tips for when she next has to talk:
1. Tone down the folksy stuff (betcha, darn it etc.)....it may be appealing to some people but overdoing it is annoying. On the other hand it may play well as sound bites so don't abandon it all together.
2. Winking at the camera? I once saw Donald Trump fire a contestant on the Apprentice for doing that.If its not good enough for the Donald...
3. Good eye contact and body language - give your running mate some tips.
4. Please stop beginning and ending every sentence with 'also'
5. Alaska is not the US, not the world but I suppose there is no alternative thing to talk about given your ummm...experience.
6. You have in common with President Bush the characteristic of looking thrilled/smug/waiting for applause when you finish complex sentences and thoughts. I realize this is natural but this might be something to work on in the whole "we don't know who this Bush guy is" enterprise.
Tips for Palin - done. See, I can be fair.
Edited later today to say: To be truly fair, one has to acknowledge the sheer camera friendliness of Palin, as some bloggers are pointing to. She comes across as goofy, able to laugh at herself and sort of crazy but likeable...and attractive, yes. Those are important assets. Though I agree with Bill Maher when he says that he finds it crazy that Americans keep saying they want to elect someone they can have a beer with instead of wanting to elect someone who would be responsible with nuclear codes. Likeability should not be this important folks, except it is. Sigh.