Tonight's VP debate was spirited, serious and hard-hitting. I have to draw the same conclusion I did with last week's debate; stylistically, it was a tie. Both candidates hit their talking points well, and didn't disgrace themselves.
I think Gov. Palin clearly made the point, through her very person and mannerisms, that she doesn't just talk about the middle class, she is the middle class. Sen. Biden was dignified and didn't fall into some of his usual speaking problems.
One thing I wish that Gov. Palin had hammered home more concretely pertains to the tax cuts/tax increases debate. The Obama campaign says that it will cut taxes for 90% of the working public, raise taxes on the remaining 10%, and increase spending programs almost across the board. It also says that in addition to raising taxes on the 10% of the public, it will offset tax cuts and spending increases by withdrawing troops from Iraq. There are some basic problems with these policies. First, the President does not levy or cut taxes - Congress does. More importantly, the math is 'funny.' How 10% of the populace, no matter how wealthy they may individually be, will support the remainder of the country, I don't know. Warren Buffet has managed to bail out two companies. Do you really think he can take care of all of them? Additionally, about 50% of those 90% pay little to no taxes to begin with. That means that a tax 'refund' is simply put, a redistribution of wealth. I would certainly benefit from a tax cut, but I don't want tax monies going into a cash handout. I would rather build business, increase the job market and get more people moved into higher tax brackets. Finally, cutting funding in Iraq, while also trying to dramatically increase the size of the military (particularly the Army) and shift effort to Afghanistan will in no way free up funding. It will simply shift the funding into a new category. These facts combined with the Obama and Biden histories of voting for tax increases bely their claims to enact major tax reductions. While Gov. Palin touched on all of these, I have yet to hear the campaign attack this in a cogent, efficient fashion.
I also wish that the McCain campaign would stop pussy-footing around hitting the Dems on Fannie and Freddie. The well-circulated video of Barney Frank spewing over any attempts to cut or regulate Fannie and Freddie, combined with the multiple attempts on the part of Sen. McCain to get any kind of reasonable regulation of the mortgage industry would make a perfect ad spot (if you haven't seen it, it's in my blog from several days ago) - I don't know why they haven't used it effectively.
All-in-all, it was a good debate. We await the polls!
Finally (and off topic), if you link to this site (http://blip.tv/file/1310113) you can see the brainwashing of the youngest Obama-fans. It's right in line with his campaign's attempt to sue stations for broadcasting any advertisement deemed offensive or 'untruthful' to the campaign.