OK, so there went the first and only vice presidential debate.

I've taken some time to try to mull things over and attempt to absorb things for a couple hours before really deciding on what to blog.

I definitely feel like Biden won the debate but only on points. Just like Obama did at the first presidential debate. Joe didn't trounce her and Palin sure as hell didn't pummel him.

Biden was as confident and casual as I'd expect a white man in a suit of his age and experience to be. As I mentioned earlier today, I was concerned he would put his foot in his mouth. Luckily, he did fine--better than expected even.

Likewise, Palin did better than expected, too. The frustrating thing is that she didn't do that well--on numerous occasions she failed entirely to answer the moderator's questions and often times twisted her "answer" around so that she could talk about something completely unrelated. I think a "storm of words" was how reporter Charlie Gibson described the tactic Palin used tonight during his interview with her. Also, and I'm admitting a personal bias here, she had this smile that came across as infinitely condescending.

And she smiled a lot--all debate long.

Why do I not like that she didn't do well? Simple, because she still did way better than she's done in the two lousy interviews she's given in the last month. She basically tanked both of them so everyone was expecting her to bomb this one like Dresden, but she didn't. So, now everyone will be claiming she's the come-back kid on the news. Even the Dems will acquiesce and admit she did better than expected.

Ultimately, I doubt anyone will accurately gauge how poorly she did because she performed so much better than anyone thought. It's another disturbing example of "sucking less" equating to being a good thing. Our culture is so very backward these days.

So, yeah, I think Biden did better and probably "won" on a technical level, but I'm an anti-McCain guy, so naturally, I'm going to probably be biased against Palin regardless of how un-mind-numbingly stupid she was.

One person I'm also biased against was the moderator. PBS' Gwen Ifill actually had some respect from me before tonight and, to be sure, she still does. However, she lost some tonight. I found her questions to be a bit soft and really not that important.

She didn't hold either candidate to the questions in almost all instances where either dodged said questions (yes, Biden did this a couple of times, though not as often as Palin). Sure, she was, in some ways, and improvement over her fellow PBS-er Jim Lehrer who, himself, was like a grampa trying to get his grand kids to play nice. However, Ifill felt like a baby sitter in the next room. I felt like her questions were almost as vague and non-specific as Palin's answers were.

OK, that's an exaggeration, but you get my point. I think there was one question where she actually called them both on an issue they had previously flipped flopped on. That was nice.

In conclusion? It's not quite as big a "meh" as the first presidential debate, but it's nothing to cheer for either. The debate format was incredibly breezy--it flew by so quickly, though I'm concerned that maybe it shouldn't have--we want to better know these candidates, right? Shuffling them from topic-to-topic might not be the best way to allow us to do that.

It was kind of a relief to see them both not totally screw the pooch. I hate to feel like any candidate is completely incompetent. I'd like to be proud of all of our leaders.

Of course, these days, that bar is set pretty low, as well.

What are ya gonna do? Move to another country?

Don't tempt me...

Oh, I'll do it!

Special thanks to the folks at C-SPAN for doing a bang-up job!! Check out C-SPAN's bitchingly unbiased coverage of the debates at debatehub.c-span.org or on Twitter at twitter.com/cspan

For other unbiased sources of debate coverage, check out factcheck.org and the political blogs over at NPR.org here: npr.org/blogs/politics

If you found this post through a search or some other link, you can follow me at Twitter here: twitter.com/thepete and a few other socnets under the name "thepete". Always look for the baby head. If you don't see it try "thepetecom".

Thanks for reading!!