On October 2, 2008 ... 2 stars were on display at Washington University for the Vice Presidential Debate.
Some thought / hoped / feared ... that one of the stars would fall.
Others thought / hoped /feared ... that one of the stars would implode.
Neither disaster happened.
Governor Sarah Palin survived her first major test on a national stage in her debate with Senator Joe Biden; she did not wilt, did not tremble in his presence and did not say something completely inane or confusing as she had in a recent interview with CBS News Anchor Katie Couric.
Senator Joe Biden did not "lord" over his opponent, did not act condescending nor blurt some off-the-cuff remark which would cut the campaign legs off Senator Obama. Senator Biden not only was a stately senator ... he was a gentleman.
More than 3500 reporters and photographers asked for credentials ... representing 60 countries.
The debate had more than 70 million viewers ... more than the first presidential debate between Senator McCain and Senator Obama.
I watched most of the debate from inside the "media room" ... where more than 50 tv screens were set up near work places for reporters.
All the time that the debate was underway, there were young men and women wearing caps that kept running down the aisles ... handing out pages and pages of paper. They were passing out numerous scripts from the McCain camp ... pointing out where Senator Biden was "mis-representing" the facts during the course of the debate; it's hard to say what ... if any ... effect ... the papers had on reporters. Senator Obama's campaign did not have anyone offering "counter-points" during the debate.
I did see some reporters visibly demonstrating their disgust with one of the candidates. It does no good to say which candidate drew derision from these reporters ... but it does reflect that these "reporters" were not going to be objective in their coverage.
The McCain camp also had supporters hoisting large campaign signs for tv cameras after the debate. They made a point to position themselves behind any tv crew that looked to be doing a "live event". Again, the Obama camp did not use that tactic.
The candidates are fighting for the "undecided" voters. Everyone else is in one camp or the other ... maybe not overly excited and enthusiastic about their candidates ... but still, they are decided. Those undecided voters continue to be the real target of the campaigns over the next 4 1/2 weeks. Many polls show 1 - 6 % spreads and that's usually with a margin of Plus or Minus 3%.
Even after the debates ... I saw numerous interviews with "undecided" voters who are still ... undecided.
So, who won the debate?
Obviously, depending on your perception and preference ... you might have given one candidate the thumbs up and the other .. the thumbs down.
I think Dr. Steve Smith of Washington University made a strong point.
He said that perhaps Senator Biden won on facts and knowledge ... but Governor Palin won on style.
I know from my college years of debate ... you could score points with either facts/knowledge ... and/or ... style.
The issue is ... which carried the most weight ... for you?
Let me know your thoughts.