I'm not going to spend a ton of time on the debate. I don't find them to be crazy interesting. They are, for the most part, barely able to make any positive progress and serve only as mine-fields for those involved. In terms of influence over poling information and trends, sure they have some. But it's hard to point to any debate moment in recent history where we actually learned something about a candidate's policy.
With that in mind I will say that Gov. Palin and Sen. Biden both conducted themselves with a relatively high level of respectability. I could spend a ton of time dealing with all the times Sen. Biden stretched the truth in his answers but the pundits will do it for me. I could also spend a ton of time talking about how badly it must have hurt him to backtrack on comments he has made about Obama and his policies, but again there are plenty of voices to do that for me.
Gov. Palin registers a clear and measurable success in this debate as she has presented herself as having all the qualifications that people accuse her of lacking and lacking all the negative qualities people accuse her of having. That said, Joe Biden has 30 years of experience promoting bad ideas in the US Senate, and tonight he eloquently and professionally expressed his next round of bad ideas. Gov. Palin has only a small legislative record to draw on and only some of those ideas are terrible. Biden draws on his extensive experience to ably control portions of the debate, and while I think on strict debate terms he might edge out a victory, I think in the fight for public opinion he remains a boring communist.