VP Debate Thoughts

No liveblogging for me last night, which was actually just as well. Was nice to just sit back and watch the show.
And a good show it was. My take is that this was a win for Cheney; he scored the only wickedly good hits (having never met “Senator Gone”, Kerry’s dismal record on defense issues, and catching Edwards ignoring the contribution of Iraqis in the war) although it wasn’t a complete disaster for Edwards.
The most important contrast between these two men was what the debate showed about their knowledge of the issues that will face the next administration, particularly in the fight against terrorists. Cheney spoke like a man who was immersed in both the strategy and detailed tactics of every aspect of the war; his answers came from personal knowledge and experience.
Edwards spoke like a spokesman who had been handed a set of talking points. They weren’t bad talking points, but to me, it was clear that he was a man with no experience in government; he is a lawyer first, and a politician second. He hasn’t actually gotten around to the ‘governing’ part yet.
I suspect viewers picked up on this. And that feeling of unease with Edward’s rehearsed talking points was beautifully enhanced by Cheney’s slams against Edwards appalling record (or lack thereof) in the Senate.
But Cheney’s biggest victory wasn’t in belittling Edwards — it was reaching past him and scoring points against Kerry as well. This was huge, because it allowed Cheney to help make up some of the losses Bush suffered last week.
Overall, I’d expect that we’ll see a slight bump back in the polls over the next few days. But by the time those results would register, Friday night will be upon us, and then the game may change again…