Election ’08: The Veep Debate

Joe Biden had a simple goal last night: Don’t screw up. Sarah Palin, by contrast, had to answer questions about her competence after a couple of wobbly media interviews. They both succeeded.

Sen. Biden answered crisply and demonstrated a solid grasp of most issues. He spoke with passion at times without losing control of himself. While I disagree with his liberal politics, my estimation of him went up. Perhaps people will start listening to him on the hustings. Perhaps he wasn’t such a bad choice after all.

The Alaska governor clearly has taken some of her coaching to heart: Master the key issues but don’t get bogged down; don’t answer the question (at least not directly); answer with the message you want to convey; and bring out the feistiness and charm.

Palin had to make people see her as a plausible vice president or (God forbid) president. If she did, perhaps the ticket can recapture some of its magic. Many people who want to vote for this hockey mom will now feel safer in doing so.

In the end, I’d call this exchange a draw. That may not be enough for the Republicans with only a month to go and their sinking poll numbers. They still need what’s being bandied about as a “game changer.” Something will have to happen, nationally or internationally, to snap Americans out of their Obama trance. That’s a bad place to be at this point in the campaign.

About Stan Guthrie

Stan Guthrie is an editor at large for Christianity Today magazine and for the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. His latest book is God's Story in 66 Verses. He also is author of All that Jesus Asks: How His Questions Can Teach and Transform Us, Missions in the Third Millennium: 21 Key Trends for the 21st Century, and A Concise Guide to Bible Prophecy. He is co-author of The Sacrament of Evangelism. Besides authoring, writing, and editing books, Stan is a literary agent, bringing together good authors, good books, and good publishers. Stan writes the monthly Priorities colum for BreakPoint.org. He has appeared on National Public Radio's €œTell Me More,€ WGN's Milt Rosenberg program, and many Christian shows, including The Eric Metaxas Show and Moody Radio'€™s €œNew Day Florida.€ A licensed minister and an inspirational speaker, he served as moderator for the Christian Book Expo panel discussion, Does the God of Christianity Exist, and What Difference Does It Make?
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