With the dust finally settling after the debate, it is becoming more and more clear that Sarah scored a resounding victory last night. The conservative media is ecstatic, and most of the mainstream media are declaring it a draw but noting that Sarah did exactly what she needed to do. The leftists and Obambaphiles aren't impressed, but we weren't expecting them to see the light anyway. Even if we accept the idea that Sarah and Sen. Biden tied (and I will admit that the he did well), I would give the tie to Sarah for several reasons:
1) Low expectations.
2) The debate was billed as a referendum on Sarah, and hardly anyone mentioned Joe Biden in the run-up. Far more people tuned in to watch her than her opponent, so she probably got more attention from the audience.
I would also note that skeptics such as David Brooks and Peggy Noonan wasted no time in jumping back on the bandwagon (though we are still awaiting reaction from Kathleen Parker).
So, Sarah is not only back in the game but back with a vengeance. To quote Noonan, "she killed." The only question now is how much movement we will see in the polls. My guess is that McCain will get enough of a bump to take back narrow leads in Virgina, Florida, and possibly Ohio. That would leave him down slightly overall, but well within striking distance if he can score victories in his own debates (which, judging by his first performance, he can).
Lastly, I think we saw last night that the unedited Sarah is far better than the unethical, cut-and-spliced travesties that Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric presented (and no, I don't think that's putting it to harshly after reading the unedited transcripts). This should provide a lesson to the McCain campaign that LIVE interviews are a absolute necessity for Sarah. I don't have a particular affinity for the Sunday talk shows, but I'm starting to think that they are the best venue simply because they cannot be edited. I know that Brian Williams of NBC has the next private interview lined up, and while I think he may have to be more careful after watching the debate, the campaign should assume that he will be just as...ahem..."artistic" in his editing as the other two network anchors. So, now is the time to start booking "Meet the Press" if they want to avoid another hit job.
Congratulations to Gov. Palin on a great debate, and thanks to all of you for helping her get there!