"Sarah Six-Pack all but popped open a cold one. Wearing a glittery flag pin on her jacket, she blew a kiss toward the audience. She gave a wave that Tina Fey would probably describe as adorable," The Washington Post's Dana Milbank writes. "She had talking points adequate to fill the 90 seconds on the various topics Ifill tossed her way, and often forced Biden to defend Barack Obama."
Feel the pop: "Gov. Sarah Palin used a steady grin, folksy manner and carefully scripted talking points to punch politely and persist politically," Patrick Healy writes in The New York Times.
CNN's polling scored it 51-36 for Biden; CBS' undecided voters said 46-21 in the same direction. Frank Luntz's focus group called it for Palin.
Expectations can be glorious things: "Sarah Palin was supposed to fall off the stage at her vice presidential debate Thursday evening. Instead, she ended up dominating it," Politico's Roger Simon writes.
An important turn: Palin "used humor in seeking to deflect Biden's criticisms as backward-looking partisanship that she said gave voters little idea of how he and Obama would govern," Bloomberg's Ken Fireman and Kristin Jensen write.
If you're looking for a pivot point . . . "She had passed the biggest test any vice presidential candidate faces -- a test the media was ready to declare she'd failed. Was she capable of being vice president? Based on her debate performance, the answer was yes," Fred Barnes writes in The Weekly Standard.
Palin connected with "winks -- and folksy language," ABC's Kate Snow reported on "Good Morning America" Friday. "There was only one real show of emotion . . . Joe Biden was talking about being a single parent after his first wife died."
Biden owned the emotional core, and: "Palin did not respond to Biden's emotional display, instead offering a variation of a line she used throughout the night. 'People aren't looking for more of the same,' she said," the Los Angeles Times' Cathleen Decker and Michael Finnegan report.
Biden's "Bridge to Nowhere" line on healthcare was whipped into a quickie national cable ad.
Praise, of a sort: "Sarah Palin's high-energy performance in the vice-presidential debate was the most glaring demonstration -- since George W. Bush's performances in 2000 -- of how little you can get away with knowing and still survive one of these things, especially if the rules limit the cross-examination as severely as they did in this debate," Time's Joe Klein writes. "Her relentless opacity was impressive."
What you bring is what you get: "Those disposed to find Palin cheerful and down-to-earth probably liked what they saw, while those who find Biden to be an appealing mix of traditional Democratic values and policy expertise probably came away impressed," Peter Canellos writes in The Boston Globe.
"What voters took away from the encounter in St. Louis -- who they thought won or lost the encounter -- probably depended a great deal on what they expected coming into it," Gerald Seib writes in The Wall Street Journal.
Astonishing on several levels: "I may not answer the questions the way that either the moderator or you want to hear, but I'm going to talk straight to the American people and let 'em know my track record also," Palin said.
Overdone (doing it all at once?): "Say it ain't so, Joe. There you go again, pointing backwards again."