Sarah Palin, Debate Champ

By Natalie Gewargis

Oct 1, 2008 10:41am

The "expectations game" is a Twilight Zone, because if you praise a Republican you will then be accused of bias by the Republicans, and vice versa.

But that said, it is a mistake to think that the Gov. Sarah Palin who you’ve seen in recent interviews is the one who will show up for the debate tomorrow night.

As Kate Snow nicely illustrated on Good Morning America this morning, Palin was quite impressive in her 2006 gubernatorial performances.

The liberal Huffington Post likewise finds six examples of Palin responses from those debates that show her to be pretty on the ball — sharp, concise, smart.

The Los Angeles Times today takes a look at Palin’s debate skills, quoting Anchorage Daily News editor/debate panelist Larry Persily testifying that Palin flummoxed her rivals "like Muhammad Ali dancing around the ring."

Likewise, the Wall Street Journal reports that Alaska public-radio reporter/debate moderator Libby Casey recalls Palin in the 2006 debates as "positive,
confident and upbeat."

Democrats, seeking to set expectations high for Palin and low for Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., are emailing stories like those around.

But beyond the expectations game, Palin’s debate skills happen to be proven.

Biden too, of course can be quite able, and has far more experience in the kinds of national and international issues that have seemed to stymie Palin on occasion. (As opposed to the Wasilla and Alaska issues she handled quite well in her debates.)

It should prove quite interesting.

- jpt

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