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Well, the vice-presidential debate has just ended and it was hardly edge of the seat stuff - a bit boring in fact.
Joe Biden for the Democrats came over as authoritative and probably won the debate as far as substance is concerned. Sarah Palin did what she had to do which was reconnect with the people who were cheering her to the echo when she was selected just over a month ago.
Although her voice betrayed her nervousness for the first ten minutes of so of the debate, she then got into her stride and adopted a folksy, laid-back style that will have played well with her supporters. She also managed to score one good hit on Biden when she remarked that he had first supported the war against Iraq before he started opposing it.
Throughout the debate it looked to your friendly old Exile as if actually two debates were taking place, with two completely different speaking styles at work, and aimed at two different audiences. Biden was speaking in measured tones to a knowledgeable audience, and Sarah was smiling and giving bubbly answers to the folks back home. She always spoke to the camera, and through it to the people; Biden addressed his remarks to the debate moderator and that did give the impression that he was not really connecting to the vast audience out there.
Closing my eyes for a period and the debate seemed to be going Biden's way. However, actually watching the debate and things seemed far more neck and neck. Sarah really knows how to almost chat an audience up, and make them feel that she is in the room with them, speaking pretty much directly to them - and in the idiom that they use themselves.
So who won? Well, both teams wanted to shore up their support, which both speakers almost certainly did. As far as the undecideds go, it looks as if Sarah crept ahead, especially in that all-important American heartland that sits between the two coasts.