Given the nature of the running mate position, a VP debate is as much a cheap shot contest as a policy session. Nay, more. By that standard Joe Biden does better than John Edwards did in the last election. Sarah Palin did just fine, by her standards. Yes, she basically is Tina Fey's caricature of her. Yes, she padded her responses with "maverick" this, "Joe Sixpack" that, and "hockey mom" the other thing. And yes, if Biden smirked as much as she's been doing he'd be crucified. (And that still might happen. Stay tuned.) But she knows her job is to throw out raw meat, not to tell you the nutritional content. The base Republicans who perked up when she was selected certainly got their jollies tonight.
Biden has been good and statesmanlike. Iraq is a vulnerability here, because while he and Obama are mostly on the same page now, Biden was one of the "responsible" leaders who helped sell the war in the first place, and part of the reason Democrats haven't been cohesive on it. The Republican message is "we're kicking ass, so let's keep kicking it." It's sort of delusional, but makes it easy to stay on message.
He did slap her to the ground on the issue of meeting with enemies, which is good. She had said that Obama wanted to meet with Ahmedinejad, and that it "goes beyond naivete." So she came pretty close to daring call it treason, and no doubt her fans will make the leap. So it's good that he pointed out that Ahmedinejad doesn't even control the state security forces. (In fact, the myth of the all powerful Iranian president is pretty damn new. Quick, name the guy who was president before him.)
Anyway, The Office should be back next week, so that's cool.