Vice Presidential debate tonight at 9PM ET (Update)

The Vice Presidential debate between Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska and Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware will take place tonight at 9pm eastern time, 6pm pacific time live on every major network and cable news channel. You Decide 2008 will have the entire, unedited video available once the debate airs so look for it here if you’re watching it later or you need to see it again.

Watch the entire debate video here.

Time: 9PM ET / 6PM PT
Channel: CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, PBS, C-SPAN
Web Stream: Fox News, or C-SPAN among others
Location: Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri
Length: 90 minutes
Format: Domestic/Foreign Policy
Moderator: Gwen Ifill from PBS

A report on tonight’s debate from the Kansas City Star:

WASHINGTON | The late night comedy shows have had their fun with the vice-presidential candidates.

Tonight at 8PM CT in St Louis, the rest of us get to see who slips first.

For the GOP, there’s Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a national newcomer who stumbled through a Katie Couric interview last week, and who’s been called on even by some conservatives to step down.

And for the Democrats, there’s Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, who some think is known far too well, and who speaks so freely the GOP has set up a Web site devoted to chronicling his gaffes.

“We have someone who no one knew very well, evidently including the presidential nominee,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat. “Everyone is curious how much she knows. My friend Joe Biden has a tendency to talk forever and sometimes say stuff that’s kind of stupid.

“It’s a great combination. Who would ever think a debate could be cast as entertainment?”

Will Palin, Sen. John McCain’s pick, stumble over questions as she did last week when CBS’s Couric asked her about foreign policy and the Wall Street bailout?

Will she trigger more anxiety in Republican ranks, as polls indicate a shift to Obama?

Or will the Alaskan with the self-described “Joe Six-pack” appeal display a grasp of complex issues and muffle the is-she-ready chorus?

Will Biden, Sen. Barack Obama’s choice, burnish his reputation for being a smart, but gaffe-prone blabbermouth and step on his own message?

Or will one of the Senate’s leading foreign policy experts gently, but emphatically, portray Palin as in over her head?

Running mates rarely end up changing a presidential race. Dan Quayle, who — like Palin — was criticized for being unqualified, didn’t keep the first President George Bush from winning in 1988.

Usually, vice presidential debates attract little interest. The most-watched: 1984 when Bush debated Geraldine Ferraro, the first woman on a national ticket.

Whether Palin-Biden becomes must-see TV, neither has an easy task.

We’ll have a running chat, which everyone is welcome to participate in, during the debate. We’ll also have the entire, unedited video of the debate available once it airs if you miss it.

More to come later today as the story develops along with some preview videos later today…


Some more on tonight’s debate with a report from Yahoo News:

ST. LOUIS, Missouri (AFP) – Americans of both political parties waited nervously for Thursday’s hotly-anticipated debate between their picks for vice-president, seen as a crucial test for Republican Sarah Palin and no sure bet for Democrat Joe Biden.

Concerns about Palin’s readiness to take the national stage have mounted in recent days following interviews in which the first-time Alaska governor has sometimes been lost for words when faced with tough questioning.

But Democrats are also in suspense, worrying that Biden, a 35-year veteran of the Senate, could lose points by patronizing Palin or appearing to condescend.

Palin burst onto the national scene when John McCain picked her as his running mate in late August, energizing conservative Republicans with her positions on abortion and gun rights and her background as a moose-hunting, deeply Christian mother of five from the northern frontier.

Her speech brought the house down at the Republican convention at the beginning of September, but some Republicans now fear a fiasco as she squares off against Delaware senator Biden in their sole clash ahead of the November 4 presidential election.

Biden has been called uncontrollably verbose and a “gaffe machine,” and was even asked in a Democratic primary debate if he could control those qualities with “the discipline you need on the world stage.”

He also faces the prospect of being eclipsed in Thursday’s showdown by Palin’s star power.

“Biden is in a difficult situation,” said James Pfiffner, professor of public policy at Virginia’s George Mason University.

“He is someone who knows an awful lot about foreign policy… but the star of this show is clearly Governor Palin,” he said on the eve of the debate.

Interview from CBS News of a former Alaska gubernatorial candidate who debate Gov. Palin in Alaska:

Report from CNN on the last minute preparations:

Bernie Goldberg on Fox News discussing the impartiality of the moderator considering yesterday’s issue:

We’ll be holding a live chat in this post later tonight around 8:45pm eastern time.

More to come today as it unfolds..


The funniest thing today is that, depending on which campaign is saying it, both Sarah Palin and Joe Biden are fantastic debaters, some of the best in the country. The McCain campaign is informing me that Biden is a top-notch debater, never lost one in the primary debates. The Obama campaign is informing me that Palin is “one of the best debaters in the country” and defeated incumbent politicians during debates running for the Governorship in Alaska.

Bottom line, I’ve watched Palin’s debating from Alaska and she is very good. I’ve also watched Biden throughout the long primary campaign, he’s also very good.

The things I’ll be watching for specifically is how detailed Palin gets this evening on answers. Will she overcome the criticism levied against her about not getting specific with answers to Katie Couric? That is her challenge, to come off as presidential. The media has written her off already so the bar, unfortunately, is low.

For Biden, will he come off as condescending or will he be calm, cool, and collected as a seasoned debater? Biden has the advantage to perhaps excel in foreign policy if Palin has not brushed up. I believe Biden could approach this as trying to let Palin stumble on her own, do not encourage it. That way he automatically would come off as the better candidate without stooping to patronizing.

We’ll see though since I think both candidates will be well-prepared as they’ve both been prepping all week.

Question, will we see a repeat of 1984?

We’ll see tonight at 9pm eastern, 6pm pacific. Join us for the live chat as it develops.


Debate clips here:

(Video) Clips from Vice Presidential debate 10/2

Entire debate video coming soon.. look for featured post!


Watch the entire, unedited VP debate video here:

Video: Vice Presidential Debate from St. Louis (10/2/08).

  • JD

    I get all happy on the inside on debate days!

    I think i’ll listen to the Obama kids one more time before I go to bed…

  • freespirit

    I just laugh when I contemplate what the outcome would be would McCain/Palin go against Obama/Biden in a comprehensive, well recognized IQ test (might as well throw in a general knowledge test). They should make it LIVE on TV for everyone to see. I’m sure the ratings would be through the roof…I’m sure that would be ‘IT’ for our beloved mavericks 😛

    looking forward to the debate tonight..

  • JD

    Well, the Polls are just not in the favor of McCain\Palin so a good showing by Palin is now required.

    ABC & Washington Post –

    Six in 10 voters see her as lacking the experience to be an effective president, and a third are now less likely to vote for McCain because of her.

    Dates conducted: Sept. 27-29. Error margin: 3 points

    Direct link to poll specifics –

    ***Note – I would be curious to see what Fox polls are showing. Last time I read them they were just quoting these pollsters. So all you peeps that live and breathe fox news, let me know.

    Also, save your breath if you are going to say that polls don’t mean anything. I am aware that they are not definitive but they are good at showing trends.

  • EricF

    McCain has an ace up his sleeve and her name is Palin. tonight will be a huge win for the McCain/Palin ticket.

  • Barb

    What are you smoking EricF?

  • DW

    Not sure what he is smoking, but it must be good stuff. It amazes me how naive most McPalin supporters are…

  • EricF

    i could be wrong but i think America is in for a big surprise tonight.

    if you truely think raising taxes is a condusive enviroment for creating jobs and a prosperous economy, especially in these times… you will deserve what you get with the Obama/Biden administration. companies will flee America and we will be hit with inflation like never before seen. a vote for Obama is a vote for economic suicide.

    who is the naive one again?

  • VFW

    To all the dumbocrats watch tonight as your arse is handed to you!! EricF is not smokin anything. Reality is Mccain/Palin has more brains and experience then the whole democratic ticket….lmao

  • JD

    *** UPDATE ***

    “Palin is wearing a large bandage on her right palm. She slipped and fell while jogging on Monday at the ranch. She will wear the bandage tonight.”

    Could this be stagecraft!!??

    For those who don’t know what stagecraft is – Stagecraft is considered a technical rather than an artistic field as the focus is usually on the practical implementation of a designer’s artistic vision.

    So what image is the McCain Campaign looking to produce?

    Or maybe I am looking too far into it.

    Either way a bandage creates an image but will it play an effect… we shall see.

  • JP

    maybe the bandage is her cheat sheet… 🙂

  • Augusto Molinero

    I’ll be watching with a lot of atention to this debate tonight at 10pm my local time, I have a lot of respect and concerns for your country as well as my own country – Argentina – I am about 8000 miles away from you guys, I´ll be watching this debate because I consider its highly important to preserve the local identity lost somehow for the globalization and the lack of virtue in most of us, as well as preserving a fair global point of view. this type of pre-electoral debates are always interesting!

  • UnderCoverGuy

    It’s funny that people talk about polls and actually believe them (I call those the “follow the crowd” group). Why do you think that during the recent past few elections the pollsters have always been wrong? The news even reports how wrong these polls are. Why do you think there is a margin of error at all (what if there was a margin of error each time you went to the bank or received your paycheck)? That’s because most pollsters use what they call “fuzzy math”. Why don’t people spend less time looking at the “headlines” of a poll and actually take a moment to investigate the internals of these polls? Most popular pollsters post them online but not on their websites main pages so you may have to hunt a little through a website for the internal numbers (these are the REAL poll numbers people). It’s funny and you may just learn a thing or two about what you’re being told.

  • Sal

    Remember not to be One-Sided before the debate begins. They are fighting FOR your vote. Let them earn it. Look for good & bad on both sides and make changes in your vote if necessary.

    We can argue McCain/Obama until Obama & Biden take the office (hehehe) but another Very Important piece that people seem to often forget is Who they will Hire to be their various advisers. A brilliant President with Yes men is dangerous. We need people who are willing to say they don’t know it all and will hire experts to keep them informed.

  • JD


    Do you have an example or a link of REAL poll numbers? I want to “follow” you and learn to be like you.

    Most people are aware that polls are not definitive but they are and often times can be “good” for showing trends.

    As you said, they are not always right and very difficult when you have a close election. Especially when it is as fluid as this one has been.

  • Sal

    Remember not to be One-Sided before the debate airs. They are trying to EARN your vote, don’t just give it away. Listen for the good & bad in both and make changes in who you support if needed.

  • JD

    Last segment of Palin\Biden interview With Katie Couric just aired.

    The 3 questions asked to both candidates was:

    1. What do you think is the best thing and the worst thing that Dick Cheney has done as vice president?

    2. What previous vice president most impresses you and why?

    3. What is your favorite movie and why?

    A quick sum up…

    “Biden: Says the former VP he admires is LBJ. Says he respects Cheney’s strength, but “I think he has done more harm than any other single elected official in my memory in terms of shredding the Constitution.” Favorite movie: “Chariots of Fire.”

    “Palin: Says she admires former VP candidate Ferraro, also George H. W. Bush. She respects Cheney’s support for the troops, says his hunting accident turned him into “a caricature.” Favorite movies: “Rudy” and “Hoosiers,” especially the endings.”

    Transcript Here –

  • U.S.A.

    Eric F

    I will go way out on a limb and say that Palin will do better tonight than she has yet but you have to remember that if she spanked herself and yelled like an ape it would be an improvement.
    You stick up for McCain if you want but if you make claims to defend Palin then you both are smokin something. Neither of you knew much about her two months ago and now you give her more credit than anyone on the D side. That is just stupid and it makes you look stupid. What are you, kin to Conservative Gal? Fire it up again boyz, before the smoke clears!

  • sasidechick

    Did anyone see Palin tonight on CBS? OMG!!! It should be on YouTube by now. Listen for the question about Cheney. Listen to her reasons. SCARY!!!

  • Lisa

    I think Gov. Palin is a fake person, 90% of the things she says are a lie, she’strying too hard to make us think that she has a perfect family and that every single thing around her is wonderfull, so not true.

  • Jackie

    I CANNOT WAIT to see this debate. Poor Palin, she really does not know what she is getting into. I really feel sorry for her, she is going to go down bad. McCain did her a real disservice by choosing her as his running mate, everyone knows he just did it to show us liberals what a really, cool, hip, guy he is to have a woman running with him. I like her foreign policy though: Hey, I deal with foreign countries everyday, I can see Russia from my house and Canada is on the other side of Alaska! At least she didn’t fail geography. Good thing she didn’t say Mexico.

  • Krodis

    I’m not going to say anything, but I’ll imply it:

    Anything a bit suspicious about Palin’s movie choices? “Rudy” and “Hoosiers” both center around sports in the swing state of Indiana.

  • sam

    i am a proud proud republican but i have to say Palin is not doing the best job in the world

  • deb

    she’s keeps repeating herself and saying a whole lot without any substance….

  • deb

    she can’t debate for her life…at least for intelligent people who can see past all the wordy fluff she keeps repeating

  • Andrea Miller

    She isn’t answering the questions

  • susan

    “word fluff” great way to put it.

  • EricF

    lol look at you liberal idiots getting upset because you thought Palin would fall flat on her face. oh but dont mention the fact that Biden just told a boldface lie when he said Obama didnt say he would sit down with the iranian pres. without preconditions. trust me, the liberal act is wearing thin and people are catching on to the lies.

  • I’ll say this. Sarah doing damn good and is beating expectations by a long shot.
    And the moderator was NOT bias. I believe McCain camp decided to plant that out there as a safety blanket for a predicted Palin failure. Well it wasn’t needed she did pretty good.

  • Kay

    I am disgusted by Palin’s horrible, fake, dumb personality. It is a joke to watch how she has absolutely NO CLUE about anything. I am so scare of her sarcasm ways to communicate and her no experience porfolio. It will be a disaster if Palin and the poor old man win. I’ll probably move away from the USA if this happens…If Palin is there is mainly b/c she is a woman and that is a total disrespect to us the voters for them to think we are that stupid to fall for that stupid trick…I am a woman that would never, ever vote for Palin and the poor old man.

  • Drill Baby, Drill!

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  • Anonymous

    americas ready, ur ready im ready , yeah I lol’d.

    Palin’s so charismatic it hurts.. ( blink at camera? lol wut?)
    Biden’s so direct – awesome ( welcome to teh left, son )

  • Dan

    I thought the moderator did a good job overall, but showed a tendency (by my watch) to give Biden more time to speak and to cut Palin off. I enjoyed that she pushed both to answer the question asked, rather than just talk about whatever they wanted and ignore the question.

  • buf

    I think its great when all the people on T.V. talk about how the election is already over. I thought Palin did a nice job and didn’t hurt her self or the party in any way. But I guess the idiots on abc are just Bidon fans.

  • EricF

    Obama has a plan. a plan to ruin America with socialism. lets see how many companies stay in America if those tax rates rise like Obama wants.

  • HJM

    Palin was outstanding at the debate…. not only did she relate and connect with the people of America, she proved to everyone she has the tools and ability to bring America to its prime. Although Biden is very literate and experienced, he has nothing new to say and feeds off of the past not the future, America wants change, so lets start by electing Palin and realizing that Obama talks the talk but will never walk the walk he may attempt but he wont succeed! Palin is fresh, mature and knows how to handle whats on her plate!!

  • CommonGuy

    I can honestly say imho Biden won this debate with ease. She was the first to attack him and she set the tone as the aggressor. She continuely got put in her place as simply someone who doesnt have the experience to run the country. Biden then flipped the script and painted himself to be a genuinely great man. His background and what he has been through, which I had never heard about before, was very touching. I am not supporting either, but Biden was very compelling. I was thinking the whole time why isn’t Biden the D candidate??? He did a great job and allowed her to dig her own hole in this one. Palin – Pwned! Biden – Master Debater!

  • MaryJ

    Palin did so great! I know some of you were snubbing Fox News but even ole Alan Colmes even grudgingly said she did “well”!

    Others commented that McCain and Palin ought to take an IQ test and predicted they would fail miserably. All I have to say about that is that I’m afraid your Biden would do worse. How can someone who has a law degree and has been a US senator for the past 30 years (both deal with the legislative branch of gov, mind you), say that Article I details the executive branch of the government when it is Article II!! His expertise IS supposed to be the legislative branch of the government! If he gets mixed up on things in his profession, I sure wouldn’t want him to ever have to be president!!

    He stated in tonights debate: “Vice President Cheney has been the most dangerous vice president we’ve had probably in American history. The idea he doesn’t realize that Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States, that’s the Executive Branch. He works in the Executive Branch. He should understand that. Everyone should understand that.”

    What is so funny is that yes, in fact Article I does describe the role of the vice-president, but, in the LEGISLATIVE BRANCH OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT!! It declares the V-P of the US to be the president of the Senate, who’s purpose is to cast the deciding vote in the case of a tie. (V-P Cheney had to do this on 8 occasions, thus Biden’s negative comment about V-P Cheney.) Hello!!! This setup was designed by the authors of the constitution to allow for some cooperation, or checks and balances in our government.

    Aside from that I think it is terrific that if McCain/Palin are elected that she will have important issues to pursue. If Hillary Clinton as the First Lady can work on health care reform while former president Clinton was in office, then the Vice President should certainly be able to have a visible role in policy-making!

  • Babs

    MaryJ, the constitution gaffe is probably the thing I’m hearing the most about this morning on the talk shows. Biden got that terribly wrong, but as my husband asked me last night – how many average americans will KNOW he got that so wrong? He sounded just like he knew what he was talking about, the average joe isn’t going to realize he was wrong unless they hear it on the news, and they won’t hear it on MSM.