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).