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FOX News Democrats Have Only Praise For Palin's VP Debate Performance. Biden? Not So Much

Reported by Ellen - October 3, 2008 -

The Democrats on FOX News' post-debate panel last night (10/2/08) were so full of admiration for Sarah Palin that they had nary a bad word to say about her. So enamored were they with her ability to “connect with people” that it didn't seem to matter to them that she made several gaffes, including mischaracterizing the recommendations of the top commander in Afghanistan and getting his name wrong, to boot, and making the ridiculously false claim that Joe Biden backed John McCain's military policies until the 2008 campaign. But on the subject of Biden, who is supposed to be their own candidate, the same Democrats could barely find a good word to say. With video.

Mort Kondracke went first. “(Palin) was feisty, she was informal... She was forceful, she was knowledgeable. She had studied her brief and she had it thoroughly down... She didn't make a single mistake that I could, that I could tell. No verbal mistakes. No nothing like that... Nothing embarrassing on her part.”

Fact check: Nothing on his part that he wanted to discuss or research. In reality, Palin made plenty of mistakes.

On the other hand, Kondracke damned Biden with faint praise. “Look, he did what you expect Joe Biden to do at his very soberest best. He wasn't very funny. He wasn't very – he got personal a couple of times... but there was very little else in the way of personal connection in his case. So I thought she had the better of it.”

Moderator Brit Hume was clearly surprised.

Democrat Kirsten Powers said, “The reality is she didn't make any (gaffes)... I think Biden actually did what he needed to do. I don't think he was really that impressive or blowing anybody away.” She conceded that not doing any harm was really a win for him.

Powers allowed as how Palin “did seem a little bit like she was giving a bunch of mini stump speeches and that's how it might have come off to people who maybe aren't predisposed to her.” But, Powers continued, “That said, as she pointed out, smartly I think, she's only been doing this for five weeks and here she is on a stage with Joe Biden, somebody who's been debating since she was in second grade, as she likes to say (Powers gave a big smile here) and I think that the Obama camp did what they could to raise the expectations for her but I don't think anybody really bought it.”

Then, back to Kondracke. Hume, who seemed fairly skeptical of Palin, asked whether her “striking difference in style” (from others in Washington) is a benefit to her.

Kondracke answered, “I think it is. I mean, I think she connects with average people.” He went on to give examples.

Then he continued with a talking point that could have been scripted by a Republican strategist. “Look, I don't think she's qualified to be president on Day One by any matter of means. And I think (Biden) is... But she's not gonna have to be president right away, let's hope, let's pray. And so, you know, is she capable of learning? Sure... Does she connect with average people? Absolutely. And I think that he tends toward Senate speak.”

Two quick post-debate polls showed Biden won decisively.