The VP debate between Biden and Palin went pretty much as expected, although it was well worth watching. Both candidates came across as likable and made no major errors. These days, that is considered a win.
Biden, restricted by the set time limits, managed to avoid his usually Achilles heel: talking to long and getting off message. Overall, he came across as competent, informed and ready to be VP. He did have a disconcerting tendency to refer to himself as “Joe Biden” rather than using the first person approach. I tend to associate that sort of thing with large egos and/or mental illness, so that worried me just a bit. Biden also did the usual thing politicians do: if he didn’t like the question or if it didn’t fit his talking points, he just talked about the topic he wanted to talk about. While the moderator did a competent job, she should have been more aggressive about keeping Biden (and Palin) on the question.
Palin went into the debate with one main goal: damage control. After her horrible interviews she needed to establish an image of competence. She had clearly been well coached and had an array of pre-packaged responses ready to present. This shows that she can be trained to repeat what others have told her and that she can handle basic questions when properly prepared. Even somewhat more than Biden, she would go to her talking points rather than focusing on the actual question.
The consensus seems to be that Biden won the debate and that people liked Palin. It is not clear how this will impact voting behavior, if at all. In general, both candidates accomplished the main goal: they came across as up for the job of VP and made no serious mistakes.