Move Along; Nothing to See Here

I've got a new piece reviewing the debate for The Guardian's Comment is free America:
When the vice-presidential debate starts, Sarah Palin looks so terrified that it actually makes me physically uncomfortable to watch. But within two winks and a "Joe Sixpack," my discomfort has given way to contempt and equilibrium is restored.

Pretty quickly, it's evident that anyone tuning in to the debate hoping to see a trainwreck will be disappointed – and, by its end, the only thing wrecked are my associates who took a shot every time Palin uttered the words "Alaska" and "maverick" and "taxes."

What I notice most pointedly is that Joe Biden's answers have been internalised and Palin's have been memorised. He speaks about the minutiae of foreign policy with the ease and surety and fond familiarity that I might speak about the details of circa-1987 Britpop b-sides – it's part of his soul. She sounds like a jukebox whose every slot is filled with a different Republican talking point. J17: Lower taxes. H21: Drill, baby, drill. His responses are the result of years of immersion in these issues; hers the result of days of cramming. And it shows.

Considering that Biden was expected to call her "Tootsie" and Palin was expected to fall off the stage, I'm vaguely surprised to be bored to hell after the first hour. I may have fallen asleep if Palin's mispronunciation of nuclear didn't keep compelling me to jam pencils into my ears.
Read the whole thing here.

While you're there, also check out Lola Adesioye's review, which makes a very good point about how rather un-debatelike last night's debate really was.

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