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No gaffes in last night's debate? Darn right!

By Jimmy Orr / October 3, 2008

If the debate last night was a football game, Chris Berman would not have been able to yell out his trademark, "Fumblllllle." Although he would be able to say "rumblin, bumblin, stumblin" a few times, but not that many.

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The expectation was a train wreck. With Joe Biden's frequent missteps and Sarah Palin's sketchy performances in recent TV interviews, the night seemed as if it would be rich in miscues, foibles, and Homer Simpson-like "D'ohs".

Debate watching parties sprouted up across the nation. People could download their own Palin Bingo cards eager for the predictable phrases to come from the Alaska governor's mouth . If you had a card with the words "maverick," "drill baby drill," "darn right," "I'll betcha," and I can see Russia from my house "doggone it" -- you would have won big. She said all of them.

Plus, if you were playing in the lightning round, there were even more nuggets like "git down to gittin' business done."


Newbies to the political scene say they watched the event because we are at a critical time in our nation's history and nothing is more important than a substantive debate on public policy. That's a good thing.

But there were plenty of viewers who, like NASCAR fans, say they watch for the racing, not the wrecks.

Palin bein' Palin

Conservatives calling for Palin to abandon her handlers and "be herself" got to see a more relaxed version of the Republican vice presidential nominee.

It was as though she had an epiphany that it was OK to be the governor of Alaska and former mayor of Wasilla.

Example #1: After Joe Biden explained his vote on the Iraq war, Palin responded, "Oh, man, it’s so obvious I’m a Washington outsider, and someone just not used to the way you guys operate."

Example #2: Responding to moderator Gwen Ifill's question as to whether there was anything Palin had promised to do as vice president that would be rescinded as a result of the financial crisis, Palin said, "There is not. And how long have I been at this, like five weeks? So there hasn't been a whole lot that I've promised..."

Example #3: Responding to Ifill's question on what the "vice presidency is worth," Palin produced the most comedic moment of the night. She took a shot at Biden (perhaps unknowingly) for his statement - back in 2007 - that he wouldn't want the VP job. When there was mild speculation over her being a dark-horse candidate months ago, she had a similar reaction saying that she didn't even know what the vice president did.

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