No harm, no foul for the candidates at the vice presidential debate in St. Louis on Thursday. In what was one of the 2008 campaign's most heavily anticipated moments, there was relatively little buzz to follow.
Vice-presidential nominees Sen. Joe Biden and Gov. Sarah Palin took the stage at Washington University, ready to debate in an event hosted by Gwen Ifill of PBS. Following an erratic interview with Katie Couric, some political pundits expected Palin's performance at the debate to make or break the Republican ticket. Her performance did neither, nor did Biden's of the Democratic ticket.
The two squared off in a 90-minute contest centering around the economy, foreign policy, and U.S. energy policy. They touched on such hot-button issues as the war in Iraq and same-sex marriage, while confirming their allegiance to their selective presidential nominees.
Palin tried to keep the air casual, asking Biden, "Hey, can I call you Joe?", and catering to "Joe Six-Pack American". Though Palin often questioned Biden's record, Biden listed his work in the Senate while comparing that of McCain's to President George W. Bush.
"The issue is, how different is John McCain's policy going to be than George Bush's? I haven't heard anything yet," Biden said in perhaps of his most noteworthy soundbite of the night.
Early rating numbers show that the one and only vice-presidential debate of the 2008 election season drew in far more viewers than that of the first presidential debate, according to the Washington Post.
This was the second time in U.S. history that there has been a female candidate for vice president. The numbers for this year's debate are expexted to rival that of the 57 million viewers of the 1984 vice-presidential debate between George H.W. Bush, the Republican nominee, and Geraldine Ferraro, the Democratic nominee. (Click here for YouTube segments of the 1984 V.P. Debate.)
The next presidential debate will be held Tuesday, Oct. 7 at Belmont University in Nashville.