Short Answer:  The TV Networks.  

Final Score? Lopsided win for the networks.  They got the huge rating for a show that cost them nothing above the cost of their studio time and the cost of the overpaid talking heads.

So if the networks came in first, who took second and third?  Probably a tie between the two candidates. Neither had a gaff of the variety that will get a million views on YouTube – so no NASCAR crash.  Both seemed to toe the party line fairly well and refrain from the attacks their handlers had warned them to avoid.  Both played nice.  Both took great liberties with numbers.  The fact checkers were already in high gear by the time I went to bed last night.  In short, nobody got hurt except maybe the audience who might have better spent its time knitting or watching Judge Judy (Is that still on?).

4th place – The various news anchors who tried to make the event seem important after the fact.  They struggled.

5th Place went to Gwen Ifill.  She got her moment in front of a huge audience.  She didn’t ask any tough questions of either candidate that could have been construed as favoritism.  She did manage to screw up the order of the questions on at least two occasions and twice let Mr. Biden have a second ‘rebuttal.’  To Mr. Biden’s credit, he politely asked but Ifill let it go.  She did nothing to control the “debate.”

Last place?  Us.  We really didn’t learn anything of value.  Both candidates were obviously under strict orders to take no risks and not make any untoward statements.  Neither did so neither did reveal much worthy of note.  Both candidates spouted the main campaign lines on numerous (too many) times.  Mrs. Palin said theirs was the ticket of Mavericks about 80 times.  Mr. Biden said that it’s all Bush’s fault and McCain is Bush also about enough to make me feel like I needed to toss up a hair ball.  Ugh!

Best line of the night?  Mrs. Palin asking, “May I call you Joe?”  It went downhill from there for all three people on stage.


Did you see it differently?