I watched the debate last night between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden from beginning to end, and then flipped channels watching the various pundits and talking heads babble about who they thought had "won" the debate. Surprisingly, there was a consensus, albeit a weak one, that Sarah Palin may have won. I didn't see it that way at all--in my mind, the floundering McCain campaign needed a sharp boost from a strong Palin performance, and that's not what I saw last night. Rather, I thought that she was evasive, to the point of occasionally being stubborn in her refusal to answer the questions which were put to her. Now, Joe Biden had the same problem at times, but let's not forget, Barack Obama and he are in the lead. They didn't need a great showing last night. Coming out of the debate where they were when they went in was good enough for them, and that's exactly what happened.
The only explanation I have for the perception that Sarah Palin may have won might be that expectations of her were so low that she couldn't help but exceed them. Ultimately, I think that she needed to clean Biden's clock last night for John McCain's campaign to regain the momentum, and she didn't accomplish that.