No one will remember Palin's winking and hair shaking and inappropriately timed smiles. They'll only remember one thing from this debate: the moment when Joe Biden choked up talking about the death of his wife and daughter and his years of raising his sons alone:
Palin was okay, especially after the incredibly low expectations following her recent interviews. After about twenty minutes, I did feel the brain damage she was inflicting through her relentless and zombielike fixation on the two or three talking points she had written down in front of her (i.e., Get Government Out of the Way, Obama Will Raise Your Taxes, We Are a Team of Mavericks, etc.) I think the McCain camp did a decent job of coaching her, and she didn't spend any time staring blankly into the camera -- there was no danger of that, as she simply chose not to answer questions she didn't like.
She did have one major mistake, and it's one that I think will haunt her and will, along with Biden's choking up moment, dominate the discussion of this debate. It was the totally unnecessary and gratuitous mention she made of expanding the Vice President's powers:
And she's agreeing with Dick Cheney -- not a good move at this point in history. Biden is exactly right: Dick Cheney is the most dangerous Vice President we've ever had. Palin says she would follow Cheney's lead. Terrifying.