-Cheryl D., Houston, TX
She's bought her own PR and really does think she's ready for a role in government of that level. And that takes an extreme amount of arrogance. So for this ticket, we have an angry, irritable, cancer-prone presidential nominee and an arrogant, egotistical, barely educated woman who won't blink when faced with a crisis. Perhaps it's the intellectual in me, but I'd rather have someone willing to use reason and negotiation as their first defense and not their last. McCain and Palin are both a little too trigger-happy for me. And no matter what their campaign is trying to convince us all of, we would only be in for another 4 years of the same failed policies of the current administration. I've had enough of that to last a lifetime.
-Charlotte T., Independent, Anchorage, Alaska
The thought of Palin directing foreign policy and diplomacy efforts based on her Wasilla experiences is, frankly, frightening. She may as well be wearing a sign that says, "I plan to be a puppet, since I do not really know about this stuff."
-Kathy A., CA
Sarah Palin is not ready for either VP or in line to be President. She showed that tonight by repeating her talking points and not responding to Gwen Ifill's questions. Her phrase she "has only been on this for 5 weeks" says it all.
I just can't imagine Sarah Palin in a national office. It's almost insulting to have her running for high office. She's provincial, misinformed and stubborn. Her views—after tutoring—are not worldly. Good luck to Joe Biden, who seemed quite presidential himself.
-June K., Chapel Hill, NC
First, I should say that I'm a Republican turned Democrat. I was impressed to see Palin successfully work to improve her image... sort of. At one point near the end she said something to the effect of, "It is nice to speak directly to the American people instead of having the media's filter in-between." (or something to that effect). So, I do believe that she successfully improved the general perception of her readiness for the VP office.
Biden, on the other hand, seemed very comfortable up there, answered all questions except for one (I think), and exuded a feeling of experience. Palin did her best to anger him with some pretty cheap shots (too many to list!), but he didn't take the bait. I was very impressed to see his self control. It gave me more confidence that he can keep his passion in check when need be. Frankly, I think he "won" this debate the moment he started in with the fact that just because he is a man, it doesn't mean he doesn't know what it's like to be a single parent who is worried whether their kid is going to make it. I have no idea if his tear was crocodile or genuine, but the words FINALLY reversed the double standard of the primary caregiver. He took the whole issue of her being special because she is a soccer mom, and flipped it on its head. It made HIM look special to be a single parent. I practically jumped up and down at that exchange.
Palin improved her image but could not prove her readiness to lead (the experience issue is too factual to talk around). I do not think it will be enough to help the McCain ticket out of its current slide, but at least she won't be as much of a liability. The "maverick" is going to have to do the rest on his own.