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Vice-Presidential Debate Liveblog #1: Live From Wash U.

8:57 CDT: [Sean] Biden gives very strong answer right after Nate offers constructive criticism; maybe Biden’s having better luck reloading

8:54 CDT: [Nate] Biden has getting a little bit too wordy in the last couple of responses.

8:53 CDT: [Sean] Awww, they both love Israel! Too cute!

8:51 CDT: [Nate] If any of the pundits are watching the audience meters, I don’t think they’ll say that she’s beating expectations.

8:49 CDT: [Sean] I think a lot of regular Joes and Janes are empathizing with Palin, who is giving it her level best. The pro-Obama crowd we’re sitting with is not getting the Miss Teen South Carolina show it expected. Now Biden is smirking as Palin talks about diplomatic relations with enemies.

8:46 CDT: [Sean] On the split screen as Biden gives this strong answer on which is a greater threat, Palin was smirking.

VP Debate -

8:45 CDT: [Sean] I can foresee the praise for Palin’s performance on the post-mortem cable shows already. She has beaten expectations — the lowest expectations in history.

8:42 CDT: [Nate] To be completely frank if that were anyone other than Sarah Palin on stage, this would be regarded as a blowout at this point.

8:38 CDT: [Sean] Palin seems a lot more relaxed than she was at the outset. But I’m not sure that’s a good thing, it makes her go freestyle, and freestyle hasn’t really worked very well recently.

8:35 CDT: [Nate] Biden has figured out that he can take a bunch of free shots at McCain since Palin can’t go off-script. Fairly well played.

8:34 CDT: [Sean] Thanks for bearing with us. Not’s finest hour.

8:30 CDT: [Sean] “I’m not sure what her position is” is a good way to provoke Palin to have to explain.

8:29 CDT: [Nate] Palin’s peaks on the audience meter keep getting lower. I think a fraction of people are tuning her out at this point. It feels to me that they might have decided to play it safe and concede a tie or a small loss for the sake of avoiding some kind of catastrophe.

8:25 CDT: [Sean] Palin: “How long have I been at this, like, five weeks?”

8:23 CDT: [Nate] I’m watching the CNN audience meters. Biden is doing distinctly better than Palin so far, although she had one or two very favorable responses.

8:21 CDT: [Sean] “The Ultimate Bridge to Nowhere!” [Nate] I actually think that answer could have been a little bit tighter. Biden got a little bit too caught up in the details at the end.

8:20 CDT: [Nate] You can tell she’s scripted because she’s literally rushing through her lines.

8:18CDT: [Nate] Over under on number of “middle classes?” 20? [Sean] Gimme the over, baby.

8:17 CDT: [Sean] Biden’s other mission – to hammer the issue of taxes and fairness and middle class. And” “the governor didn’t answer the question.”

8:15 CDT: [Sean] And I think we have our theme – Joe Biden: “she did not answer the question.” And the reply. “I’m not gonna answer the question, and people are gonna love my spunk!” Biden finds this hilarious. The split screens on C-Span are priceless.

8:11 CDT: [Sean] Biden is not going after Palin, he’s explaining why John McCain’s philosophy has led to this economic crisis.

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8:07 CDT: [Nate] Holy run-on sentence, Batman! [Sean] Joe Biden is definitely letting her talk.

8:07 CDT: [Sean] We have the C-Span feed here, by the way. She seems very rehearsed. Biden seems relaxed. Palin endorses new and different change, not someone who’s been in the Senate for a long time. Coming soon: Obama-Palin ’08!

8:07 CDT: [Nate] Palin is doing well enough so far, but sounds very nervous.

8:05 CDT: [Nate] Is Biden sick or is this his way to take an exceptionally sober tone?

7:58 CDT: [Sean] Hello from Washington University in St. Louis. This is kind of home turf for me, as I grew up in neighboring University City and Clayton and went to public schools nearby. During high school I spent many hours in Olin Library.

We’re going to do our best, given’s major problems, to bring you a good liveblog. If we have gaps, we’ll keep timestamping our comments and update when we can.