It is clear what Sarah Palin did, and many others have commented on it. She had answers to questions and she gave those answers whether or not the questions were asked. When the moderator asked questions she was not prepared for she veered over to what she did have, whether it was relevant or not. She also turned on the girly charm, so much so that one of my guests said it made her embarrassed to be a woman.
Yet I am sure it worked. She managed to make complete sentences almost the whole way through. For her supporters, the combination of complete sentences, relatively coherent, and that folksy veneer was enough to send them to Palin heaven. I'll never understand why some people can't see beneath the gloss but it's ever been so.
As for Biden, personally I liked how he performed. He wasn't folksy but he was straight. He zinged Palin for every statistic she got wrong and he did it well. He hammered the similarities between Bush and McCain, pointing out again and again that McCain's actions did not define him as any kind of maverick (Palin's favorite word last night).
Once again, then, I am reminded that Kerry won on knowledge and accuracy in 2004 but Bush won on what they call his "charm" (again, I never have seen that). This is a country that votes on personality. Darwin save us.