Setting aside the policy and stump speeches of last night’s vice presidential debates, each candidate had one humanizing moment when cynics on either side of the aisle let their guard down if only briefly.
For Palin, that moment came about two-thirds into the evening as she spoke about education and gave “a shout out” to her brother’s third grade class.
It was as natural as a “shout out” can be, preceded by a wink to her father in the audience—nice touch. Maybe the shout out and wink weren’t presidential, but it was quaint and, well, nice.
Meanwhile, Biden, the alleged “blow hard,” had the evening’s most authentic and touching moment. He choked up and paused when mentioning his dead first wife and daughter, and once critically injured sons.
Call it his Hillary moment—Clinton tearing up in a New Hampshire diner—but that reflective pause humanized Biden. I watched the debate with my mom, an unapologetic Palin fan; she turned to me and said, without a hint of cynicism or irony, “That was very touching.”
If Palin helped shore up elements of small town America with her third grade shout out, Biden pulled Palin swing voters to his side with that very touching and revealing moment.