Sarah Palin acquitted herself at last night's debate with her charm and a show of basic coherency, writes Adam Nagourney in the New York Times. Her face-off with Joe Biden didn't prove to be a point of no return for the faltering McCain campaign, but neither was it the decisive blow against Barack Obama that McCain needed.
Palin's performance will help to reenergize base conservatives who had begun to express doubts after her unimpressive Katie Couric interviews. But the Alaskan governor's outsized persona made last night all about her, and prevented her from effectively attacking Obama. With the election a month away, it now seems that the VP candidates will return to their normal positions: behind the candidates at the top of the tickets.