The greeting exchange between the Vice President candidates seemed to be a strong point of interest for ABC news anchors, perhaps in part because they didn't find strong support for either side winning the debate. Both candidates began the debate by not feeding into any of the emotional or personality characteristics that they have been so widely criticized for.
Although both candidates remained calm in their demeanor, they had two dramatically different debate strategies. Senator Joe Biden cited problems with McCain’s economic plans, and comparing his strategy to Obama. Palin on the other hand talked about what she and McCain would do to improve the economy, instead of attacking Obama and Biden’s strategies.
I also noticed Biden called for change in viewpoint in their campaign. As he continued to direct his points at McCain, Palin counterattacked saying the government needed mavericks and refuting Biden’s experience, although she said she respects his tenure. Her attention was focused on the audience and winning them over. Despite the back and forth banter, neither candidate talked too long.
Besides the Debate
Aside from keeping debate fervor alive, ABC continues its 50 states in 50 days tour. They began this week in Ohio - Monday night in Dayton and Tuesday night in Bowling Green. The selection of cities to travel to in Ohio I found interesting. It would have been obvious for ABC to travel to one of the big three cities in Ohio - Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati - however ABC picked rural areas that are offset by smaller cities and college environments.
In Dayton ABC traveled to the Wright brothers museum where Charles Gibson interviewed two descendants of the family. In Bowling Green, ABC focused on Gibson's interviewing students in classrooms about their major concerns that they want the candidates to address. Most students cited education as a top concern and how they would be able to pay back student loans. The majority of students appeared optimistic except for one African-American student who still felt that there are several problems here in the U.S., especially racism, that need to be solved before we can look to other issues.
Knowing that Ohio is a swing state, I think that spending two nights here and choosing conservative, yet progressive areas was a good choice for ABC. It will continue to be interesting to see what areas in other mid-western states ABC travels to and who they spend their time interviewing.