ABOARD THE CNN ELECTION EXPRESS (CNN) - On the surface, at least, the civility at Thursday's vice presidential debate started the moment Joe Biden and Sarah Palin warmly greeted each other on the stage at the outset.
The cordiality lingered - you could see it in the apparently friendly conversations between the candidates, and between the candidates' families, after the debate was over.
Policy differences aside, here in St. Louis, Missouri, all feelings were good feelings, if you believed what you were seeing.
And the question becomes, as the presidential campaign moves on today:
Does this signal an end to the escalating campaign nastiness the country has observed in recent weeks? Will the attack ads stop, will the ruthless thrusts by the opposing organizations come to an end?
You already know the answer. If past is prologue, the meanest days on the path to the presidency lie ahead.
(CNN)– Sen. Joe Biden and Gov. Sarah Palin covered it all in their first and only vice presidential debate, from the economy to the war in Iraq. In the latest installment of CNN=Politics Daily, Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley takes a look at how well Biden and Palin made the case for their tickets, while CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux gives you an inside look at the ‘spin room’– where the campaigns worked post-debate to sway public opinion.
Plus: The $700 billion bailout bill is expected to head back to the House Friday, where lawmakers will make a second try at passing the emergency legislation. CNN’s Jim Acosta has the details on the bailout proposal, and how likely it is to pass.
Finally: Biden and Palin outlined what their roles would be in an Obama or McCain administration Friday night. CNN Special Correspondent Frank Sesno takes a look at what the role of VP has been in the past - and what it could be for whomever gets the job.
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Gov. Sarah Palin said at the Oct. 2 vice presidential debate that Sen. Barack Obama has "pretty much only voted along his party lines. In fact, 96 percent of his votes have been solely along party line."
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(CNN) - Hillary Clinton issued a statement shortly after the debate praising Joe Biden's performance:
“Tonight's debate underscored the stark choice American families face in this election," she said. “I've known Senator Biden a long time – as Americans saw tonight, he is a strong, passionate and experienced leader. Like Barack Obama, Joe Biden understands both the economic stresses here at home and the strategic challenges in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world.
“We saw yet again that Senator McCain and Sarah Palin will offer only more of the same failed policies of the Bush Administration. America's hardworking Middle Class families deserve better.”
The Statement: Gov. Sarah Palin said at the October 2 vice presidential debate that Sen. Barack Obama "would be willing to meet with" Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "without preconditions being met first."
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Biden and Palin faced of Thursday night. (Getty Images)
(CNN) – Sen. Joe Biden gave a knowledgeable but restrained performance in Thursday night's debate, while Gov. Sarah Palin sought to show that her accomplishments as governor and mayor prove she is qualified to be vice president.
Biden slammed John McCain, saying that "he has been no maverick on the issues that matter to people lives," but his only challenge to Palin was asking her to articulate a policy on the Iraq war.
Palin pushed her "track record of reform" and said she and McCain are a " team of mavericks."
Sen. Joe Biden said at the Oct. 2 vice presidential debate that "our commanding general in Afghanistan said the surge principle in Iraq will not work in Afghanistan."
ST. LOUIS, Missouri (CNN) - A sampling of the way campaign surrogates were spinning Thursday night's VP debate:
McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds:
"She was very deliberate, she was very concise."
"She exceeded expectations that were too low created by people who don't know her record or her abilities."
"She benefited from the media's quick judgment they made of her after a few interviews."
"She really stuck it to him."
"This is all about the middle class."
Obama surrogate Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz:
"That was the pinnacle of the debate" when Biden got emotional talking about his family.
"She [Palin] was so cold, so insensitive that she didn't respond... A first response would be to acknowledge someone's loss. Instead she just pressed on with her talking points. She couldn't get out of her box, which shows how she has so little command of the subject matter."
(CNN) – A national poll of people who watched the vice presidential debate suggests that Democratic Sen. Joe Biden won but also hints that Republican Gov. Sarah Palin exceeded expectations.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey is not a measurement of the views of all Americans, since only people who watched the debate were questioned.
Watch: 'The most important election,' Biden says
Fifty-one percent of those polled thought Biden did the best job in Thursday night's debate, while 36 percent thought Palin did the best job.
But respondents said the folksy Palin was more likable, scoring 54 percent to Biden's 36 percent.
Watch: 'We will fight for America,' Palin says
Both candidates exceeded expectations - 84 percent of the people polled said Palin did a better job than they expected, while 64 percent said Biden also exceeded expectations.
But on the question of the candidates' qualifications to assume the presidency, 87 percent of the people polled said Biden is qualified while only 42 percent said Palin is qualified.
Biden's running mate, Sen. Barack Obama, was also selected as a winner in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation about the presidential debate last week.