The New York Times breaks down the weaknesses for both of the vice presidential candidates today. It struck me in the latest episode of Kate and Ally  Sarah, the Alaska governor gave some strong answers on abortion and gay rights (though saying “choice” so many times was a big no-no). But those questions were very vague and so it allowed Palin to be vague.

Compare that to when Couric asked about the specific newspapers that Palin reads. Tragedy. She couldn’t mumble her way through a reasonable answer to save her life. It was a mess and it shows Palin’s downfall is if she is pressed to go beyond canned answers or talking points.

The Times makes a similar note.

But just as she does now, Ms. Palin often spoke in generalities and showed scant aptitude for developing arguments beyond a talking point or two. Her sentences were distinguished by their repetition of words, by the use of the phrase “here in Alaska” and for gaps. On paper, her sentences would have been difficult to diagram.

John Bitney, the policy director for her campaign for governor and the main person who helped prepare her for debates, said her repetition of words was “her way of running down the clock as her mind searches for where she wants to go.”

As for Joe Biden, well, what hasn’t been said about his ability to talk himself into a corner or off a cliff? The Times brings up Biden’s apperance in Charleston last year at the CNN/YouTube debate.

(A) gun owner asked where the candidates stood on gun control, saying he wanted to know if his “babies” would be safe. “This is my baby,” the man said on the video, showing off his Bushmaster AR-15.

“I’ll tell you what,” Mr. Biden replied. “If that is his baby, he needs help.”

The audience applauded enthusiastically, but Mr. Biden did not stop there.

He went on to deride the questioner, saying he incriminated himself because the man said he bought the gun while it was banned, then he questioned the man’s stability. “I don’t know that he is mentally qualified to own that gun,” he said in a gratuitous aside.