I remember the Reagan/Mondale debates of 1984. After Reagan tanked badly during the first one (eerily similar to Palin's word salad babble to Couric) everyone thought he was through. Then the talking heads speculated that if he could hold his own in the second debate then maybe he could still win the election. I thought he sounded pathetic and possibly suffering from some sort of progressive degenerative brain disease (he was -- Alzheimer's). But before the second debate someone stole Mondale's briefing book (which turned up in the Reagan camp's hands). Reagan held up better in the second debate, not great, but at least he didn't grind down into a long garbled run-on sentence as he did in the first debate.
What do you think the headline was the next day? "Reagan wins a Draw!" (How does one "win" a draw? Oh, nevermind).
Already the talking heads are going on about how great Palin did because she could make subjects and verbs agree and speak in more-or-less clear sentences. Somehow this proves she's a viable candidate and is supposed to erase from our memories the word salad and the inability to name a newspaper or to describe a single example of McCain's "Maverick-ness" or, oh, nevermind. This is all sadly predictable. Has nothing changed in 24 years? Oh, and the media is run by a bunch of liberals. Right.