Poor Joe. Ann Curry is concerned that the senator from Delaware was the victim of a double-standard during last night's debate that caused him to hide his light under a barrel. The Today show co-anchor [subbing for Meredith Vieira] expressed her misgivings this morning to Obama supporter Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)
ANN CURRY: But he restrained himself to some degree. I mean, she called him "Joe," he called her "Governor." She attacked him, he didn't attack her. Do you think there was a double-standard at play here? Did Joe pull down his full game, and did that hurt him last night--and his ticket?
View video here.
CLAIRE MCCASKILL: I think he was being very careful. I think he was in a no-win situation. If he was too smart, he was condescending. If he was too nice, he was patronizing.
Perhaps the first recorded instance of anyone suggesting that Biden could be in danger of being too smart. Be that as it may, Ann's concern for Joe was certainly affecting.
For the record: Though Palin did ask Biden when they first met on stage if she could call him "Joe," the trancript reveals that she only exercised the prerogative once, and even then in the context of using the old Black Sox line: "say it ain't so, Joe."
BONUS COVERAGE: Lauer Suggests Palin Rattled Biden
Speaking earlier with Tom Brokaw [I've flipped the bits in the video clip], Matt Lauer had another possible explanation for Biden's less-than-stellar showing: Palin had him rattled.
MATT LAUER: You've watched Joe Biden a lot over the years. Did you think that he was a little rattled by her? That he was expecting in some ways to be standing across the stage from the same person he saw in Katie's interview last week, and when he didn't see that, he didn't quite know how to handle it?
TOM BROKAW: Well, going in, I think he was very mindful of the fact if he over-powered her, if he seemed to be condescending, that would go south on him in a hurry. I was very surprised when she said "you're raising the white flag of surrender" he didn't come back at that point talking about her policy for getting out of Iraq.