Why I think Edwards will win
It is naïve to dismiss John Edwards as a pretty face. Last December, before the Dem primaries, I read someone dismiss him as the "Democrats' Dan Quayle," and I winced. I've been studying the man since 2001, and he is not the lightweight we'd like to believe.
I was correct about the Edwards primary campaign, so hear me out.
John Edwards is much more intelligent than is JF Kerry. John Edwards is a much better liar than is Kerry. In fact, Edwards is, in my estimation, the most talented liar to seek public office in several generations. Bill Clinton lied more often and told some real doozies, but with Edwards, it is effortless.
As a trial lawyer, Edwards was able to convince a jury of presumably rational North Carolinians to award a huge sums of money for the family of a brain damaged girl who fetus he convinced the jury he was speaking to from her mother's womb. He secured a large award for a drunk whose doctor had prescribed him too much antabuse, after having been warned by the judge that juries in that county do not award more than $100,000, and nothing to drunks.
It is dangerous in politics to bank on simple stereotypes. "Dour, serious" for Cheney; "Breck Girl" for Edwards. This is not a debate between dour, serious and Breck girl. Each candidate brings his own strengths to the debate
I'm concerned about Cheney because not only are his rhetorical feet heavier than Edwards's, but he also tends to say things that he believes and/or knows are correct but that the "common knowledge" media have dismissed.
I think Edwards will win the debate, at least in the opinion of the MSM and the public. For the veep to win, he'll have to knock Edwards totally off guard and confound him. I do not see that happening.
That being said, it is also dangerous to underestimate Dick Cheney. He has his work cut out for him, but we'll see.