It was fitting that the crowd at Living Room Theater didn't make a drinking game out of chugging every time Sarah Palin said "maverick." We would have been sauced to the gills. But there'd be puking in the aisles.
That almost happened anyway, mind you. By the eighth time Palin uttered the M-word during tonight's vice presidential debate, the audience was groaning like a herd of rutting moose.
The crowd at the packed downtown movie house was reliably Portland -- cheering at Democrat Joe Biden's best lines, and laughing or gagging at Palin's attempted zingers.
Below are the lines that scored highest on the crowd's laugh-, clap- and gag-o-meters. And one "Oh my God" moment.
First a review from an everywoman in the audience: Sarah Angell (that's her in the photo). The 36-year-old registered Democrat from Northeast Portland gave Biden the victory, but scored Palin a C+ for a surprisingly lucid performance.
"She was probably a bit more nimble in her talking points (than in interviews), but she just didn't exhibit the level of ease and knowledge that he did," Angell said. "I think that the public was anticipating another lampooning opportunity, but she didn't serve."
On Biden's performance: "I gotta say he got a bit bogged down at times, but he was pretty concise for what people expected. He was on task."
The top laugh lines:
•Palin calling on "Joe Six Pack" and "Hockey Moms Across the Nation" to band together against predatory lenders.
•Biden calling McCain's health plan "the ultimate Bridge to Nowhere."
•Palin pronouncing "nucular."
•Biden saying McCain assumed the Sunni and Shia factions would get along "without reading the history of the last 700 years."
•Palin describing "some of those dictators who hate America ... who are trying to destroy what we stand for."
•Palin on McCain: "He is the man that we need to leave. Lead."
•Palin on the importance of "friends and allies willing to back ya up there."
Top clap lines (all Biden's, of course):
•On global warming: "If you don't understand what the cause is, it's virtually impossible to come up with a solution."
•He supports full benefits for same-sex couples.
•On the No Child Left Behind Act: "The money was left behind."
•Calling Cheney "probably the most dangerous vice president we've had in American history."
Gag lines (all Palin's, of course):
•Correcting Biden: "The chant is 'drill, baby, drill.' And that's what we hear all over this country."
•Praising "clean, green natural gas."
•Of fundamental importance: "A traditional definition of marriage."
•Iraq withdrawal: "Your plan is a white flag of surrender."
•On Obama meeting with dictators: "Beyond naivete, beyond poor judgment."
•"I'm happy that we both support Israel. That is a good thing to agree on, Sen. Biden."
•"John McCain knows how to win a war. ... He knows what evil is."
•"I think we need a little bit of Wasilla Main Street in there."
•"There you go again, Joe. Say it ain't so."
•On Biden's wife, a teacher: "Her reward is in heaven, right?"
•"I like to answer these tough questions without the filter of the mainstream media."
"Oh my God" moment:
Palin saying she wants more responsibility over the Senate as vice president.