From I Can Has Cheezburger?
Say I give a final exam that asks about date rape and a student provides an answer about falling in love; I ask about eating disorders and the student tells me how cool Cosmo is; I ask about the problems mothers face in American society and the student tells me "it's the hardest job in the world" and we just need to cut taxes ...
... what sort of grade do you think that exam would earn?
A simple "F" would be a mercy compared to the negative number it actually deserved.
Now, Gwen Ifill was constrained by the rigid format of the debates from pinning Palin down when she refused to answer the question - a good 80 to 90 percent of the time, I'd guess. We voters operate under no such limitations. We don't have to give a free pass to a candidate who spews "responses" from a random talking points generator, not deigning to provide any real answers.
And we sure don't have to reward that candidate with historically expansive vice presidential powers. Look how great that worked out with Cheney. He snarls. She winks. Either way, it's a tic, not real engagement with us citizens.