Skip to comments.Blustering Biden, Serene Ryan Exchange Barbs in Fiery 90-Minute Debate
Posted on 10/12/2012 1:28:41 AM PDT by Kaslin
It was crystal clear tonight that Vice President Biden was determined not to reprise the president's passive performance in Denver. In that, he succeeded. He also succeeded in interrupting his opponent constantly, repeatedly laughing at strange moments, and playing the 'loud anger' card frequently. Rep. Paul Ryan's serenity in the face of the Vice President's behavior was almost supernatural. On actual talking points, the two men battled to a draw. Ryan excelled on economic issues, gave a fabulous answer on abortion and closed strong. He also held his own on foreign policy. Biden scored on Afghanistan and by pointing out that Ryan requested stimulus funds for his district after the law passed. On style, I'd imagine Biden delighted the Left-wing base, but put-off most others. He was boorish, dismissive, bullying and rude. Ryan was occasionally too timid; a strong demand that Biden stop interrupting him would have done him some good, but he came across as pleasant and informed. I gather than CNN's independent viewer "dials" were fairly unkind to Biden throughout the evening, and flat-lined during some of the lengthy foreign policy exchanges. There's no question that international affairs are awfully important (one of the Vice President's biggest mistakes was claiming that the administration didn't know that American security forces had requested reinforcements in Benghazi, an outright falsehood), but most Americans are concerned about jobs, economic growth, and the spiraling debt. Precious few of the questions addressed those core concerns, which was a major shortcoming of moderator Martha Raddatz. She also seemed to ask tougher follow-ups to Ryan (not to mention cutting him off in the middle of important points), but he handled it pretty well. He did not whine -- unlike Biden, who seemed to think he was getting cheated (!) on talking time. The talk clock confirmed that he ultimately talked more than his opponent, and clearly interjected far more often.
In general, both men succeeded to some extent. Biden perked up the morose liberal base, which really needed a shot in the arm. Turnout will matter in November. Ryan was informed, plausible and likeable. He did zero damage to his running mate, and likely reassured potential Romney-leaners that he's up for the job. So a rough tie on debating points, and a win for Ryan on tone and demeanor. President Obama and Governor Romney will lock horns next Tuesday night in New York in a town hall-style debate format.
More to come...
UPDATE - CNN's focus group of indepedents split evenly on who won: Roughly one third said Ryan, another third sided with Biden, and the rest said a tie or neither. Among this group, Ryan won on which candidate has better solutions for the future; Biden had the edge on which candidate cares about people "like you." Wolf Blizter calls the night "a draw." One undecided voter on CNN just called Biden "a buffoon."
UPDATE II - CBS News' snap poll shows a Biden win, 50-31 percent.
UPDATE III - A CNBC insta-poll gives it to Ryan by a similar margin, 56-36. (Apparently this is an online poll, so it's bouncing around. CBS and CNN's numbers are more scientific -- but also contradictory).
UPDATE IV - It's a miracle: Biden didn't say "literally" once.
UPDATE V - Oh, you:
UPDATE VI - Media observers from across the spectrum were unimpressed by Biden's bizarre cackling and grinning. He seemed to find everything from Libya to Iran to unempolyment hil-arious! Even a PBS correspondent called his mugging for the camera "really, really inappropriate."
UPDATE VII - According to one preliminary count, Biden interrupted Ryan 96 times. Ryan interrupted six times. Some of the ladies on Fox's focus group aren't happy about the Vice President's hyper-aggressive approach.
UPDATE VIII - CNN's post-debate poll (not its focus group, mentioned above) gives Ryan the advantage on who won, 48-44. Basically a push.
UPDATE IX - Expect to hear more about Biden's assertion about the security situation in Benghazi. He was untruthful in a big way. Even Andrea Mitchell felt compelled to fact check this point. Was Biden lying, or does he have no idea what's going on? Neither inspires confidence:
NBC Fact Check: Biden Contradicted State Department On Benghazi Security
Biteme blew it.
Do you post in your sleep or did you stay up all night? Either way, thanks.
Weekly Standards Mark Hemingway: Joe Bidens laughing through talking about Iran sanctions?
Washington Examiners Philip Klein: Bidens strategy seems to be to laugh at Ryan constantly. Will it work to infantalize Ryan, or backfire like Gore sighing?
NBCs David Gregory: Bidens smile is out of control.
BuzzFeeds Ben Smith: So did Biden practice laughing at Ryan???
ABCs Rick Klein: Biden on verge of breaking down in laughter when Ryan talks.
Former Eric Cantor staffer Brad Dayspring: Joe Biden needs to realize this isnt a Senate Foreign Relations Hearing. His laughter and condescending attitude is a disaster.
Radio host Neal Boortz: Looking like Bidens gameplan is to laugh his way through this.
Townhall.coms Guy Benson: Will Biden laugh his ass off at the terrible economy, too?
MSNBCs S.E. Cupp: Biden needs to laugh a little less through the Libya, Middle East, nuclear Iran segment.
Washington Posts Chris Cillizza: Ok. I have decided. I find the Biden smile slightly unsettling.
PBS Jeff Greenfield: Biden has always had a smile that at times is really, really inappropriate.
Washington Examiners Paul Bedard: Cant tell yet if Bidens smirking, laughs, eye-rolling, head shaking, works for him or not against the oh-so-young looking eager Ryan.
Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer: Biden is at risk of having his laugh come across like Gores sighs. He should knock it off.
The New York Times Ashley Parker: Bidens grin is Chesire Cat caliber.
Republican strategist Ron Bonjean: Biden laughing does not come off with the intended effect. It is actually hurting him. Looks very condescending.
Movie critic Roger Ebert: Joe! Stop smiling and laughing!
Washington Times Emily Miller: Biden laughing when he disagrees with Ryan is so annoying. Like a child in time out.
Washington Posts Jennifer Rubin: Bidens laughing is losing the debate- obnoxious
(Excerpt) Read more at politico.com ...
Obama can’t use the exact same tactics but he now has a blueprint for how he’s going to approach the next debate. Biden may have looked goofy, but it appears he’s at least stopped the bleeding.
No I got up because my back and my hip was hurting. I have a generative disc and a degenerative hip joint. I didn’t stay up long though
I watched for a while, then I couldn’t take it anymore. Also that moderator reminded me of some ugly looking dog. Paul Ryan was polite, charming and professional though
That moderator kept drilling Ryan for answers. Never biden. Like she was giving biden a pass because he was the incumbent and the challenger had to be challenged. I thought that was incredibly wrong-headed.
After Wonderboy’s debate AARP told them to quit using their name. I noticed Smiley did it anyway.
Talking over their debate opponent is what dims do.
Watch any commentary program and whenever the repub starts making a point the dim will interrupt, talk over, louder destroying the other ‘s opportunity to make the point.
Dims must have a school on those tactics as it is endemic to the bunch.
The only repub I’ve ever seen that could out talk a dim was B1 Bob Dornan.
Good description of biden and his actions. I couldn’t handle it and switchd to watch a documentary about the secret service. Biden was rude, condesending and dead wrong on his facts. I was disappointed in Ryans lack of actack about how the federal govt wants to be the sole provider of everything in our lives. Wish I had seen the Lybia stuff, but I really did have enough of “Jack-ass Joe”
I have noticed that too
She never let finish Paul Ryan and kept interrupting him
She was totally one sided
I expect the same behavior of CNN’s Candy Crowley on next Tuesday’s debate
Biden probably is shooting to replace Jay Leno in the near future.
Loud, obnoxious drunk.
He laughed during discussion about Stevens. Unbelievable.