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The VP Debate (Sober Ryan vs. Classless Joe, the grinning Joker)
National Review ^ | 10/12/2012 | Yuval Levin

Posted on 10/12/2012 5:36:18 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

I think both candidates basically did what they needed to do in the vice presidential debate, which leaves the Republican ticket in a slightly better position—since Biden’s goal was damage control with the base and Ryan’s was reinforcing a positive impression with persuadable voters.

After the calamity they experienced in last week’s presidential debate, liberals needed to be bucked up by the Obama campaign, and I think they got that tonight. It probably came at a real cost—I have a feeling that Biden’s hyper-aggressive and at times buffoonish performance (and perhaps especially his Joker grin, which seemed to me as much a product of nervousness as of intent) hurt the ticket some with independent voters and especially with women—but it was a price the Obama campaign is probably quite willing to pay given the situation they’re now in. This debate didn’t help them win persuadable voters, and it probably won’t move the polls in their direction, but it will calm liberals down and it was absolutely essential for them to do that. The MSNBC types needed someone to be a jerk toward Paul Ryan to his face, and they got it.

Biden gave them what they needed by behaving the way liberals think Mitt Romney behaved in last week’s debate—basically like a strident bully who just says whatever he needs to say to shut down his opponent. The Left wished Obama had done that, and now they got to see Biden doing it. The trouble for them is that Romney didn’t actually do that. He won by appealing to moderate voters through substantive arguments. Biden (and therefore Obama) won’t gain that appeal from this debate.

For Paul Ryan, this was an important night. He didn’t shine the way Romney did last week, but that’s never really an option for the running mate. His job was to reinforce Romney’s case and to pass the bar of presidential credibility himself, and he certainly did that. In his biggest moment on the national stage to date, he was calm, clear, thoughtful, and serious. That’s the image the Romney campaign needs to project in these final weeks, and it’s the image Ryan wants to project. He did it in part by not pressing every potential opportunity he had (whether intentionally or by truly missing those opportunities), so that for those of us who spend our days mired in the minutia of these policy debates it was sometimes frustrating to think that here was Ryan, who could basically make Joe Biden look like a fool on this or that issue, instead making a more general point and returning to the basic economic case. He had to decide on the fly how to handle Biden’s strange behavior, and he probably made the right choice. Ryan was easily the more presidential figure on the stage (I might have said “more vice presidential,” but that would seem like an insult), and his command of the foreign policy issues that came up should go a long way toward putting to rest any concern about his expertise on that front.

Substantively, Biden was predictably demagogic on the key domestic issues. His argument on entitlements was basically “don’t listen to either side, just use your common sense, don’t you trust Democrats more than Republicans on this?” That’s a very good sign for Republicans, especially on Medicare, and especially because polls (including the debate focus group dials) suggest the answer isn’t necessarily what Biden thinks it is—or what it used to be just a few years ago. Republicans have made extraordinary gains on that front, and this is very largely Ryan’s own doing.

This was one place where my own policy obsessions left me thinking Ryan could have said more, and particularly that he might have pushed one more time on “vouchers.” I don’t have any particular problem with the term “voucher” in a lot of policy contexts, but it is simply not an accurate description of a premium-support reform of Medicare, in which seniors would get their choice of coverage, not a voucher, and those whose choice was among the more expensive would make up the difference themselves while those who choose cheaper options would have no further out of pocket costs and might get some money back. At no point is there a voucher. This is exactly how the Medicare prescription-drug benefit, Medicare Advantage, and the federal employee insurance system through which Joe Biden’s family has gotten insurance for forty years function. Are those voucher programs?

I also thought Ryan should have gone one step further into details on the tax plan—perhaps pointing to the idea of a cap on total exclusions at some dollar figure, as Romney has done. He tried to argue instead that the president’s job is to lay out principles (no increase in the deficit, no increase in middle class taxes, no reduction in the portion of the tax burden borne by the wealthy) and then reach decisions on particulars with congress. That’s certainly right, but Biden didn’t let him make the argument, and he should have pushed back some by first providing the particulars that Raddatz (who clearly didn’t understand his answer) was demanding. But these are the complaints of a wonk—of a person who notices missed opportunities rather than simply listening to what was said.

On foreign policy, I think Ryan won handily and that the debate (along with the sheer facts of the Libya debacle of course) has largely robbed the administration of what it thought would be a foreign policy advantage going into the final weeks, and especially into the last presidential debate in two weeks, which is all about foreign policy. It was quite striking, of course, just how much foreign policy there was in this debate. It was clear from her questions that Martha Raddatz really knows a lot about foreign policy (so that she pushed against and argued with some of the liberal platitudes Biden was pushing) but knows only the basic liberal talking points on the domestic issues. That’s too bad—her aggressive and pressing style would have made for some good exchanges if she knew more about those subjects.

Ryan pushed especially effectively on Libya, and I actually think Biden’s answers on that front were extremely problematic for the administration and will greatly complicate their efforts to control a growing, serious, and very ill-timed scandal. The bald-faced lie about requests for more security will just have to be rolled back, which will be a bit embarrassing. But Biden’s throwing the intelligence community under the bus is a huge problem too. Any time a politician blames something on the intelligence community, you just know that a torrent of leaks from the intelligence community to the major papers is about to erupt, and I think we can bet on that happening here.

Above all, I think a voter stepping back from all of this would have to ask himself just what the Obama administration is actually proposing to do in the next four years. Anything different from the last four years? Anything in particular at all? This was basically a debate about the Romney agenda, with some thoughts on the Obama record thrown in. For a campaign whose motto is “forward” there was remarkably little forward-looking substance.

To assess the effect of it all on the race, I think an important question will be how many voters watched this debate, compared to the last one. For those who did, I imagine this will basically be a draw—a tie between those who found Biden’s bullying effective and those who found it off-putting. But among those who only hear about it in the coming days, I have a feeling that this will turn out to have been a bit of a problem for the Democrats. Ryan’s performance probably won’t be much noted either way (which is about what he was going for, I suspect; he has now established his place in the very upper tier of American political life without even much of a fuss), but the two lasting impressions of this debate that will be talked about will be Biden’s bizarre behavior and his false assertion about requests for security by American diplomats in Libya. As they struggle to close Romney’s narrow lead, neither will be a welcome subject of discussion for the Democrats.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2012debates; 2012veep; biden; clownbiden; condescendingbiden; debate; disingenuousbiden; jokerbiden; ryan; vp

1 posted on 10/12/2012 5:36:21 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

The Joker is about right.


2 posted on 10/12/2012 5:40:23 AM PDT by Sacajaweau (r)
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To: SeekAndFind
Biden came off as a buffoon, He also appeared as a liar concerning the Libyan embassy terror attack. PEOPLE KNOW THE FACTS on this subject.
3 posted on 10/12/2012 5:42:04 AM PDT by stars & stripes forever (Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord!)
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To: SeekAndFind

It was Biden as a six foot Honey Boo-Boo on Red Bull and acid.

It was awesome. The Obama ticket lost the campaign completely last night.


4 posted on 10/12/2012 5:42:33 AM PDT by OpusatFR
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To: SeekAndFind
Know anyone who makes commercials. Need to combine BIden’s laughter with Obama digital comments and title “The Reason There Is No Bipartisanship in DC”
5 posted on 10/12/2012 5:45:31 AM PDT by hoosiermama (Obama: "Born in Kenya" Lying now or then.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I had to laugh at the summary of the yahoo article:

“Move over, Big Bird! The vice president’s inability to control his grin steals the show.”

Link: http://news.yahoo.com/laughing-joe-steals-show-vice-presidential-debate-020832310—abc-news-politics.html

Most of the responses at ABC were disgust. Didn’t check others.


6 posted on 10/12/2012 5:47:35 AM PDT by huldah1776
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To: SeekAndFind

An excellent analysis, especially on how Ryan read and responded to the Biden “play action” buffoonery. This showed the kind of mature judgement people arelooking for.


7 posted on 10/12/2012 5:48:05 AM PDT by bigbob
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To: hoosiermama

Based on just the responses I’ve seen, somebody should make an overlay of video of Biden’s behavior, with the sound track of the vile French characters from Monty Python’s “Holy Grail”. lol

Biden’s job was to stink up the place so nobody could hear a word Ryan said. Ryan was King Arthur; Biden was the French guy threatening to wave his private parts at Arthur’s auntie.

Only it was funny when the French guy did it; it’s not so funny when we’ve got the entire Muslim world against us, thinking we’re weak, and united in belligerence and action.

Can’t help but wonder what the mom of one of the guys slain in Libya - who has been saying she’s sick of the BS she’s been getting from the regime - felt as she saw Biden’s schtick last night. If that wasn’t a big middle finger to her, nothing was.


8 posted on 10/12/2012 5:52:41 AM PDT by butterdezillion
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To: SeekAndFind
Biden did not disappoint me he was still the idiot he is when he is let loose on the public..The stupid laughing and ignorant face motions..

The moderator did ok to begin with but then started helping Biden..She did not tell Biden to shut up when he interrupted..It was a set up job with the so called moderator..Hope she is happy her man Biden made of fool of himself..

9 posted on 10/12/2012 5:54:07 AM PDT by PLD
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To: Sacajaweau

The Joker is about right.


To me that was Biden being Biden. His actions, speaking style, etc. are what he has displayed over his many years in the Senate. Now the public that hasn’t seen him over the years may well not be impressed with it. With the next Presidential debate in only four days I suspect this will fall off the radar screen quickly.


10 posted on 10/12/2012 5:58:34 AM PDT by deport
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To: SeekAndFind

Proverbs 29:8-10

King James Version (KJV)

8 Scornful men bring a city into a snare: but wise men turn away wrath.

9 If a wise man contendeth with a foolish man, whether he rage or laugh, there is no rest.

10 The bloodthirsty hate the upright: but the just seek his soul.


11 posted on 10/12/2012 5:59:05 AM PDT by bmwcyle (Corollary - Electing the same person over and over and expecting a different outcome is insanity)
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To: SeekAndFind

bfl


12 posted on 10/12/2012 6:01:22 AM PDT by gibsosa
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To: OpusatFR
It was Biden as a six foot Honey Boo-Boo on Red Bull and acid.

**spewing coffee**

13 posted on 10/12/2012 6:03:35 AM PDT by workerbee (The President of the United States is DOMESTIC ENEMY #1)
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To: SeekAndFind

Not talked about today, but I had a problem with the negative light in which Biden portrayed the brilliant Antonia Scalia. Clearly shows the Democrats are only concerned with the personal leanings of Justices rather than their abilities as jurists required to interpret the laws of the land.


14 posted on 10/12/2012 6:06:06 AM PDT by milford421 ("All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke))
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To: deport
To me that was Biden being Biden. His actions, speaking style, etc. are what he has displayed over his many years in the Senate.

Yep. What I saw last night was exactly what I expected to see. Old Joe trying to come across as the senior pol who was so bored with the young whippersnapper's incompetence, that all he could do was laugh it off and be snide. What I saw last night is EVERY debate, hearing or confrontation I've EVER seen with Biden.

Tom Brokaw et. al. in the media who are acting surprised... surprise me. Biden is 70 yrs old -- what, he was gonna change his schtick NOW?

15 posted on 10/12/2012 6:06:33 AM PDT by workerbee (The President of the United States is DOMESTIC ENEMY #1)
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To: SeekAndFind

16 posted on 10/12/2012 6:11:18 AM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Biden and Hillary ought to have a cackling contest


17 posted on 10/12/2012 6:12:40 AM PDT by uncbob
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To: OpusatFR

That had me laughing. A one liner that assesses the whole thing perfectly.


18 posted on 10/12/2012 6:13:03 AM PDT by dforest
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To: SeekAndFind

It will also be very interesting to see what the fallout will be from Biden throwing the intelligence community under the bus. This writer says we might expect some intelligence leaks that could hurt the administration - let’s hope so!


19 posted on 10/12/2012 6:14:01 AM PDT by madmominct
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To: SeekAndFind

I only wish that during Biden’s laughing, Ryan had used my 4th grade teacher’s favorite line: “You know, they have places where they put people who laugh at nothing.”


20 posted on 10/12/2012 6:15:43 AM PDT by Maceman
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To: OpusatFR

Roflmao. Thank you.


21 posted on 10/12/2012 6:16:53 AM PDT by datura (1. Soap Box. 2. Ballot Box 3. AMMO BOX)
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To: workerbee
What I saw last night is EVERY debate, hearing or confrontation I've EVER seen with Biden.


100% accurate in my assessment. “Malarkey” Joe was just being himself but the public that isn't familiar with his style may be put off somewhat and that may help the Romney/Ryan ticket. In four days the main combatants will be back front and center and this will be forgotten.

22 posted on 10/12/2012 6:17:41 AM PDT by deport
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To: SeekAndFind; All
Eric Nordstrom said at the hearing on Benghazi, when DENIED the security he was asking for, that he felt like "the Taliban was in the building"!! VERY TELLING

Someone needs to ask him what he meant.....the State Dept. Building...Hillary and HUMA....the White House...Barack HUSSEIN Obama.....the Pentagon, the EMBASSY??? What BUILDING, Mr. Nordstrom?? WHO???

"the Taliban is in the Building" needs to be PROBED.

23 posted on 10/12/2012 6:27:04 AM PDT by Ann Archy ( ABORTION...the HUMAN Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Well, Plugs did show his cranky old man side most of the night. Not sure if that was Joe being Joe or if that was a planned strat? As far as moving the needle of the highly sought after independant voter.... he did his job. He didn’t push them over to Romney. So for Joe that was/is a very very good night.

The downside. After the debate all that was lost was 90 min of my life I wont ever get back!


24 posted on 10/12/2012 6:53:21 AM PDT by Autonomous User (The Obama Doctrine: Blame America First.)
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To: PLD

RE: The moderator did ok to begin with but then started helping Biden..She did not tell Biden to shut up when he interrupted.

They counted the number of times Biden interrupted Ryan just as he was about to make his point.... 82 TIMES !!! UNPRECEDENTED.

It seems as if Biden was afraid for the people to hear Ryan’s logic and reasoning and tried to hide his own inadequacies by using his antics.


25 posted on 10/12/2012 6:55:11 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: Sacajaweau

From the American Thinker:

***********

His smile was frightening. For most of the night Joe Biden looked like the Joker — Nicholson not Ledger.

After 3 ½ years of Biden’s playing the fool, it is hard to remember he was once considered a serious man, a serious politician. But...Barack wasn’t looking for a serious politician — he wanted a court jester — and that’s what he got.

Now, after playing the fool for so long he has become the fool. Yet, in the debate he wanted to again be a serious man — or at least play one on TV. He clearly showed why Clint Eastwood called him the “intellect” of the Democrat Party.

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/10/bfd_bidens_failed_debate.html#ixzz295pVkAkA


26 posted on 10/12/2012 7:02:28 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
As I posted yesterday, I expected to see Biden act the same as he did during the Clarence Thomas hearings when he would smilingly and smirkingly make a 15,000 word bloviating, question/speech to Clarence Thomas with what he considered a gotcha question.

Typical Dem-lib thinking he was/is the smartest guy in the room, acting as a bully in his position as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and last night as "Oh, I am so above this. I am so smart and you are soooo stupid."

Ryan delivered as expected as he was the same person that handed Obama and his staff of morons their collective asses during the health care meeting.

Once again, the Dem-lib arrogance was on display as they also relied on their self-delusional assurance that their superior intellect would be an obstacle too huge for the lesser-cranially-blessed Republicans to rebut.

27 posted on 10/12/2012 7:10:18 AM PDT by N. Theknow (Kennedys=Can't drive, can't ski, can't fly, can't skipper a boat, but they know what's best for you.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Well what the Dem's had planned did not happen..What did happen was the fool made a bigger fool of himself..

Can you imagine the old fart Biden as a president,he is so ignorant,he scares me..

28 posted on 10/12/2012 7:14:46 AM PDT by PLD
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To: SeekAndFind

Republicans need to redo the ad of the guy in the car telling the laughing Tip O’Neill look alike, “Congressman, we’re running out of gas.” with a laughing Joe Biden look alike and the man saying, “You have us headed in the wrong direction. This is the wrong way.”


29 posted on 10/12/2012 7:15:30 AM PDT by N. Theknow (Kennedys=Can't drive, can't ski, can't fly, can't skipper a boat, but they know what's best for you.)
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To: OpusatFR

LOL!


30 posted on 10/12/2012 7:20:58 AM PDT by Lady Heron
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To: N. Theknow


31 posted on 10/12/2012 7:23:42 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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