Skip to comments.Now This Was an MSNBC Debate
Posted on 10/12/2012 5:40:53 AM PDT by IbJensen
Chris Matthews, in his epic post-debate meltdown after the Romney-Obama debate, had the most telling line: this was not an MSNBC debate.
Matthews and other liberals were particularly upset that Mitt Romney had managed to actually speak uninterrupted, occasionally running over his time and requesting opportunities to respond to things Obama said (although the final tally showed Obama spoke for 4 more minutes than Romney, owing largely to his umms.).
Tonight was a different animal. Joe Biden came in with one game plan: dont let voters hear a word Paul Ryan said.
The post-debate count circulated by the RNC showed Biden interrupting Ryan 82 times. He was often loud enough that it was hard to hear Ryan speak, and Ryan was frequently cut off before he could finish his answers. On the rare occasions Ryan spoke without being interrupted, Biden laughed, snorted, grinned (even when discussing serious subjects like war and abortion), or at a minimum immediately declared that everything Ryan said was a lie. Biden even shouted at moderator Martha Raddatz and called her a liar too, telling her she wasnt being straight with him.
It appears from the immediate post-debate reaction that this performance was what liberal supporters of the Administration wanted: use the hecklers veto, dont let the other guy finish his sentences. It made Al Gores famous eye-rolling and sighing performance look like an Oxford debate. Raddatz did with one cringe-inducing exception at the end put in a good set of questions, but she failed at what I regard as Job One of a moderator, which is to prevent interruptions from letting the candidates talk.
Its hard to evaluate the substance of the debate beyond the constant interruptions (I did think Ryan did a good job of remaining civil, polite and mostly cheerful through the whole spectacle). Ryan got off to a rough start the first question or two, which should have been golden opportunities to fillet the Administrations dishonesty on Libya; he got in some shots, but let Biden distract him by giving rambling answers that packed in everything from Iraq to Afghanistan to bin Laden. After that, Ryan settled in and was the same Ryan weve seen so many times, patiently jousting with hostile questioners on hostile turf.
Biden, of course, told a battery of bald-faced lies, as expected (he pretended not to have voted for the Afghan and Iraq wars and Medicare Part D, and gave an absurdly dishonest rendering of the HHS mandate). That may not hurt him, but he may be more hurt by his complete failure to (1) make any sort of positive case for the Administrations economic record or (2) offer any solutions to anything besides tax hikes, tax hikes and even more tax hikes.
The debate was again short on social issues. Of note, however, was that even Joe Biden couldnt and wouldnt defend the nonsense idea that an unborn child is not a human being.
Bidens main job tonight was to find a way to change the narrative the past week that followed the last debate. With the broader media and independent voters, I doubt he did. With the liberal base, though, at least his adamant refusal to let Ryan finish a sentence gave them something to cheer for. So, for Joe Biden, a modest win, but perhaps a Pyrrhic one.
Ryans job was to look and sound presidential, which of course is hard to do sitting down and also hard to do when you are in the equivalent of an argument with a loud drunk at a bar. And the heavy focus on foreign affairs meant he was mostly not playing on the turf he favors. But I think the average TV viewer at home saw a guy who had plans and answers, and kept his cool, and on one occasion when he referred to Biden being under duress to make up for Obamas bad debate performance let the viewers in on what was going on.
The wild card, as always, is undecided voters. On the question of which side has actual solutions and can get things done on a bipartisan basis when needed, though, it should be clear. Romney and Ryan are defending plans and proposals even those that are not 100% fleshed out because they have plans and proposals. Ryan scored a particularly big hit with his account of having the CBO tell him they couldnt score Obamas plan because it was just a speech (a chronic issue during last years debt ceiling negotiations). Bill Clinton got re-elected in large part because he made deals that gave Republicans things of lasting value they actually wanted (welfare reform, DOMA, later a capital gains tax cut). Obama never offers anything of the sort, and thats why Biden had nothing to sell in terms of a competing narrative on that score. I have to have faith that voters who are not with the GOP down the line noticed that difference.
This deabate was a piece with the First debate and here is my analysis:
The opponents of this administration are high energy, earnest people who understand that we have serious problems that must be faced and solved. They are very serious problems some of which will outlast two terms if they are able to do a good job in the first terms.
On the incumbent side we have two people who are simply not serious about the job that needs to be done and are just cruising along with the flow, collecting their checks.
I think that on the their side it was a terrible debate. On our side, Paul did a great job and won the converstion.
I suspect that there will be a bump from this debate for Romney/Ryan.
Best line of the article “having an argument with a loud drunk”!
The bitch herself interrupted Ryan several times.
He was trying to make his point and she would interrupt with questions or statements. If I were Ryan, I would have stopped her a couple times and asked "Wait a minute - which one of you am I debating?"
This is where Romney’s experiance in the primaries helped him in the 1st debate. Romney has learned how to deal with these liberal moderators.
My wife, who is largely apolitical and attempts to be fair to everyone (deserving or not), was put-off by Radditz and horrified by Biden; concluding that ABC had the fix in for Obama.
It won't matter what they think of Paul Ryan. The objective undecided voter who watched the debate for answers is going to see exactly what everyone else so-a pityful performance by the VP.
The most valuable thing I’ve gotten from these debates is seeing our executive branch as they really are, unmasked and completely exposed.
Is anyone really surprised by the totally unengaged, unprofessional doofi we have “leading” our country?
I can see November from here...
This was playing to the loud-mouthed dim base and they won.
I mostly listened, and didn’t see Biden’s behavior until afterward. My impression at first was that Ryan was doing poorly & needed to stand up for himself. By the end, my impression was that only one person there was an adult.
Having viewed some of the debate now, my impression is that if Biden thinks it is funny that work is hard to find & gas prices have doubled & that food prices are thru the roof ($5/lb hamburger yesterday!)...then lots of folks aren’t laughing with him.
It reinforced my conclusion last night - only one person there was an adult and bothered to show up sober.
We watched the debate last night (if that’s what it’s called) between the smarmy and ignorant Biden and the younger, composed Ryan. Biden is a study in lunacy, bad manners and perhaps the onset of dementia. It’s too bad that Obama’s performance in the first presidential debate and what happened last night either goes over the heads of the vast unwashed and elitist PC lunatics who continue to support this phony president and his looney sidekick, or they don’t care as long as they continue to get something for doing nothing.
Biden was there to hold the line by any means needed.
Being rude, laughing, mistrepresenting was all part of the program to save Obama.
She should never have been alowed to be moderator. Her bias only proves the incompetence of the MSM.
Next time I want to see a moderator from Blaze TV.
Paul Ryan should have stopped and said “I would like to remind my colleague here, that these topics are very serious and people are hurting and his smirking, laughing and huffing at things because you disagree with me do not make you more right. It makes this discussion less serious and if that’s your goal, that’s on you. Im here to explain to the American people I am a serious person who takes these topics seriously”
my wife also...she said it reminded her of Al Gore ( The debate that flipped my wife and daughter to “R”)
RNC already has an ad up of Biden laughing. Link on Drudge.
I agree on the sentiment, but a snarky response like that (while satisfying) would have undermined Ryan’s credibility as a serious contender for VP, and would have been the whole headline this morning - “Ryan Unable to Out-Debate Biden, Loses Temper”.
That was the response I believe Biden and Raddatz wanted, so Ryan’s refusal to succumb to frustration was probably a very good thing.
I would probably have gone ballistic, myself.