VP Debate Hangover
I’ve been sailing through The Ether on a skiff made of the VP’s discarded Geritol bottles to find the most incisive commentary on last night’s Vice Presidential Debate…
Martha Raddatz was awful, stepping all over Paul Ryan’s statements. Joe Biden was off his meds, flailing with his hands, interrupting, repetitive, and whiny, which is what most of his base has wanted. And Paul Ryan was calm, cool, and collected, with a better second half in the debate.
-I caught Charles The Kraut Hammer’s remarks after the Debate and he made the point that, if you heard only the audio of the event, Joe Hill Biden came off better, but if you watched it, Paul Ryan did.
I also think the channel one watched effected one’s take-away from the event. If the network showed it in split screen [like C-SPAN did], Biden came off much worse because you got to see all of his reactions [ie: more of the smirking, inappropriate laughing, etc.], whereas if you viewed in on a channel using the standard close-up / long-shot / mid-shot technique, you missed a lot of his, shall we say, ‘clowning around’ — because the old fool is a clown [always has been]. As John Fund commented: ‘Biden’s rude demeanor hurt him tonight, providing a poor contrast to Ryan’s calmness on the split screen’. However: how many people got to see the split-screen version?
-Stacy McCain’s reaction from the column he filed this morning over at The American Spectator:
Arrogant? Overbearing? Angry? If those are your ideal qualities in a vice president, Biden’s your man. In the inevitable post-debate panel discussions over who "won" the debate, even conservative discussants generally credited Biden with having accomplished his basic mission, namely to counteract the demoralization among Democrats caused by President Obama’s tepid and listless debate performance last week against Mitt Romney. (See "Mitt’s Biggest Turnaround Yet," Oct. 4.) Biden’s aggressive tactics against Ryan were cheered by the Democratic "base," by which term of course I mean, Chris Matthews.
Was the debate, therefore, a win-win? Not exactly. Grant that Biden achieved his goal of halting the panic that set in among Democrats after Romney mopped the floor with Obama in last week’s debate. Still, the vice president’s hectoring performance Thursday in Danville, Kentucky, wasn’t likely to endear him to undecided voters. Meanwhile, what Krauthammer called Ryan’s "deference" enabled the Republican to counteract the demonized image of him as a heartless budget-slasher that Democrats would like to exploit. Pleasant and calm, yet firm and clearly well-prepared, Ryan established himself as competent and charmingly human, never losing his cool while Biden lectured and berated him.
Pundits and news anchors are expressing post-debate shock at how smirky, condescending and arrogant Vice President Joe Biden was tonight. They buzzed on Twitter at his “malarkey” rebuke of Paul Ryan’s foreign policy criticism.
But this is all old, tired recycled behavior and rhetoric from the last election cycle. Remember? Go back and read my VP debate thread from 2008. It was titled: Sarah vs. Smirky. Go back to 2008, when Biden derided Sarah Palin for her “malarkey” about Bill Ayers.
Tonight, just as in 2008, Biden sighed.
But more significantly, Biden bald-facedly lied.
In other words: Biden was…Biden
I say go back and watch the hearings for now-Justice Clarence Thomas [I'm sure C-SPAN has them posted]. He was quite the smirky jerk back then.
Raddatz and Biden vs. Ryan.
I hope what people take away from this debate is that Biden doesn’t respect any other opinion than his own — and so assertive is he in this regard that he won’t even let his opponent speak without interrupting or talking over him.
The Dems will love this. I’m not sure many others will, though. Biden looks about as “statesmanlike” as a pulled pork sandwich. With hair plugs.
-From Kyle Peterson, Managing Editor of TAS:
I’ve seen some conservatives complain that Raddatz failed to leash Joe Biden and allowed the vice president to interrupt Paul Ryan time and time again. That’s a fair point, I think. But beyond that, some of the questioning was just bizarre.
For instance: "Mr. Ryan, I want to ask you about — the Romney campaign talks a lot about no apologies. He has a book called called ‘No Apologies.’ Should the U.S. have apologized for Americans burning Korans in Afghanistan? Should the U.S. apologize for U.S. Marines urinating on Taliban corpses?"
Ryan’s response was: "Oh, gosh, yes." The correct response is: "What the hell kind of a question is that?"
And don’t forget the query near the end: "If you are elected, what could you both give to this country as a man, as a human being, that no one else could?"
Give me a break. That could have been ripped straight from an SNL parody debate. I was going to make a joke about beauty pageants, except that the questions we ask our Miss America are apparently less vacuous than those we ask our Vice President.
Indeed. I’m in favor of Baby Boomers being allowed to ask any questions because you never know when they’ll pull out the touchy-feely, New-Agey crap.
This debate, in short, certainly did nothing to stop the trajectory of a campaign that is creeping in favor of Romney and Ryan. The only question I have is whether Ryan accelerated that movement. I think he did, slightly. But Biden’s pugnaciousness probably stopped a lot of the glumness that has been bedeviling Democrats in the past eight days. That alone is a not insubstantial benefit for the Obama team.
This is still a very, very close race. The Romney campaign still needs to step up its game. It needs stronger, more memorable commercials. And it needs to start blasting ObamaCare’s medical device tax. But if I’m Mitt Romney right now, I am feeling very good about having chosen Paul Ryan as my running mate. He is very impressive, and very capable. I think he achieved a slight victory tonight.
–Sarah Palin [tip of the fedora to Dan Riehl]:
“Really tough format, Sean, for someone like a Paul Ryan or anybody else up against Joe Biden, when the moderator allowed one candidate to absolutely run roughshod over the conversation, over the opponent,” Palin told Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity on Thursday night. “That’s a tough format. It reminded me…of watching a musk ox run across the tundra with somebody underfoot. In this case, when it came to style, Paul Ryan was underfoot because of the moderator allowing Biden to do interrupting, to kind of take control of the conversation.”
While I think it was right of Mr. Ryan to just allow Biden to hang himself by his own rope, I do believe he should have been tougher with Mzzz. Raddatz, like Mitt Romney was with Jim Lehrer.
-Speaking of Dan, his reaction:
As far as Martha Raddatz, I tuned in for a debate and all I got was a wedding reception when it came to Raddatz and Biden. I can recall her only asking him one hard question, while repeatedly grilling Ryan. They need to find another way to select moderators for these things. Whatever the reason, Raddatz looked more like Biden’s enabler, than moderator.
As for Biden: lethal in the sense that he killed himself and squandered his biggest asset: likability. In an effort to reduce Ryan, he reduced himself. I also wouldn’t be surprised if some in the Intel feel they have a score to settle with Biden. That could produce a damaging leak just when Obama doesn’t need more trouble.
I know to some of my Friends In The Ether it appeared that even Mzzz. Raddatz grew impatient with Joe Hill Biden, but, being the good apparatchik she is, her feelings aside, she still let him get away with his rude and childish behavior.
–Donald Douglas thinks Paul Ryan ran away with the debate.
Last night, Joe Biden’s laughing became the focus of post debate coverage. I assume it was a deliberate attempt to paint his opponent as infantile or ridiculous.
-I agree with Mark Steyn:
…Once it became clear Joe Biden was going to respond to every serious Ryan point by dialing the smirk up another notch, the Congressman should have thrown it back at him – on Libya, Iranian nukes, debt, or any of the other stuff Joe was yukking it up about. “I’m glad the Vice-President finds Medicare insolvency so funny. It’s not so funny if you’re the average American man, woman or child, whose share of the total debt is $185,000 and rising. But I guess if you’re inside the vice-presidential motorcade looking out it’s a real thigh-slapper, isn’t it? This may be a joke to you, Mr Vice-President, but it’s deadly serious to the millions of young Americans whose future you spent.” Etc. Ryan isn’t a funny guy. But, when you’re earnest and a bit wonky and up against a smarmy third-rate lounge-act flashing his dentistry, you don’t have to be funny. A bit of righteous indignation would have helped.
An opportunity missed.
-William Jacobson has aggregated a whole bunch of Tweets from the Left and the Right. Well done, Prof.
-I’ll end with Jeff Goldstein’s series of Tweets [joined together here for easier reading as if they were part of a blog post]:
Quick takes on VP debate.
1) Biden’s teeth frighten me. And if they frighten me, I can only imagine how independents are reacting to them.
2) Biden didn’t come across as aggressive. He came across as condescending and delusional. Plus, the teeth thing.
3) Biden’s whining about lack of time after speaking over Ryan for 90 min. is a metaphor for this Administration.
4) The teeth, man. It’s like he spent the day sucking on a bleach lollipop. A guy with those teeth can’t be sincere.
5) Ryan kept cool when interrupted. [Democrats] will say Biden was on the offensive. Everyone else? That he [was] offensive, period.
6) Biden tries to sell sincerity. Ryan embodies it. Proof: Ryan, normal teeth; Biden’s, teeth meant to sell Impalas. [Bob: LOL — perfect]
Final thoughts: no one will remember substance. The lasting impression will be of sneering Biden interrupting and Raddatz losing control.
Thanks, pal — now I’m going to have visions of those choppers in my head all day.
-It will be very interesting to see the approach Obama takes next week in the ‘Town Hall’ Debate. Which Obama will show-up?
Note: If you don’t get the Joe Hill Biden reference,
please click here.
I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night
Alive as you or me
Says I, "But Joe, you’re ten years dead,"
"I never died," says he.