Needless to say, the VP debate did not turn out like one might expect. But then… perhaps we should have seen it coming. After all, the Obama campaign is all too aware of the absurd gaffe-a-minute antics that Joe Biden is prone to. Further— they also knew they had to compensate somehow for President Obama’s (let’s be honest) timid performance in the Denver debate. So—their solution? Have Joe throw his weight around so hard, Paul Ryan wouldn’t know what hit him.
And boy, did Joe throw his weight around— jumping in, interrupting Ryan and taking over, scoffing and snickering and throwing up his arms in a manner we haven’t seen in these debates since Al Gore’s antics back in 2000. Interestingly enough, it was women viewers who seemed to react the most negatively at this. (Important point, as women are alleged to be more sympathetic towards Democrats.) Male or female, though, the reaction was clear: “Sheesh—what a JERK!” Joe was unstable, that night— loose and unhinged, focused on one thing: attack.
And the worse part? The moderator helped him. Martha Raddatz was no Jim Lehrer— and frankly, one wonders if that was the point. The Left despises impartiality—it makes them look bad. So they demanded a more “active” role, for this one. And “active” means: biased against the right-winger, “holding his feet to the fire” (read: constantly interrupting and jumping in for “clarification”) while letting the Leftie get away with a lot more. Example: how many times did she demand Paul Ryan “give specifics”? A lot. How many times did she ask Joe Biden to, say, give specifics on the meaning of “fair share”? Cricket chirp, cricket chirp.
No, I’m not just indulging in “sour grapes”. Quite a few analysts— including those at the Wall Street Journal, who have a bone to pick with his “let’s relax” attitude towards Iran and the Middle East— have ruled Joe Biden the loser of Thursday’s debate, without batting an eye. But… was Paul Ryan the winner?
Well… I guess, but with reservations. Paul Ryan didn’t give his best performance— he was nowhere near as aggressive or pointed as he could have been. But to be honest, that was only due to his being too… in control. He made sure to play by the rules, deferring to the moderator and so on. Needless to say… Biden had no such scruples— and neither did the moderator.
Still, he did hold his own— such as it was. I got quite a kick out of his response to Joe’s invoking of the overrated “47%” talking point. As Paul put it, “I think the vice president very well knows that sometimes, the words don’t come out of your mouth the right way.” The audience burst out laughing, at that— and Joe’s only comeback was, “But I always say what I mean!”
Sure, Joe… I’m sure the folks at 7-11 are pleased to hear it. And then, there’s your classic line about Obama being a “clean, articulate” black man. (As opposed to what, I wonder?) And while we’re at it— didn’t you recently proclaim that the middle class has suffered… for the last four years?
Further, Joe— in this same debate, you swore with a straight face that the Obama Administration honestly had believed, based on the intelligence we had at the time, that the storming of our embassy in Libya was due to the stupid video (claims of the intelligence community— and the State department— to the contrary notwithstanding). Meanwhile, you then claim that your administration’s intelligence-gathering can be relied on to determine whether or not Iran has achieved nuclear weapons capability. You can either trust your intelligence-gathering, or no. It’ll be one or the other, Joe— not both. So which one did you mean?
But I digress. Despite his relatively less-than-aggressive performance, Paul did manage to articulate his ideas well, despite the moderator’s interruptions and constant “let’s go to the next topic” lines. He was the adult in the room— and Biden’s guffaws and mutterings only helped reinforce that image.
Apologies to the Obama campaign, but— Biden did not show “strength” in this debate. It was the “fake it” performance of a weak man who doesn’t know how to be strong— and thus performs his “idea” of what it might look like.
Okay, folks. The second presidential debate’s next week. See you then.