Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Vice-Presidential Debate: Joe Biden vs. Paul Ryan

I watched the big Vice Presidential debate.  It was somewhat entertaining.

I thought the moderator, Martha Raddatz of ABC News, did a professional job.  I didn't feel that she was overtly biased one way or the other.  She asked good questions.

Who won the debate?  There was no clear winner, though I thought Ryan stuck more closely to facts, whereas Biden was his usual bombastic and demagogic self.  Ryan had Biden rattled early in the debate, where Biden felt he had to interrupt Ryan by speaking over him.  Still, the Fox News panel of undecided voters unanimously agreed that the debate had not influenced their choice one way or the other.

Biden is being criticized tonight by many who felt he was disrespectful and rude, by laughing and smirking while Ryan was speaking.  This behavior was seen on television via the split screen, showing the faces of both candidates simultaneously.

Personally, I thought Biden scored points on his defense of the Administration's Afghanistan withdrawal plan, where they have announced in advance that we will withdraw our troops by 2014, come what may.  Biden argued that we have put the Afghani government on notice that they must step up and take over the task of their own defense, and our departure deadline puts pressure on them to do that.  Good argument, and it changed my mind on the point.  (Romney-Ryan's position wasn't materially different than that of Obama-Biden, anyway.)

Biden couldn't defend the Obama Administration's disgraceful neglect of security in the Benghazi attack on our embassy on September 11, 2012.  Clearly, that debacle reflects very poorly on Obama, both in the criminal negligence of allowing it to happen, then in the obvious attempt to cover it up with a phony story about a YouTube video.

Ryan scored on the economy, as it is clear that the Obama Administration hasn't a clue on economics, job creation and the role of tax policy in maximizing prosperity.  Biden's only stance was what it has always been, tax the crap out of the "rich," bleed those suckers dry.  This always turns me off.  The Democrat vision is that the role of the upper class is to financially support the middle class, and this is the only way the middle class can grow -- as a kind of parasite off the rich.  A better view is that the upper and middle classes need each other -- the former as employers, investors and entrepreneurs, the latter as employees, investors, managers and customers.  They need a symbiotic relationship, not a parasitical one.

My general conclusion:  The VP debate won't materially affect this campaign or the fortunes of the candidates.  If Obama was hoping that Biden would somehow pull his polls out of the toilet, he will be disappointed.  Meanwhile, stay tuned for the next presidential debate, next Tuesday, October 16.

Update:  Twitter feed shows a CNN poll rating Ryan the winner on several points:

Clearly, the above statistics indicate that Ryan won the debate and possibly added more momentum to the Romney-Ryan ticket.


Always On Watch said...

In my view, Biden behaved like the drunken pest at a party. You know, like the kind of pompous ass that won't let you get in a word and won't let you move on to talk to someone else or to talk about something else.

Of course, the diehard Dems loved Biden's display of disdain and aggression.

Always On Watch said...

Also, as one who has taught policy debate for years, I will say that if one of my students behaved like Biden during a debate, I'd toss that student out of the room and give the win to the opposition.

Stogie Chomper said...

Yes, Biden was rude and arrogant. Ryan did a great job, however, sticking to facts and arguments, and always mature and respectful.

Adobe_Walls said...

I don't understand this worship of the middle class or the believe that it is an engine of growth. While the middle class is where the money is in terms of taxes it is the by-product of economic growth not the cause. We can't build a strong middle class in order to have a strong economy, we need a strong and always growing economy to create a strong middle class.

Stogie Chomper said...

Adobe, that is absolutely spot-on correct!

ema nymton said...


"Who won the debate? There was no clear winner, though I thought Ryan
stuck more closely to facts, whereas Biden was his usual bombastic
and demagogic self. "

Does this help?

“Hello 9 1 1? There s an old man beating a child on my tv”.

The Republican spin afterwards was priceless, as well. Here’s a quick rule of thumb: when you’re complaining about stylistic points, your guy lost.

....1 week ago: President Obama is calm, unflustered, respectful and solid. Conservatives pan his performance, he was “destroyed” in the debate! Romney was aggressive, confident, energetic, forceful — he showed true leadership!

....1 week later: Paul Ryan was calm, unflustered, respectful and solid. Conservatives say this is just what we need in a leader! Biden was far too aggressive, far too confident, too energetic and too forceful — not what America needs in a leader!

This falls into the category: “It’s funny because it’s true.”

Ema Nymton

Stogie Chomper said...

Ah Ema, once again your "analysis" is totally self-serving (where did you copy and paste it from?). Romney won his debate with facts. Ryan won his debate with facts and with style, as the CNN poll, quoted above, proves. Biden was a bombastic liar, stating that he voted against both wars when he actually voted for both of them. His grinning, laughing, grimacing and constant interruptions were not the signs of a winner, but those of a loser. Most of the viewers agreed.