The Only Vice-Presidential Debate

Biden has a Giuliani-like conversational style. Ryan seems to get nervous when giving a speech but is extremely relaxed in meetings. It will be interesting to see which style prevails for each man tonight.

Whatever the case, Ryan is just fun to watch! He is a very handsome man in a craggy, interesting way. He may run the Dubya-risk except Ryan looks amused rather than bored when he doesn't agree with his opponent.

So far Biden and Ryan are far more respectful to the moderator than Romney and Obama were to theirs.

Biden is trying to get Ryan riled. But Ryan thinks like a congressman in a meeting where the debate will continue for several days. He keeps hammering away at a single point but not as forcefully as Romney or as desperately as Biden.

The debate is kind of boring so far. International politics are important, but I'm not sure how much impact they will have on this election. I've written elsewhere that in National elections, Americans like to kill their winter king. Kill the winter king and we will get a better harvest. Forget wrong or right. It's totally atavistic.

Moving on to unemployment. Biden, selling a populist image, has relaxed. Ryan repeats his and Romney's 5-point plan. This is wise, but I wish he would respond to Biden's accusations. Ryan is quite good at rebuttals. I get the impression that his staff told him NOT to start an argument.

Ryan just scored: "I think the vice-president very well knows: words don't always come out the right way."

AND Ryan did a GREAT job selling Romney's personal generosity: "Romney won't tell you these stories. He gives 30% of his income to charity: more than the two of us combined."

Biden is staying on task though--he's a way better debater than Obama.

They are both starting to act more like debaters, addressing each other, directly disagreeing with specific points.

Medicare, Social Security, and ObamaCare (which term, Obama "owned"): as I mentioned above, Biden is a much better debater than Obama. He has warmed up, and he is fighting Obama's battle. But Ryan is beginning to fight back.

Biden is starting to interrupt Ryan too much. He is using more time than Ryan. These interruptions may backfire.

Biden does have more "experience" to call on. I trust Ryan's facts and figures more, but I'm not sure that  facts & figures sell as well as "experience."

Ryan did managed to get in the idea: "When a candidate can't run on his record, he tries to make people scared of his opponent."

Tax cuts:  Ryan tackled the small business question. Thank you, Ryan! I'm so tired of the stupid Scrooge McDuck imagery that the Democrats use: oooh, we will tax rich people more because they have ALL the money. Stupid populist pandering; it really makes me sick.

Biden keeps thinking Ryan is using his time when Ryan is actually right within his time. Guess Democrats think that nobody has the right to talk instead of them. Look at how Obama snapped at Lehrer.

Elitists. 

Biden does know how to play to his base: "It is the responsibility of the Afghans to take care of their own security." Many moderates feel this way. It's a kind of cautious isolationism. I'm frankly a hawk--probably one of the few people in America who thought going into Iraq was a good idea. But Biden makes a strong argument that speaks to the American public.

This moderator asks really good questions! I'm impressed.

I'm not sure why Ryan didn't respond to Biden's insistent, "We are sending in more Afghans to do the job!" It wasn't a missed opportunity. He seemed to think Biden doesn't know what he is talking about. I don't know enough about Afghanistan politics to know. 

Abortion: the moderator asks really, really good questions!

I'm impressed that Ryan didn't try to qualify/soften his position. He is definitely pro-life!

Biden has also made a good response; it is actually fairly close to mine: I have my personal morality, but I don't automatically impose it on the public, which I perceive as principally secular--not in nature but in operation.

Biden has hammered on Romney's 47% remark. Wonder why Obama didn't? (I don't know exactly what Romney said, but I'm not sure that liberal Democrats understand that even people on welfare will often perceive those other people on welfare as leeches, not them. Does anyone actually think they ARE that 47%?)

The last two questions were good--what would you say to a returning soldier and what can you offer the American people in terms of character?

Biden is still whining about his time. He is using more time! Man, Obama and Biden are cry-babies: they both talked longer . . . Biden talked a minute more than Ryan.

The closing remarks were strong. Personally, I'd call this debate a draw with Ryan making a strong showing (as a non-incumbent, this was very important!), especially since he did his job!!! He backed Romney to the hilt.

The moderator, Martha Raddatz, gets an A+!

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