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October 11, 2012

Reaction to the Vice Presidential Debate

The vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan was one of the best debates I can remember. It was a great service to all Americans.

Biden had the primary goal of firing up Democrats after President Obama's lackluster performance last week. He did that and more. He literally responded to every single assertion of Ryan's and didn't let a single thing go unchallenged. Democrats have to be very happy.

Biden was especially strong on foreign policy but one of his best moments was taking Ryan to task for criticizing the Obama administration's economic stimulus package while at the same time asking for stimulus funds for his own congressional district.

Ryan's goal was to build on Romney's strong performance last week and continue to reassure undecided voters. In the end, however, he found his toughest opponent wasn't Biden, it was his own record and the Romney campaign platform. He had trouble playing defense under Biden's withering attacks. Ryan was exceptionally weak on the proposed Romney tax plan -- "not mathematically possible", according to Biden -- while once again refusing to give specifics.

In terms of style, Ryan didn't take kindly to being interrupted. It was almost as if Biden was coached to interrupt him.

Biden was more prepared, more experienced and the clear winner.

Finally, Martha Raddatz was a wonderfully effective moderator. She continuously pushed for specifics and forced followups to nonsense. She should be commended by both campaigns.


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