The first and only vice presidential debate consisted of substantive questions that were occasionally met with equally substantive answers, at least in the case of a well prepared Paul Ryan. Unfortunately the content in the answers were overshadowed by the awkward, bizarre, and often discomforting laughing fits that Vice President Biden consistently launched in to for the first three quarters of the forum. (See video of the full debate here)
Each time Paul Ryan offered an answer to a question, ol’ Joe reacted with a disturbing, uncontrolled, obnoxious, laugh that often made him look like the crazy guy on the bus that mother’s shield their children from. At one point, Biden’s grimaces and forced cackles made him a perfect candidate for Jack Nicholson’s role in a remake of Stanley Kubric’s “The Shining”‘. All that was missing was a wild eyed Biden writing “Redrum” across the desk that he sat behind on the stage of debate.
In between Biden’s exaggerated and disrespectful, chortling and snickering, the two men did ignite fireworks as they hammered each other on such issues as Libya, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, taxes, and Medicare.
The sparks flew immediately after moderator Martha Raddatz asked the first question on the hot button issue of the terrorist attacks that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya on the anniversary of 9/11. Raddatz essentially asked if there was a failure of intelligence leading up to the attack. For his part Biden, never directly answered that question but he tried to claim that the Administration knew everything it needed to know and acted responsibly and appropriately to the circumstances leading up to the attack, and in the response to the attacks in the days following them.
Congressman Ryan took the opportunity to hammer the Obam-Biden ticket on the issue as he launched in to a familiar but well stated criticism of the way Benghazi was handled.
“It took the president two weeks to acknowledge that this was a terrorist attack,”
“This Benghazi attack would be a tragedy in and of itself, but unfortunately it’s indicative of a larger problem,” adding that Obama’s policy toward the Middle East is “making the world more chaotic and us less safe.”
Ryan also charged;
“What we are watching on our tv screens is the unraveling of the Obama foreign policy,”
Laughing Joe responded “Not true,” and added;
“With all due respect, that’s a bunch of malarkey,”
The Vice President continued his attack on Ryan’s remarks by also falsely suggesting that proposed Republican cuts in embassy security of $300 million were the reason for the lack of security that made the attacks possible. Biden further lied by claiming that the Administration knew of no requests for additional security in Benghazi.
Paul Ryan came back by making it clear that we now know there were requests for additional security but the requests were denied by the Administration.
One of the best lines of the night came from Ryan who reminded voters of just how often Biden puts his foot in his mouth. After the Vice President tried to distort Mitt Romney’s past controversial remark at a fundraising about 47% of voters, Ryan fired back;
“With respect to that quote, I think the Vice President very well knows that sometimes the words don’t come out of your mouth the right way”
To which a still laughing Joe responded”
“But I always say what I mean”.
For his part, throughout the debate, Paul Ryan was articulate, knowledgable, convincing, respectful, confident, and firm. As for the Vice President, he was quick but disingenuous, as he performed in a way that was childish, disrespectful, arrogant, smarmy and at times goofy . While Biden often made remarks that contained a perfect working class pitch to his base, between his demeanor and attempts to interrupt Ryan a total of 82 times, any possibly strong statements made by the Vice President were overshadowed by his disrespectful, cocky and often flippant attitude. All of which was compounded by his disconcerting, wacky fits of laughter.
It was clear to me that after President Obama’s disasterous debate performance last week, several strategic decisions forced the Obama-Biden campaign to approach this debate in a way that was intended to make Ryan seem like he did not know what he was talking about and that his ticket was detached from reality. So they decided to have Biden go on the attack. Then they also decided to try to take advantage of Biden’s lengthy political career and advanced age as compared to the younger Ryan who was only four years old when Biden was first elected to the Senate. They had hoped that by laughing at Ryan, Biden would look like the experienced elder statesman who was facing off against the clueless, young punk. The strategy could have work were it not for two things. The first being that Ryan knew what he was talking about and lacked the type of arrogance that could have allowed him to fall into that trap. The second problem with the Biden strategy was that Biden’s laughing was taken to a level so exaggerated and flamboyant, that it came off as unnatural , dismissive, and inappropriate. In the end, the strategy backfired on Joe and his ticket.
In the final analysis this debate did not reveal anything new to us about the candidates or their positions. But it did go a long way in leaving voters with another negative impression of the Obama-Biden ticket and another positive impression of the Romney-Ryan ticket. And while Joe’s shots at Paul Ryan did whip up liberals who were already voting for Obama, he failed to make the case for why another four years of Obama-Biden will be any better the last four. As for Paul Ryan, his steady demeanor and performance combined with his command of the issues, went a long way in convincing the all important independent and undecided voters that the Obama-Biden ticket is failing us.
Filed under: Debates, Paul Ryan Tagged: | Anthony Del Pellegrino, Barack Obama, Benghazi, biden, Biden bipolar, Biden Interrupted Ryan 82 Times, Biden lied about benghazi during the debate, Biden seemed bipolar during the debate, Biden's crazy laugh, Biden's laughing during the debate was, Debates, images of joe biden laughing, joe biden, joe biden laughing, Joe Biden the shining, Joe Biden's laughing, kempite, Laughing biden, Mitt Romney, obama, Paul Ryan, presidential election, Romney Ryan 2012, ryan, Ryan Ryan knew what he was talking about, Ryan won the Vice Presidential debate, The Bidening, The Shining, vice presidential debate, Vice presidential debate video, video clips of the vice presidential debate, what people are saying about the vice presidential debate, White House 2012, who won the vice presidential debate, wordpress political blogs