Friday, October 12, 2012

WTF Happened Last Night???

Well, that was just about the strangest political “debate” I've ever seen.  I was expecting entertainment, but I got something else instead.  I don't think either Ryan or Biden was the clear winner on either substance or debate style.  But I do think there was a winner: everybody who watched the debate – because we learned a lot about both men.

We learned that Ryan was out of his depth, and is somewhat uncomfortable, with foreign policy issues – but despite this, he was able to hold his own with the much more experienced Biden.

We learned that Martha Raddatz was an excellent moderator, despite the right's trashing of her before the debate, and accusing her of pandering to Biden after the debate.  She did no such thing – she was professional and even-handed throughout, and did a very effective job of asking questions that provoked potentially interesting answers.  The candidates didn't live up to the expectations she set, but that's their fault, not hers.  Kudos to Ms. Raddatz.

We learned that Biden was an uncouth, impolite, bullying jerk; full of bluster and blarney, and fond of yelling from the bar stool.

We learned (or rather, had reinforced) Ryan's strength on economic issues.

We learned how lucky we are that Obama hasn't been killed or incapacitated – because the idea of Joe Biden as president is positively terrifying (I would thing that's true even for loyal Democrats).

We learned that Ryan looks and behaves like a level-headed, grounded adult.  At least from behavioral cues, it's at least not frightening to imagine him as president.

We learned (or rather, had reinforced) how effective Biden's down-home, folksy mannerisms are.  Unfortunately for him, this was more than counter-balanced by his downright bizarre behaviors and constant rude interruptions of Ryan.

We learned that women find Ryan strong, comforting, and easy on the eye (despite his party affiliation), and that they find Biden kind of creepy and definitely not comforting (despite his party affiliation).

The winner?  Us, hands-down.  The loser, politically?  Probably the Obama/Biden ticket, because they didn't get the sort of boost from this debate that they so badly needed after the first Obama/Romney debate.

Here are some thoughts from others:

Nick Gillespie, Reason: The Smirk Store Is Out of Smirks...
Michael Barone, Washington Examiner: Biden Didn't Put a Dent in Romney...
Neoneocon: Biden Was Like the Drunken Blowhard...
Peter Suderman, Reason: Very Specific Malarkey...

Less than an hour after the debate finished, the Republican National Committee had a new ad up, making extensive use of Uncle Joe's bizarre debate behavior.  On nearly a daily basis something like this happens with a speed that leaves me gobsmacked.  An hour?!?  Before I could really even collect my thoughts, they had a polished and effective ad up on the Internet.  Just amazing...

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