The debate tonight was incredibly interesting on several levels. The first is the tactical demeanor of Vice President Joe Biden who came across as exasperated and angry during a serious policy debate. Again and again Biden responded to the Ryan common sense by acting like a snarky High Schooler.
On the substance, conservatives clearly saw a victory by Ryan because he unapologetically stood up for our ideas and principles. Liberals think Biden won on substance because he seemed more “sincere” than the President.
On demeanor, Vice President Joe Biden demeaned the esteem of his office. Paul Ryan was respectful and calm even thanking the Vice President for his time at the end of the debate, a courtesy that Vice President Biden didn’t extend to Congressman Ryan. The Vice President also clearly illustrated why they have a nearly 0% track record of bi-partisan accomplishment. If you don’t agree with the administrations ideas you are contemptible, deserving of smirks (the President) and a ridiculous grin (the Vice President).
One of the key moments of the debate was how effectively Paul Ryan dismantled the 47% criticism with a quick zinger by highlighting that if anyone should be able to understand an unfortunate statement it was Joe Biden. Joe Biden continued the line of attack but it had lost all of its effectiveness.
Ryan did get hit hard on requesting stimulus dollars. It’s hard to explain how you have to balance your policy votes and your constituent services. Biden clearly stirred up his base a bit but his demeanor is going to cost him with the general public. It was clearly the actions of a desperate campaign who would gamble expanding the base for trying to wildly grasp at a base who is getting ready to abandon their political establishment. Tactically, you are seeing a desperate campaign and if the President behaves anything like Biden did tonight this race will be over.