Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan each took some time off from the campaign trail to do some serious crunching for Thursday night’s debate. During that time, it would be reasonable to conclude that each “team” of debate coaches developed a plan of attack, along with defensive strategy for a wide variety of topics and possible points made by their opponent.
I firmly believe that both candidates at least tried to follow their coaches advice.
From the outset, Ryan seemed intent on delivering the Republicans talking points and – almost immediately – Vice President Biden started laughing, chortling and interrupting his opponent. I was pretty much stunned by Biden’s approach, but I have to believe that’s exactly the debate style his coaches advised him to take. To my mind, it went over like flatulence in church.
After a lackluster performance by President Barack Obama in the first debate featuring the candidates for President, I felt that Biden would take advantage of his age, experience as a career politician and a so-called “expert” on foreign affairs and take the high road every chance he got. Instead, he chose the low road and, in the process, earned what some felt was a draw – and most felt was a very poor performance. Certainly NOT what the Democrats needed, what with Mitt Romney starting to reel in tossup States left and right and just about three weeks to Election Day.
Ryan earned a lot of style points by keeping his cool during Biden’s many interruptions and meandering theatrical rants, complete with arm waving and eye rolling. Biden even threw in a deep, very audible sigh, ala Al Gore, which was noted by several of the ringside observers.
New York Post Photo – Debate Moderator Martha Raddatz
Probably the one person who earned the most notoriety, however, was once again the debate moderator. ABC newscaster, Martha Raddatz, distinguished herself time and time again by interrupting/cutting off answers or comments being given by Paul Ryan, all the while sitting back and letting Joe Biden carry on like a 3rd grader, angry that his team was losing at kickball 42 – 0.
Democrats, of course, thought she did a fantastic job. Republicans thought she was terrible. I’m just glad I wasn’t sitting in Paul Ryan’s seat, having to put up with her one-sided officiating. For his first major televised debate, Ryan did extremely well to resist going all Newt Gingrich on her.
Based on what I saw and heard, I’d say Paul Ryan was the debate winner by a numerical score of 55 – 45. Certainly not an overwhelming performance for Ryan, but not a good performance by Joe Biden, either. I expected much more from him in the way of statesmanship and he didn’t deliver.
Raddatz was just plain AWFUL. Jim Lehrer was bad; Raddatz was worse.