Election 2012

Vice Presidential Debate Reaction

The vice president nailed this debate on two fronts. He was both substantive -- sometimes even wonky -- as well as being clearly aggressive.

The best section of the debate was when Joe Biden got Paul Ryan to admit to taking stimulus money. Staggering. And he went further by describing how Ryan insisted the money would create jobs and help the economy.

During the Medicare section of the debate, Biden leaned toward the camera and spoke directly to seniors and asked them about their new benefits thanks to Obamacare, including the closing of the donut hole and the preventative care benefits.

BIDEN: Any senior out there, ask yourself: Do you have more benefits today? You do. If you're near the donut hole, you have $800 -- $600 more to help your prescription drug costs. You get wellness visits without co-pays. They wipe all of this out, and Medicare goes -- becomes insolvent in 2016, number one.

Didn't anyone tell Paul Ryan that invoking Jack Kennedy in a VP debate is a really bad idea?

As I tweeted during the debate, I can't wait to hear Rush Limbaugh accuse Joe Biden of being an obnoxious bully.

Ultimately, I don't know how this will impact the polls, but I suspect this will blunt or reverse any Romney momentum.

More thoughts in the morning, but feel free to use this thread to react.

  • Ipecac

    My biggest sputtering moment of the debate:

    Ryan accusing the President of not trying for bipartisan solutions and suggesting that Mitt Romney (and Ryan) can’t wait to get into some bipartisan lawmaking.

    Apparently Ryan has been comatose for the past four years.

    • KanaW

      Not really comatose.
      It’s just that their idea of ‘bipartisan’ is simply ‘do it my way’ rather than ‘work something out that both sides can live with’.

  • mzmijewski

    Did anybody wink wink during the debate? No, too bad, I really missed that.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZVX7MB7F3V7T6ACI63SHCMCEUA Emily

    Sometimes I thought it looked like Ryan was looking at the VP and thinking to himself, “Wow, look at him go! I want to be just like him when I grow up.”

  • Lazarus Durden

    Some quick thoughts.

    1) I thought Biden did what he needed to do to fire up the base. He got in some really hard shots on Ryan and didn’t let him off the hook especially on taxes and Medicare.

    2) Ryan didn’t do that bad overall. I think he knew Joe would be in attack mode so he tried to stay on message and push the “numbers” or the “math” the Romney campaign likes to use. Not sure it worked and I hope voters weren’t buying it.

    I was deconstructing Ryan’s numbers and I was having a tough time following his confusing talking points, but then I thought if I’m having a tough time keeping up then someone who isn’t a political junkie is gonna be absolutely lost. That could be a good or a bad thing. Ryan did pull out a lot of doom and gloom tonight trying to play on economic fear.

    3) However I think Biden countered a lot of that. Bob’s right on about Biden looking into the camera talking directly to seniors. That’s when I think he won the debate. That was the knockout blow for me.

    4) Though I think Biden getting testy with the moderator might’ve been a turn off to independent women voters. I hope I’m wrong but being super aggressive against a female moderator isn’t great optics, but he only did it a couple of times so it might’ve gotten lost in the shuffle.

    5) I thought Libya attack might’ve given Biden trouble, especially when he shifted the blame a little bit onto the intelligence community, but the pivot to Mitt Romney doing a press conference before all the facts were in made up for it in spades. The comeback about Romney/Ryan not pulling together with the rest of Team USA was awesome.

    6) On Afghanistan Ryan just got schooled. Basically don’t fuck with the big dog or you’ll get bit.

    Overall I think Biden won in a big way. I think it’ll give Obama and the Democrats a much needed boost going into Tuesday, and with the next debate being a Town Hall Obama will have the edge. Also he doesn’t have to be an attack dog now so he can just tighten up his own performance but still be himself.

    • stacib23

      4) Though I think Biden getting testy with the moderator might’ve been a turn off to independent women voters. I hope I’m wrong but being super aggressive against a female moderator isn’t great optics, but he only did it a couple of times so it might’ve gotten lost in the shuffle.

      Biden did EXACTLY what progressives have been cheerleading – calling the media out, regardless of gender, on their “some people say” bullshit. I was jumping up with a fist pump for this correction to the moderator.

      • Lazarus Durden

        That looks to be how it’s playing. I’ve not heard a single mention of it from the pundits. Have to see how the polls shake out, but I think the overwhelming consensus is Biden crushed it.

  • Lazarus Durden

    I loved Bill Maher’s response:

    “Hello 9-1-1? There s an old man beating a child on my tv.”

  • JMAshby

    Out of steam, I leave you with this…

  • JMAshby

    The weakest moments of the night for Ryan:

    1) claiming he agrees with withdrawing from Afghanistan in 2014, then condemning timelines for withdraw in the next breath, looking like an ass in the process

    2) his entire answer on abortion was super fucking creepy and focus groups hated it

    3) shitting on the stimulus and then being forced to admit he requested stimulus funds — oops?

    4) admitting he and Romney would privatize social security and medicare

    The night was filled with bad moments, but those are the worst off the top of my head.

  • JMAshby

    Did you hear Mitt Romney “is a car guy?”

    Let Detroit Go Bankrupt:

    IF General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won’t go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed.

    • bphoon

      I almost choked when I heard that…

      Anyone tell Ryan that Mitt Romney’s Dad was the car guy?

  • JMAshby

    For real this time

    • mrbrink

      Barack Obama set Joe Biden free to be the statesman he was supposed to be.

      President Obama is here from the future, sent here to correct some things in the space time continuum.

  • http://twitter.com/Sweetey15 Janet ODell

    Biden took the little boy to the woodshed and whipped his ass.

    • nathkatun7

      Exactly my sentiments, Janet! I don’t care what the unethical pundits are saying, this was a win, win for VP Biden. First, and more importantly in my book, he won on facts and TRUTH telling. Second, he won on style (i.e., the aggressiveness, and in your face style) that the media praised so much about Romney. Finally, he won on being likable. He was warm, funny and sensitive, especially when it came to issues of military service, religion and the woman’s right to determine her choices in matters of reproduction.

    • Lazarus Durden

      That was freakin’ painful to watch. Painful.

    • BuffaloBuckeye

      At least Biden was polite last night. He was smiling as he was handing Ryan his ass.

  • Not Sayin

    And up top for use of the word “wonky”!

  • Lexamich

    Biden did everything the pundits said Willard The Phony did last week, besides declare he’d defund PBS, while saying no to tax revenue increases (thereby negating his claim to be looking for bipartisan solutions). He spoke with authority, as opposed to being a brash, yet practiced windbag like Willard was last week. Quite frankly, he knew more about the subjects that were covered, where his opponent had contrarian nitpickings.

    Ryan was simply unqualified to deal with a vet like Joe. He did not appear as…disengaged as President Obama did last week. He seemed overly anxious to get his dubious claims out. He was also quick to get to points he knows The Phony is weak on in order to diffuse Biden bringing any of them up. The Preemptive Strike, if you will. Didn’t work, and the efforts to do this lead to Biden simply laughing at Ryan. The Cons are out there whining about those laughs, of course. We’re right back to where we started with these petulant people. The hypocrisy on their parts in astounding.

    Raddatz was much better than Lehrer. She actually introduced subjects as opposed to letting on or the other lead the discussion. She controlled the debate after the two got into shouting matches at least twice, but then Lehrer was in the business of interrupting President Obama last week, which Obama himself touched on. Lehrer allowed The Phony to postulate and criticize Obama. Ryan got his chance to do this, too. The difference is this time, Biden got a word in edgewise AFTER the fact, as oppsed to Lehrer quickly moving from the subject in a hurried manner, as if he knew Willard said something contradictory Obama could call him on (Oh, we have to move on, becuase time is short.”) Lehrer even openly invited Willard to whine, asking “You have something to say about…” as if he knew ahead of time what Willard was going to say. This lead to President Obama having to respond to a flurry of subjects that were never made clear to begin with. This is where the “meandering” critique comes from on the part of individuals seeking to hear canned attacks based on “47%” and “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt!” The president never got the chance to get to Willard musings because the subjects were never really broached due to Willard desperate wall of jibber-jabber. Oh, and the lies, too.

    Overall, a much more spirited, entertaining debate than last week, which wasn’t a “debate” so much as a showcase for Willard The Phony the “shake The Etch-A-Sketch” and whine about President Obama’s first four years.

  • Not Sayin

    I had to stay off the net while I DVR’d the debate (schoolnight and all), but I haven’t enjoyed watching a televised political event this much since I took a look back at one of G.W.’s State of the Union addresses I recorded on my VCR so I could remind myself what a liar he was after the fact. I have to switch to Gatorade now, but in my estimation, Biden came to this debate and did exactly what Mitt Romney was coached to do, only Biden did it with substance, panache and credibility.

  • mrbrink

    Ha ha ha ha haha!!!!

  • Ellen Kuhlmann

    Just a couple of quick points. On the abortion question, Biden brought up the Supreme Court and the difference between a GOP and Obama administration in appointing judges, also Raddatz by her direct questioning made Ryan admit that they favor laws on the abortion issue not court decisions, ie send it back to state by state issue. And he made Ryan admit that they wouldn’t do anything different on Syria. On the issues, Biden made his points and mostly discredited Ryan.

    One negative I saw was the split screen shown on most channels. I watched on PBS which didn’t use the split screen and think it gave a better view of the whole, while the split screen focused (too much IMO) on facial expressions. Even C-span was using it.

  • JMAshby

    No, but seriously…

  • JMAshby