If you can call that a debate ... what at times felt like a cantankerous old man yelling at the wind because he didn't understand it, a moderator who completely lost control and seemed hell bent on cutting off one candidate and not so much the other - and a guy who seemed like he was trying to look statesmanly through it all...
The one and only VP Debate brought some interesting and eye-opening moments. I will say this about Joe Biden. Biden will get a pass for his obnoxious and frankly insulting demeanor, demeaning and bemoaning and besmirching nearly everything Paul Ryan said via a series of uncomfortable laughs, smiles, smirks, and snorts that even the Mainstream Media found distasteful. But, that's "Joe being Joe."
To Ryan's credit, I would have had a blood vessel burst, and it was all I could do not to drive my foot through my television or stick a tuning fork in my ear.
So getting past the hysteria, Biden's best moment was talking about Afghanistan - and Ryan didn't really have a strong retort to the Obama/Biden Afghanistan portion of the debate. Biden driving the point home about turning security over to the Afghans is the idea all along and Ryan can't really wedge a difference between the President and VP. So I give Biden points there.
Now having said that - Biden throwing the intelligence community under the bus re: Benghazi was a surprise, proclaiming time and again that "they didn't know" that the Libya terrorist attack on 9/11 was a terrorist attack, despite mutiple reports and Congressional hearings to suggest the Administration knew within 24 hours it was a terrorist attack. So that was unfortunate there. Biden, after throwing the intelligence community under the bus re: Benghazi - seemed ok to trust the intelligence community with regards to Iran ... anyone else see the irony there?
Biden also got his facts wrong when he said the $716 billion dollar Medicare cut to fund Obamacare was being used to save Medicare - which is completely untrue. Can't spend the same dollar twice.
Biden also exposed something with regards to faith and politics I found staggering and I don't know if it'll get the play it deserves. Biden argued that while his faith tells him one thing re: abortion, he would not let his faith dictate their policy regarding legislation towards abortion. And yet, that's exactly what they're rationale is behind income redistribution - his faith teaches him that we're to care for one another and so it's important that we pass legislation to that effect. Anyone else see the problem with that logic??
Now for Paul Ryan, he was reserved, maybe too reserved given everything being thrown at him. I think only once or twice Ryan actually asserted himself to quiet down Biden and the moderator. But Ryan came armed with facts and I was surprised at how well Ryan held his own in the realm of foreign policy. I think it looked bad for the Vice President when talking about the dangerous implications of a nuclear Iran - Biden was shown laughing and smirking and being dismissive to the converstaion.
Ryan at times got dragged down into the minutia of trying to explain tax policy and I think he could have answered that question in a much more simple fashion. Yes, we can raise revenue for the government without having to raise taxes on the middle class, and we do it - A, B, and C. Never mind trying to throw dollars at it that's a losing proposition at this point. They need to simplify that argument that broadening the tax base and lowering taxes for everyone will spurn economic growth and create jobs, which creates new taxpayers and an entire new base paying into the government.
Marco Rubio makes this case beautifully - and Romney/Ryan would do well to take notes from the Florida Senator.
Obamacare and Libya aside, Biden didn't do anything to hurt his cause (forgiving his inexcusable behavior) ... he definitely fired up his base and commanded the stage by hook or by crook, and that's what the Progs were looking for out of the President. Ryan ran the ball Conservatively and was poignant and precise in his points, but was overshadowed by Biden - a guy who couldn't get passed "my friend", "malarky", and Joe being Joe.