Friday, October 12, 2012

Joe Biden

Joe Biden won the  debate with Paul Ryan & enraged Republicans in doing so. Today they tell us why he didn't "win" the debate.  Includes being "disrespectful" to Ryan.  Ryan has been trying to hide behind Romney's sudden new "moderate" image, just as Romney used Ryan to firm up his "conservative" rep. Romney & Ryan have a kind of yin/yang of complementary lies.

It's  not  the first time an experienced VP candidate has taken a  "kid" opponent to the woodshed.  Senator Lloyd Bentsen did it to Dan Quayle with the legendary "I knew Jack Kennedy. Sir, you are no Jack Kennedy" retort.  Biden himself did it to  Sarah Palin in 2008. She was easy.  By contrast, Ryan is a cold-blooded wonk. But he has two problems   1. He doesn't know his own numbers.  2. He's pretending to be a "moderate."

There's also the  mainstream media characterization of Joe Biden as a love/hate type, belligerent, tripping over his own words.  Biden (& his educator wife,  Dr. Jill) is a very popular figure out on the campaign trail; down-to-earth, accessible, comfortable outside the "beltway." He's the kind of politician those old Reagan Democrats (now mostly extinct) liked.  Biden knows how to work a crowded diner.   He's no where near as belligerent as Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

I predicted the meeting of these two Irish-American, Catholic politicians would be interesting.  I wish Ryan had shoved back more when Biden pushed him.  Biden never stopped pushing. He tried to get Ryan;'s goat.   Despite it all, Ryan did not come across as the more polite, more even-tempered of the pair.  He came across as one more Republican VP candidate not ready  to be No. 1 backup.  The result  helps President Obama only in that Biden pleased most of the party base, made a decent  impression on the "undecideds," & set Obama up in a  better position for next week's meeting with Romney.  But the President will have to deliver. I'm not certain how he will do that.

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