Good Lord, last night was a mess. Disrespectful, catty, and unrestrained. And that was just Martha Radditz (BAZINGA!)
Short summary of the debate: Proverbs 29:9 “If a wise man has an argument with a fool,
the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.”
But seriously, my longer breakdown of the debate:
- Biden was a mess…the first 75 minutes, he was angry, disrespectful and smug. Smirking, laughing, rolling his eyes, interrupting, and just plain rude. His last 25 minutes were better – he calmed down, he got emotion and level with this audience, but still…his overall tone was one that turned off a lot of undecideds, especially women.
- Paul Ryan held his own, especially during taxes and the economy; however, Radditz decided the focus needed to be more foreign policy than domestic policy — why, I don’t know? He handled Biden’s smugness with class, he was calm and respectful, measured and poised, and did well. He was nervous at the beginning, got better as he went along, and ended with an excellent emotional appeal to the audience.
- Biden’s best moment: arguing for the middle class. His worst: contradicting the State Department and saying the Benghazi Embassy never asked for more security
- Ryan’s best moment: defending his and Romney’s plans for Medicare. His worst: Iraq and Afghanistan answers.
- Biden’s best line: “Stop talking about how you care about people. Show me something.” Solid.
Second best line: “Their ideas are old, their ideas are bad.” Equally solid.
- Biden worst line: “Oh, now you’re Jack Kennedy?” Awkward delivery.
Second worst line: “War should always be the last resort.” Definitely not last.
- Ryan’s best line: “With respect to that quote, I think the vice president very well knows that sometimes the words don’t come out of your mouth the right way.” Got laughs.
Second best line: “Mr. Vice President, I know you’re under a lot of duress to make up for lost ground, but I think people would be better served if we don’t keep interrupting each other.” Adult in the room.
- Ryan’s worst line: “Mitt Romney’s a car guy.” Awkward.
Second worst line: “And then I would say, you have a president who ran for president four years ago promising hope and change, who has now turned his campaign into attack, blame and defame.” Pointless.
- It was a draw on substance; on professionalism, Ryan won by a landslide; on energy, Biden romped. CBS says Biden won by nearly 20 points; CNN says Ryan won by 4 points and was more likeable by 10 points.
- Watching the CNN undecideds, men responded well to Biden (forceful, aggressive defense of the middle class); women responded well to Ryan (polite, gentle tone and measured responses).
- This debate will do nothing to move the needle of this race. It won’t sustain the Romney surge and it won’t create an Obama resurge. There won’t be enough time to poll in the field to measure the impact of the debate as Romney and Obama go back on stage Tuesday night.