Friday, October 12, 2012

Post-Veep Debate Thoughts

Here's what I tweeted last night at the close of the veep debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan:
A great debate. Ryan held his own, no doubt, but my guess is the narrative will favor Biden, who did exactly what he needed to do.
And that's pretty much true the morning after. I'm seeing a lot of tut-tutting in the right wing blogosphere about Biden supposedly being too jocular in his replies to Ryan, and interrupting a few too many times, but honestly, after President Obama essentially got out of Mitt Romney's way during last week's first debate, this is exactly what needed to happen -- not so much to win over the ever-elusive undecideds, but to staunch the "woe is us" pants-crapping by the Democratic base. Here's a pretty good summation by Slate's Dave Weigel of what Biden managed last night:
Imagine you’re a liberal, and think of all the lines you wanted Barack Obama to use against Mitt Romney. There you go. Now: Did Biden forget any of them? Or did he pull a San Diego Fourth of July fireworks display and spray them all at once? “The congressman here cut embassy security in his budget by $300 million below what we asked for.” The sequester “was part of a debt deal that they asked for.” “In the past he has argued that there’s rape and forcible rape.”
In a pretty big way for Obama's campaign and his supporters, it was mission accomplished. And if the price of that was throwing a few elbows here and there, and being perceived as smiling a little too widely while doing it, I have a feeling it'll be a small one in the long term. I have a friend (a Romney supporter) who said Biden came off as an angry, grumpy old man last night, but that's completely at odds with what I saw actually playing out. Biden reset the frame -- for now -- and it's up to Obama not to embarrass himself (again) for next week's second presidential debate. Game on! Read the rest from Weigel here.

1 comment:

The Cool Guy said...

It's amazing how our biases shape how we view these types of debates.

I'm a liberal. Watching the debate, I thought Joe did awesome! As you said, he did exactly what needed to be done.

But when I talked to my uber-conservative friend, his view was decidedly negative. He said Joe "came off as an angry old man". Plus, he was rude, and interrupted too much.

Amazing how unable my friend was to see how rude and interrupting Romney was the first night. He walked all over Obama, the host, and anyone else who got in his way that night. Yet my friend's filters blind him to it.

I'm sure I'm blinded in certain ways too. But I'm still happy to see my side "win" every once in a while :)