If Mitt Romney was declared the unofficial winner of the first debate, then seasoned veteran Joe Biden, the current vice president, was the clear victor of the vice presidential debate on Thursday, Oct. 11, over Romney’s running mate Paul Ryan.
What was the determining factor in this? It was everything about Biden’s responses, both verbal and physical, to Ryan’s statements and answers.
It was evident from the beginning that the 69-year-old Biden was amused by the 42-year-old Ryan’s answers. As Ryan responded to the first question of the debate on the topic of Libya and the murder of four Americans including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Biden had a wry smile.
His first retort of the night, calling Ryan’s answer “a bunch of malarkey,” blew up the Internet as quickly as Big Bird.
If Biden’s interruptions and retorts to “inaccurate” facts from Ryan did anything, it was make up for his boss’s lack of fight in the first debate.
People saw a confident Romney in the first debate. Whether the facts are all there or not is somewhat irrelevant. Candidates are working toward votes. The way they do that is by trying to portray the best message. And with many uninformed Americans having no better idea what the real numbers are, they let the strongest argument sway their vote.
In this debate, Ryan didn’t look scared even in the wake of Biden’s disrespectful. He stood his ground and put up an admirable fight. But Biden was making up for lost time by being himself.
President Obama admitted that the first debate was not his strongest performance. If the Obama administration wants to retain the White House for four more years, they need strong showings in the remaining debates.
Facts are always embellished in debates. Just look at any fact check report after any of the debates. But what Biden did that Obama didn’t in the first debate was actually call Ryan on things he believed were false.
What Obama suffered from in the first debate was essentially a lack of energy that made it look more like Romney giving a State of the Union address than trying to sway voters in a debate.
This was a debate in every sense of the word.
Biden made his strongest cases on Romney’s 47 percent “notion” calling him “a guy who says 47 percent of the American people are unwilling to take responsibility of their lives.” He added that “instead of signing pledges to Grover Norquist, they should be signing a pledge to the middle class saying they’re going to level the playing field.”
Biden also stood up for the middle class for much of the night, referencing the recession. As he said, “they talk about this Great Recession [as] if it fell out of the sky, like, ‘Oh, my goodness, where did it come from?’ It came from this man voting to put two wars on a credit card, to at the same time put a prescription drug benefit on the credit card, a trillion-dollar tax cut for the very wealthy.”
Ryan had his moments, including a memorable retort to Biden’s argument against Romney’s 47 percent where he quipped that Biden’s words “sometimes don’t come out of your mouth the right way.”
But the big winner on this night was still the Obama administration because it restored their fight in this election. It may have been done disrespectfully with interruptions, shots fired and then some, but Biden also did what he had to do to make sure Obama had more than a fighting chance in this Election.
If anything, it took the momentum from the Romney administration after the first debate and evened the score going into a crucial final two debates over the next two weeks. At this given moment, there’s no clear-cut advantage in the presidential race. And there’s no malarkey in that statement.