Vice presidential debate moderator Martha Raddatz of ABC News asked the candidates several questions on many important issues facing the country, including the terrorist attack in Libya, Iran, unemployment, Medicare, taxes, defense spending, Afghanistan, Syria, abortion, and what each candidate could "give to this country as a man."
During the vice presidential debate, Paul Ryan reiterated his opposition to abortion. Joe Biden explained that he’s personally opposed to abortion but doesn’t believe in protecting the unborn. President Obama has previously expressed his own position, which might best be described as not being opposed to abortion either personally or as a matter of policy (see the first 30 seconds of this clip):
You don’t win a nationally televised debate by being rude and obnoxious. You don’t win by interrupting your opponent time after time after time or by being a blowhard. You don’t win with facial expressions, especially smirks or fake laughs, or by pretending to be utterly exasperated with what your opponent is saying.
Joe Biden was aggressive, condescending, and shamelessly demagogic. Paul Ryan was earnest, youthful, and perhaps a bit over-scripted. The upshot was a vice presidential debate that was occasionally entertaining for partisans on both sides, but was mostly unenlightening. Ultimately, I suspect, it will prove inconsequential. It's hard to believe it will change any votes, or give either side momentum.
It remains to be seen how most Americans viewed Joe Biden's performance at Thursday night's debate, when the vice president repeatedly interrupted Congressman Paul Ryan and was shown on camera to be frequently smirking and laughing at Ryan's answers. But Biden's performance has pleased at least one of the most influential left-wing blogs.
In the Thursday night vice presidential debate, Vice President Joe Biden criticized Congressman Paul Ryan for voting to "put two wars"--those in Afghanistan and Iraq--"on a credit card." But as theWashington Free Beacon points out, Biden's suggestion that he didn't vote for those wars is simply false:
Vice President Joe Biden has been munching on M&Ms and animal crackers to prepare for tonight's debate with Paul Ryan, according to the Obama campaign. He's also been consuming coffee, tea, and Gatorade.
The Obama campaign provides more details. "[T]his afternoon, the Vice President is spending time with family and friends at a private residence outside of Danville owned by local supporters," according to an unnamed campaign official.
The debate tonight between Representative Paul Ryan and Vice President Joe Biden could be a game changer ... or not. The usual media suspects are all over the debate with analysis and predictions that may, or may not, prove helpful. Hard to recall anyone who divined how the debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney turned out. The pattern here is that we are told what to expect and then, when the unexpected happens, told why we should have expected it all along.