As Mike Warren highlights, moderator Martha Raddatz apparently didn’t think Obamacare was important enough to make the cut as one of the nine topics she brought up during the vice presidential debate. Two other closely related topics that didn’t make her cut were federal spending and the national debt. Anyone who had been asleep for four years before waking up and tuning in would never have guessed that Obamacare, rampant federal spending, and unsustainable federal debt had given rise to the Tea Party and had propelled the GOP to gains of 63 House seats and 6 Senate seats in the 2010 elections.
Watching last night's debate, I'm more struck than ever that Obama may be able to fight the economic policy issues to a draw. Romney-Ryan still haven't answered the blame-Bush narrative, and that combined with scaring people about Romney-Ryan on taxes and entitlements have probably pulled Obama-Biden up to a parity on the economy. And it's hard to see what's going to change that in the final three weeks.
White House records reveal that the moderator of last night's vice presidential debate, Martha Raddatz, visited Vice President Joe Biden at his official residence on March 26, 2012. Raddatz is an employee of ABC News.
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: