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.
In email to supporters, Vice President Joe Biden promises tonight to "tell the truth and stand up for what we believe in." The subject line of Biden's email reads, "My promise to you and Barack tonight."
"I told Barack I have one mission tonight: tell the truth and stand up for what we believe in," writes Vice President Biden. "Our side is always going to win when we do that."
Biden then portrays himself and President Barack Obama as underdogs. He writes, " But, Daniel, take a look at what we're up against this week:"
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.
Democrats are trying to use Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin's bizarre and offensive comments about rape and pregnancy to smear GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan. And many journalists are playing along.
The Villages, Fla. “This is my mom Betty,” vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan said as he took the stage at a campaign rally with his 78-year-old mother in Florida’s largest retirement community. “She's why I'm here,” Ryan continued. “She and her grandkids are why I'm here.”
Waukesha, Wisc. So much for conventional wisdom. These things were considered either highly unlikely or impossible before August 10: Mitt Romney picking Paul Ryan as his running mate; the Republican presidential ticket choosing to campaign on Medicare reform; and Republicans actually winning that political fight.
The Washington Examiner reports that "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was pressed by her husband and a top Obama aide to consider replacing Vice President Joe Biden just a couple of weeks ago, claims the author of the New York Times bestseller 'The Amateur.'" Clinton, the report states, turned down the request.
But the secretary of state's staff is denying that this reported lunch between Clinton and top Obama aide Valerie Jarrett even took place, ever.
Almost exactly twenty years ago, when I was Vice President Dan Quayle's chief of staff, we faced an attempt by some aides to President George H.W. Bush to dump Quayle at the last minute. President Bush refused. Doing so, he thought, would be disloyal and dishonorable.