Biden-Ryan Debate First Impressions
Overall, I found the debate frustrating. Joe Biden came in determined not to repeat Barack Obama’s mistakes and was relentlessly aggressive, interrupting at seemingly every comma. Paul Ryan was of good humor, slow paced, and too polite. Martha Raddatz didn’t moderate at all; she allowed Biden to interrupt constantly while interrupting both speakers too often.
I’ll be interested to see the “time of possession” stats for this one. I’m guessing Biden ran away with it, with Raddatz second and Ryan third.
I mostly listened and watched the Twitter reactions of my foreign policy feed, only occasionally venturing into the other room to watch the mannerisms. Biden came across as angry and condescending, while Ryan came across as measured and friendly. Both were pretty vapid on the issues, hitting their talking points regardless of the truth.
On Afghanistan, Ryan missed a golden opportunity. Biden was sneering in his constant repetition of “we’re turning this over to the Afghans we trained.” Yet Ryan was unwilling to note that it’s those trained Afghans who are the greatest threat to American troops in the country.
I’ll be interested in seeing how this played with normal people, of which I’m admittedly not one. Did Biden come across as intense? Or just a jerk? Did Ryan come off as inexperienced by comparison to the much more seasoned Biden? Or as a decent, earnest guy ready to step onto the stage? I’m not a good judge of these things because my filter is so different from that of those who don’t follow this stuff on an hour-by-hour basis.
UPDATE: My insta-reaction seems to match that of those surveyed by CNN: VP Debate Poll: Ryan 48, Biden 44.