My immediate response on Facebook last night to the vice presidential debate when it was all over was fairly simple …

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Joe Biden = tough battler armed with facts.
Paul Ryan = the kid stuck on talking points.

It’s simply amazing how so many people who were thrilled to see Mitt Romney be so aggressive last week in the first presidential debate seemed to change their tune last night when it was Biden who came across as the more aggressive debater.

You just can’t label Romney as being “tough” and “aggressive” one week for his style and have him coming away as the winner, and label Biden as being “rude” or “arrogant” when his style was essentially the same the next week.  If you feel that you can, your hypocrisy is showing.

Biden was simply performing in this debate the way President Obama should have in the first, simply responding immediately to falsehoods and misinformation, such as …

  • Telling it like it is on the Libyan embassy attacks, mentioning how it was a GOP-controlled House voting to cut the security budget there that helped contribute to Americans losing their lives.
  • Effectively bringing up Romney’s “47%” remarks at a fundraiser earlier this year and — when Ryan tried to label that as a poorly worded statement at the time that any person, including Biden, should receive a pass for like it’s a simple matter of a “brain cramp moment” — responding that you don’t give a lengthy response to back up such a statement as Romney did and have it be a simple misstatement.
  • Verbally dissecting Ryan over his continuous claims that stimulus money has been a complete waste of taxpayer dollars when Ryan himself sought millions for his own state out of that same stimulus funding by putting in a written request himself.
  • Putting Ryan in his place over continued GOP mischaracterizations over Obama administration Medicare funding moves.
  • The list goes on …

Biden critics were put out by him smiling or laughing as Ryan was responding.  Maybe it was more a matter of Biden being so anxious to respond to his opponent’s non-answers, talking points, or falsehoods that he just couldn’t wait to dig in himself.  Nothing new there, no matter who’s debating.

It was refreshing to see ABC News’ Martha Raddatz hold Ryan’s feet to the fire when he would refuse to give specifics over things such as his ticket’s tax plans, talking instead about reaching across the aisle.  At a time when specifics are badly needed, the Romney-Ryan ticket’s refusal to offer them should send up huge red flags.  Raddatz had control over the debate all the way through.

A national news outlet has characterized the VP debate in one story very simply:  “Like a father-son brawl.”  I even found myself referring to Ryan at one point during the debate as “Junior” because it seemed like he was being schooled by someone so experienced and prepared, ready to respond to the usual talking points with actual facts, that the differences were glaring.

It was like a father taking a son out to the woodshed for a spanking.


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