VP Debate Winner? Barack Obama
In the debate between Vice President
That's no swipe at Ryan. Former
That was Biden's task four years ago. Still a senator from
This time, after Obama's lackluster debate performance a week earlier and a big surge in national polls for Romney, Vice President Biden's mission was elevated from Do-no-harm to Stop-the-bleeding.
Biden soon appeared to be accomplishing both missions. Partisan tweets across the Twitter-verse during the debate indicated a clear trend: Obama supporters were delighted and Romney backers were furious.
What a switch. After the presidential debate, Democrats were furious and Republicans were delighted by a performance that Obama seemed to phone in -- by carrier pigeon.
Biden did what debaters are supposed to do and that Obama had failed to do: Take the fight to their opponents with a passion, even when the passion tests the boundaries of politeness.
Oh, yes, many have criticized Biden's loud chuckles, scoffs, grimaces, raised arms, interjections ("Oh, God," "malarkey" and "bunch of stuff"), interruptions and other histrionics. But, compared to Obama's disengaged, head-down scribbling on his notepad, Biden at least looked like he was eager to be there, selling the Obama-Biden record with more energy than Obama did.
On issues that varied widely from
Among the highlights: Biden was at his most ferocious in defending
Obama, speaking of himself and Romney, said, "I suspect that on
"With regard to
"If we had listened to Romney, Governor Romney, and the congressman during the Bush years," Biden said, "imagine where all those seniors would be now if their money had been in the market." Ryan was compelled to assure viewers that his earlier support for Bush's changes in
Biden's most memorable moment may have been in his response to Ryan's use of a favorite Republican talking point, the failure of Obama's economic stimulus to produce more jobs. "I love my friend here," Biden said before announcing that Ryan had sent two letters requesting stimulus money for companies in his home state of
Ryan acknowledged the letters as part of "what we do" to service his constituents. This gave Biden a chance to extend a cordial assurance that "...any letter you send me I'll entertain."
To which Ryan replied just as cordially, "I appreciate that, Joe." See? We can all get along.
Obama has made a virtue of his No-Drama Obama cool, but some occasions call for passion, especially when your opponent says something that calls for a quick come-back.
Halfway through the debate, at least one liberal Twitter tweeter nominated
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VP Debate Winner? Barack Obama | Politics
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