Friday, October 12, 2012

Flow Joe Biden vs. Young Paul Ryan

Joe Biden couldn't keep a straight face most of the time when Paul Ryan spoke. Neither could I (Photo by Evan B.)
I’m still shaking my head at what I saw. After a nice, respectable presidential debate, the kid gloves came off in the Vice-Presidential debate and the punches were swinging!

A tip of the hat to moderator Martha Raddatz. As opposed to Jim Lehrer, she set the tone and demanded respect from the jump. She also wasn’t afraid to assert herself to ask tougher questions, clearer specifics and be what I expect a moderator to be.
Assessing Joe Biden
Few politicians know how to relate to the everyday people. Calling Paul Ryan “My friend” made it clear that it wasn’t personal, but business. Although midway through the debate, it just felt like Biden was putting him in his place saying that.

He browbeat Ryan on the details of foreign policy, attacked on the specifics of the economy and reminded everyone that he indeed asked for stimulus money and had the letters to prove it. All I could say was WOOOOO! C’mon on with it.

Perhaps it was too aggressive at times but it was more to spell out facts. As he said “Show me that you care, don’t tell me. Show me a policy.” Attacking on the 47% comment was brilliant and still timely.

It reminded me of Fat Joe’s 1st single. “Flow Joe” – the hook said “You gotta flow Joe, you gotta flow Joe”. That’s what I was thinking about Biden. It was a vintage performance but heavy on fact correction, not just show.

Assessing Paul Ryan
I’ll give Paul Ryan credit for being composed. He wasn’t afraid to rumble with Joe Biden and reminded me that he has been in Washington for 20+ years. He knows how to handle himself and had a great line about Biden's tendency to speak too loose.

He correctly said Iran has nuclear capabilities. But other than that, this was not a fine performance. Where do I start. He lacked specifics on some of the clear things – Romney’s economic policy, how to pay for the loopholes that he hopes to close and how to fix Afghanistan.

His belief that he and Romney don’t want to tell our enemies when we’re leaving is backwards defense. As Biden pointed out, we’re telling our allies this is your quagmire. You’ve been equipped. We’re not sinking more of our money/soldiers/resource in this.

He got attacked on the specifics not just by Biden but by Raddatz, who dared do her job by challenging to answer the questions with clear specifics. It was a noble effort by the Congressman but way out of his league.

For both candidates, the final question about abortion was enlightening. Rep. Ryan stuck to his guns about life beginning at conception and that would be protected. VP Biden said something better.

I relate to that. That was a great statement that I think many of us should apply as people of faith.

On a deeper level, Biden was able to do all the things Barack Obama couldn’t because it’d be looked at differently. Obama would’ve been seen as the angry Black man who scared off voters but for Biden, he could run with that because it’s his style. 

It worked to a charm but don’t think we didn’t notice that. Same with some folks saying Biden came off rude as if Romney didn’t do the same in Round I.

A fellow prep sportswriter reminded me of this Friday. The media need to make this campaign more interesting so there’s no way they will say the incumbent won handily. That explains why some said Romney won and why this debate was closer than it really was.

It doesn’t sell ratings as much as a blowout. Just like anything else. Everything has to appear interesting because that sends tongues wagging. So don’t be fooled but read the arguments. Read the facts on both campaigns and decide for yourself.

Nice job, my friend. Sorry for wiping the floor with you but you made it too easy.
For me, this was the boatrace we expected in the first presidential debate. Flawless victory for Flow Joe Biden.

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