Current Vice-President Joe Biden and Republican candidate for VP Paul Ryan tangled in a frustrating debate in Kentucky on Thursday evening. After viewing the Vice-Presidential debate twice and reflecting on the substance of the discussion, who knows who the winner and loser is.
What was clear was Joe Biden's tactics and strategy to muddy the waters of the debate and to demean Congressman Paul Ryan. Biden interrupted Ryan 82 times during the debate. Biden cackled, grimaced, laughed and mocked Ryan for about an hour of the 90 minute banter. Most networks provided a split screen view which showed Biden laughing even during the discussion regarding Iran, Syria and Libya. In reality, the issues facing our nation are no joke.
Where was the moderator? Well, ABC's Martha Raddatz showed up, but held no order during the interaction. Allowing Biden to have free reign to chirp in comments at will on Ryan. Raddatz was a poor choice by the debate commission. She did not have any prior experience serving as a moderator on a high level. Raddatz reared her bias asking Ryan for details with cutting questions, while she rarely delved into asking Biden for details or facts to back up his answers.
Ryan held his own during the debate. He came across as cordial, serious and informed. Ryan was effective in exposing the methods of the Obama campaign to attack and distract voters from the administration's bad record on the economy and debt. At times, Ryan became a little too wonky with budget numbers and the economy. He pushed back a little on Biden, but perhaps not enough. He could have called out Biden for the jeers and side comments, which would've been a great moment, but it did not happen.
What can you say about Joe? Karl Rove commented that Joe's performance was like a drunk at the bar you want to get a way from. Biden was horribly disobedient and disrespectful. Perhaps an accurate reflection of the entire Obama administration. Biden's only real blow was talking about Ryan's request for stimulus funding for two Wisconsin constituents. Ryan admitted he submitted the request. A stronger, confident response to trump Biden's claim would've been effect. Strategically, Joe Biden's performance made a play to reassure their base voters they were still in the fight.
Overall, if pressed, looking from the perspective of a average voter, I would call the VP debate at best - a draw. Biden failed to appear with any seriousness, and Ryan hit the key points, but did not clearly land a knock out on Joe. Post-debate polling indicates this debate did not move hardly any uncommitted voters.
All eyes are on the next debate between Republican Mitt Romney and Democrat Obama. This debate will be a town hall format with questions from a audience of uncommitted voters in Hempstead, New York, on Tuesday, October 16 at 9:00pm EDT. CNN's Candy Crowley will serve as the moderator.