I thought the Vice Presidential debate was so interesting because it was really Joe Biden's to lose. After all, he just did this four years ago when he ran against Sarah Palin, he is a much older and more experienced debater and politician than Congressman Paul Ryan, and his personal strength is the warm touch. But something happened last night. It just felt like he was too focused on his performance and that he was overdoing the theatrics. At the end of the day all that finger pointing, the dramatic sighs and harumphs, and the overly confident references to his friend "Bibi" (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) came off as fake.
Congressman Paul Ryan, on the other hand, came off a little nervous but tenacious as all get out. He just wouldn't back down. I was impressed at his knowledge of foreign affairs given that he is known for being a fiscal expert. And I liked when he pointed out that our Ambassador in Paris has 24/7 protection while our Ambassador in Lybia, who reportedly had asked for it, didn't. (We now know Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans died in a terror attack, not a protest sparked by an Islamic film on youtube, as was initially reported.)
I felt bad for Ryan because I'm not sure the debate format is the best way for him to get his message of fiscal arrest and reform across to the public. He did a great job of refuting some of the misperceptions of his plan, like that it would cost seniors an additional $6,000 each, but the truth is the plan is so complex it might be better understood in a white paper or a lengthy newspaper or magazine article. It's hard to get a sense of the big picture and how it all ties together in 2 minute snippets.
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