Last week in the initial presidential debate, Romney’s win over Obama more closely resembled a 90-minute video game, with Obama having been stuck with the broken controller. It became a rout almost immediately, and you stuck around only to see how bad the final tally would be.
In contrast, this week’s Vice-Presidential debate was more closely contested, but was still memorable for two big reasons: demeanor and facts.
First, the facts. Biden started the evening off by pulling a Bart Simpson (“it wasn’t me!!”), essentially blaming our Intelligence Community for the Administration’s repeated lies about Benghazi.
From Commentary Magazine:
The vice president claimed that the story the administration put out about the terrorist attack on the consulate and the murder of the U.S. ambassador being part of the fallout from a controversial anti-Muslim video was the fault of the intelligence they were given. But rather than put the issue to bed, it raises even more troubling questions about not only about the security disaster but also about the lack of leadership shown by senior administration officials including the president. It also contradicts State Department testimony and other comments from intelligence officials that they knew it was a terror attack within 24 hours of it happening.
For Biden to put all of the blame for the lies about the video and the denial of terrorism on intelligence officials says a lot about the complete breakdown of administration counter-terror policy. His denial that anyone in Washington knew that the story put forward Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations wasn’t true seems implausible. Even if true, it speaks to administration incompetence.
“Smart Power“. It’s worked just awesome so far.
Joe being Joe, he was just getting warmed up. This from the Washington Free Beacon:
Vice President Joe Biden accused Rep. Paul Ryan of putting two wars on the “credit card,” and then suggested he voted against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“By the way, they talk about this great recession like it fell out of the sky–like, ‘Oh my goodness, where did it come from?’” Biden said. “It came from this man voting to put two wars on a credit card, at the same time, put a prescription drug plan on the credit card, a trillion-dollar tax cut for the very wealthy.”
“I was there, I voted against them,” Biden continued. “I said, no, we can’t afford that.”
[Actually], Sen. Biden voted for the Afghanistan resolution on Sept. 14, 2001 which authorized “the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States.”
And on Oct. 11, 2002, Biden voted for a resolution authorizing unilateral military action in Iraq, according to the Washington Post.
Further, if you re-read that quote, what the Beacon doesn’t single out is the “put a prescription drug plan on the credit card” part of Biden’s quote. His finding fault with that is curious, since he voted for it, too, along with many of its expansions.
Hey, maybe he forgot?
And now, and perhaps most importantly in the long run, the demeanor.
I have to assume that it was drilled into Biden’s semi-porous cranium that he had to attack, attack, attack the entire night. Well, if that was his goal, he succeeded. However, he also succeeded in portraying himself as an overbearing, contemptuous, insufferable creep.
I promise you: that is a charitable description.
I listen to Wallace every week, and he’s no partisan. He is, in fact, often much tougher on Republicans than anyone this side of MSNBC. His portrayal of Biden is accurate to a fault: Biden exhibited the manners of the drunk guy at your last office party, hectoring the bartender for “one more for the road”. I haven’t seen as epic an interruption (or in this case, a blizzard of them) since Kanye West and Taylor Swift. Virtually ever time Ryan spoke, Biden would begin yammering. The most recent tally that I’ve seen so far is Biden=82 interruptions, Ryan=6. If that’s even close to the official total (and I think it may be too low), that tells you all you need to know.
Biden wasn’t done. As Wallace intimated, even during the times that Ryan could string three sentences together without Joe “My turn! My turn!” Biden butting in, he amused himself by laughing. Snickering. Smirking. Openly guffawing. Rolling his eyes. And generally behaving like your 9-year-old when they argue with a sibling.
It was pathetic.
Feel free to watch all or part of it below. I’m warning you, though: within the first 30 minutes, you will have lost whatever remaining respect you had for our current VP. And the next 30 minutes is worse.
Ryan was solid throughout, and presented himself as smart (we knew that), and in control of the facts (knew that, too). Ryan didn’t outright win the evening so much as Biden discredited himself from consideration with his churlish, clownish behavior. Among Independents especially, I think that will count against Biden far more than any policy points he may have scored.
Before the debate, I had initially decided against including this cartoon. Now it’s more than appropriate.
UPDATE: Ed over at HotAir.com has video of Biden claiming to have voted against the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, citing them both as the reason for the massive deficits we now face. As I mentioned, this is a complete and total lie.
Check out his post, and you won’t have to sift through the entire debate video (above) to see it.