Friday, October 12, 2012

The VP Debate

Well, that was interesting.  I figured Vice President Biden would outperform his boss by a long shot.  I figured Congressman Ryan would stand his own with the elder and more experienced Biden.  Ryan was confident and resolute with his comments.  Biden was a more adept speaker in this forum than he has been in months, if not years since his 2008 debate against Governor Palin, a much less capable opponent.  Unfortunately, Biden cut his legs off at his knees with his arrogance, dismissive nature, interruptions, and uncontrolled laughter.  Ryan handled himself well and maintained his composure despite Biden's awkward behavior.  Ryan behaved like a Statesman.

I respected Biden's answer on the abortion question and how he reconciles his policies with his spiritual beliefs.  I thought his response that his faith dictates his beliefs, but he doesn't impose those beliefs on others was an honest one.  Hard right Republicans could learn a great deal from Biden on that front.

In the end, both candidates appeared equally qualified to do the job.  I wouldn't call the debate a draw because to me, that's a copout.  I give the advantage to Ryan based on his ability to maintain composure and stand toe to toe with a much more experienced statesman.  Ryan stuck to the questions and spent far less time attacking Obama than Biden did attacking Romney.  Ryan's close was much stronger and heartfelt than Biden's.

When I consider the behavior and decorum of both parties' candidates, I'm much more impressed with the Romney/Ryan ticket than I have been.  Obama entered the stage for first Presidential debate with a cocky swagger and then failed to display enough respect to even look Romney in the eye as his debate performance quickly sunk.  Romney came across polite, sincere, and gracious.  In last night's debate, Ryan behaved much like his boss did a week before.  It was Biden's smug, condescending nature that stood out and watered down his otherwise impressive performance.

I found myself considering which pair I would prefer representing America in front of an adversary like Iran or Venezuela.  Biden's smug confidence might resonate with the hubris of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Hugo Ch├ívez, but Obama's persistent apologies would negate any gained ground, imagined or genuine.  I believe stern politeness coupled with a dignified eye contact would better project America's position and intentions.  Regardless of the media's interpretation of who won or lost these two debates, it's clear which pair of candidates demonstrated those traits.