5 Things To Watch During Ryan/Biden Debate

Tonight’s the night. After Barack Obama’s disastrous (hoorah!) debate performance against Mitt Romney, it’s now Biden’s time to attempt to save face and turn the election back towards Obama. So, 5 things to watch

  1. How many gaffes will Biden make, and will he use interesting dialects?
  2. If Biden has a decent debate, how bad will that make Obama look?
  3. Will Biden remember that today is not Halloween, and minimize the horror stories?
  4. How many times will Biden reference Big Bird?
  5. What seasoning does Paul Ryan have ready after he fillets and field dresses Biden?

Politico has their own 5

  1. Can Biden draw blood?
  2. Can Ryan defend himself and the GOP ticket?
  3. Will Ryan let his feel-your-pain flag fly?
  4. Good Joe v. Bad Biden
  5. How will foreign policy play?

Number 4 is the funniest, since Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush write

Biden is flat-out the best debater in the 2012 campaign this side of Mitt Romney – more comfortable and limber at the lectern than his own boss, according to Democrats who get paid to prep candidates.

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Except, Biden hasn’t had a debate in four years, and he’s been such a detriment on the campaign trail over the past few months that when he’s actually sent out he’s sent only to venues in the Bluest of Blue areas. There are times when he has been benched for days to avoid there being a Bidenism.

It’s almost a given that Biden will recite some version of “Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive.”

If he does, Ryan will destroy Joe and the O administration spin on Libya and how al Qaeda is spreading.

The Blaze also provides 5


The last one could be important, if Joe is given easy questions and Ryan is given “when did you stop beating your wife” ones.

And 5 from the Washington Post, which gushes on Biden and “wonders” about Ryan, as well as lowers expectations in case Biden gets beaten like a rented mule. Here’s one of them

The Ryan wonk out: Most of the pre-debate coverage has and will continue to focus on Biden…..But, in our mind, it’s Ryan who has more to prove. Ryan has never – repeat, never – been on a debate stage this (symbolically) big before. And, Ryan’s great strength is his reputation as a numbers and policy geek – both great things in a public servant but less great things in a political debater. If Ryan goes too far down a wonky rabbit hole – we wonder what one of those might look like – he could find himself fighting from behind against the much more experienced Biden.

I’ve always wondered about the notion that the American people aren’t interested in deep explanations, positioned often by the media and pundits as being over the heads of Americans. And then the next day the media tells us that there were no concrete plans. To my mind, it seems that the middle ground voters want details, they want explanations, they want numbers. They’re tired of platitudes and content free talking points. They want to know what politicians are going to do, and how it will affect them. They do not want to be treated like children.

I do think Biden will do better than Obama, at least in terms of energy level and engagement. Expect Ryan to work to frustrate Biden and turn him into Angry Man, which can be done. Also, expect Ryan to have answers ready when Biden trots out the standard talking points, answers most people haven’t heard in response to those same tired Team Obama talking points since the media barely highlights them.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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