So the VP debate happens tonight. I’ll be live-blogging. My prediction? Biden will carefully mop the floor with Ryan, but we shall see.
5:58pm MST – All settled in! Let’s get this going.
6:03pm – It begins. Ryan looks better than he did when dressed as the guy who used to take your lunch money in high school.
6:03pm – Again with the silly tie colors.
6:04pm – I like the lack of pandering on the part of Biden.
6:05pm – Already Biden is doing is best to showcase the differences and tell us what Romney thinks. Also, “The last thing we need now is another war.” Couldn’t agree more.
6:06pm – The semantics over whether or not the attack in Bengazhi was terrorism or not is very silly and has never bothered me much one way or the other. There is no agreed-upon definition of the word anyhow, plus sometimes these things aren’t clear at first.
6:07pm – I find it hilarious that there’s some sort of notion that Obama has been weak on foreign policy or has lowered our standing abroad.
6:08pm – Ah, the first obvious lie from Ryan, claiming that the message from the Cairo embassy was somehow something from the Obama administration.
6:08pm – Beautiful counter by Biden. It begins.
6:11pm – Ryan does not look good when he smiles. It looks too much like a smirk.
6:11pm – Ryan agrees we should apologize for our soldiers desecrating corpses. He doesn’t think we should apologize for our values. Which we don’t.
6:13pm – I can kind of agree about not allowing Iran to get nukes, but the problem is, what exactly are we willing to do to stop them? Go to war, yet again, in the mid-East against yet another Muslim country?
6:14pm – The Ayatollahs have said that using a nuclear weapon would be “a great sin”. We don’t really need to change their minds.
6:19pm – “This is a bunch of stuff.” What does that mean? It means Biden isn’t saying “shit”.
6:20pm – Very likely Iran would have been four years closer regardless of whomever was in office.
6:21pm – Staying quiet during the Green Revolution was a good idea. It wasn’t about us, it was about them, and trying to make it about us would have been a bad idea.
6:23pm – Now moving onto the economic issues.
6:24pm – Biden slams Romney on GM and brings up the 47%! Also points out many of us pay a higher percentage in income taxes than Romney. Cry havoc! and let slip the dogs of war!
6:26pm – Biden just called-out Ryan on a lie. Didn’t get to finish calling him out, but it’s something.
6:28pm – So Mitt Romney, rich guy, helped out some people. That’s good! Of course it’s also worth noting that the family with the injured kids will probably have an easier time taking care of them thanks to
6:31pm – Oh, yes, the myth of one-party control which, as I recall, lasted only a couple months. Also the stimulus helped quite a bit, but it was gutted by the GOP and wasn’t as much as it should have been.
6:32pm – It’s only pork when it’s someone else’s district. Always something to remember.
6:34pm – Much better moderation than in the last debate, but the format probably makes that easier. On to Medicare!
6:36pm – Ryan is somewhat right. The Democrats haven’t put a credible option on the table to fix Medicare and Social Security. Of course, neither have the Republicans, other than this stupid “personal choice” boilerplate.
6:37pm – Talking directly to the seniors by looking right into the camera. Good idea.
6;38pm – Biden really is destroying this, talking about how bad the idea of privatization is.
6:39pm – Biden does need to rein it in a bit before he starts looking like a bully. Keep it cool, Joe, you’re doing fine. Don’t overplay.
6:42pm – The voucher plan really is a bad idea. I’m glad Biden is slamming it.
6:44pm – Ryan’s smile has faded a bit. I think he knows this isn’t going as well as he’d like.
6:45pm – Moving on now to taxes.
6:45pm – Biden has mentioned Bush by name at least a couple times. I don’t recall hearing Romney nor Ryan mention the most recent president of their own party at basically any point.
6:47pm – Nothing of real substance from Ryan as a response here. I’m also pretty sure he’s lying about the 44% or so number.
6:49pm – Moderator (I forget her name, sorry), calling out Ryan on his campaign avoiding specifics. Glad to see that.
6:51pm – Slamming the way the math doesn’t work, thus referencing Clinton. Smart.
6:53pm – Ah, yes, the myth that the lack of bipartisanship is only the fault of the Obama administration.
6:55pm – Our Navy would be the smallest it has been since WWI…but I bet it’s still larger than every other navy in the world combined.
6:56pm – Biden seems cool and confident as well as competent. Ryan seems a little haunted and uncertain. On to Afghanistan!
6:58pm – Ryan’s response amounted to nothing other than, yes, we agree we should leave by 2014. So even the GOP knows this isn’t a winning campaign point. That’s reassuring.
7:00pm – Biden pointing out that ultimately the Afghans are responsible for their own safety and security. That’s good, and it needs to be said.
7:01pm – Ah, now he’s back to the unraveling of the Obama foreign policy, like that was a thing that was happening.
7:02pm – Pleased that the moderator is calling out Ryan on his inconsistencies and hypocrisies.
7:06pm – I’ll give Ryan credit here: I never really had a good definition of what “fighting season” was before now. I could infer from context, but it is nice to have a full-on explanation. That said, this subject is more than a bit dull and we can stand to move on.
7:07pm – On to Syria!
7:09pm – Good reply from Biden about Syria, and happy to see him basically saying to Romney/Ryan, “What the hell else would you do other than go in and invade?”
7:10pm – I’m pretty sure no one is calling Assad a reformer, and whether we like it or not, the UN is the way we do things. We can’t simply take unilateral action. That’s a bad idea.
7:14pm – “Each situation will come up with its own set of circumstances…” Ryan says. He then goes on to basically defend everything the Obama administration has done in the context of Syria and Iran. Not directly, mind you, and I’m sure he’d deny it. But he did. Moving on, abortion time!
7:16pm – If you oppose abortion, you run into a situation where you, by logical extension, have to put women in prison and force them to give birth. Also, I’m pretty sure nothing in Obamacare funds abortion.
7:17pm – I’m really looking forward to hearing Biden parse this.
7:20pm – Not as much as I’d hoped, but well-reasoned and I think Biden does a clear job of presenting the conflict that many Catholics feel.
7:21pm – I do think it’s cute both sides pretend there’s no “litmus test” for Supreme Court nominees. So stupid, since we all know there is. Now an interesting question about tone.
7:22pm – I don’t agree with Biden that caring for our troops on both ends is our “only” sacred obligation. There’s many more important things than that, though that isn’t a bad thing at all. Also, nice little slam on the Citizens United fallout.
7:24pm – Instant pandering from Ryan before he bothers to answer the question. He then responds by showcasing the kind of negative comments that were just being discussed. Meantime, Biden’s response was reasoned, intelligent and answered the question.
7:25pm – If I were Ryan, I’d hardly be criticizing the Obama administration for a lack of transparent plans.
7:27pm – Pleased to see the moderator actually taking control.
7:28pm – Ryan started out humble and on the right track on this last question. Now he’s just acting like, dare I say, a politician.
7:28pm – “I never say anything I don’t mean.” Whoops. That one’s going to come back in a GOP ad. Closing remarks now.
7:30pm – Biden’s closing remarks are a very good call to the sort of American populism that put people like FDR into office. Hopefully it will stick.
7:31pm – Now Ryan is going off on things like “a government takeover of health care”, which never happened. Again the real problem that the GOP has is that they are campaigning against a fictional president. There are legitimate ways to run against Obama and to disagree with him, but they don’t ever do that.
7:32pm – Implying that all Obama has done is blame Bush for the economic mess, which, again, is a lie. If anything, I think many of us would like to see Obama do at least some of that, instead of basically none.
So there we go. This was a much better debate on almost every level, including moderation. I think the overall format also works much better than it did in the last debate.
Who won? Biden. It wasn’t an out of the park, grand slam, home run, but it was a stand-up triple. I’ll take that.
I don’t know what my schedule is for work next week, so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to live-blog the next debate. I’ll try, though. See you guys then!