"The Petulant Circus Clown" Shocks Both Sides of the Aisle…

(The Verge) – Going into the one and only Vice Presidential debate, the Obama camp needed some form of momentum boost that would hoist the President back atop the polls after his sub-par performance in the first debate against Governor Romney. Their answer, sadly, was Joe Biden. They needed him to touch on some points that the President could not address and all the while, display a more powerful persona to show voters that the Democratic ticket was ready for another four years. The Romney camp on the other hand, was coming off a fresh win versus the President and was hoping their VP choice, Congressman Paul Ryan, would further that lead by justifiably explaining his economic plan and the perks of a Romney/Ryan White House. Being that his specialty was in economic statistics (as he had passed two Congressional budgets), Republicans saw a ray of hope in the young nominee. Also with conservatives agreeing President Obama has made some controversial foreign policy moves of late, the Republican ticket wanted to jump all over them, implying the Obama Administration is weak and incapable of handling such events as the terror in Benghazi and threats of nuclear war in Iran.
The young Congressman was on the national stage for the first time (other than his convention speech) and had a lot to prove, especially explaining some of his deep conservative principles. Biden on the other hand, also had a few things to justify. Prone to gaffes, he wanted to show some form of likability, (as he is a “heartbeat away” from the Presidency) and show the country that the current administration has grabbed the bull by the horns, so-to-speak. And when ABC’s Martha Raddatz began the debate, each gleefully displayed their form of a fake smile. Little time had passed before some common themes began to unfurl. Almost immediately, Joe Biden began to interrupt the Congressman. (It was later noted that he would do so over eighty times!). But, on issues of foreign policy, the debate seemed to really drag out. Ryan attacked the Obama administration’s actions in Libya regarding Christopher Stevens and the unrest that has ensued since. He also called out the administration’s relations with Israel and the threat in Iran. Raddatz spent a considerable amount of time on foreign policy, even more so than taxes and healthcare, but as the foreign policy talks progressed, tensions heightened.

Pointing fingers was not the only bizarre move Joe Biden made in the debate last week. Image taken from: s1.ibtimes.com

It started to become apparent that Joe Biden would be going through with some strange mannerisms and rude inferences. He laughed at Ryan, threw his arms up in the air, looked away, butted-in, and attempted to get the last word on every subject. It got so tough to watch just in the first ten minutes, I was praying the camera would be taken off the Vice President. (I also started questioning the authority of the networks who decided to do a split-screen!). How condescending can the man be? He couldn’t get off of his pedestal for 90 minutes, and by doing so, had his tactic work in reverse. I think he actually hurt his cause, as Independent voters may have strayed from the left after such rude activity just in the beginning rounds of the debate. Anyone who wants to laugh off national security matters (as I’m sure many would note), is not fit for the White House.
As talks progressed to abortion, Medicare, Obamacare and “running on a record,” the same trends were situating themselves in the discussion. Biden maintained his hostile tone, and Paul Ryan attempted to show the world who he was while advancing the Romney ticket. Ryan delivered a fairly clever statement on his stance on abortion, and the two candidates each talked about Catholicism and its impact on their lives.
Small business and tax cuts were also commonplace, naturally, and tensions escalated here. At one point, when Ryan attempted to explain the Romney plan for tax cuts in the middle class and how Obama’s principles meant higher taxation, Biden seemed close to pulling a Dan Quayle against Lloyd Bentsen, (holding on to some small strand of civility so he didn’t physically attack) and instead hid his anger in his smile. Biden explained Obama’s plans with the Bush Tax Cuts and ideas on reducing the deficit, at which point Ryan listened professionally. But while Ryan pitched in, Biden, although seated, was a hair shy of also going for the Gore-Bush near chest bump. Ryan struggled with explaining which economic cuts would be made, but regardless…it took a lot in me just to remain level-headed while our Vice President took the word ‘condescending’ to a whole new level.
Pictured here, is a screenshot from the 1988 Vice Presidential debate, where Dan Quayle refuted Lloyd Bentsen’s claim that he was “no Jack Kennedy.” At times, I expected some similar hostility in this year’s VP debate. Image taken from: 2.bp.blogspot.com

As Raddatz focused on healthcare, Ryan pointed out the key ideological differences between Republicans and Democrats on the matter (as is usual) and the tone changed at no point. Biden interrupted here just as much as in the other categories, but eventually each man made clear that their stances were different: a Romney ticket despises the mandate in healthcare while the Democrats claim it will help millions while not breaking wallets. At this point too, I really was looking forward to a comment from Paul Ryan towards Biden’s hostility, such that Dan Quayle had made 24 years prior, to the VP nominee (Bentsen)…”that was really uncalled for Senator!”
As the Congressman pointed out countlessly, Obama seems to be running away from his record, and that is one thing I firmly believe Ryan got to stick with Republicans and Independents. He said, (like Obama said while campaigning in 2008) that when you don’t have a record to run on, you run away from it. So whether you say Ryan won, or Biden’s abruptness got the fire going again for the left…a lot came from the debate. It did one thing for sure, and that’s hype up the next presidential debate. This next one could be monumental in the election, and as we learned this past week, Obama should refrain from trying to play the “rude” card.
“The Petulant Circus Clown” reference comes from a Redstate.com article quoting the Vice-President as such.

2 Replies to “"The Petulant Circus Clown" Shocks Both Sides of the Aisle…

  1. Your article is very well written, While we differ on our view of the debate , i enjoyed your article & look foward to your next one after the Hofstra debate. 🙂

    1. Hey Grandma! Thanks for reading! And you’ll definitely see an article up in no time 🙂

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