Attack Dog Biden Goes In For The Kill.
Biden definitely won the Vice President Debate. He was able to do this in several ways:
- Reinforcing negative stereotypes of his opponents. There is a long-held belief that Republicans cannot be trusted on Medicare. This idea has been reinforced by the so-called voucher system Ryan et al want to introduce. Biden mentioned vouchers several time. Vouchers for healthcare would naturally make many voters feel uncomfortable and fear for the future of Medicare.
- Show Passion. Biden was passionate. He was himself; warts and all. As Leo McGarry said to President Bartlet in ‘The West Wing’; ‘Let Bartlet Be Bartlet’. Perhaps Biden followed that sage advice. Let Biden Be Biden. In contrast, Ryan seemed rather bland and boring.
- 47%. Biden capitalised on Romney’s 47% gaffe (unlike the President). He mentioned it several times. Importantly, he aligned himself with the 47%. He said he was one of the 47%, his mother was, his father was, the people he grew up with were. The 47% Romney disparaged were the people who built this country. The people who just want a level-playing field and an even shot.
- Clear, Concise Answers. Biden’s answers seemed more straight-forward than Ryan’s. Ryan was particularly weak when talking about the affect the seasons had on fighting in Afghanistan (what was that all about!?!).
- Attack Dog. Biden was quick to butt in and refute Ryan’s answers.
Ryan did show some strengths:
- He got in ‘my generation’ in regards to healthcare. However he didn’t play up the generational shift-enough, as some commentators felt he needed to. Although wasn’t Obama’s election, the passing of the torch to a new generation? So maybe that’s old news.
- Janesville. He always seems to mention his blue-collar roots which is refreshing to see in a Politician and adds authenticity.
- Economy and Jobs. As James Carville famously said, ‘It’s the economy, stupid’. Despite the Obama Administration’s claims the economy is improving, people are not feeling it on the ground, so this rightly is the Republican Party’s main line of attack. I think Ryan could have pushed this even more, asking the TV audience directly to camera if they felt the economy was improving.
- Ryan showed sincerity when saying how his family had relied on Medicare but is this enough to dispel long-held suspicions regarding Republicans and Medicare?
Biden showed passion and sincerity in this debate. Ryan came across as young, inexperienced and bland. He didn’t seem to show much charisma to me and so didn’t capture my attention. Biden raised his voice to show passion and lowered it to depict sincerity. Ryan, on the other hand, was Mr. Monotone throughout. In an election campaign, the VP’s role is to be the Presidential Candidate’s No.1 cheerleader and attack dog and Biden did this superbly.