Who won the veep debate? Opinions vary

Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (R) chat at the conclusion of the U.S. vice presidential debate in Danville, Kentucky, October 11, 2012.
(REUTERS/Michael Reynolds/POOL)

At the very least, Democrats breathed a little easier after Thursday night’s suddenly-important vice presidential debate.  Vice President Joe Biden gave Obama administration spin doctors some fodder to use, something they lacked after the Presidents abysmal performance last week.

Republicans, however, had reason to cheer.  Paul Ryan came across as cool, collected and more in control than the sitting vice President.  Biden at times appeared exasperated, angry, petulant and bullying.

Both made points with their party’s base.  Both avoided any major screwups although both played fast and loose with the facts.

Post debate polls show most voters gave Ryan a slight edge in the debate but no poll declared a clear, decisive winner.

A poll of 1000 Capitol Hill Blue readers gave Ryan a 46-43 percent edge with 11 percent undecided. That followed the trend of other polls.

Uncertain, however, is whether Biden’s performance stemmed the bleeding from Obama’s debate debacle from the previous week.  Polls show Romney closing what once was considered an insurmountable lead by Obama and — in some cases — leading the President in key states like Florida.

What may affect some voters was the differing demeanor of the two.  Biden, the long-time Washington pro, appeared irritated too often while Ryan was more calm.

Both did what they had to do. Both played to the base of their parties. Both stuck to their talking points and both avoided a major gaffe.

So who won?

Opinions vary.

The good news for both sides is that a debate that produces no clear winner also does not have a clear loser.

So both won.

And the real loser was probably the average American voter who saw few reasons to change his or her about either candidate.

Vice Presidential debates, as a general rule, have little or no impact on the outcome of a Presidential race.

And Thursday night’s veep gabfest won’t turn out to be an exception to that rule.

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14 Responses to "Who won the veep debate? Opinions vary"

  1. jim  October 12, 2012 at 7:58 am

    Ahhh…. reality starts to sit in…. by any objective measure Ryan clearly won the VP debate. However, many media propagandist expressed pride in Bidens performance immediately following the debate….ie Trippi. Seems he has had time to track national polls. Trippi’s assesment this AM has been walked back signifigantly. For me ,… Biden came of like a hyper-active teenager. Ryan was ther adult in the room.

  2. Sandy Price  October 12, 2012 at 9:12 am

    A war with Iran won the evening. Wars make jobs and the American people think only of their income.I think I may have had enough of politics., The GOP wants our troops in the Middle East with the final blow sending drones into Tehran. Even the children play war games.

    Americans have lost their ability to make anything but arms.

  3. Bill Cravener  October 12, 2012 at 9:33 am

    I tend to dislike both sides equally but Joe made a couple good points. Perhaps the most effective moment was his response to Ryan’s condemnation of Obama’s economic stimulus.

    “It shouldn’t be surprising for a guy who says 47 percent of the American people are unwilling to take responsibility of their own lives,” said VP Biden. “My friend [Ryan] recently said in a speech in Washington said 30 percent of the American people are takers. These people are my mom and dad, the people I grew up with, my neighbors. They pay more effective tax than Gov. Romney pays in his federal income tax. They are elderly people who in fact are living off of Social Security. They are veterans who are fighting in Afghanistan right now who are not, not paying taxes.”

    And:

    “I love my friend here,” Biden said, noting that Ryan “sent me two letters saying, ‘By the way, can you send me some stimulus money for companies here in the state of Wisconsin?’”

    “You did ask for stimulus money?” Martha Raddatz asked of Ryan.

    “On two occasions, we — we — we advocated for constituents who were applying for grants.”

    “I love that,” Biden pressed, going on to quote from Ryan’s letter saying the stimulus would “create growth and jobs.”

  4. Sandy Price  October 12, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    And yet, Bill, Romney is pulling ahead. Americans have always had their job hunbers increase when war is threatened. It has still not been mentioned about McConnell working with the Republican House to not even read bills brought by Obama. It shoulds like whining but it is certainly the reason Obama could not reach across the aisle.

    It will never change unless Romney gets elected and the house has a majority. I watched the debate again this morning on CSPAN. It made me sick to think our election will be manipulated. Why should I even vote when so many are unable to in Ohio?

    • Bill Cravener  October 12, 2012 at 12:42 pm

      “And yet, Bill, Romney is pulling ahead.”

      Oh I don’t know about that Sandy. The only polling I even care to look at is Nate Silvers fivethirtyeight site where he calculates the outcome of the elections. This guy is a numbers guru and called the 2008 elections smack on.

      http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/

      • Sandy Price  October 12, 2012 at 2:50 pm

        Nice link Bill. I will keep it for reference. 538 is the number of House Members or something like that?

  5. Jim B.  October 12, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Good points, Sandy and Bill!…From what the talking heads have said on various shows, Doug’s assessment is in congruence with them — If you’re a Repub., you probably thought Ryan did well, and if you’re a Dem., you probably thought Biden helped stem the bleedng from the first Presidential debate.

    I liked what one commentator said, Biden was really on his game, answering Ryan’s charges point for point which is what Obama did not seem to do in his debate. Also, I thought Biden & Obama both did some effective schtick when they would turn to the TV camera and say, “Listen, if you’re a older American, this is what the other side wants to do to you (or words to that effect)…” It made their presentations during those brief periods intimate and engaging.

    Biden’s a bit of a character, and like one of the PBS commentators said, “He’s a kitchen table guy.”….He’s earthy and came off more real & authentic than Ryan.

    In these debates, Obama & Ryan are more alike in demeanor — cooler and formal, and the Rom and Biden are more alike too — animated and spunky.

    If people wanted to watch a lively debate, this was the one to view…it engagingly held a persons’ interest. Another PBS commentator said that whenever the candidates sit for the debate, the debate is usually much better…So, for the next Presidential debate, bring out a couple of chairs, so it’ll be a more interesting one…..Oh, and a third one, but put that one in the wings so that Clint has someone to talk to.

  6. Steven Stoney Stoner  October 12, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    My The Repulicans here in Ohio,tried to surpress the right to vote,whats up with that?
    Kasich (Gov) here wants credit for the new jobs,when in fact it was union consecions & Obamas cash for clunkers stimulus.
    Biden won the debate by holding ryans feet to the fire.

  7. Jim B.  October 12, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Forgot to mention in previous post that I liked Bill Maher’s tweet during the debate: “Call 911…On TV, there’s an old man beating a young child.”

    RE: Steven’s post….Good points…RE: Voter Suppression…I can’t stand this dirty trick by Repubs. — a solution in search of a problem — it’s a variation on the ol’ Jim Crow laws.

  8. therealraven  October 12, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Biden is an ill tempered and mannered dolt. The snickering and constant interrupting was the display of a petulant child. On the matter of substance I would give an edge to Biden but overall I’d go Ryan simply based on the foolishness displayed by Biden. I think one count had him interrupting 81 times. Raddatz was not that much better.

  9. Danny Adams  October 12, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    As I recall, Romney interrupted Obama enough that Obama said Romney might learn something if he would be quiet and listen. But no doubt those were all polite, non-petulant interruptions.

  10. Sandy Price  October 13, 2012 at 9:05 am

    The replies here to Doug’s commentary are as good as the debate itself. This blog format chosen by Doug is great! and we are terrific. We know why we vote and we are not shy about it.

  11. bryan mcclellan  October 13, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Half of the truth is better than none so from my perspective Joe stuck it in his ear. All would be calling Joe gutless had he sat there and not refuted a blatant liar and huckster.
    Not to say that the shoe fits either of them equally well..hack..

  12. blutodog  October 13, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Doug got it right on. Both did what they had to do for their respective bases. It was a draw for the most part. Martha though spouting right wing Corporatist talking pts. about SSI and Medicare going broke was weak and uncalled for.

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