Listening To, Not Watching, The Biden/Ryan VP Debate

Listening To, Not Watching, The Biden/Ryan VP Debate

As I write this I am listening to the "spin" from tonight's Vice Presidential debate.

Which is the way I experienced the debate; listening, not watching.

I listened to the debate while heading home from a work event, rolling down the highway with the Biden/Ryan rumble on the radio.  Unlike a ballgame or talk show, a radio debate is at best an incomplete experience as so much can be learned from watching a candidate's body language.   For example, both candidates "sounded" poised.  Did they look poised?

As an aside, the Jon Stewart, Bill O'Reilly debate was fun to watch; certainly worth five bucks to view it online.

My quick take?

I was aggravated by Joe Biden's continually interrupting Paul Ryan.   On the radio, it seemed at times like Ryan couldn't finish a sentence without a laugh, sigh or interjection from Biden.  Again, I wasn't watching, just listening.  My wife, who watched the debate at home, felt like on television Biden's mannerisms read differently.

Ryan did fine competing against his higher "bar."  When Paul Ryan was named as the Vice Presidential nominee many felt that he would "school" Joe Biden in the VP debate.  Ryan, the theory went, is a budget wonk who would run circles around Biden on fiscal policy.  Biden had more to lose after President Obama's subpar performance in the first presidential debate than Paul Ryan, but both candidates seemed to hold their own.

In the morning, it won't matter.  Let's face it.  There were some good exchanges but in the long run voters don't pay much attention to Vice Presidential debates.  That's not to say they shouldn't; both men are a heartbeat from leading the free world.  Voters tend to remember moments like Lloyd Bensten's "Your no Jack Kennedy" moment, or James Stockdale in 1992,  but can they remember who either candidate ran with, or against?

Two debates left.  I plan to watch both.


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