Morning Briefing: October 12, 2012
by Jen Green
Paul Ryan won.
Not only is that my opinion, but it seems to be the general consensus among everyone who does not pray to someone named Marx, Mao, or Che, or who doesn’t draw a paycheck from the DNC. Even CNN grudgingly admits it with their numbers, although their headline belies it.
So, we’re a country divided once again.
Paul Ryan showed serious composure under pressure last night. He was rightly nervous–he’s never faced this kind of event in his relatively short career. He first ran when he was 29 years old. Since then he’s run either unopposed or with token opposition. Last night was the biggest test of his mettle to date, and he performed adequately against a career politician with a practiced shtick. At times, he gave brilliant answers: his response to the tax question and Biden’s subsequent class warfare screed was excellent. His final wrap up statement was poignant–reminding America of the string of failures this Obama administration has been.
But perhaps the most admirable quality he showed last night was restraint. At the very least, he didn’t challenge the WWF bully sitting next to him and his tag-team partner the moderator to a smackdown right there on network TV. I have a feeling he and his six-pack could have taken them both. At his very best, he remained calm and when given the opportunity to talk, he gave good answers.
I could have done with a bit more assertiveness from the Wisconsin congressman, but that will come with time. I hope to see a “I paid for this microphone” moment from him someday.
I also hope that someday I hear him repent of his newly adopted “you can kill the baby in certain circumstances” position. Until joining with Romney, Ryan could truly say he was pro-life. Think of how much more powerful his answer would have been last night if he hadn’t had to add that caveat once Biden pointed out his flip-flop. He had a great answer on his faith and on life . . . until that point.
And Biden? Well, what did you expect? He’s a pugilist. He’s a career pol. He’s a showman. He’s got nothing to lose–this is the end of the line for him. Go with what you know. He did his job last night. He was supposed to show the fight Obama did not, he was supposed to fire up the faithful that Obama let down, he was supposed to get the sycophants on the alphabet channels to sing the tickets praises again.
Mission Accomplished. But to what end?
Foreign policy expert Richard Miniter, a past guest on our show, wondered this about Biden’s performance: “Swing voters are more than half female and more likely to be single or divorced than married. Did Biden remind those voters of their ex-husbands: not listening, not respectful, interrupting and always having to have the last word? If that’s what those voters thought, then Biden just hurt the Obama re-election effort. Biden lost.”
I would tend to agree. But does it really matter? Probably not. Although it might have made for an interesting news cycle or two, this debate will not decide the election. The men at the top of the ticket are named Obama and Romney–not Biden and Ryan.
The silver lining to all this? The Bible verse Proverbs 29:9 is trending on FB and Twitter so much you’d think Tebow painted it in his eye black. Why? I’ll let you decide . . .
“If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.”