Thursday, October 11, 2012

- Veep Debate Prediction

Joe Biden is no Barak Obama. Say what else you like about him, but he's no empty suit like his boss. In my view he's an skilled spinner of facts with decades of experience and a great many campaigns and debates under his belt. I don't think he's going to flub anything tonight. (It would be hugely fun if he did, but I won't bet on it happening.)

I'm nothing but a fan of the skinny Irishman and "numbers guy" from Wisconsin. I think he's considerably smarter than Biden (I know... fairly low bar) and he certainly has a clearer idea of what is in the best interests of the country. But he's also young, and inexperienced relative to Joe. It's not impossible that he makes a small mistake or two that Biden and the media then proceed to beat him over the head with.

Romney up against Obama is a white Muhammad Ali vs. a black Pee Wee Herman, and that makes it tough for even the press to defend their guy. But the Biden - Ryan match up is more of an even bout. The press will be looking for a way to make any Ryan slip up into a breathless catastrophe for the Republican ticket.

Joe doesn't generally trip up when he's talking about policy. He trips up when he's trying to be engaging for the crowd. He simultaneously holds a contempt for voters as a group, and a great personal affection for people individually. And it's when those two conflict in his head that he ends up looking idiotic. But he's not idiotic, he's a politician. And while those two classifications have much in common, they aren't exactly the same thing.

Obama needs a little emotional remoteness and pretentiousness to prove to his liberal white supporters that he's different than the people they see coming up from the hood. It's the only reason they have any respect for him. But Biden doesn't need that. He can manage folksy without seeming illiterate. He can be 'down to earth' without seeming to condescend. That makes him a much more formidable debate opponent, and it gives Ryan the much harder fight.

Ryan can beat him because Ryan is smarter and has a better grasp of the facts. I think much depends on how he was prepared. If he ignores his handlers (who no doubt have their own ideas about how he should behave) then he'll probably be fine. But if he lets anyone convince him to be anything other than Ryan unleashed, then I think he might be in genuine trouble.

The upshot of all this is, I don't think this is a gimme for Ryan. But even if he loses I don't think much depends on it. Romney is the alpha male here, and Obama is the most subordinate beta male. So long as Ryan manages to more or less keep pace with Biden, it's not going to change anyone's mind no matter how hard the press tries to make it do so.

7 comments:

Tom said...

The phrase to watch for that will indicate Ryan holding up his end will be:

"This is ANOTHER example of the difference between how things work in Washington, and how they work in real life."

ikaika said...

When you listen to Mutt's like Hardwood, the vp debate is about style points. He's practically salivating that there should and will be a "smackdown" - to quote the shill.

I doubt there will be a smackdown or a "bazinga" moment.
I expect a night of cold, hard boiled eggs and a note of nostalgia for what could have been (that's the Obama campaign).

Biden will do a fine job leading the charge that they are on track with jobs numbers etc...
Biden will preach about helping people and how Ryan is mislead.

Ryan - all he has to do is stick to the facts and not get in a sparring match with the moderator.
He can be the irish Spock tonight for all I care. That's a win.

I predict a Tie tonight and that doesn't do a damn for Obama.

I do agree that the Veep debate is meaningless, but as I refer to Stockdale - that was a pivotal moment in Perot's campaign...
Perot supporters (me included) realized that Perot was nothing more than a gimmick candidate and literally put no thought into a proper Veep.


chess said...

Thats it.. A considerate to his elder "Irish Spock".

Keith said...

The mark of Biden's character should never have extended beyond his Kinnock plagiarism. It would have resulted in expulsion from my college. But he was allowed to move on.
I agree he is shrewd, and Ryan needs to watch himself. But it would be nice to pile on a bit to keep the momentum.

ikaika said...

Keith, Democrats cannot be held to reasonable standards. They are special.

chess said...

Somewhere Carl Levin is having a stroke watching Lloyd being an expert on cnbc...I see hearings in Lloyds future..He will be blamed for the Libyan Embassy debacle..

Now all I need is to see Spitzer talking about women's rights

chess said...

Biden, Dems enlisted by energy company to win billion-dollar loan deal, emails show

Imagine this coming out today....Joe Joe Joe....