Did You Watch the Debate or Just Listen to It?

Our experience here in the Dunphy house illustrated the divergence in perceptions between those who watched the Biden/Romney debate last night and those who only listened to it. I watched on television while the Divine Mrs. Dunphy prepared dinner, allowing her to hear it but not watch.  She came away with an impression similar to Peter’s, i.e. that Ryan seemed ineffectual and passive while allowing Biden to shove him around. 

But I, having watched the exchange, was left thinking what I have thought for quite some time — that Biden is a gaseous blowhard, one whose habit of smiling at inappropriate times gives one cause to question his sanity. There were times I thought the men in the white suits would come creeping in from the wings with four-point restraints and take him away “for a good rest.”

Honestly, if there is anything more frightening than the thought of Barack Obama as President of the United States for another four years, it’s Joe Biden as Vice President.

  1. Garrett Petersen

    Honestly, both Biden and Obama made the mistake of having too much contempt for their opponents.  They show their contempt in different ways, but that’s what it comes down to.

  2. liberal jim

    Try Obama wins and then dies.

  3. John Hanson

    And if one remembers the Kennedy-Nixon debate from 1960, Kennedy won on TV because of optics, wheras radio listener’s thought Nixon won.   TV view of the debate won out, as it will here with Biden shooting himself in the foot with his poor behavior.

  4. Hope
    Jack Dunphy: Honestly, if there is anything more frightening than the thought of Barrack Obama as president of the United States for another four years, it’s one of Joe Biden as vice president. · · 50 minutes ago

    I agree. I was thinking that one good thing to come out of this debate was that if someone were to accuse me of wanting Obama out of office due to racism,  I could now honestly say that I dislike (or stronger) the old white guy he’s running with as much as or more than him. (Not that I ever liked Biden, but I hadn’t had enough exposure to him to realize just how awful he is.)

  5. liberal jim

    I agree with your assessment.-  Brit Hume said that he had met Biden several times and that he is  an intelligent and good person.  Now I think Hume is one of the better journalist, but unless he is a close friend of Biden,  the idea that he thinks he knows who or what Biden is, really is absurd.   I have no knowledge of what kind of person Biden is, but more than likely he is a con artist like 95% of politicians.  The arrogance of journalist who think they know what public figures are really like, because they met them a few times, I find amazing.

  6. Edward Smith

    Both.  The YouTube video feed was time-delayed, and NPR more instantaneous, so I listened to it the way my dad used to listen to Yankee games.  Sound on the radio and video on the screen, muted.

    Mind you, he liked the sportscasters on the radio better.  He used to listen to the game on the transistor radio when he was at the the stadium.

    Biden was aggressive.  If you like aggressive, you liked Biden.  Ryan was polite and factual.  he let the aggressor wear himself out.   Which works for people like me who stick around for the whole debate/fight.

    My takeaway was that you were better entertained by Biden than Ryan.  But Albert brooks noted that Biden reminded him of the guy who sold him his worst car.  You smile and laugh, but when it comes to who you buy from, smart people buy from Ryan.

  7. Brian McMenomy

    Charles Krauthammer had the same take, that if you simply listened to the debate, you might have thought Biden won, but if you watched, he clearly lost. 

    Jason Chaffetz might have had the best line concerning the Veep’s behavior: “If my 11-year old had behaved like that at the dinner table, I would be..(motioning with finger to come over to him)..let’s have a little conversation…”.  If the standing Vice President is being compared unfavorably to an 11-year old, he had a bad night.

  8. Wordcooper

    My wife was disgusted by Uncle Joe’s behavior. I was resigned. I think that Joe really appealed to his base…blustering union thugs.

  9. Nick Stuart

    Having thought about it a lot since the debate, I’ve not come up with a reasonable way for Ryan to push back on Biden without losing points for being disrespectful, or turning the debate into more of a bad remake of a McLaughlin Group than it already was. Especially since Ryan was having to debate both Biden and the the moderator.

    I turned the thing off halfway through. My general impression of Biden as a true nether eye [hopefully the Chaucerian expression of a term still popular today will survive CoC review] was cast in concrete.

    As someone on twitter observed:  “This time last week we were saying ‘I can’t believe THAT guy is president,’ today we’re saying ‘I can’t believe THAT guy is vice-president.’” What sane person would sign up for another 4 years of THAT?

  10. dittoheadadt
    liberal jim: I agree with your assessment.-  Brit Hume said that he had met Biden several times and that he is  an intelligent and good person.  Now I think Hume is one of the better journalist, but unless he is a close friend of Biden,  the idea that he thinks he knows who or what Biden is, really is absurd.   I have no knowledge of what kind of person Biden is, but more than likely he is a con artist like 95% of politicians.  The arrogance of journalist who think they know what public figures are really like, because they met them a few times, I find amazing. · 16 minutes ago

    I’m pretty sure I heard someone on a Ricochet podcast sometime in the past 6 months say complimentary things about Biden’s intelligence. I don’t remember whether it was a regular or a guest, but I’m pretty sure it happened. Actually, I’m sure it happened, becuase I remember exactly where I was when I heard it, because I was so totally surprised by that opinion.

    I wonder if whoever said that still thinks it.

  11. Indaba

    The union thugs would have seen one of their own last night, fighting to keep his and their place at the trough.

    With the moderator compromised by contact with Obama at weddings and ex-husbands, she should have excused herself. Jury members do so for far less.

    i have watched the debate through the Internet, not TV.  Ryan won on content and form. Biden was strange. He was off his meds whike Obama was on his meds?

    It is time for Conservative politicians to stop doing media with those who do not like them. TIME magazine has insulted yet another, Paul Ryan.

    There are enough alternatives to get the message out without giving TIME and MSNBC their content.  One of the Ricochet members was saying his newspaper has become Ricochet. 

    I have watched some of the clips from last night and read Twitter feeds. Biden’s teeth and the moderator seemed to have also gained participation scores!

    From a Canadian view, Ryan was a class sct, smart and knowledeable.

     Joe, give me a break, Biden? No wonder the treasury is such a disaster with Obama and Biden in leadership roles which they have seriously compromised through these very telling debates.

  12. At The Rubicon

    I am even more impressed with Paul Ryan than I was prior to the debate. Real men – who are comfortable in their skin, know what they know, and own what they own – remain in control of their emotions and don’t let the obnoxious drunken bully jerk get to them.

  13. The King Prawn

    A female friend of mine said she had to look away in order to not miss what Biden was saying. Those who saw him could not hear him.

  14. Joan of Ark La Tex
    Indaba: 

    With the moderator compromised by contact with Obama at weddings and ex-husbands, she should have excused herself. Jury members do so for far less.

    i have watched the debate through the Internet, not TV.  Ryan won on content and form. Biden was strange. He was off his meds whike Obama was on his meds?

    It is time for Conservative politicians to stop doing media with those who do not like them. TIME magazine has insulted yet another, Paul Ryan.

    There are enough alternatives to get the message out without giving TIME and MSNBC their content.  One of the Ricochet members was saying his newspaper has become Ricochet. 

    I have watched some of the clips from last night and read Twitter feeds. Biden’s teeth and the moderator seemed to have also gained participation scores!

    From a Canadian view, Ryan was a class sct, smart and knowledeable.

     Joe, give me a break, Biden? No wonder the treasury is such a disaster with Obama and Biden in leadership roles which they have seriously compromised through these very telling debates. · 10 minutes ago

    Spot on. Biden interrupted Ryan 82 times, and more if we count Martha’s. 

  15. Ross C

    Biden is everything I loathe about politicians, a mile wide and an inch deep man who spouts truths, half-truths, and outright deceptions all with the same unshakable confidence that he will never be called on it.

    His obfuscation of the Benghazi question by taking a 50 second world tour of foreign policy quagmires is a thing to behold.

  16. Devereaux

    “When a wise person debates with a fool, the fool rages and laughs, and there is no peace and quiet.” Proverbs 29:9.

  17. Freesmith

    Here’s an observation that you won’t have heard before:

    Not a single question about the dire condition of America’s inner cities and the tenuous economic well-being of black Americans.

    Not a single question about immigration, legal or illegal.

    Apparently, the Middle East and “the middle class” are so much more important than our own cities and our own borders that there’s simply no time to talk about them.

  18. Pilli

    I had PBS on in the next room and listened while working on a time sensitive project.  My impression was that Biden won.  Mrs. D. and I agree on that.  I also wondered who was in the debate several times though.  Martha seemed to want to prove she was as tough as the guys.   Probably is; but we didn’t need to know that.

    I have seen several comments in earlier posts that Biden lied – a lot.  We know that because we’re wonks.  The gal behind the counter at Kohl’s or the guy at the gas station aren’t and wouldn’t have known they were lies.  Ryan lost because he didn’t confront Biden’s lies.  A lie, well told, sticks.  Ask any Democrat.

    Finally, Biden made a comment that went something like, “So you’re Jack Kennedy now?” Trying to produce a Dan Quayle moment.  If only Ryan had said, “No, I’m not and I don’t pretend to be. But I’m smart enough and bi-partisan enough to learn from him.  Apparently you and President Obama are too stuck in your Socialist ideology to learn from even a fellow Democrat.”

  19. Freesmith

    On Tuesday the Supreme Court heard arguments on a forced diversity, affirmative action quota case. It is widely reported that the Court is re-considering the constitutionality of reverse discrimination policies.

    As Frank Ricci and the New Haven, CT firefighters showed, this is a subject of some interest to the very middle class that Biden says he is looking out for and that he and Ryan come from.

    It was a given that Martha Raddatz would have zero interest in discussing state-sponsored and elite mandated racial diversity.

    But Paul Ryan didn’t bring it up, either.

    Do you think if he had made a powerful denunciation of race-based policies in education that such a stand would have had an appeal to voters in Ohio and Wisconsin? 

    But no, let’s talk about Syria instead.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but when Iran and Iraq fought a long war in the 1980s, with a million casualties, I don’t remember Ronald Reagan and Walter Mondale debating whether the US should intervene or not in 1984.

  20. HeartofAmerica

    I was very interactive with my television last night…mostly when Biden and Marthawould interrupt.  I thought Al Gore was over the top with the eye rolling but Biden was worse. Can’t wait to see the next debate.