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.

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Members have made 27 comments.

  1. Profile photo of Garrett Petersen Inactive

    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.

    • #1
    • October 12, 2012 at 5:07 am
  2. Profile photo of liberal jim Inactive

    Try Obama wins and then dies.

    • #2
    • October 12, 2012 at 5:34 am
  3. Profile photo of John Hanson Thatcher

    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.

    • #3
    • October 12, 2012 at 5:36 am
  4. Profile photo of Hope Member
    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.)

    • #4
    • October 12, 2012 at 5:42 am
  5. Profile photo of liberal jim Inactive

    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.

    • #5
    • October 12, 2012 at 5:49 am
  6. Profile photo of Edward Smith Inactive

    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.

    • #6
    • October 12, 2012 at 5:58 am
  7. Profile photo of Brian McMenomy Member

    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.

    • #7
    • October 12, 2012 at 5:59 am
  8. Profile photo of Wordcooper Member

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

    • #8
    • October 12, 2012 at 6:11 am
  9. Profile photo of Nick Stuart Thatcher

    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?

    • #9
    • October 12, 2012 at 6:11 am
  10. Profile photo of dittoheadadt Member
    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.

    • #10
    • October 12, 2012 at 6:12 am
  11. Profile photo of Indaba Member

    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.

    • #11
    • October 12, 2012 at 6:33 am
  12. Profile photo of At The Rubicon Inactive

    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.

    • #12
    • October 12, 2012 at 6:37 am
  13. Profile photo of The King Prawn Member

    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.

    • #13
    • October 12, 2012 at 6:53 am
  14. Profile photo of Joan of Ark La Tex Member
    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. 

    • #14
    • October 12, 2012 at 6:54 am
  15. Profile photo of Ross C Member

    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.

    • #15
    • October 12, 2012 at 7:09 am
  16. Profile photo of Devereaux Inactive

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

    • #16
    • October 12, 2012 at 7:12 am
  17. Profile photo of Freesmith Member

    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.

    • #17
    • October 12, 2012 at 7:18 am
  18. Profile photo of Pilli Member

    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.”

    • #18
    • October 12, 2012 at 7:31 am
  19. Profile photo of Freesmith Member

    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.

    • #19
    • October 12, 2012 at 7:56 am
  20. Profile photo of HeartofAmerica Member

    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.

    • #20
    • October 12, 2012 at 9:43 am
  21. Profile photo of Sweezle Member

    I dislike the ABC split screen but in this case it did us all a favor. Biden’s behavior was jarring. I can’t imagine many independent or undecided voters will find Biden’s demeanor reassuring.

    • #21
    • October 12, 2012 at 9:58 am
  22. Profile photo of Barbara Kidder Member

    Mr. Dunphy:

    Yours was a very insightful article.

    May I add that the one thing that is worse to contemplate, would be the thought of Senator Biden EVER being President of these United States!

    Over and above the political reasons, too numerous to name, just imagine how embarrassing it would be to watch!

    • #22
    • October 12, 2012 at 10:06 am
  23. Profile photo of Retail Lawyer Member

    I watched and was immediately and continuously appalled by Biden’s behavior. Initially I so wanted Ryan to stop, turn to Biden, and say, “your conduct reminds me of Obama’s when he giggled while saying that he’s learned there’s no such thing as a shovel-ready project. What is so funny about _____?”. I thought Ryan must have trained so hard to not let this get to him. I wanted him to counter-punch.

    But it went on and on. Rather than doing what I would have, and appearing like a 4th grade teacher, maybe Ryan was correct in his handling of it. Biden made I jerk of himself to a degree I have never seen, and on a huge stage. God help us, this is our Vice President! Perhaps this will not play so well with those persuadable voters.

    I felt sorry for Martha and Ryan for having to be so physically close to Biden. My instinct was to get away from him. Really repulsive! What was Obama thinking in choosing him, and keeping him?

    • #23
    • October 13, 2012 at 2:33 am
  24. Profile photo of Peter Robinson Founder

    Interestingly enough, Jack, Charles Krauthammer agrees with you–and the Divine Mrs. D.

    Krauthammer’s conclusion, if I’m correctly recalling what he said last night on Fox News: In print–that is, if the debate had been reduced to a transcript– Biden and Ryan tied. On radio, Biden won. But on television Biden proved such an astonishing boor that he lost.

    • #24
    • October 13, 2012 at 3:16 am
  25. Profile photo of Ojai Scrivener Inactive

    Until last night I only had reports of gaffes from which to draw conclusions about Uncle Joe. But by watching the debate last night, I was able to develop an informed opinion about the Commander-In-Cheek. Things are worse than I’d imagined, and I can only hope and pray that the electorate shift toward Romeny continues.

    • #25
    • October 13, 2012 at 12:21 pm
  26. Profile photo of Maureen Rice Inactive
    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. · 5 hours ago

    Only a heartbeat away…

    • #26
    • October 13, 2012 at 12:22 pm
  27. Profile photo of Ojai Scrivener Inactive

    I watched it, coming to the same conclusion as my wife, who was in the other room, merely listening- that Biden did his party image no favors in the eyes of Independents (or the world, for that matter). He chose to make a mockery of the debate format with his nasty, condescending, over-the-top bullying tactics and demeanor- and to what end? Instead of covering his boss’s tracks he only widened the path of destruction… 

    • #27
    • October 13, 2012 at 12:34 pm