The Thursday Night Debates

Tonight, Joe Biden showed the Democrats do have a story to tell. In my opinion (reinforced by most of the snap polls) Biden won the debate, even after subtracting for his goofy grin and interrupting.

If President Obama can be aggressive and relatable, as Biden was, he can change minds. Is he capable of that? I’m no longer sure.

A few weeks ago it looked like a done deal. Now it does not.

I watched two debates tonight. First up was the Connecticut Senate debate, which we aired on FoxCT.

Too close to home. I’ll leave the candidates unjudged by me.

If they didn’t hate each before, the certainly do now. Ouch.

I knew some of the people onstage. Al Terzi, Laurie Perez and Chris Keating all work with me at FoxCT/Hartford Courant. That adds an interesting twist to my viewing.

They’re my friends. I want them to do well.

They did.

On to the Veep Debate. I thought Martha Raddatz from ABC News did a great job. Having both candidates in close proximity is the way to go. All debates should be staged that way.

After the first presidential debate I hung my head in shame. I, along with everyone else, though President Obama did a terrible job. That debate still could cause the Democrats to lose the White House. I said it then. Little has happened in the interim to sway hearts.

Tonight, Joe Biden showed the Democrats do have a story to tell. In my opinion (reinforced by most of the snap polls) Biden won the debate, even after subtracting for his goofy grin and interrupting.

Vice Presidential debates seldom change things. Remember, the guy who said, “You’re no Jack Kennedy,” lost.

If President Obama can be aggressive and relatable, as Biden was, he can change minds. Is he capable of that? I’m no longer sure.

A few weeks ago reelection looked like a done deal. Now I’m not so sure.

7 thoughts on “The Thursday Night Debates”

  1. I do not believe for a second that Obama didn’t throw that debate deliberately as part of some longer term strategy. He’s not a strong debater, but he’s not the slouch we saw at that debate by a country mile. My big concern is that his strategies have a history of not always working out so well. Look at his mishandling of the ACA negotiations and the debt ceiling debacle. Just the same, I’m pretty confident that he intended to let Romney spew all over him for this debate. Now, for the next debates, the bar is extremely high for Romney and extremely low for Obama. These bars were not set artificially by both sides trying to set their own bar low and their opponent’s bar high as was the case before this debate. These bars are set in people’s minds based on something tangible that they witnessed. If Obama had trounced Romney in the first debate it would not have been much of a victory, because everyone saw Romney as a weak opponent. When Obama beats Romney in the next two debates, he will be beating someone thought to be harder to beat than anyone on either side previously thought. He’ll be beating someone who is perceived as a tough and worthy opponent. Now lets see if the strategy works…

  2. Sorry Geoff At best it was a tie. I was put off by Biden’s bizarre laughter. He seemed to find everything from Libya to Iran to unemployment hilarious! Even a PBS correspondent called his mugging for the camera “really, really inappropriate.”

    Taking all policy out of the equation, and focusing on the angry, rude VP, I question his ability to successfully serve as President in the event of something were to happen to the President.

  3. I completely agree with Ed! Joe Biden’s performance last night has only reinforced my strong belief that he lacks the ability to serve this great country in the event something were to happen to the President. The United States of America would be in trouble if that were to happen. That is one of many reasons the Obama-Biden ticket will not have my vote this November!!

  4. In my opinion, Joe Biden has always been a buffoon. Last night he proved that once again. What an embarrassment to the democratic party that he should sit there, not even just smirking but full out laughing as if he were participating in some comedy revue. Paul Ryan kept his composure and he looked totally professional and commanding. If Obama couldn’t run our country, should he win this election, and Joe Biden took over, we would be in a world of trouble. It’s just not his demeanor that irritates, it’s his entire rude behavior that puts me off. If you’re working in foreign policy with folks on the other side of the world and you’re in a disagreement with them, you can’t sit there laughing and interrupting. When you’re constantly interrupting your opponent, you’re not listening to what they have to say because you’re only focused on your own thought. My feeling is his laughter is out of nervousness and blatant disregard for his opponent. Foreign policy leaders are opponents. Conversely, I have no doubt that Paul Ryan could take over this country with finesse and confidence. He has respect for his opponent and he’s a very smart man whether we agree or disagree with his politics.

    As for Martha Radditz, I disagree with you Geoff. I think she did a terrible job as moderator. She completely lost control of that debate and her biased politics got in the way. If you rewatch that debate you can easily see that Mr. Biden, on several occasions, was provided with more time than Mr. Ryan. In addition, Mr. Biden and Ms. Radditz were, it appeared, having their own debate at one point. I
    don’t feel she should have had the liberty of conversing with Mr. Biden. When asked a question he should have been allowed to answer that question and not get into a full on discussion with Ms. Radditz leaving Mr. Ryan to sit on the sidelines. Debators don’t debate with the moderator. The moderator is only there to ask the questions. Ms. Radditz appeared to be trying to clarify Mr. Biden’s answer. That was not her role. And, while she allowed Mr. Biden to ramble on, on several occasions she cut Mr. Ryan off.

    All in all, I do agree it appears as if Mr. Biden may have won that debate on content if you prefer a democratic approach. However, even still I would have no confidence at all in having him lead this country and he is an important part of the democratic ticket. On the other hand, Mr. Ryan gives a strong impression that he is refined and confident enough to handle the office should the need arise.

    I will be very interested to see what happens at the next Presidential debate. I think this next one will be the deciding factor for many undecided voters. I don’t happen to think Mr. Biden actually helped his party last night at all.

  5. MXManners is soooo right. You are talking about a man who was President of Harvard Law Review,considered to be the highest honor a student can attain at Harvard Law??? Something even the Bush Family couldn’t buy for one of their own. I think Obama did the right thing by staying calm while Romney ran his mouth. The next debate you will see the strategy start to become more apparent. Geoff I know you like to gamble, I would bet you that Obama won’t even have to get get out of his chair on Nov 7.

  6. Two people will sway my decision on who to vote for in this election.

    Bill Clinton and George Bush. History speaks volumes.

    Nuff said.

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