RON HART: The VP debate debased
Eager to make amends for his boss’ debate debacle in Denver, Joe Biden left nothing to chance. He got to Kentucky early so he could adjust to the altitude. He took seven days off to study and practice for the debate, raising the question: Time off from what?
The first presidential debate concluded with a tectonic shift, the “Mile High Meltdown” of Obama. Exposing his total lack of self-awareness, the smirking Obama actually thought he had won the debate that night. The shifting ground beneath his feet had his handlers and apologists in the mainstream media blaming anything they could.
Vice President Al Gore, himself the 2000 debate "Sigh Young" winner, blamed Denver's altitude. In reality, it was the latitude the soft media have given Obama that caused him to be outmatched.
The presidential debate was earth-shaking, but if the geo-scientific community petitioned to name a tectonic plate after him, Obama would say it would never, ever be his fault.
On Thursday, Biden set out to defend the indefensible: Obama's record. You know you are in trouble in the polls when you have to rely on Joe Biden to bail you out.
Paul Ryan, age 42, was only three years old in 1972 when Joe Biden was elected to Congress. Thursday's debate looked to be a Lloyd-Bentsen-like elder statesman versus a still-wet-behind-the-ears Dan Quayle clone. Biden intended to make Paul Ryan look like Dan Quayle. Paul Ryan's simple strategy was to make Joe Biden look like Joe Biden — and he succeeded.
Biden rolled his eyes, hissed, whined and awkwardly grinned the whole time. My college-age daughter, Hollis, texted me during the debate: “Biden looks like an 8th grader who had been put in a time-out chair without his ADD meds.”
Biden even lied about security at our consulate in Libya. “Well, we weren’t told they wanted more security there.” Maybe Joe was right, given that 10 days after the Sept. 11 attack the administration was still peddling the story that it was sparked by a 13-minute YouTube video. He is right: our government should not have to provide red carpet security for a movie premiere.
Biden seemed to answer every question about big events in history with a story about him being there. He is like Forrest Gump without the IQ.
Ryan did a great job of reiterating our founders' principles. Examples abound when countries lack basic principles: Libya, for instance.
Joe Biden (who is considered one of our least intelligent politicians) and his president, Barack Obama (who we are told is the smartest president ever), are in total agreement on everything.
These debates are supposedly tightly controlled. There is a 31-page document of rules and admonitions to which the participants must adhere. The detailed agreement is only eight pages short of the one a woman has to sign to date Tom Cruise.
Much to the Dems' dismay, the CNN poll taken after the VP debate showed that Ryan won 48 percent to 44 percent, which seemed about right. The two men sparred to a factual dead heat, but Ryan came off as more likable and reasoned.
With his capped Chiclets teeth and his hair plugs, Joe looks like a guy who owns a string of car title pawn shops in the greater New Jersey area. He had to ask his wife to marry him five times. That tactic seldom ends in an engagement; its usual result is a restraining order. Biden's dismissive laughs, condescending tone and buffoonish behavior really turned off women voters. Maybe Biden will have to ask them five more times to vote for him, like he had to ask his wife.
That is not campaigning, it is more like sexual harassment.
What passes for fair today is that all four moderators are liberals. The fix is in; rumors abound that Candy Crowley of CNN has leaked the upcoming presidential debate questions to the Obama camp. ABC's Martha Raddatz, Thursday's moderator, is so close to Obama that he attended her wedding. She let Biden interrupt, distract and get away with being Biden. He even complained about not getting enough time, yet he was given more speaking time than Ryan. Raddatz was not as good a moderator as PBS' Jim Lehrer, and she went after Ryan unfairly.
She should have put Biden in the "time-out" chair for his boorish behavior. Since she would not, it is up to us to do it on Nov. 6.
A syndicated op-ed humorist, award winning author and TV/radio commentator, you can reach him at Ron@RonaldHart.com, Twitter @RonaldHart or at visit RonaldHart.com