It was fairly obvious that Joe Biden walked into Thursday's Vice Presidential debate with a mission. After President Obama's embarrassing spectacle at the first presidential debate last week, Vice President Biden was there to make up the lost ground and inject some momentum back into the Obama campaign. Unfortunately for Obama/Biden, the Vice President's efforts fell flat on his smiling face.
And that was the problem with this debate. Paul Ryan clearly showed up prepared to take a serious look at the issues facing our nation, while Biden's primary goal seemed to be distraction and obstruction. On serious issues like the murder of 4 Americans in Libya and the impending acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran, the Vice President grinned and even laughed at Ryan's serious discussion of the issues. It was like he had been coached to act condescending and rude, and didn't realize that his cavalier attitude might be inappropriate when discussing topics like the embassy attack in Libya or the continuing development of nuclear weapons by Iran.
Not only did Vice President Biden come across as condescending and arrogant on these topics, but he displayed an astounding amount of ignorance, as well. On the issue of Libya he dodged the first question, he denied that the administration had received requests for more security, a statement that was patently false, and proceeded to smile and laugh through Paul Ryan's serious statements about national security. In fact, in the discussion on national security, about the only thing Biden said that was true was "I don't understand what my friend's talking about." He was right: he doesn't understand that President Obama's foreign policy projects weakness to the rest of the world. He doesn't understand how the Obama administration's mixed signals send the wrong message to our enemies.
It was interesting how the Vice President was blaming the intelligence community for bad information when talking about the Libya attacks, but then only a few moments later was relying on the same intelligence community for his complete certainty that Iran did not have a missile with which they could deploy a nuclear weapon. And personally, I found it quite surprising that the discussion of fissile material in Iran, one of the world's largest state sponsors of terrorism, did not include any mention of the possibility of suitcase nukes or dirty bombs.
Biden was full of lies throughout the debate. He lied about the Libyan Embassy's requests for additional security, even though the issue had just been brought up in Congressional hearings earlier that day. He lied about the president's plans to raise taxes on the wealthy. He lied about Obamacare's cuts to Medicare. He lied about the contraceptive mandate. He lied when he said Romney wanted GM to go bankrupt and disappear (besides showing the same ignorance leftists everywhere have shown about bankruptcy when they talk about General Motors).
But the most annoying part of the debate was the constant interruptions. According to the GOP, Vice President Biden interrupted Paul Ryan 82 times...and it seemed that when Biden wasn't interrupting, Martha Raddatz was.
While Raddatz didn't openly shill for Biden, there were enough instances where she played favorites in more subtle ways to give plenty of indications as to which candidate she favored. Several times she pressed Paul Ryan, while giving Biden numerous passes. She wasn't as biased as some of the moderators of the GOP Primary debates, but by the end of the night, there was no question which candidate she preferred...giving the lie to ABC's story that Obama's presence at her wedding would not sway her one way or the other.
After the first presidential debate, Chris Matthews was quoted as saying "This was not an MSNBC debate." And it wasn't - the first Obama/Romney debate was a serious debate about the issues, which is half of the reason why Obama lost. But the Vice Presidential debate was
an MSNBC debate. Biden hit all of the Democratic talking points that the fawning press wished Obama had brought up the previous week. Whenever Ryan started getting into a serious discussion, Biden either started laughing, tearing people's attention away from the argument at hand, or he simply interrupted. Meanwhile, Ryan's classy demeanor was overshadowed by Biden's immature attitude. First we had the "jerk store" President in Obama, then we had "the jerk" in Vice President Biden. In the short-run, Democrats will say Biden won, but in the long-run, Biden's condescending attitude and un-presidential demeanor will convince Americans that he is not the right man to be one heartbeat away from the presidency.