Biden won on believability just about anytime Ryan was asked for specifics. Yes, reiterating a large framework from which to develop a bipartisan plan on tax reform is an answer. Do we believe Ryan when he says the specifics will be hammered out from there? I’d like to, but I don’t know.
Last night, pundits were saying Ryan won on style and that Biden laughed and smirked too much in his rebuffs. I don’t know that I agree.
I think both candidates had a good night. Overall, it was a draw, with both men doing what they needed to do for their running mates and for their parties. Neither damaged their brand, and, if anything, Biden showed that being Biden can work; Ryan passed the threshold of presidential plausibility.
I can’t believe it’s been 24 years since the last time a young Republican got rebuked for invoking Jack Kennedy. How many people my age remember Lloyd Benston, I wonder?
I’ll also say this: I wish Biden and Ryan were at the top of their respective tickets. I thought the debate was very substantive and detailed, and, in general, respectful. Why can’t the other two clowns sit down at a table like that? I think it goes a long way toward curtailing the bs factor. Not entirely, mind you.