Danville, Kentucky: This past Thursday it was VP on VP action as Joe “big f—king deal” Biden and Paul “three-hour-marathon” Ryan teed off in a state known for the two things that make America great: Fried chicken and animal cruelty.
Biden had some lost ground to cover after Obama lost in the last debate, according to the mystical scoring rubric of national media. But Biden is no slick-smiling young hope-and-changer, he’s a man full of piss and vinegar and before the debate he had run out of vinegar.
Ryan, for his part, had to live up to his reputation as the smartest person in the Republican party which, if you think about it, is kind of like being the skinniest kid in fat camp. So long as he didn’t drool on himself or insist that the vagina can repel rape sperm, Ryan was pretty much in the clear.
But then again, this was Biden. There is no anticipating what will come out of the man’s mouth, whether thinly veiled racism or a whole lot of whoop-ass. Fortunately for the Obama campaign, this time it was whoop-ass.
Showing appreciation for the debates of his time, Biden wasn’t too keen on the whole “you talk, I talk” bit and managed to get in a word for every three of Ryan’s. This was helped along somewhat by the moderator, Martha Raddatz, who wasn’t as much a moderator as a third debater.
Ryan struggled under the burden that has plagued his and Romney’s campaign; the request for details. But rather than bore the American people with facts, Ryan provided a number of things the plan wasn’t. Many analysts have put forth that the Romney/Ryan campaign is trying to display the playful side of the Republican party by making their platform a kind of 20-questions game. Ryan insists that the plan is smaller than a breadbox.
But where Obama’s debate strategy was to avoid pointing out weaknesses in his opponent’s position, Biden went all in. He ranted about these Republican kids and their bad ideas and how back in his day people had to walk to Congress uphill both ways and when they got there they had to grapple the opposing party in a two-hour battle royale just to decide who got their coffee first. Then the loser had to grind the coffee with their teeth and serve it scalding in their cupped hands while the winner gloatingly lapped it up.
He even called the Romney/Ryan campaign a bunch of “stuff”. Ryan pointed out that this was Irish for “shit”. Directly translated, it means “potato”, but the connotation is a bad sort of potato, so it’s roughly equivalent to “shit”. Interestingly, Biden also used another Irish term, referring to Ryan repeatedly as “my friend”, which roughly translates to “asshole”.
In their closing statements, Biden managed to come off as somewhat human while Ryan did his best impression of being heartfelt. All in all, the hour and a half of debate was great for both vice presidential candidates. After all, it’s the most TV time either of them will get for the next four years.