Biden Vs. Ryan

Joe Biden Beat Paul Ryan, But Veep Debate Was a Mediocre Snoozefest

Biden beat Ryan in a vice presidential debate that was lackluster and boring—and doesn’t matter anyway, says Tunku Varadarajan.

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And the winner of that debate was… Martha Raddatz.

What a lackluster, mediocre, snooze of a debate that was between two men, one of whom, God forbid, will become president if his frontman dies in office. Please join me, all of you, in wishing Barack Hussain and Willard Mitt a long, long life. Long, long, long, long, long.

Joe Biden won, but unattractively. Paul Ryan was stiff, over-rehearsed, canned, tediously anecdotal, a white, Irish Catholic squeaky-voiced Bobby Jindal, if you will. But Biden was haughty, condescending, belligerently beaming, and belligerently toothy...his vice-presidential enamel at war with Ryan’s Wisconsin provincialism. Who is Biden’s dentist? I want his number. Now.

As a debate, this was a sideshow, 90 minutes of stilted silliness, an intermission interrupting the real deal. Ryan was found wanting—inevitably, perhaps, after Romney’s triumph last week. But it was a lack that sprang from callowness: a woodenness that was green, that was raw, that was inexperienced. The older, slicker Biden, with four years of veep-hood under his belt, had some gifts handed to him on a platter. But as the debate progressed, and as we moved into territory that Ryan found more comfortable—the deficit, taxes, the economy—Biden began to scowl, and bridle, and butt in, pushing the moderator, Martha Raddatz, for more time, more seconds.

Ryan lost. No question. But Biden was a bore and, frequently, a boor. That said, this was the most unmemorable VP debate ever. (Admiral Stockdale, all is forgiven.) All I can say is, bring on the main course on Tuesday. There’s a reason why we are subjected to only a single vice-presidential debate. It’s because THEY DON‘T MATTER!