Mark McKinnon: Biden, Ryan Battle to a Draw

Biden brought the passion Democrats passionately missed in the president. And Ryan showed he could play in the big leagues. Mark McKinnon on two strong showings that won’t decide the race.

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Paul Ryan held serve. And Joe Biden threw his racket and argued with the ref.

And both men achieved their goal.

Paul Ryan was calm and competent. And looked like he could sit in the big chair if necessary.

Smokin’ Joe Biden served as prosecutor in chief, engaging the jury and cross- examining the witness.

Republicans got what they wanted from Ryan. Democrats got what they wanted from Biden.

The question is what did voters in the middle think?

The debate presented a vigorous back and forth between two competing world visions.

Stylistically, Biden was hot, maybe too hot. Republicans claim he interrupted Ryan 82 times. And argue that his repeated smirking and shaking of his head came off as condescending.

Ryan did a good job of not losing his cool under steady heat and fire. And was in solid command of policy on both foreign and domestic policy.

And Biden was a passionate defender of his boss and wasn’t shy about taking the offensive to point out where and when he thought Ryan and Romney are wrong.

So net effect? An entertaining and informative debate that both sides will likely claim as a win, but won’t likely significantly change the overall equation.

It’s going to be up to the guy’s at the top of the ticket to make the final sale. As it should be.