(10:44 PM) I'll give credit where it's due. The Vice President won this debate, in the sense that a VP debate can be won. He dominated stylistically, was the more assertive of the pair, and pulled no punches. The guy's a natural.
But let's not kid ourselves. Paul Ryan's no pushover, and while he was certainly the Beta male on that stage, there was nothing in his performance that will be pointed to as a dire failure.
TLDR: Biden wins, Ryan average, VP debates don't matter unless it's a blowout. This wasn't. I'll see everyone for next week's liveblog.
(10:29 PM) Closing statements are flat. I'll note one thing. Biden slams Ryan for "putting two wars on a credit card." You know who else voted for those wars?
(10:20 PM) Really don't like the use of the line "unelected judges" from the GOP. It's a nice buzzword, but argues against a principle of our governance. We don't elect judges for a reason.
(10:12 PM) Reader comment:
Biden might look mean, but Ryan looks weak since he won't punch back. America would rather have a mean leader than a weak one - ask Michael Dukakis, he got savaged by George Bush back in '88, spent the election crying foul and lost. Modern America has elected mean candidates (LBJ, Nixon) never a weak one.
As someone who's reading the LBJ biographies right now, I concur. He was one mean son of a bitch, but he won.
(10:09 PM) Going to call out a lie from Sullivan.
10.02 pm. Ryan says that "jobs are not growing at home," but abroad. Unemployment in America is now at 7.8 percent; Europe's is headed toward 12 percent. Lie.
This line is either woefully misinformed or blatantly misleading. Ryan isn't talking about Europe. He's speaking about Asia and South America. Come on, Andrew, you're better than this.
(10:04) We're on the surge and talking about a timeline. Flashback to 2008, but it's about Afghanistan, not Iraq.
(10:00 PM) What a difference a week makes. Sully is downright exuberant at Biden's performance tonight. I think it's justified. You don't survive 30+ years in Washington without being one savvy, savvy guy. It's showing tonight.
(9:56) Reader comments:
"The CNN "undecided voters" group is 31 people from Norfold, NC. Wondering how much this group is skewed in tendancies toward GOP given N Carolina's usually red state status, even if it is now purplish."
Prior to the debate, CNN talked with them. 35 percent for Obama, 31 percent for Romney, rest undecided. So yes, highly unscientific. No argument from me there.
(9:52) Now a note for the Vice President. Raising taxes on 1M+ earners and tossing out demagoguery isn't going to cut it, either. The Obama/Biden tax plan is silly.
(9:46) Now that we're on taxes, let's provide a preface. Romney's tax cut plan doesn't work. I'm a Republican, I support Romney, etc. But you can't cut that much in such a stagnant economy and expect to break even. Even with a deductions cap, it just won't happen.
(9:42) There's a difference between being assertive and a jerk. Joe crossed that line about ten minutes ago.
(9:37 PM) Both parties making the direct sale to seniors on Medicare and Social Security. Yet to hear a mention of the concerns of those on the younger end of the electorate. Then again, we don't vote. So there's that.
(9:32 PM) Did John McCain prep Biden? My friend, my friend.
(9:27 PM) Ryan's soft, boyish voice paired next to Biden's gruff, rude demeanor. This an inversion of the last debate. We'll see how it works out.
(9:21 PM) Note the yellow line on CNN, which tracks women's responses. They soar during Ryan, crash under Biden. My guess? They don't appreciate seeing the old, dickish guy bullying the moderator.
(9:15 PM) Biden is openly mocking Ryan, laughing while he answers questions, smiling just enough to show off that face lift, and being mighty aggressive. Looking like the alpha male in his administration.
(9:13 PM) 13 minutes in, we move to Iran. Raddatz wants "absolutely clear and specific" responses about how effective a strike on Iran would be.
(9:10) Immediate observation: Raddatz is a far more active moderator than PBS' Jim Lehrer. She's unafraid to cut off the VP and Congressman.
(9:09 PM) Biden comes as close as possible to calling Ryan a liar. Will be a meme this evening.
(9:02 PM) Raddatz starts by asking about Libya, which we discussed earlier today. I highly recommend you check out Eli Lake's coverage over the past month to learn more. Needless to say, the administration has underperformed on this.
(9:00 PM) -- And we're off!
(8:50 PM) -- Moderator Martha Raddatz warns people to turn off their cell phones by reminiscing about the time her cell phone went off at the White House to hip hop song "Ridin' Dirty." If you aren't familiar with the song, don't stress it. Video of Raddatz's embarrassing moment is embedded below.
Welcome to the VP Debate live blog.
I'll be monitoring comments, featuring the best, and offering thoughts over the course of the evening. If you'd rather send in your reactions in a more private manner (and I'm happy to post anonymously), feel free to email me at email@example.com.
When things are done, I'll be highlighting the best reactions, offering up some final thoughts, and posting David's feelings on the debate. Should be an exciting night.