The first impressions of Paul Ryan’s performance in the debate were of a young guy holding his own against a vastly older and more experienced opponent. Joe Biden, despite his reputation for gaffes and own goals is a solid political performer, and should be. He has done nothing else for over forty years. Ryan however, came off fairly well in his own right with Biden only getting a couple of scores off him.
Had Biden chosen to do so, he could have adopted the persona of the friendly and experienced older man quietly putting the young upstart in his place, but instead decided to treat him with contempt, disdain, and with condescension. Not a good look unless he could win decisively. Instead he failed to land any serious knock out blows and thus came out of it as a guy who has a silly grin and giggles
He has come out of it as an accomplished liar with a couple of identifiable whoppers that have already been mentioned on a number of sites, namely that he voted against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that the Administration knew nothing of requests for beefed up security in Benghazi. Ryan should have picked him up on this. Whether it becomes an issue will now depend on the willingness of the media to publicize it, which is doubtful.
Where Ryan did best was in accepting that the Republican base was already in his corner and playing to the undecided voters in order to get them on side. Biden on the other hand had no such guarantee after his boss fumbled the ball and had to speak to his own waverers. The GOP probably gained the most from this.
All in all, Ryan came out of it better than expected, demonstrating ability in foreign policy, which was supposed to be Biden’s ball game, as well as faring well in his own area of economics. His points on the need for military strength were good, but needed to be presented more forcefully. Still, he managed to get across the way in which Obama in attempting appeasement and to appear to be non-threatening to America’s enemies has put the US in danger.
Barry Goldwater put it better in his acceptance speech with:
“Failures proclaim lost leadership, obscure purpose, weakening will, and the risk of inciting our sworn enemies to new aggressions and to new excesses.”
Polling done after the debate should give the GOP comfort with the CNN poll giving it to Ryan by 48-44%, however CNN gain comfort by pointing out that this is within the poll’s margin of error and declaring it a tie. Go figure.