In the past, dentists used nitrous oxide (laughing gas) as one of their primary anesthetics. Several observers of the debate thought Joe Biden might have had a double dose prior to the confrontation. One pundit went as far as to say, “Joe must have had one Red Bull too many.”
It was clear from the start that Biden was determined to take the offensive and to spearhead it by demeaning Paul Ryan as some sort of upstart. For his part, Ryan was remarkably cool and maintained his composure despite the frequent interruptions (82 by count) by Biden. At one point in the evening, Ryan did tell Biden that he would be able to make his point if Biden ceased to interrupt him. Along the same lines the moderator, Martha Raddatz, appeared to join Biden in quizzing Ryan about his facts. This came as no surprise since Raddatz is a product of her left-leaning network. On the other hand, her treatment of Biden seemed to be a personal cozy chat. Joe reciprocated by leaning forward and making close eye contact with Martha.
Following the debate, most of the people in the “spin room” focused on Biden’s laughter rather than any discussion of substantive matters. The only person that gave Biden a “thumbs up” was a distraught-looking David Axelrod, Obama’s guru.
Ryan probably got in the best “zinger” of the night when he noted to Biden that even his words didn’t always come out the right way.
Ryan possibly missed two great openings to rebut Biden when the Vice President said that Obamacare made special accommodations for the Catholic Church when it came to contraception and when he tried to shift the blame for the Benghazi attack to the intelligence community. As to the church question, the Catholic Church is still in the process of suing the administration over the Health Care Law. Furthermore, in sworn prior testimony that week, respected members of the intelligence community stated they had asked for additional security in Libya but were refused.
In most organizations, particularly the military and the government, there is a table of organization where there is a direct line between underlings and top echelon people. Apparently in the Benghazi incident, the Intelligence Department did not talk to the Secretary of State and the Secretary of State’s office did not talk to the administration.
Biden was vehement in his assertion that neither he nor the President was ever alerted. For some inexplicable reason Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was quick to go on TV the next day to further the “stonewalling” that is currently being done by the White House.
All in all, Biden’s debate performance ranged from arrogant to zany and it will be interesting to see if President Obama is able to clean it up tonight. It will also be interesting to see if Obama’s trademark toothy grin is as good as Biden’s.
Harry Spencer is a long-time northern Nevada resident.