I’ll raise some hackles this fine morning, but if you speak the truth, have one foot in the stirrup. So here goes. Joe Biden may have looked like a jerk, an ignoramus and a garrulous, intoxicated blowhard; but he almost had to. It was his job to be obnoxious. It was a professional foul, and he succeeded in making The Romney/Ryan ticket shoot foul shots instead of tearing the rim off with an easy slam-dunk.
There was more positive news for Paul Ryan than I initially believed after I listened to the debate on the radio. I’ll get to Ryan’s positives later. Let’s start off with our friend™ VP Joe Bidenopolis.*, **
Bidenopolis was assigned with allowing a lot of Democratic candidates down ballot to skip a challenging mathematics class; one that involved Bayesian Decision Analysis. The decision would have worked like this:
A) I stay on board with Obama/Bidenopolis. I support the ticket to the hilt, and if I live in a competitive state, I very publically invite them to fire up my troops in the home district. This gives me P(Win|I endorse and associate with Obama/Biden) = X.
B) I ditch The Kenyan and The Kingfish the way I would that needy ex-girlfriend with two or three social diseases. I promise to be a loyal opposition and a conscience to whichever side wins. I’m an Independent-Minded Democrat this time out. This gives me P(Win|Ditch the National Ticket) = Y.
So the decision comes down to this: If Y>X then Ditch!
Else, Stay the Course. Support The Prez.
I would say that Biden got this done. He was a lying, fulsome and flatulent gas-bag with a grin; but he was their unregulated sack of greenhouse gas emissions. He was their point source of EPA non-compliant dishonesty emissions. He fought for the Dems, so the Dems will suck it up and fight for Good Ol’ Scranton Joe. Chris Matthews gives us the hard left spin. I’m no fan of HardBall, but it does give us a good barometer of the core Democratic Party Base. They appreciate Biden’s efforts, and Camille Paglia will probably be the last Left-Wing Public Intellectual to bolt left to the Green Party.
So what did Paul Ryan get out of this debacle? Didn’t he just blow his chance to sink Moby Dick? Not entirely. Paul Ryan jumped a hurdle last night. He faced a hard and unpleasant job interview. He passed it. Even Chuck Todd gave Paul Ryan credit for keeping it cool under fire. What Ryan showed is that he could go into a charged and difficult room and keep a cool head. This was an excellent contrast to the image Biden was portraying. The cool head is way easier on the upholstery than the exploding one!
So what do I take away from this? Both sides accomplished a mission. Joe Biden convinced demoralized Dems that he and Barack Obama haven’t tendered their de facto resignations after they lost their polling lead last week. Paul Ryan looked pleasant, intelligent and composed.*** It almost looked more like a compromise than a debate. Biden got to fire up his troops. Ryan got to look good as a potential world leader in training. This won’t move the dial, but it stops the Democrats from bleeding and it leaves Mitt Romney in a slightly favorable position. I’ll take that outcome and hope that Mitt Romney gets closer to closing the deal next Tuesday.
*- I speak of our friend™ in the sense that Senator McCain would have meant it.
**- Huey “The Kingfish” Biden has been played out. And he did introduce himself once as Joe Bidenopolis </snark
*** - The juxtaposition with Biden didn’t hurt him in this endeavor in the least.