About halfway through last night’s debate between Congressman Paul Ryan and Vice President Joe Biden, the VP’s answers – and his unsteady countenance – revealed someone who felt he’d lost. Biden’s pre-debate spin was that he would enter in attack mode, eager to make up for his boss’s universally panned performance the week before.
The problem for Biden was that Ryan drew blood fairly early, thus making any attacks seem desperate. In that case, wobbly after a few blows from Ryan that he couldn’t effectively answer, Biden’s tone took on a yelling quality; the yelling an attack substitute for substantive points that he was unable to make.
Compare this to Congressman Ryan. Whether viewers agreed with him or not, he seemed bigger than the debate, and his slightly unhinged partner. Whatever the question, Ryan had a quick answer or answers, and replies came in a calm, measured tone.
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