Lewis Carroll reports that someone stole the Cheshire Cat's Grin
Reaction on righty sites this morning to the Biden-Ryan debate last night is mostly concentrating on the weird, wacky, and wonderful histrionics of the vice president.
As Allah points out, however, there is method to his idiocy:
I expected "table-pounding atmospherics" from Biden but I didn't expect him to act like a total jackhole for fully 90 minutes. Give him credit for knowing his target audience, though: His task tonight was to get the left excited again after Obama fell into a semi-coma in Denver, and evincing utter disdain for Ryan - grimacing, shouting, laughing inappropriately, constantly interrupting, the total jackhole experience - is just what the doctor ordered. He might have irritated independents and undecideds, but probably not so much that it'll change people's votes. The Democrats needed someone to go out there and clown for liberals, and if there's one thing this guy knows, it's clowning.
Here's a taste of what I mean via Mediaite, centered around one of Ryan's more cutting lines of the evening. For what it's worth, the media lost patience with Biden's shtick too, but I doubt that'll cost him anything tomorrow. And yes, needless to say, Raddatz was also terrible. Exit quotation from Greg Gutfeld: "Biden is the drunk at the bar; Martha is the unhappy bartender, and Ryan is the unfortunate salesman caught in the middle."
For the Obama campaign, it has always been a turn out election. They have the money to beat the bushes for every last Democrat who can walk, crawl, swim, or toddle to the polls. In key states like VA, they are organized down to the precinct level. But that won't do any good if their base is too discouraged to do the scut work necessary to get all those potential Obama supporters to the polls. No doubt Biden lifted their spirits with his caustic, rude, and over the top reactions to Ryan's calm, deliberate answers.
While Biden's mugging might turn off some indies and undecideds as Allah points out, that will be a small price to pay if his slash and burn technique re-energizes the Democratic base.
Was he successful?
Liberals were cheering him on. Ron Chusid:
Joe Biden has already done more to stand up to Romney/Ryan lies than Obama did during the entire first debate.
If people think Dick Cheney out-debated John Edwards, this VP debate is even more one-sided.
This debate looks like a guy with years of experience explaining things to an ignorant kid who has no idea what he is talking about.
Smart statesman versus ignorant warmonger.
"I may be mistaken, he changes his mind so often" -Joe Biden referring to Mitt Romney's position.
Yes Joe, feel free to interrupt when Lyin' Ryan whenever necessary.
Remember when there was talk of replacing Biden with Hillary Clinton? At the moment I am so happy Obama stuck with Joe.
"Just get out of the way." -Joe Biden
I've never respected Bill Clinton more than on the day of his convention speech, and have never respected Joe Biden more than tonight.
Now the Medicare lie from Ryan.
Tie Ryan to Sarah Palin and death panels. Good move.
Facts vs. Bullsh*t.
Joe looks and sounds like a president. Ryan looks and sounds like a mutant combination of Richard Nixon and Eddie Munster.
So goes the Democratic base.
I gave Ryan a slight edge stylistically, but it was a draw on substance. Both men made telling points and scored against their opponent. Neither candidate gave a big boost to their campaign, nor did they damage their chances.
One thing is certain: Biden did not turn around the Romney momentum. But he did give heart to Democrats by his version of "fighting back."