Congressman Ryan fumbled whenever the superb moderator, ABC’s Martha Raddatz, pushed him on specifics. His budget claims ranged from mathematiclaly impossible to hilarious. His point about America’s foreign policy “unraveling” (a great word rhetorically) went largely unsupported, and the foreign policy he espoused for Governor Romney was as vague as Romney himself.
So who won the debate? Ryan.
The spatfest beautifullly illustrated Aristotle’s point that ethos trumps logos. (Do we repeat ourselves? Have you heard us say this before?)
Vice President Biden was his absolute self, which was the problem. He grinned. He mugged. He interrupted constantly. Advisors had clearly coached him to act very, very un-Obama. As a result, he came across as simultaneously arrogant and goofy. Figaro can’t wait to read the transcript of Biden’s performance. He’s guessing the words are pretty great. Biden’s a very smart guy. But the VP’s great logos came out of a big cartoony ethos.
While Biden seemed to forget his chief role—to buck up his boss, the President of the United States, Ryan talked up Romney whenever possible. Ryan came off as crisp, respectable, likeable, and decisive. We’re guessing he won’t come off nearly as well in the transcript.
Figaro’s score: Biden wins on points. But Ryan wins.
Best line of the night goes to Ryan: “Mr. Vice President, I know you’re under a lot of duress to make up for lost ground, but I think people would be better served if we don’t keep interrupting each other.”