By The College Democrats
After Obama’s rather passive debate performance, the campaign needed a jump start, a catalyst to get the gears in motion once again. That catalyst was Joe Biden. I’ll be blunt, I liked Joe Biden in the Vice Presidential debate; he went out there swinging and reenergized Democrats across the nation. He was passionate, aggressive and alert. He came to rumble, throwing some verbal left hooks that would have made Joe Frazier proud.
Biden landed several power shots on Afghanistan, green jobs and the stimulus. He landed a big haymaker when he brought up the irony of Ryan’s stimulus angst despite requests for stimulus funds for his district to “create growth and jobs.” Biden brought everything I thought Obama was missing in the first debate and a little bit extra.
Biden’s take-no-prisoners strategy came out early in the debate and he made it a point to fight for every inch of ground, often personally taking on the role of fact checker for Paul Ryan and staying on the offensive with the Romney/Ryan plan. Biden often rejected Ryan’s statements, with an unwillingness to accept them at face value, and was more than happy to call out any “malarkey.” I found it refreshing to see Ryan challenged not by the fact checkers the next day like Romney, but by Biden on the spot. Romney did an excellent job of this in his debate with Obama, challenging nearly everything that came out the President’s mouth and I was pleased to see Biden return the favor, particularly in the exchange on Medicare.
Biden displayed a level of energy throughout the debate that was not only impressive but contagious, and I very much liked how he handled the questions on being Catholic and the negativity of the campaign. The latter was a topic I thought Ryan did a poor job on by refusing to acknowledge any share in blame for the elections tone. One of the most important aspects to come out of this debate was Biden showed the nation that the Democrats still have spunk and they’re not going to lie down and take it, that they are more than willing to fight back .
Granted, Biden may have been a bit overzealous when the debate got heated or when he had taken great issue with a particular “fact” or statement that Ryan said. But, I think Democrats across the nation needed to see that there’s still a willingness to fight for the election. Biden definitely seemed to speak more off the cuff, while I couldn’t help feeling like I was watching a commercial during Ryan’s closing statement. I’m still surprised Romney’s voice didn’t come over the loud speaker and say, “I’m Mitt Romney and I approve this message.”
This debate was not one-sided though, Ryan was no slouch and he was more than willing to fight back, making this debate high energy and rather exciting. Ryan seemed to try to shed some of previous numbers only approach and may have even outpaced Biden with the number of anecdotes he told. Ryan promoted Romney’s more humane side, the anecdote about the family for whom Romney paid their children’s college tuition was needed to contrast Romney’s comments on letting Detroit go bankrupt and the now infamous 47 percent remark.
Overall, this was Biden’s debate. Whether you were praising his passion and aggressiveness or criticizing it, Biden was the talk of the debate. Biden was able to bring back a sense of passion to the campaign, reminding Democrats that the election is still worth fighting for and setting the stage for Obama to continue to build on this new found energy, redeem his past performance and retake the White House.