Many pundits are calling the debate a draw, but the polls demonstrate a clear Ryan victory. This is largely due to Biden’s demeanor.
Chris Cillizza, the Washington Post: “Nasty edges characterized Biden’s performance. . . He went overboard and bordered on bullying Ryan. Biden’s derisive smiles and laughs while Ryan tried to answer questions weren’t great optics for the vice president and his repeated interruptions won’t make those who think politics should be more civil happy.”
Jennifer Jacobs, Des Moines Register: Biden’s “smirking will turn off voters in Iowa, where polling has shown he has a likability gap.”
Ron Fournier, National Journal: Biden was “sarcastic and condescending – a stylistic blemish against his workmanlike rival.”
Betsy Martin, Meet The Press: “Biden constant smiling reminded me of Gore’s constant sighing in 2000.”
Tom Brokaw NBC: Biden “can’t contain himself” . . . He shouldn’t smirk or laugh while discussing serious issues like Iran and Libya.”
James Hohmann, Politico: “It is hard to imagine Saturday Night Live not building a funny skit around Biden. ‘What about your laughs?’ will be the new ‘What about your gaffes?’ One reaction among the CNN’s undecided voters group was that Biden came across like a ‘buffoon.’ It will be problematic for the Democrats if this impression takes hold.”
We learned “my friend” is Biden’s code word for “someone I can’t stand”. Netanyahu and Ryan were his “friends.” Biden must have a lot of friends.