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In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Friday October 12 2012

I stayed up, not so much to watch the Vice Presidential Debate, as to see what would be made of it by others, most especially the BBC.

The BBC’s lady with big blond hair said (a) that it was too close to call, but then (b) called if for Ryan.  Two reasons for making Ryan the winner.  One, Biden had to win, to get some momentum back for Obama.  A draw was enough for Ryan.  So Biden actually lost.  Two, Biden actually did lose, because of all his smirking and interrupting and condescending.  Biden did all that wrong.  Ryan did nothing wrong.  So, Ryan won.

The BBC agreed, in other words, with PJTV drunk blogger Steven Green, who also had Ryan winning.  It’s not a knockout, but it is a win.

My personal take?

At first I was rather impressed by Biden, but then I started to find his air of forced merriment unsuitable for the grim things he was arguing about.  I was glad to see that others thought that too and that it wasn’t just me.

Biden was the more obvious “performer”.  Which is not good.  He was the one trying to create an atmosphere, like an old school stage actor.  Ryan seemed more himself.  Which could just mean that Ryan is a better performer.

Because Ryan was defending while Biden attacked, it looked like Ryan was the actual Vice President, defending four defendable years of him being Vice President and Romney being President, rather than Romney and him being the challengers.  But that may have been because I had the sound switched off for quite a lot of it, while I read other stuff.

If you had seen those two faces in a thirties or fifties political movie, you’d have said Ryan was the young brainy lefty Democrat, while Biden was the old country club Republican President.  But old Republican President is not the persona you want for an attack.

As it was, Young Ryan was under pressure from both Old Biden and the big blond American TV lady.  Ryan kept his cool.  He proved himself a better guy than lots of those watching may have realised.  The general American opinion of Ryan will surely go up, even if only a bit.  He was under big pressure.  He did not buckle.  He was the one who proved he had the Right Stuff.

I didn’t see it, but we are not seeing the equivalent of the more or less universal “Romney won it” response we got to the first presidential debate. Mostly, people are reporting it as their candidate won it. Plus, its only the vice presidential debate anyway. This only makes news if one candidate screws up big time, which doesn’t appear to have happened. So this is of little if any significance to the election, I think.

Posted by Michael Jennings on 12 October 2012

I agree that this doesn’t count for much.  But so many things are now going wrong for Obama/Biden, and it all adds up.

I agree with those who are now saying that although fairly insignificant in itself, this ding dong illustrates Obama’s problem.  The Dems now reckon that their guys have to be more “passionate”, but passionate about what?

They have nothing to say.  Which meant that Biden’s “passion” just came over as bad manners.

Romney/Ryan’s lead is such that everything now has to go right for Obama/Biden.  Last night, another thing went wrong.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait on 12 October 2012

Romney/Ryan have a lead? That’s not my perception at all. My perception is that at least in terms of the electoral map they are coming from behind - and are still behind - but are closing the gap quite fast, but they didn’t do much for that last night.

Posted by Michael Jennings on 12 October 2012

Electoral Vote dot com parodied itself today: it is a leftist-run site that aggregates the polls and publishes a map showing what the owner thinks the current outcome would be.

After explaining that “Biden won the debate” I looked at the map. Two states that on Wednesday were blue for Democrats are now red for Republicans.

Maybe Mr Biden looked more like a performer. But his ticket looks less and less like winning.

Obama is 58 electoral votes down at the moment on 2008, and the Clintons haven’t yet hit back over Obama’s decision to blame Hillary for the Benghazi fiasco.

At the moment, the trend is for a solid win by Romney. At 1.1% swing right now would give Romney and extra 56 votes. He’s currently looking like 30 or 31 short a winning score.

Before the debates: http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2012/Pres/Maps/Oct01.html

Before Joe Biden vs Paul Ryan: http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2012/Pres/Maps/Oct10.html

After the debate: http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2012/Pres/Maps/Oct13.html

BTW, a tie is a win for Mitt Romney: if there’s a draw the House of Representatives elects the President (one vote for each State delegation). As Republicans look like having a majority of House of Representatives seats in 31 states, with four more tied, and 15 for the Democrats, Romney wins with 269 electoral college votes, but Obama needs 270.

Posted by Antoine Clarke on 14 October 2012

Meanwhile… did you see this WSJ article over the weekend? High level Communist apparatchik likes Rothbard? While the US chooses between Obama and Romney?

(if the article’s truncated Google Zhang Weiying to get full version)

Posted by cerebus on 15 October 2012
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