Fiery Populist vs. Calm Data Machine

Some random thoughts on last night’s debate:
1. Whoever prepped Joe Biden is a genius.
He went into the debate as a heavy underdog, because Paul Ryan is articulate, and good with data, while Biden is viewed as an impulsive gaffer, if not downright unintelligent. In the debate, however, Joe Biden managed to carry himself as a no-nonsense populist who could not stand the spin from Egghead Paul Ryan. Not everyone can turn a weakness into a strength.
2. Joe Biden has an incredible dentist.
Given Paul Ryan’s advantage on the comeliness factor, they had to do something to spice up Biden’s appearance. They went all out with his teeth.
3. Joe Biden’s overall strategy was well-advised, yet overdone.
Referring to his strategy mentioned in point 1, he also went too far with it. His amount of laughing at Paul Ryan’s remarks came across to many people as condescending, and he interrupted Paul Ryan 96 times. To many people, he came across as rude and unrefined.
4. In contrast to Joe Biden, Paul Ryan performed precisely as anticipated.
Paul Ryan was calm, chock-full of data, and presented himself as an intellectual. While he certainly was playing to his own strengths, he also came across as somewhat boring, robotic, and in a few cases, condescending towards Biden, trying to present an air of “There goes Biden again.”
5. The moderator was obviously trying to compensate for the complacency of the previous one.
While she was more engaged, she overstepped her bounds, and the unspoken understanding that moderators maintain a degree of neutrality. Verbally, she was all over Paul Ryan.
6. In summation, Joe Biden was the one who performed well beyond expectations.
While Paul Ryan did not underperform, Joe Biden was the one who managed to rally his base to a greater extent, painting Paul Ryan as deceitful, book-smart, and shady. His edgy performance communicated (rightly or wrongly) enthusiasm, a strong identification with the common person, and a grasp of the issues. Both bases have reason to be fairly pleased with their guy, but Biden is the slight winner in my book.

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