I think the following Biblical quote sums up Joe Biden’s bizarre behavior in last night’s debate with Republican V.P. nominee Paul Ryan very well:
“If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.” –Proverbs 29:9.
Naturally, Democrats have rallied around Joe “the gaffer” following last evening’s debate, saying that was just Joe being Joe.
I thought he was the vice-president and as such he owed a national TV audience a modicum of vice-presidential behavior–that is, being respectful rather than disdainful of your debate opponent.
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And where was the alleged moderator in all of this? ABC’s Martha Raddatz was strangely quiet as Biden smirked, lifted his eyes to the ceiling and shot mocking stares at Ryan.
In fact, Raddatz followed the Biden lead– interrupting the debaters 50 times. She jumped often and heavily on Ryan, interrupting him 31 times, 12 more than the 19 times she cut off Biden. She also took a liberal tone on abortion and let Biden control the tone of the debate by never cutting him off when he stepped all over Ryan during his remarks.
Even CNN’s left-leaning anchor Anderson Cooper said after the debate that Biden managed to “continually inject himself” into Ryan’s comments–an understatement if ever I heard one.
Ryan suggested that Biden’s behavior signaled desperation.
“Mr. Vice President, I know you are under a lot of duress to make up for lost ground,” Ryan said.
Biden immediately uncorked his biggest throaty laugh of the night.
“… But I think people would be better served if we don’t keep interrupting each other,” Ryan said.
In my opinion, Ryan was not forceful enough in going after Biden.
At those points when Biden burst out laughing at Ryan’s remarks on such issues as Iran working toward building a nuclear weapon or how the administration was AWOL when the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were murdered by terrorists in Benghazi, Ryan should have stopped talking and said: “Joe, I am not sure why are these issues are so funny to you, but I can guarantee you they are not funny to the American people.”
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This is the kind of verbal counter-punching that was missing from Ryan’s performance. It was patently obvious that Biden’s mission was to keep Ryan off balance the entire night with his annoying eye rolling, condescending, smug attitude.
That Ryan managed to stay on his feet and weather what has to be the most disrespectful and rude conduct of a sitting vice-president in American history says something about his character.
He would not be pulled into below the belt verbal punch fest that Biden was hoping to create.
Instead, he remained on point and despite the constant badgering by both Biden and his willing sidekick Raddatz, he answered questions as best he could.
There are those who say style is not as important as substance. In a national debate for the nation’s highest office, I beg to differ. Substance should take precedence. That’s a given. But style should not be ignored. It says something about a person’s character.
In 1988 Biden, then a presidential candidate, admitted plagiarizing a speech by Neil Kinnock, leader of the British Labor Party. It was also reported that he also plagiarized a law paper at the Syracuse University School of Law in 1965 for which he received an “F.”
These revelations were reported by no less a left-leaning authority than the New York Times and as a result Biden was forced to resign from the presidential race that year. The Times and other papers said in numerous stories that Biden lacked the mental and verbal discipline to be President.
After last night, it appears he lacks the same qualities needed to be Vice-President.