October 11, 2012

Dead Fred got a real show in Danville tonight

Photo courtesy of Yahoo News
Centre College in Danville KY was the home for tonight's VP debate, the second time they've hosted this event.  Centre College is probably more known for including a portrait of alum and former Supreme Court Justice Frederick 'Dead Fred' Vinson at all important events; although the real Vinson died in 1953, he hasn't missed a trick since then. 

The portrait was in attendance tonight, and Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan did not disappoint. 

We saw the real Joe Biden - passionate, scrapping, no holds barred emotional reactions to Ryan's comments. I think we also saw the real Paul Ryan -- he's a wonk, he's got a lot of facts and figures memorized, but I think he struggled getting them out. 

I saw it as a Biden win, as did many other folks in the twitterverse and in the wrap ups, but others seemed to focus more on who smiled when, or on body language, rather than on what the two candidates said. I'd like to think we pay more attention to what they say, rather than what they look like -- this isn't Kennedy/Nixon, after all. 

Some pundits believed that since he lived through it, Ryan did what he was supposed to do. Remember, after all, Mitt Romney's comment about Ryan's debate experience; expectations were pretty low:
I don’t know how Paul will take on the debate,” Romney told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “Obviously the Vice President has done 15-20 debates in his lifetime—he is an experienced debater—I think this is Paul’s first debate. I may be wrong, he may have done something in high school we don’t know.

Fact-checking seemed to somewhat favor Biden, although for the most part there was at least a portion of truth in most of what was said.  Ryan repeated the Romney line that current Navy strength is lower than at any time since before World War I, which was determined to be a 'pants-on-fire' statement.  I'm sure there'll be more of this tomorrow, as folks review the tape. 

On the key social issue, abortion, Ryan defined their policy:forbidden except for rape, incest and life of the mother -- but also reiterated his belief that life begins at conception, so there's a bit of a 'principles with exceptions' there.  Biden, on the other hand, said his beliefs are his and not to be imposed on everyone else. I appreciate that.

In case you missed it, here's the video - courtesy of YouTube.  Make up your own mind, and remember, the most important thing you have to do in November is vote.

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