UA-76843172-1

A retrospective of the vice pres. debate

Aaron Sanders
Opinion Writer

It is amazing how campaigns can change within a short period of time. Last week the vice presidential debates were held, allowing the American people to understand and assess the two competing views for America. In what many political pundits deemed a close competitive battle, they ranked Vice President Joe Biden the winner over Paul Ryan.
The v.p. debates are used tactfully to probe the other party’s candidate aggressively; the vice presidential candidates are used as “attack dogs.” They tend to behave in a way that is not of a statesmen, something that became apparent in the debate. The debate was full of rhetoric and statistical data that was used to support both candidates’ agendas. I thought both candidates handled the questions well. In fact, I considered this debate to be more meaningful than the first presidential one that happened earlier.
Ryan carefully commenced the debate by reiterating his five point plan that he claims will restore the American economy. Throughout the course of the debate Ryan decided to rely on statistical data instead of fervor, but Ryan prepared adequately by having command of the federal government expenditures and deficits.
Joe Biden interrupted Ryan on many of the questions because he was well aware of the fact that he prepared for the debate with statistical data and a point of reference. I could sense some type of frustration in Ryan’s countenance. After all, it is natural to become angry when your are interrupted during a planned rebuttal to criticisms of your economic plans.
Ryan lacked style, I found him to be too relaxed and happy while he discussed serious topics such as unemployment. Several students approached me after the debate to express their discontent with his demeanor and aristocratic vibe. Biden’s sarcastic tone gave the debate some interesting moments. He planned to speak to the American people as if he was a regular guy and he appeared to do that successfully. Biden did that by playing on Romney’s 47 percent statements. He accused Ryan of disregarding the American middle class, he called the 47 percent of Americans his parents and the people he knew of from Scranton, P.a.
Biden’s energetic, often humorous, delivery appealed to the masses and this was revealed in the polls. His performance was invaluable to Obama’s bid for reelection. It counteracted a poor performance that was less than tactful by Obama in the previous debate. I was surprised by how well Biden performed because he is notorious for making rash statements that he has retracted in the past.
Some perceived Biden’s behavior as immature, childish, and rude. But I contend his style of debating was not that; he virtually did the same thing Romney did. Credit should be given where it is deserved. Biden could have done without the constant smirking and condescending laughter, however, I do believe that his body language allowed him to win the debate.
I thought Ryan handled the debate well but Biden used rhetoric more effectively. He asserted his position on foreign policy, claiming U.S troops will be leaving Afghanistan in 2014.  He spoke forcefully to demand everyone’s attention on that topic.
Ultimately, I think Ryan lost because he couldn’t connect with the American people as expected. He spoke of budgetary information that the average citizen does not understand. He could have appealed to the viewers emotions better. In addition, the Romney-Ryan political agenda has been framed as policy that is only intended for the elites and corporations. With the Democrats framing economic issue this way, Romney and Ryan have been placed on the defensive side of the economic argument.