Thursday, October 11, 2012

Calling the Veep Debate

Not being smart enough to quit while we're ahead after nailing the first debate, the Naked Dollar will take a stab at the Veep debate tonight.

The call: both sides will declare victory, and both will honestly think they've won.

I think it's almost a given that Ryan will perform admirably. While it's true he hasn't formally debated in a while, he has spent the last few years traveling the country, participating in forums, town halls, etc. He's used to being challenged, he doesn't shy away from it, and he knows his facts like nobody's business. Also, he has a likeable, non-threatening, mid-western persona.

Ah, Biden. We all know his shortcomings, the biggest of which is that he weighs in about 40 IQ points shy of Ryan. But I think he makes up for this in sheer political canny. This guy has been around, and he knows how to fire up a room.

After Obama's debate disaster, you can also count on Biden to be really aggressive, and this will be where everyone thinks their guy won. Remember, that as a long-serving member of the Senate Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committees, Biden was a serious attack dog, going after Republican appointees in the nastiest, sleaziest sort of ways. Tonight, this will cause Republicans to recoil in disgust but will be red meat for Chris Matthews groupies. How independents react will be key.

I give Ryan a slight edge, though, on two counts. The first is that Biden has been doing debate prep for six days now. I think we all know that's not Joe. Too many facts just won't fit in there, and it will stifle his natural flourishes. You might say, "Good, he gets in trouble when he's extemporaneous," to which I say, sure, but that's when he's at his best, too. Joe is Joe. Can't wave pixie dust and turn him into someone else in six days.

Secondly, Biden could be the greatest debater on earth and he still couldn't defend the last four years. This is why going nasty is his only option.

Pop some popcorn, grab a beer, and watch the zingers fly.

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