8:58 I’m chugging a Bourbon if Biden says “The Onion” at any point tonight
9:00 Steve Schmidt points out that debaters should have a strategy going into a debate. This is absolutely true. Even if the candidates think they can just answer their opponents, without understanding the overarching themes you want to get to you will get bowled over.
9:03 I expect this Benghazi question to be the biggest substantive deal in this debate
9:04 Not sure if I agree with Biden going off the Benghazi specific issue that quickly. Ryan can say he’s ducking the question.
9:08 Ryan shifting to sequestration early
9:09 “Be specific” — Martha is already better than Jim Lehrer
9:11 “In a crisis we pull together as a nation.” Solid play Biden
9:13 This Iran question is the first one where Ryan is really getting into his “here’s a bunch of out of context numbers” mode
9:14 Biden’s face was priceless there. I smell a meme.
9:16 Biden is very well-versed in the data on Iran. Ryan’s first salvo of random numbers seems to be falling flat according to my flowchart of the issue.
9:18 Uh oh. Ryan pushed a brink for this impact that swamps his solvency. That’s for any debaters reading :-)
9:19 “Bibi” Wow.
9:20 Here’s what happened in my view. Biden won on every level there. He had better numbers, higher credibility. Pushed Ryan into defensive on the sanctions, and used the same phrases and frameworks as Ryan and turned them.
9:23 BOOM! Romney changes his mind so often. One of the key strategies for Biden tonight is getting Romney’s credibility rattled. Well done.
9:24 Biden has memorized a LOT of numbers for tonight. He was ready for a debate with Ryan.
9:27 Ryan is not answering the “responsibility” claim. That’s going to be the boom on the return.
9:29 Has Paul Ryan followed the Palin lead and allowed Joe to talk about his personal loss? My god. Have they learned nothing?
9:31 The $90B figure is so debunked. Bad move.
9:33 Ryan cited a report that concludes in favor of the administration. His out of context numbers burned him
9:35 Biden just might be ready to debate these numbers. Ryan brought them all up in a prior meeting with Biden and Biden had no answers that day. Bet he does today.
9:37 Vouchers. Drink
9:38 The real test of Martha is if she lets this “is this a cut or not” debate reach a resolution
9:40 Ryan did a smart move trying to question the $6400 number. It is technically for the prior Ryan plan and not the current one. But he needed to go further. Sounded defensive.
9:42 Biden is conceding arguments for fun, telling Martha “aw forget it” for Ryan claims she was going to call out
9:45 @Daveweigel just tweeted “David Mamet wrote great dialogue for this debate
9:46 I hope I have this command of numbers when I’m 69
9:48 This is an “ethos” strategy for Biden — He is looking to undermine the credibility of the Romney-Ryan ticket both to kill their ability to sell any sort of message going forward and to bolster their defense of the first debate that “Obama was off his game because Romney was lying.” And it’s working so far
9:51 Biden knows the studies Ryan is talking about…and that they all but one conclude for the administration. This is an astounding command of evidence out of Biden
9:53 The Kennedy and Reagan examples are both bogus — they resulted in short term growth, like a stimulus package, AND both of them were more progressively applied
9:54 Can’t “guarantee.” That was a smart gambit by Biden and it worked.
9:55 GREAT MOVE BY MARTHA. Both sides oppose the Defense sequesters and so she takes the topic off the table. Exactly what a good moderator should do. It’s a fake issue.
9:59 A friend just said “Obama + Biden divide by 2 = normal human levels of aggression”
10:01 Ryan flubbed the “problems growing abroad and jobs aren’t at home” line that was supposed to be a zinger.
10:04 Biden should use the line “these guys say, ‘trust the commanders’ right up until they tell us something they don’t like”
10:07 That was a great, spontaneous exchange. Biden knows much more about East Afghanistan was the takeaway
10:11 Ryan is sounding very neophyte on foreign policy
10:12 Ryan is now agreeing that the two sides agree. Good point. But he narrowed it to “we should cooperate with groups in Syria” which Biden already said is the status quo.
10:15 Abortion. Martha is literally the worst possible moderator for the Republicans
10:16 Ryan tries to turn this to contraception debate? Really?! That’s a bad move because it invites the idea that Romney-Ryan and Akin personhood are one in the same
10:18 Biden is such a master of tone. He can bring it into somber and personal on an abortion topic while just yelling over Syria and Afghanistan. This is one of those atmospherics that he really has mastered.
10:22 Veterans are 47%. Brilliant retie to the strategy. Remember my first comments. A strategy keeps you grounded.
10:24 Ryan’s line about Obama in 2008 is falling flat, but I see where it was supposed to go. It was supposed to allow him to parry attacks. Instead Biden (Martha) has flipped it by casting Romney as saying anything with no backup. Now they are the ones Ryan is really undermining by saying “you cast them as something to run from”
10:27 Martha with the first format (6 questions instead of 9) would have been epic.
10:30 Personal reference and a blue collar upbringing moment. CHUG!!!
10:31 “We want to earn your support.” A line that probably sounded better before having the moderator and opponent yell, “but do you have a specific answer 20 times
10:35 Matthews scoring is almost right. Ryan won the first question. Then Matthews sees the rest either a draw or Biden favored. I disagree. Biden won every other exchange based on my flow.
10:36 On the first question, Ryan got to explain Benghazi for a long time and Biden kept trying to shift the question. But after that Biden got under Ryan’s skin by knowing the conclusions to all the cites Ryan threw out there. Then Biden had his way.