by David Atkins
The reviews are in: Joe Biden cleaned Paul Ryan's clock last night in the Vice-Presidential debate. It's unclear just what the impact of that might be for the election, but there's no question that Biden's performance lifted progressive spirits while potentially moving undecided voters, among whom Biden won the debate across many polls.
Those on the left would like to believe that it was Biden's command of the facts and figures that won the day. But that would probably be putting too much faith in the undecided voter, who largely has no idea what the facts are. More likely, it was Biden's commanding personal presence on the stage that did more to sway the debate, just as Romney's display of alpha-dog confidence won him the first debate despite being as devoid of substance as he was full of lies and evasion. In a sense, the two debates were mirror opposites of each other in that polls afterward showed that the loser of each debate (Obama and Ryan) came across as more likeable. But that didn't help their cause.
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