Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

October 13 Show: discussion of Thursday's Veep debate.

   On today’s Show (10/13/12) we will discuss the debates—the Veep, past and upcoming Presidential—and the latest polls. Our guest will be Jeff Cox. The weather’s nice but chilly. This probably will be our last Show on the deck for this season. Of course, this is Indiana, so next week could be beautiful and 80 degrees (or miserable, sleety and a high of 42).

   As to the debate Thursday night and who won, let me go through the scoring categories, with a maximum of five points for each.

   1) Delivery: Vice President Biden and U.S Representative Ryan each had adequate deliveries. There were a couple more stammers and audible pauses in Ryan’s responses. Score: Biden 4 to Ryan’s 3.

   2) Responsiveness: What? This is a so-called debate during an election campaign. Candidates are hard-wired to respond with segues and migrate to their campaign talking points. That said, I thought Biden was more direct. The moderator, Martha Raddatz, hit Ryan pretty close to home on the numbers for Ryan’s and Romney’s budget plans. Do you have specific numbers or are you still working on them? Ryan could not really respond. Score: Biden 4 to Ryan’s 1. I would have given Ryan more, but the lack of response on the budget question is central to the Republican campaign. I would have given him a 5 if he had taken the time to tell us the math.

   3) Evidence: In high school and college we used 4" x 6" cards with quotes, from authoritative sources, written on them. Here, I listened for facts. Both candidates exaggerated or ignored. Again, Ryan exaggerated and ignored more. Biden scores 4, Ryan 2.

   4) Demeanor: What was the deal with the constant smile/laugh from Biden? If it was meant to throw Ryan off, it might have been effective. If it was meant as a tactic to jar the opponent, maybe it worked. If it was not, it only was annoying. At least Biden did not look down at his notes the whole time. Ryan’s demeanor was appropriate for the setting, but he seemed ruffled at times, particularly when he was cornered on specifics or thrown into the time machine and reminded of past statements he has made about Social Security and Medicare. Biden scores 4 and Ryan 3.

   5) Organization: This is a draw at 3. Each candidate seemed capable enough to conform to the format and his own plan. Nothing stellar here.

   6) Gaffes: Nothing major for either candidate that resonates this morning. Call this a draw at 3.

   Totals: Biden scores 4-4-4-4-3-3. Ryan: 3-1-2-3-3-3. Final would be 22 to 15. That score is average for a high school round; below average in a college round.

   My pick was Biden by 7 ½. He won, but Ryan beat the spread.

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