The Jerk Won

by Michael Graham

My Twitter feed is divided on the question of who won tonight (a snap CNBC poll gave it to Ryan).

But pretty much everyone is in agreement — Joe Biden acted like a jerk. His grinning, mugging, eye-rolling behavior is an SNL skit waiting to happen.

Some Obama supporters were thrilled to see Joe Biden “go ugly early” on Ryan. They loved his passion and his dismissive “you’re barely worth debating” demeanor. Watching him smile and smirk as Ryan answered questions fed their anger.

Personally, I don’t think it worked. I find Biden off-putting, but I’m a Ryan fan.  More telling is that my largely apolitical wife, who watched the debate for 20 minutes and left the room. “I can’t take Biden any more!”

Biden’s arguments were solid. He struggled with Libya — but Libya is tough for the Obama administration.

Paul Ryan’s answers were solid. He struggled with abortion, but that’s a tough issue for Ryan.

But the arguments and statistics were overwhelmed by Biden’s behavior. Biden could have chosen to play the cool, calm character he was toward the end of the debate for the full 90 minutes. Instead, he let his arrogance and self-importance carry the day.

The jerk — Biden’s inner jerk — won.

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