The Corner

Another Boor Like Gore

Biden needed to do something to elevate an otherwise peripheral vice-presidential debate into a force to stop the insidiously growing Romney momentum. He did not. To raise the old canard about reactions to debates on radio vs. television, if there were no visuals, then Biden by sheer audacity and aggressiveness might have won a tie against the methodical Ryan. But unfortunately there were visuals — and, far worse even than Al Gore’s poor 2000 performance — Biden’s interruptions, smirking, guffaws, and headshaking reflected poorly on a vice president and will turn off precisely those undecided voters he hoped to woo. “Buffoonish” has often been used of him and it certainly was an apt adjective of Biden in the debate. And as far as quotable whoppers, Biden’s assertions about no pre-9/11/2012 warning about lax security communicated from our Libyan people were simply flat-out untrue; while the blame-gaming the intelligence community only feeds into the larger narrative of tiresome Obama scapegoating — and won’t be forgotten by those so scapegoated. So the talking heads’ conclusions of a draw on substance, and a Ryan win on style and decorum, seem about right — which at this particular point in the campaign means yet another lost opportunity for the Obama effort.

Victor Davis Hanson — NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won.

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