Monday, October 8, 2012

Biden-Ryan: It just doesn't matter times ten

After the first debate between President Obama and Governor Romney, after the smoke had cleared to reveal that a huge percentage of people (67%) believed Romney had mopped the floor with Obama, our erstwhile media elites instantly began an "it just does't matter" campaign:

Sure, there were excuses aplenty offered for Obama's poor performance, but in the end this was all written off as meaningless because Obama was still going to win, end of story. And yet, less than a week later, the President's sizable advantage in the polls has seemingly evaporated. Democratic leaders are promising a better performance in the next debate and now frantically pumping up this week's Vice-Presidential Debate between Biden and Ryan. CNN says "the stakes are higher" now in this debate, while Michael Tomasky of the Daily Beast opines that this debate could be "the rock’em-sock’em-est of them all."

Yeah, okay.

How about a little reality check? The 2008 Vice-Presidential debate between Biden and Palin was--more than anything else--a set-up for Saturday Night Lives skits. True, it was the most-watched Veep debate in history, but this was almost entirely due to Sarah Palin. Sorry Joe, but that's just the way it is. People tuned in to see her, not Biden. Some wanted to see her lay the smack down on Crazy Uncle Joe, others wanted to see her fall flat on her face, and many just wanted to see her, period. Pretty women have that effect on many guys (like yours truly).

Most agreed Biden came out ahead in the debate, though most also thought Palin was the "more likable" of the two. Note the great hypocrisy here: in 2008, the liberal media put no weight on this, on Palin's "likability," arguing that voters were more concerned about issues (even though the VP slot means almost nothing for the General Election). Now--following Romney's trouncing of Obama--they're hanging their collective hats on "likability," arguing that it is the critical metric, since Obama beats Romney there. Funny stuff, but I digress.

The upcoming debate has a chance of eclipsing the numbers of Biden-Palin, when it comes to viewership. And if it does, it will be because of Ryan. Not Biden. People will be tuning in to see what Ryan can do to Biden, by and large. Personally, I have a hunch that the debate will turn out to be a largely boring affair, that Biden will lay out some pre-planned one-liners (which the media will be all atwitter over the next day), Ryan will calmly attack the current Administration's polices, and that will be that.

Who will win? Who cares? Biden is an entrenched DC politician whose skill set goes no farther than the halls of the Senate and the corner bar. He's prone to gaffe-making and for the past four years has contributed very little, aside from bringing the pretzels to the "beer summit." Ryan is a policy wonk and a standard-bearer for the tea party movement. The first is near the end of the road, the latter is just hitting full stride.

But all of that is besides the point; we're talking about a VP debate. And at the end of the day, it just doesn't matter.

Cheers, all.

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