I didn’t watch the Vice-Presidential Debate. After watching a bunch of clips of it, I wish I had. Joe Biden went mental. I’m not sure that he made any salient points, but he put on a show, gesticulating like a silent film star. It might not be good politics, but it was certainly good theater.
It raises the question, of course, of whether Biden is mad. Not angry, but mad as a hatter mad. He probably isn’t, but he could be. His odd and inappropriate behavior was certainly refreshing after the President’s narcoleptic performance in his first debate. After the President’s woeful effort, the pressure was on Biden. He delivered, I guess.
I imagine Biden’s debate prep going like this:
Aide: Mr. Vice-President, when he mentions Medicare or Medicaid, that is your opening to say that Romney plans to take 700 billion out of the system, while the President’s plan is actually 700 billion in savings. You must stress that at every opportunity.
Biden: Yeah, I’m sure that’s a good idea, son. How about this? Every time he says anything, I’ll just laugh like a f***ing tool.
Of course, if the VP were truly insane, this would be problematic. Normally, the VP is just an ineffectual twit like Al Gore or Dan Quayle. Common sense dictates that we are indeed fortunate that neither of those empty vessels ascended to the White House; however, neither appeared to be certifiably deranged. Biden, perhaps, is different.
Actually, I doubt he is truly daft. If you learn about his background, he’s quite impressive. He has overcome terrible tragedy and illness and spent most of his adult life in the U.S. Senate. I think the man is an entertainer. I suspect he read my post on how to liven up the Presidential Debate and took it to heart.
Poor Paul Ryan and his wonkish–yet compelling–numbers crunching. As soon as he would make a point–or attempt to do so–Biden would cackle or roll his eyes or fart to draw attention to himself. It was like they forced Ryan to debate Jim Carrey.
From what I saw of the VP Debate, I came away with three impressions of Biden:
1. Laughing is okay, I guess, but I would try to tamp it down when topics like terrorism and assassination are being discussed.
2. He might have been high.
3. As annoying as it was, it’s a good laugh–a hardy guffaw. I think he really did think everything was funny. Maybe he is nuts.
Ryan’s reactions were funny, too. He seemed baffled by Biden. One time my mother had a bad reaction to some medication and couldn’t make any sense when I talked to her. Ryan probably felt like I did then.
With no more VP debates, Ryan is now at a disadvantage–at least as far as being interesting is concerned. Should he try to counter Biden’s Ace Venture: Vice-President performance? If not, why not? If so, how?
Ryan is no shrinking violet. We know he can run a marathon in Kim Jong iL-like times. He has the body fat of a world-class athlete. He poses for pictures like this:
I like this, because I also like to pose like that:
Okay, those pictures are irrelevant. I just needed an excuse to post one of me. Let’s continue.
Ryan also has an impressive story and, like Old Joe, has spent his adult life in Congress. He also appears to have a sense of humor. That’s a good thing. With a month left before the election, he must let the public know that Biden isn’t the only able to capture the public’s imagination.
Why should he try to out-Biden Biden? Ryan impresses me as a smart guy. I like a lot of his ideas. That’s all well and good, but it won’t help dim the glare of Biden’s Bidenness. Besides, no one votes for the VP anyway, except possibly the candidates’ families. Think about it: Mondale, Quayle, Gore, Cheney–No one would vote for them. Even when we do, we know it’s a mistake (Bush the Elder). Okay, I’ll admit that most people did vote for Gore, but what the hell were they thinking? Oh, yeah, GW. Let’s move on.
None of this will sway votes, but it should be a matter of personal pride. Ryan needs to make an impression these last three weeks. Boring numbers about deficits and entitlements won’t do it. Here are five modest suggestions:
1. Donate his widow’s peak to Biden to make hip youthful-looking hair plugs.
2. Hook up with Biden’s daughter. Call Biden Poppa Joe.
3. Mock Obama’s Kenyan heritage by challenging him to a marathon.
4. With no future debates, try to explain budget plan to confused old men at a Waffle House lunch counter.
5. Publicly announce that “If that old man laughs at me just one more time, I’m going all P90X on his ass! You can write it down!”
These pointers will help, but Ryan has to step up. Again, this won’t win the election for Romney, but it will entertain us, and that’s the important thing. Perhaps, Ryan can attend the next Presidential debate and then he can laugh uproariously throughout. Maybe he can guest star on Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and debate Sugar Bear.
(I would make one serious suggestion: Fire the aide who suggested the anecdote about the family maimed in a car wreck, since–ahem–Biden’s wife and daughter were killed in a car wreck. That was a little awkward.)
I’ve concluded that both candidates are actually better than the ones their parties nominated for President, even if one of them acts nuttier. I would like them to be Co-Presidents, in fact. Since that’s not possible, maybe they can star in a remake of The Odd Couple or in their own sitcom: Crazy Joe and Paul about a bookish young man forced to live with his senile uncle.
Although I’ll vote for Romney, I have to admit that I like both Biden and Paul. While I might disagree with Biden’s politics, he’s feisty, nutty and passionate. He’s also prone to gaffes which are entertaining. Ryan is smart and not afraid to propose radical ideas. I like that. Neither one seems to take himself too seriously (I certainly can’t say that about their Presidential counterparts). I just wish they had another debate scheduled. Maybe Biden would turn the tables and cry throughout.
So, is Old Joe crazy? Crazy like a fox, I say. Having him as VP is like giving Obama a Kevlar exoskeleton. Everyone–regardless of political stripe–will pray for Obama’s good health if he’s re-elected.
I don’t have anything else to say. I think Biden said it best, “HAHAHAHAHA!”