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Appearances matter: Biden far from dignified in debate with Ryan

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Modified: October 12, 2012 at 10:08 am •  Published: October 12, 2012

The vice-presidential debate Thursday night will likely be remembered more for Democratic incumbent Joe Biden’s nonverbals than any specific quotes. Biden’s bizarre behavior —inappropriate laughter, smirks and constant interruptions — quickly fueled parodies. Mark this one a win for the GOP.

Republican Paul Ryan was dignified and respectful, although perhaps too deferential at times. A bit more push-back was warranted now and again. Still, Ryan made the most of his constantly interrupted time.

When Biden blamed the intelligence community for claiming a YouTube video caused the murder of our Libya ambassador, Ryan simply noted: “If we’re hit by terrorists, we’re going to call it for what it is: a terrorist attack.”

Biden often seemed out of touch with reality. He was so dismissive of Iran’s efforts to develop a nuclear weapon that even the moderator was compelled to note, “You are acting a little bit like they don’t want one.” Biden repeatedly claimed maintaining current tax rates for the middle class is a tax cut. It’s not.

Biden’s slightly unhinged, undignified and rude behavior may fire up core Democrats, but likely turns off swing voters. Ryan looked like a vice-presidential candidate; Biden looked like a kid blowing spit wads in middle school, not someone who should be a heartbeat away from the presidency.

Appearances matter. Ryan treated voters with respect while Biden prompted many to recall Proverbs 29:9: “If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.”

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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