Vice President Joe Biden is the blithering shill for a failed philosophy. Congressman Paul Ryan is the intelligent and articulate defender of the most realistic reform agenda currently available. And yet I think the Romney/Ryan campaign dodged a bullet in the vice presidential debate. If it weren’t for the fact that Biden acted like a grinning, belligerent idiot, he would have won on points. As it was, it was pretty much a draw.
How is that possible? I’m glad you asked because I can tell you. The answer, though it will give you pain, is that both Biden and Ryan are professional politicians at the highest level of elective office. If you count the president and vice president, add the 100 senators, the 435 members of the House of Representatives, and the governors of the 57 states, you get 594 active top political professionals minus 7 because Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s talking about, leaving 587.
So 587 active politicians who have reached the approximate level of Biden and Ryan — and that’s being generous because some Congress people are filler material. But the point is, there are fewer pols at the Biden/Ryan level than there are people who play Major League Baseball.
Any idea how good you have to be to play Major League Baseball? Really, really good. We sit in the stands, we boo the players, we call them names, we tell them they stink. But the fact is, during any given at bat, the worst hitter in the majors can take the best pitcher downtown, the worst pitcher can strike out the best hitter — whereas the rest of us couldn’t even stand on the same field with them.
Debating is what these politicians do. On any given day, any one of them can make mincemeat of any other.
So while I think the first presidential debate was a blow-out victory for Mitt Romney — and while I think Obama’s miserable performance actually reflected the true nature of the man — I sincerely hope there is someone standing at Romney’s ear right now and whispering the immortal words of Glenn Reynolds or Han Solo or somebody: “Great, kid. Don’t get cocky.”
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