Drunkblogging the 2012 Vice Presidential Debate

5:45PM Before we get started, I’d like to share with you a little something I tell myself before each of these drunkblogs. It’s sort of a secular prayer, if you will, and it goes like this:


5:49PM We seriously beefed up our servers after we crashed them multiple times four years ago. In a strange way, it makes me feel the love. A few weeks ago, we even got a new gigabit switch, and I’m going to pretend I know what that is. But it certainly sounds quite impressive. Then last week, during the Denver debate, we managed to crash the servers again, you and me.

My hat’s off to you for that. Thanks. I mean that. Feeling the love, still.

I understand we’ve taken even further safeguards against another server crash again tonight — but I have faith in you.

5:50PM I’m tuned into C-SPAN tonight, but given that I hardly slept last night and am on the verge on passing out already, that might have been a mistake.

5:51PM What was Jill Biden doing in a White House briefing?

Oh, right — she’s the brains of the family.

5:53PM As I’m fond of reminding people, I don’t play drinking games; I drink. But if you’re of a mind, drink every time Biden mentions his mother or “my friend, Barack.”

5:54PM Nevermind. That wasn’t Jill Biden, that was the moderator. There’s so much inbreeding amongst the Complicit Media and high-level Democrats that it’s difficult to tell the difference.

5:56PM For the record, I have never been invited to weddings of any of the figures on tonight’s stage. I decline to answer if I have crashed any of them.

5:58PM Looking around this audience tonight, all I can say is that I miss the Gore girls circa 2000.

5:59PM Or the Huntsman girls as recently as last fall.

6:00PM I will not lose this drunkblog by being too polite.

6:01PM Here we go…

6:02PM Martha Raddatz should fully disclose what the Obama’s bought her as a wedding gift.

6:03PM “I would like to begin with Libya.”


6:04PM Oh, BS! “Wasn’t this a massive intelligence failure, Mr. Biden?”

NO! Raddatz opened the whole damn debate by swallowing the State Department line. There was no intelligence failure. They knew. They failed to act.

Damn you, Martha Raddatz, and that lovely gravy boat the Obamas gave you 22 years ago.

6:05PM This is gonna be a long night.

6:06PM Ryan need to hit Raddatz, Gingrich style. Instead he’s hitting Biden. He’s OK, but he missed the narrative. “OK” won’t cut it with Raddatz and her fat thumb on the scale.

6:07PM Ryan, why are you talking about Iraq?

6:08PM “It’s never too early to speak out for our values.”

Biden flashes that smile of his, which is nearly as genuine as his hairline.

6:09PM “With all due respect that’s a bunch of malarky.”

Biden, interrupting, and the king of malarky.

6:09PM “I don’t understand what my friend’s talking about.”

This is Biden’s secret sauce, and it makes me thankful this is only the Veep debate.

6:11PM “We weren’t told they wanted more security” in Benghazi.

Joe Biden, stomping over four American corpses.

6:11PM Ryan is going to let that stand?

6:12PM Koran burning? Thank you, Martha Raddatz, for bringing this debate into 2005.

6:12PM “There were requests for extra security, those requests were not followed.”

6:13PM Thank you, Martha, for interrupting Ryan during his answer. I bet that’s worth a silver setting right there.

6:14PM Ryan is better on Iran, but when he mentions Russian obstruction, he ought to mention the Reset button.

6:15PM Ryan is bringing his inner wonk. That’s a strength against Biden’s ability to smoothly deliver the worst bromides.


Or something. War?

6:16PM Biden just name-dropped his security clearance: TOP WAZZZZZUP.

6:17PM Ryan needs to hit Biden on his insider-y-ness.

6:17PM Biden’s smile is getting creepy.

6:19PM After a shaky start by Ryan, I’m wondering if Joe might be losing some cool.

6:19PM Biden says Iran sees the world as “totally united” against them. Totally, literally. Except for Russia and China and sometimes India and big parts of Iraq.

6:20PM Iran is “totally isolated.”


6:21PM What’s the difference between “four years closer to a nuclear weapon” and “four years closer to fissile material?”

6:22PM Something just clicked in Biden’s head. It was something from debate camp where they told him to “stop smiling like an asshole.”

6:22PM “We can’t live with that.” – Ryan, regarding a nuclear Iran.

6:23PM Biden is defending the sanctions. You know the ones no one is against and the ones everyone knows won’t work.

6:23PM Unemployment fell below 8 percent for the first time in four years? Joe Biden, you didn’t build that.

6:25PM “These people are… my neighbors.”

Really, Joe? “These people” live near a golf course or the Naval Observatory?

6:26PM Oops. $5,000,000,000,000 became $500,000,000. I think Joe flubbed his line on tax cuts for the rich.

6:27PM Bring out the wonk! Ryan’s good talking numbers on the economy. More like this, please.

6:28PM Ryan is telling a great Romney story that Romney won’t tell himself. Biden is trying not to look totally bummed by another human being’s intrinsic generosity.

6:29PM “Sometimes the words don’t come out of your mouth the right way.” Ryan looked at Biden when he said that, and got the first laugh of the night.

6:29PM Biden trumped with the Dead Wife Card.

6:30PM For. The. Last. Time. GM DID GO BANKRUPT. That’s what Chapter 11 is. Even a phony-baloney, screw the bondholders, enrich the UAW Chapter 11 like Obama put GM through.

GM. Did. Go. Bankrupt.

6:31PM “Look at where we are right now.”

Hammer that line home, Ryan.

6:32PM “The Vice President was in charge of overseeing” the stimulus.

6:32PM “I love my friend here.”

Again, that’s Biden’s strong suit. He’s done this for 40 years. and he’s damn good at it.

6:34PM “Was it a good idea to spend taxpayer money on electric cars in Finland?”

YES! Um… yes?

6:35PM I’m waiting for Biden’s Lloyd Benson moment, because one of those would go a long way towards reversing Romney’s post-debate momentum.

That’s what Biden needs to do for win. Ryan just needs to be competent.

I’m seeing the latter. Have you seen the former?

(Knock on wood.)

6:37PM Ryan is so good on Medicare, he explains why Romney is up with seniors, all on his own.

6:37PM To paraphrase Kevin Smith, AARP is gonna sue somebody.

6:38PM “Follow your instincts.”

That’s kinda the whole Dem appeal, isn’t it?

6:39PM “Mr Vice President, I know you’r under a lot of duress to make up for lost ground… ”

Thank you, Paul Ryan.

6:41PM Biden’s new Secret Service codename: Interruptus.

6:41PM Biden’s new Secret Service codename: Interruptus.

6:41PM Biden: “I was there… in 1983.”

Operational error there.

6:42PM Biden’s inner long-term Senator is coming out. That’s not a good thing.

6:43PM Ryan is quoting numbers. Biden is begging Raddatz for an out. You make the call.

Math is hard.

6:45PM Biden on taxes: The rich will pay “slightly” more.

He keeps using that word. I do not think it means what he thinks it means.

6:46PM “Let’s have a vote.”

There’s one coming on November 6, Mr. Biden. Perhaps you’ve heard of it.

6:48PM “There aren’t enough rich people and small businesses to tax to pay for all their spending.”

Line of the night.

6:49PM Biden has that look on his face, like he’s trying to remember the third or maybe fourth digit of pi.

6:50PM When Biden is in his comfort zone, he’s every bit as good as I remember him. When he’s not? He’s a jackass with a jack-o-lantern smile.

6:53PM “Now you’re Jack Kennedy!”

Joe Biden? I knew Lloyd Benson. Lloyd Benson was a friend of mine. And, you Mr. Vice President, are no Lloyd Benson.

6:54PM Oh. Now it’s $800,000,000,000 that the rich need to pay. Pick a numer, Joey, and stick to it.

6:56PM It’s really getting testy now.

6:57PM Um… Mr Biden? Who is calling to resume M1 tank production? Straw man much?

6:57PM Um… Mr Biden? Who is calling to resume M1 tank production? Straw man much?

6:57PM Um… Mr Biden? Who is calling to resume M1 tank production? Straw man much?

6:58PM Raddatz: “We’ve degraded al Qaeda.” Tell that to the Benghazi consulate, unless you’re really angling for those sterling silver candlesticks.

7:00PM Biden is making an excellent case for pulling out of Afghanistan, and a crappy case for the surge never should have authorized.

7:01PM Ryan telling the story of one of his best friends fighting in Afghanistan. It’s a good story. It’s a good argument. But nobody can explain why we’re still there.

7:03PM Getting testy again, Joe. He’s trying to run roughshod like he did against Palin, but Ryan is just too reality-based to make it work.

7:04PM Huh. Timelines are how you make the enemy fear you. Who knew?

7:05PM It’s hard to gauge just how well Ryan is doing, because this isn’t a Sherman’s March like Romney enjoyed last week. But there is not one person watching Biden tonight and getting all excited about four more years of this guy.

7:07PM Joe Biden: One Afghan soldier = One US Marine.

I beg to differ.

7:08PM “Afghans to do the job, Afghans to do the job.”

Just annoying as all hell.

7:10PM For the record, I was against our lead-from-the-ass Libya semi-intervention. That said, there is a better (but still not good) argument for a Syria intervention. It’s just not possible to argue against the latter while being for the former. I’m against either, but Obama-Biden is, as always, bass-ackwards.

7:11PM Nice turn to our Russia “reset” by Ryan.

7:13PM My best guess is, Biden is trying to play the grownup. I don’t think it’s working.

7:14PM “We should not have waited for Russia to give us the green light.”

Pshaw, such Cold War era thinking, Mr. Ryan. We’re all one big happy reset global family now.

7:15PM Question: Just how Catholic are you, re: Abortion.

7:16PM I’m moderately pro-choice. And let me tell you, I have never heard anyone put the pro-life case better than Paul Ryan is doing right now.

7:17PM That giant sucking sound you hear is millions of Reagan (Catholic) Democrats sighing with relief.

7:19PM Biden is flat-out lying about the contraception mandate. Big fat hair lie.

7:19PM Er, hairy.

7:21PM BORK! Drink.

Biden should age himself by mentioning a Supreme Court battle from the year I graduated high school.

7:21PM Closing question…

7:23PM Joe Biden has never been embarrassed by anything, as evidenced by, well, everything from his “hair” on down.

7:24PM Will Biden interrupt Ryan’s closing remark? He’s trying SO HARD not to.

7:25PM Will Biden interrupt Ryan’s closing remark? He’s trying SO HARD not to.

7:26PM Ryan is at his wonky best on this last question.

7:28PM Biden is seething. Ryan is wonking, if I may use a neologism.

It’s not a knockout, but it is a win.

7:30PM Biden is seething. Ryan is wonking, if I may use a neologism.

It’s not a knockout, but it is a win.

7:35PM Closing comments were about what you’d expect, so I have to stand by my gut call above. Biden needed to reverse things for Obama, and he wasn’t up to the task. Ryan needed to not screw up Romney’s momentum, and he did just that.

Also, jeeze, who knew Biden could be almost as petulant as his boss? That’s my takeaway. What’s yours?