Today’s the Day the Chinstrokers Have Their Picnic

October 12, 2012

Two local dailies, two different worlds of vice presidential debate post mortems. At the Boston Herald, it was joltin’ Joe time.

First up, Howie Carr:

Joe Biden makes case for . . . term limits

Hey Joe Biden, what’s so funny?

The only real takeaway from this debate is we really need term limits for politicians. Joe Biden was first elected to the Senate in 1972 at age 30. Somewhere around 1992, he should have had to go out and get a real job.

Nothing like having to answer to a boss to make you a little more humble. What’s up with the smirking? It seemed like Clint Eastwood was back up on stage, this time in character from “Gran Torino.”

“Get off my lawn!”

Not to mention don’t sit in my chair.

Next, Holly Robichaud:

Off-the-rails VP a boost for Paul Ryan

OMG. Vice President Joe Biden was an embarrassment not only to the Democrat ticket, but also for the country.

Clearly he was attempting to make up for the inadequate performance of President Obama by attacking Paul Ryan’s every syllable.

He overcompensated with the phony laugh and the constant interruption. It was hard to get over Biden’s wild-eyed look to hear what he was saying. The best word to describe his performance is: unhinged.

Wow. Not sure Holly’s all that hinged herself.

Even though it was two-on-one, Margery Eagan managed to hold her own with this minority report:

Goofy Joe Biden gets the job done

Joe Biden, the 69-year-old granddad best known for his gaffes and goofs, committed conduct unbecoming a vice president last night. He mocked Paul Ryan. He grinned and laughed too much. It was dismissive and annoying. It reminded me of Al Gore’s exasperated, exaggerated sighs at George W. Bush . . .

But good ol’ Joe did what Obama needed him to do. He attacked Ryan’s facts repeatedly (“With all due respect, you’re full of malarkey”). And he had a far better abortion answer for pro-choice women. (“I refuse to impose (my pro-life personal views) on others, unlike my friend here, the congressman,” who would criminalize abortion.)

Biden bought his boss some time. Panicked, demoralized Democrats can only hope Obama shows a quarter of Biden’s fight at his next debate.

Panicked, demoralized Democrats can also check out the Boston Globe, where Biden got a more modulated (read: less rapid) welcome from the chinstrokers.

Start with Derrick Jackson:

Is Biden’s performance enough to stop the slide?


With so much of Thursday night’s vice presidential debate centered on foreign policy, incumbent Joe Biden had a clear path to victory. His depth of knowledge separated him from Republican challenger Paul Ryan. The cheers at a Hampton Democratic Committee viewing party were ample evidence that Biden said much of what these Democrats had wanted to hear from President Obama last week.

So we’ll take that as a yes.

Tom Keane issued a split decision:

Biden on policy, Ryan on style

In theory, vice presidential debates shouldn’t matter that much — only 18 percent in a recent Rasmussen Poll said it would be “very important” to their vote — and that’s the way it should be. Neither guy, one hopes, will be president and the basic task of each is to demonstrate, if disaster strikes, that he would be up to the job. Biden has proven before that he would be, and Thursday night Ryan seemed competent on a national stage.

Yet this particular debate did matter and especially for Biden. He had to stem the Mitt Romney surge that over the last week has remade this race. He may have helped slow it, but probably it hasn’t been reversed.

So we’ll take that as a draw.

And just for fun, we’ll throw in this Glen Johnson analysis:

Paul Ryan shows he is no pushover in debate

Presidential campaigns are akin to gestational periods, with months of campaigning giving voters time to slowly form their impressions of a candidate.

Against that backdrop, Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin stepped onto likely his biggest stage yet on Thursday night and showed an American electorate still getting to know the Republican vice presidential nominee that he is no pushover.

In a contentious 90-minute debate with Vice President Joe Biden, Ryan engaged in a frontal assault on a politician nearly three decades his elder. And he didn’t cower even when the discussion started with and kept coming back to foreign affairs – a supposed weakness for an economic policy wonk like him and strength for a former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee like his opponent.

So we’ll take that as an okay, and leave it at that.


Globe Biden Its Time?

October 11, 2012

As the hardreading staff always hopes, the local dailies have very different takes today on what’s front-page news, specifically about the vice presidential bakeoff tonight.

The Globe serves up a  traditional preview piece, a sort of he-should-say/he-should-say:

Biden, Ryan face high stakes in vice presidential debate

Once anticipated as an entertaining sideshow between two feisty candidates, the vice presidential debate Thursday night has taken on higher, unexpected importance in the wake of President Obama’s listless performance last week in Denver.

Democrats are nervous, Republicans sense a surge, and Vice President Joe Biden and GOP challenger Paul Ryan suddenly have a chance to influence the campaign in a substantive way when they meet at Centre College in Danville, Ky.

For Biden, voluble and aggressive, the goal is to steady the Democratic ship amid sinking polls and rising angst. For Ryan, a hard-line budget hawk, the game plan is to maintain or build on the bump that has buoyed Mitt Romney after the first presidential debate.

And etc.

Crosstown at the Herald, it’s a whole different ballgame, one that involves whacking Joe Biden (via the Newseum’s Today’s Front Pages):

The Joe Battenfeld piece inside predicts Biden’s credit-card-friendly track record may draw some interest and penalties from Ryan in the debate.

Joe Biden’s swipe at middle class

It’s the Joe Biden embarrassment you may not have heard yet, but it could become one of the Romney campaign’s biggest weapons.

Biden likes to portray himself as a fighter for the poor and middle class, but for years in the U.S. Senate he sided with one of the most hated enemies of the middle class — credit card companies.

The vice president has skated on this issue in this campaign, largely because most people have been paying attention to his verbal blunders. That may come to an end as soon as tonight, when he faces off against GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan.

We’ll see exactly what Ryan charges tonight.


Paul Ryan, Paul the Time Edition

August 13, 2012

After Mitt Romney (R-How You Like Me Now?) announced his choice of running mate Saturday morning, the Paul Ryan Express roared through the news media, very much including Boston’s dailies.

Sunday’s Boston Herald front page (via The Newseum’s Today’s Front Pages):

The local tabloid devoted its first 10 news pages to Romney’s Veep Leap, along with one editorial and three – count ’em, three (here, here, and here) – op-ed columns.

Crosstown, the Boston Globe gave three broadsheet pages to the story, along with one editorial.

(Just for scale, the Globe’s kissin’ cousin New York Times featured four-and-a-half broadsheet pages, plus one Sunday Review piece.)

The Paul Ryan Express just accelerates from here.