· Martha Raddatz did an outstanding job as moderator. There were times when things looked more like a Real Housewives of New Jersey Reunion, but for the most part she kept things moving, moderated fairly, but also challenged the participants when they didn’t come clean.
· I thought early on that Joe Biden’s smile could hurt him with some viewers as it could make him look disrespectful or petty. Of course, that is Joe Biden and if you watch older footage you see the same thing. I am sure as many that were put off by it there were equal number that didn’t care.
· When pundits call the debate a tie because one participant (Ryan) ‘didn’t embarrass himself’. Wow is that the new grading system?
· The Benghazi incident was going to be Biden’s weak point and while Ryan scored some points early, the damage was limited.
· Biden attacked Ryan with the 47% comment and when Ryan tried to snap back, Joe hit him with ‘yeah, but I mean what I say’
· There were times when Ryan looked like he did not want to be there, but near the end it also looked like Joe was getting tired as he lost track of his talking point.
· For those that oppose the line of questioning regarding religious beliefs, I believe it is necessary because while there should be no ‘religious test’ to hold office, a candidate that uses his faith to build his policy needs close watching.
· I think Biden did a great job connecting to the American people with pure empathy while Ryan was trying to connect to businessmen and the GOP House caucus.
· Ryan was very much out his element on the Afghanistan questioning where Raddatz, not Biden, scored the biggest blows.
· Classic Romney/Ryan: lots of criticism, but no solutions especially around international diplomacy and the role off the U.N. I get the impression that Ryan thinks if the President of the United States wants it his way all he has to say is ‘cuz I said so.’
· Biden definitely got the better of the exchange on small businesses and tax rates. Ryan was forced to lie about taxing income, when taxes on small businesses are on profits.
· Finally, Ryan was clearly overmatched during the Iran discussion.
· Wasn’t Raddatz supposed to call him Mr. Ryan?
In the end, Ryan got manhandled, perhaps Joe was too aggressive, but Ryan looked lost at times. That being said, Ryan did not completely melt down, but I see nothing in the Congressman that makes me feel good about him being a heartbeat away.