By Jessy Bains
A political veteran took on a young and inexperienced combatant in round two of the U.S. presidential debate, Thursday night.
U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden squared off with Mitt Romney’s Republican running-mate Paul Ryan in Danville, Kentucky.
Pundits are divided when it comes to determining a winner.
“Most Democrats will tell you that Biden won, while most republicans will say at the very least Biden did quite well,” Renan Lavine, a political strategy lecturer from University of Toronto told Humber News.
Biden has years of experience debating compared to Ryan, who was elected to Congress in 1998 according to CNN.
“Congress races rarely feature much of a debate, if there is any debate, this was also the first primetime broadcast with millions of people watching him,” said Lavine.
Lavine said it was an opportunity for Ryan to make a good first impression if he chooses to run for president down the road.
“This one will be more memorable for being Paul Ryan’s introduction to prime time and in some ways could have more of an impact on 2016 and 2020 than it will have on this race,” said Lavine.
Biden’s constant interruptions, smirking, and aggressive tone was not as much of an issue for him since coming off as presidential, said Lavine.
“Biden is not seen as someone who’s widely expected to succeed President Obama as the democratic standard barer,” said Lavine.
“I don’t think Joe Biden is expected to campaign or run for president in 4 years time whether or not Obama wins or loses.”
Lavine said vice presidential debates rarely have much of an impact on U.S. presidential elections, but Biden’s performance may help Obama’s campaign by serving as a diversion.
“The conversation around the water coolers in office buildings will be shifted in another direction, that will inevitably make an impact,” said Lavine.
“It stops the bleeding, it stops the media narrative that’s totally focused on Obama’s poor debate performance.”
Twitter has been abuzz since the debate. Here is a little taste of some of the comments.
So, making sure I get this: interrupting & smiling dementedly was bold & forceful when Romney was doing it, but from Biden it's "bullying."
— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) October 12, 2012
The biggest joke in a.m. political reporting is focusing on Biden's facial expression to avoid dealing with substance. http://t.co/w5y8xuh8
— Greg Dworkin (@DemFromCT) October 12, 2012
Willem Dafoe just called Vice President Biden and asked him to stop smiling, because it's creeping him out.
— Jim Geraghty (@jimgeraghty) October 12, 2012