First it was Big Bird.
Now it’s “malarkey.”
Go ahead, admit it. That is what you will remember from the first two debates. Mitt Romney gave us the reference to Big Bird in the first presidential debate in noting that he would cut funding to PBS, despite the fact that he “likes Big Bird.”
Last night it was Vice President Joe Biden and Republican Paul Ryan sharing a stage. Biden supplied the buzzword by referring to Ryan’s claims as “a bunch of malarkey.”
It was a lively, serious back-and-forth on the issues, with Biden constantly chuckling and interrupting, and Ryan guzzling water like he was in the desert.
The interesting thing that struck me was that this was a little bit like the infamous Kennedy-Nixon debate. Those who heard that debate on the radio believed Nixon won, while those who watched on that newfangled TV and saw Nixon’s haggard appearance and sweaty brow gave a clear edge to the young, telegenic Kennedy.
Last night as I watched the debate (and tweeted updates furiously) I started to get ticked by the mannerisms of the vice president. I found his smirks and chuckles more than a little condescending.
It came down to this. If you only heard this debate, I am guessing you would probably give the edge to the more experienced vice president. But watching his histrionics, I found myself leaning toward the Ryan, who more than held his own.
At any rate, it was a hell of a lot more entertaining than that snooze fest between President Obama and Mitt Romney last week. They tangle again Tuesday night. I hope they were taking notes.