resident Obama lost big in last week's debate against GOP challenger Mitt Romney. But after Thursday night's face-off between Vice President Joe Biden and Romney's No. 2, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), says Daniel Politi at Slate, "the only thing everyone seems to be able to agree on without equivocation is that Biden did better than Obama" — and that, for better or worse (depending on your partisan lean), Biden was dominant in Thursday's debate. MSNBC declared Biden the winner, Fox News declared him a boorish and condescending loser, and CNN's Wolf Blitzer scored it a draw. Even with the "its a tie" crowd, though, says Politi, "if you read a bit between the lines, the consensus seemed to see a Biden victory." In a media environment where "winning" seems to move polls, did Biden score a run for Team Obama?
Biden killed it: On almost every topic, "Biden was on the offensive and owned the conversation," says Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo. "I don't think it was close." He nailed Ryan on Romney's mathematically impossible tax plan, "47 percent" flub, foreign policy — basically, "he hit Romney really everywhere Democrats wanted him to." Ryan clearly believed the Right's caricature of Biden as "some sort of Crazy Irish Uncle, gaffetastic, and corny," and he paid the price. "After the debate ended, Republicans were calling it a draw and Democrats were calling it a strong win for Biden. That tells you all you need to know."
"Very quick thoughts"
Ryan at least fought to a draw: Ryan could have pushed back more aggressively, but "he more than held his own" against Biden and "did what he needed to do," says Kimberley Strassel at The Wall Street Journal. Still, I'm sure "the judgment of many in the media is that the bigger win went to Mr. Biden." Why? The press "loves a good comeback tale — especially when it's their guy coming back — and reporters and pundits have been priming" the Biden-stanches-bleeding story all week. "The real proof will, of course, rest with the voters," and I doubt they'll be impressed with Joe's "contemptuous" bluster.
Biden wins the split decision, barely: Biden seems to have fallen into "the awkward middle ground... between a tie and a modest win," says Nate Silver at The New York Times. The two big insta-polls are split between a statistical tie (CNN) and a 19-point Biden win (CBS), and social media suggests Democrats are happier with Biden than Republicans are with Ryan. My best guess is that Biden earned a "hold," a baseball stats term for "something a bit shy of either a win or a save." It "might have done his team a bit of good," but it won't mean anything unless Obama steps up his game.
"In polls, Biden gets a hold"
- WATCH: Jon Stewart and Bill O'Reilly spar over the Obama scandals
- How the White House's war on media backfired
- WATCH: Suspect defends brutal beheading of London man in broad daylight
- 10 things you need to know today: May 23, 2013
- A linguistic dissection of 7 annoying teenage sounds
- Is Greek yogurt hurting the environment?
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Sadly, you are uglier than you think
- Did IRS official Lois Lerner waive her right to silence?
- Hollywood blockbusters should kill off some of their main characters
- The politics behind Kanye West's 'New Slaves'
- Are we on the cusp of a solar energy boom?
- Why Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn doesn't want tornado relief money
- WATCH: Jon Stewart hates everyone in Washington now
- LIVE UPDATES: Massive tornado tears through Oklahoma City area
- Angry at the government? 5 ways you can fight back
- 7 purported health benefits of drinking coffee
- What is a quantum computer — and why does Google need one?
- Why NASA is funding a 3D pizza printer
- The cool backstory of the Slurpee