The lights are being removed, the podiums are gone, and the cleanup crew is sweeping up the tiny, tiny pieces of Paul Ryan that were left all over the stage last night. Heh. Well, maybe not really, but it certainly seems that way, doesn't it?
Biden not only trounced Ryan, but also, in the process, trounced Romney.
So what can we learn from the in-running markets about the debate between Vice-President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan? It is in fact possible to visualize the shape a contest is taking by simply following the flows of money tracing their way through the relevant markets.
Now, that's a debate! After a weak wonkfest last week, Vice President Joe Biden and Republican Congressman Paul Ryan traded uppercuts and right crosses, not light taps (you can almost hear the brakes tighten on the Romney momentum).
Is clean energy at risk under a Romney administration? Will Romney follow the lead of Reagan, who actually removed solar panels from the White House? For answers, I turned to the world's leading expert on clean energy, Michael Liebreich.
Romney certainly has an enormous amount to improve upon when it comes to telling the truth: 43 percent of what comes out of his mouth is mostly false or worse. It makes sense, then, that he would forget to pass this lesson along to Paul Ryan.
On the style versus substance front, the GOP rep accused the Vice President of being loud, overbearing and rude. The very same qualities they called bold and commanding when Romney wore them last week. Hey, you guys: make up your mind. Pot-kettle-black much?
Conventional wisdom tells us that vice presidential debates don't do anything to swing elections. Don't tell that to the estimated 43 million people that watched the debate.
Wouldn't it be nice if we had leaders who made choices based not upon a secret code of ideology or moral principle -- on a faith that provides their guidance system -- but upon the actual conditions of an issue as it expresses itself?
What was Biden to do when the congressman used his time to falsify the Obama record and plans? What was Biden to do when Ryan was spouting his fusillade of fabrications about Obama defanging the military or supposedly snubbing Bibi Netanyahu, or cuddling up to Assad?
Many people go into politics because a fantasy holds them captive. And the fantasies come in many kinds. There are those a leader may hold about himself, or about the role he has to play, or about the problems he is expected to solve. In Obama's case, the largest fantasy was perhaps this: that you can fight for a cause and win without fighting against anything. By nature and disposition, Obama is a man who blends and consolidates. The plaintive undertone that you hear sometimes, under his heartiest shout, really says to his listeners "How can anyone reject what I'm saying? This is so reasonable. And we know it already -- it's enough to remember what we know. Now, come along with me and agree that this is what we've always stood for." But not everyone will call it reasonable unless the arguments and history are laid out in a connected order. In last night's debate, Joe Biden brought a reminder of what it sounds like when a politician offers reasons.
Oh please. This isn't an Olympic ice skating event or American Idol. Don't the news media have something more valuable to write about than Joe Biden's grin?
Where is the strength and conviction we saw from Obama's camp four years ago? And what happened to Mitt Romney's compassion for others? Did he ever have any?
The stakes are too high, the challenges are too great and the work of rebuilding this country on the other side of the Bush Administration debacle is too important to leave it to "trust us -- the details are behind the curtain in Box #2."
Biden seemed to be on steroids and amphetamines, as if he were trying to overcompensate for last week's lackluster performance by his boss, President Obama, in his match-up against Mitt Romney. This led to Biden actually punching himself around the ring a few times.
Let's hear it for Martha Raddatz, the brilliantly skillful moderator of the vice-presidential debate: She got a clear yes from Rep. Paul Ryan to this question: "If the Romney-Ryan ticket is elected, should those who believe that abortion should remain legal be worried?"