[Check out our editorial cartoons on President Obama.]
Robert Schlesinger 9:18: I love Ryan denouncing mixed signals—his running mate serially says one thing (that he would protect people with pre-existing conditions, for example, or that he isn't interested in banning abortion) only to have his press people walk him back shortly thereafter.
Peter Roff 9:17: The cutaways of Biden smiling condescendingly—even laughing—are going to be front and center in tonight's reports. He thinks he's smarter than everyone else. And it shows. Unfortunately, no one likes the smartest kid in the class, especially when he knows that everything everyone else says is wrong and makes sure you know it.
Peter Roff 9:13: Biden just lied. He said that no one asked for more security. From yesterday's hearing before the House Oversight Committee [emphasis mine]:
Exchange between Ohio GOP Rep. Jim Jordan and Eric Nordstrom who served as the State Department's top security official:
Jordan: Mr. Nordstrom, do you think they were ever going to give you what you wanted? What do you think would warrant them saying "You know what, these guys know what they're talking about and we're going to meet their request?"
Nordstrom: "Thank you for asking that question. I actually had that conversation when I came back on leave and for training in February. I was told by the Regional Director for Near Eastern Affairs that there had 'only been one incident involving an American' where he was struck by celebratory fire, it was one of Colonel Wood's employees. The takeaway from that, for me and my staff, it was abundantly clear, we were not going to get resources until the aftermath of an incident. And the question that we would ask is, again, 'How thin does the ice have to get before someone falls through?'"
Ron Bonjean 9:12: Ryan wins on Libya hands down. Measured, confident, but not cocky. Round 1=Ryan.
Peter Roff 9:11: Biden attacks the Romney statement the night of Libya attack as being "panned by the media around the world." Is that the new standard? Are we, the media, the ones who have the final say? Seems to me the vice president has it very, very wrong.
Peter Roff 9:09: Congressman Ryan hits the key point home hard—what happened in Libya was a terrorist attack, something it took the Obama administration two weeks to acknowledge. Split screen on Fox News, the channel I am watching this time, is not helpful to Biden, who does not know how to keep his face straight when he's not talking. Ryan scores a "nice" point by mentioning that Biden's son Beau is a veteran of the conflict in the region, before the vice president can bring it up.
Biden's forte is supposed to be foreign policy. He spoke with more authority but he said far less. Ryan is ahead on substance points, even if he seems a little more shaky on the subject. Biden continuing to grin like the cat who ate the canary is not going to help him.
Robert Schlesinger 9:08: Wow, Ryan with the first Etch A Sketch moment of the debate—they suddenly agree with the Obama administration on Iraq and Afghanistan.
Robert Schlesinger 9:07: Good pivot from Biden on the first question—addressing Libya and then turning to Romney, reminding voters that he hasn't Etch A Sketched back into Moderate Mitt on foreign policy (yet).