Before we jump into the only debate between Congressman Paul Ryan and Vice President Joe Biden, just a quick reminder that the Virginia Political Leadership Innovation Institute’s Inaugural class will convene November 16-17 at the National Conference Center in Leesburg.
If you know of anyone with business related experience, including yourself, who would make an excellent candidate for public office, please have them apply! Deadline extended. No cost to participate. Non partisan. Non profit.
Now – back to the main event! Biden v Ryan.
Following up on the election changing debate performance by Governor Mitt Romney, Congressman Ryan will need to do one thing – just keep the narrative going.
But what narrative, you ask?
The one that has been building to this point – President Obama has not done a good job as President and that Mitt Romney will do a better job leading our Nation over the next four years.
While everyone, I mean everyone, is out there touting a Ryan trouncing of Biden, it is important not to bet heavy on that.
Not that Congressman Ryan doesn’t have a command of the issues and that Joe Biden has a mountain of REALLY dumb things he has said over the years. That’s not the danger zone.
The danger zone for the GOP is, as always, counting on victory too early and not finishing.
Remember a couple of things about Joe Biden – he has been in the United States Senate a long time and in front of the national media a long time. He will be ready for this debate and knows he has to land some gut shots to Ryan that will make news several days heading into next week’s debate between Romney and Obama.
There’s only one problem with this – a very short news cycle that could evaporate any news at noon tomorrow. Expect Biden to go for a story line that will last the weekend.
Romney’s debate performance reversed the trajectory of the campaign and the timing could not have been worse for Obama. For two weeks leading up to Romney v Obama II, the national conversation will have been Romney was much better than Obama if Ryan can keep it going.
The national press loves a protracted fight and there will be plenty of op-eds written that defend both the performances of Ryan and Biden. Biden will fight back enough to fire up his base so he will focus on that. There is an inherent danger in that because, well, Joe Biden has a long history of saying indefensible things.
Most recently he declared that the Obama Administration will be looking to raise taxes by $1,000,000,000,000 or $1 TRILLION. Afterwards, NO ONE said that one had to look at the context of the entire statement. No one.
Ryan, on the other hand, will be playing heavily into the area where he needs to focus in order to keep the Big Momentum heading the GOP’s way – namely women, independents, Catholics, and minorities. The base of his party is thoroughly on board and will hear enough of what they want to hear to keep them fired up. Ryan will be after the votes that close this thing out.
The wheels came off the Obama campaign because Barack Obama did not prepare for the debate and was throttled. If he had simply tied Romney, Obama would be up at least four points nationally and in swing states with just over three weeks to go.
Just how bad is it for Obama? Saturday Night Live is making fun of him and his sycophantic punditry while Romney and Ryan are seen as competent, nice, and sincere men capable of governing. Even HBO’s Bill Maher tweeted out if Obama spent the $1 million he donated on weed.
The hourly barrage of polling is backing up what everyone is thinking – Obama is losing and Romney is starting to win. (and there’s a difference)
An incumbent trending into the mid 40s this close to an election is a disaster. An incumbent that has spent close to $1 billion in primarily Battleground States and has a Real Clear Politics post-debate average of 45 or 46? He is in deep doo doo. It’s not that Obama is down 2-3 points, it’s that he’s at 45 or 46 with 26 days to go.
Biden has to change the narrative and Ryan has to keep it going. Ryan will likely win in several key areas but Biden will no doubt score enough points to fire up his base.
In the end, this is Mitt Romney versus Barack Obama. Clearly Romney was the better man last week and this week the polling shows what Americans want in a president. Someone who will respectfully, forcefully, and successfully govern the Nation over the next four years.
Mitt Romney made a strong case for his candidacy last week. Very strong.
Tonight – take the Pittsburgh Steelers to cover the 6 points they are giving to the Tennessee Titans and expect Paul Ryan to win the after debate polling 45%-35% with 20% saying it’s a tie. However, if Libya dominates the story line – which it should – this could get ugly for Obama-Biden.