Actually, the debate was pretty much as I expected. When Biden was acting like the Vice President rather than Al Gore he came across as knowledgeable, in command of his stance and a man to be respected.
Paul Ryan, too comported himself well. More than Mr. Biden actually. It is no fault of his that he appeared to be the younger, less experienced of the two. He was. That he held his own is commendable. While he may not have signed sealed and delivered the election to the Republicans, he didn't do them any harm either.
The polls will tell, I suppose, if the persistent mugging and laughter from Biden will be something that resonates in the long run. I don't expect that it will any more than I expect the debate to be remembered past next Tuesday. It's merely a chance to see if the men seem capable of stepping into the Presidency should it ever be necessary. Sarah Palin could not pass that test even with the constraints placed on Biden so for that reason if no other, it's important.
The conservative side said Biden was condescending and somewhat maniacal in his behavior. I would agree it was often over the top, sometimes inappropriate and uncalled for. That's the key. This was a debate between two men vying for the Vice Presidency. It should have been no laughing matter. The topics at hand are dead serious and when he behaved in that manner he was impressive.
He didn't have to act like he was doing a stand up routine at a comedy club to challenge or answer a point from Ryan. I'm sorry he felt he did because it took away from his over all effectiveness.
After all the hype from both sides subsides I expect it will be judged anticlimactic for all the pre-debate hype and expectations. Both accomplished the minimum necessary to keep their tickets viable.
I rather like the mood that's anticipated by a hand shake over the mood that immediately prevails. When it gets silly I tune out. If they can be civil enough to shake hands they should be civil enough to discuss the matters at hand. It can get heated. How can it not when opinions are so diverse? But to try to dominate with extemporaneous outbursts be they vocal or facial does more to turn people off than turn them your way.