React Before Spin

Well, can’t see anyone calling this a big win. Ryan will, as I predicted, get props for “holding his own” re foreign policy. He was also fluid and stuck to the Romney plan of making the ticket seem reasonable.

Biden was up and down, but scored pretty well on Afghanistan, on defense spending, on abortion, and perhaps on Medicare. Kind of mixed on overall budget and economy; depends on what you know about the facts.

There were relatively few missed opportunities for Biden. He got all the obvious hit lines in, with the exception (that could be important) of refuting Ryan’s claim of a commitment to bipartisanship.

With the possible exception of the abortion issue, Ryan managed to avoid impression of sounding as extremist as he actually is, and that was a biggie.

If the strategic importance of this debate was to end the endless discussion of Obama’s “rout” by Romney, it happened. Now we’ll see what the spinmeisters and pundits say.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.