As I watched the vice presidential candidates last night, I thought Joe Biden (age 69) and Rep. Paul Ryan (age 42) could easily pass for father and son. But on policy and ideology, they could not be further apart.
While Biden came across as feisty—smirking occasionally—and passionate that President Obama deserves four more years as president, Ryan appeared poised, articulate, and more confident that Gov. Mitt Romney is the better choice.
With just 25 days left in the campaign, and last night being the only time the two would debate, the stakes were high. The candidates were under tremendous pressure to perform well, to not embarrass their respective bosses, and to convince the public that each is fully prepared to assume the presidency, should the need arise.
They both achieved that mandate.
What struck me most was Ryan’s ability to fend off the more aggressive Biden on the issues of the national budget, health care, and Social Security. The budget plan spelled out by Ryan, which has been widely debated in Congress, pinpoints government program cuts, tax changes, and health care overhaul that they claim will create over 12 million new jobs.