Biden v. Ryan and Cheney v. Edwards
My recollection of the Cheney v. Edwards debate is that Cheney mopped the floor with Edwards. Edwards was young, idealistic, and extraordinarily vague. Cheney was gruff, specific, and looked like he knew what he was talking about.1 I’m not saying that Cheney was right—I’m just saying that one of the perks of the dark side is that you get to force choke a boy scout once in a while.
I expect Biden to do something similar to Ryan tonight. Ryan is supposed to be meticulous, wonky, and charismatic. Biden is even more wonky and even more charismatic. He’s been doing this a lot longer than Ryan has. When Biden took office in the Senate, Paul Ryan was 3 years old.
I don’t think this debate will be a game changer. I do think it will highlight just how unprepared Paul Ryan actually is.
I have since come to understand that Cheney has mastered the trick of intimating things that simply aren’t true. He has a way of intimating that his access to classified information has given him some special knowledge that some drastic and horrible action is critically necessary, and that you just need to trust him. It turns out, there is no secret knowledge. It’s a very canny hoodwink. ↩