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After last week’s presidential debate – acknowledged by all, including the president, to be a less than stellar performance by an incumbent – the vice presidential debate was highly anticipated. Additionally, given Joe Biden’s penchant for the “gaffetastic,” I think many – supporters and detractors alike – tuned in for what might be a couple of newsworthy laugh lines in tomorrow’s news.
What we got caused my jaw to drop.
Biden seemed to have an internal laugh track that only he could hear. He laughed, smirked, grinned and huffed his way through 90 minutes of biased moderating. The first question from moderator Martha Raddatz regarding the tragedy in Libya, wherein our ambassador and three colleagues were murdered, had Biden derisively snorting and smirking to show his disdain for Paul Ryan’s answer. To show such an inappropriate response and body language when such an utterly tragic subject is being discussed (and one in which the White House is under investigation for mishandling and dismissing warnings) should be completely beneath a man who has spent so many years dedicated to public service.
Though my main issue with the debate was with Biden’s very “un-vice presidential” behavior, I had a few other bones to pick:
One issue had to do with the question regarding how the two teams approach the topic of taxes. President Obama’s very own website attacks the Romney/Ryan position yet offers no numbers of its own, leaving only commas as place-holders. Thus, Biden’s condescending attitude regarding the opposition’s plan fell flat for me. The site parrots Biden’s talking points about “bad math” and “not offering specifics” yet offers none of its own.
I also had an issue with Team Obama regarding the topic of education. With all the kerfuffle about Big Bird, I was very surprised to hear Biden disparage the Romney/Ryan education plan, when the Obama administration was the one that pulled the plug on the very successful D.C. voucher program that assisted underserved populations.
As a deeply religious woman, the question (and answer) that bothered me most was that regarding religion and abortion. Biden said he has issues with those who would force their views on others, yet he completely ignored those of us on the right who feel this administration has done just that by forcing religious institutions to violate conscience when there are other (currently taxpayer supported!) organizations such as Planned Parenthood, who provide the same services for free.
Overall, I am sure mainstream outlets will crow over a “win” for Obama/Biden, but frankly, this viewer felt tonight’s real loser was common courtesy.
WATCH: VP Debate Reaction: Joe Biden Won, but I Like Paul Ryan More
Marie Stroughter is an iVoice on iVillage and is co-founder of African-American Conservatives and the outspoken host of the radio show with the corresponding name. She has been married to her best friend for over two decades, and is the homeschooling mom of three. Find her on Twitter at @mariestroughter.