Port & Starboard: Biden vs Ryan

Port & Starboard: Biden vs Ryan


With Mitt Romney’s recent announcement that Paul Ryan is his VP choice, we can now all go back to our BarcaLounger and ponder the real matter at hand: Romney vs. Obama.

Not so fast.  C’mon, do you really think the American electorate is going gaga over Paul Ryan? And, while we’re at it – over Joe Biden?

Once the media calm down, Ryan and Biden will take their rightful positions as lapdogs who fetch for their masters.

Except for Sarah Palin’s ascendency to the national spotlight, in recent history, what has the vice president or veep candidacy brought to the political table?  Do I hear crickets?  OK, I’ll give you the Internet! (A political joke, at Al Gore’s expense).

Sure, there’s usually a smidgen of interest at the outset, but you have to go back to Geraldine Ferraro [1984] to find any real news value to the role of the Veep.  Go back a bit further to Gerald Ford [1973], but he was not elected to the VP post. You have to go way back to JFK picking LBJ in [1960] to find any tangible Veep value.

So, where does this leave us with Biden vs. Ryan?  

Provided there is not a terrible faux pas or miscalculation, [See:  McGovern/Eagleton]both Ryan and Biden will go their merry, campaign-stumping ways. They’ll mostly be talking to voters who’ll probably end up voting for the ticket anyway; except for those curiosity seekers, who keep their curiosity and ballot at home.

Biden’s strength is foreign policy, which is not Ryan’s.

Ryan’s strength is his budgetary knowledge. Who know or cares if Biden can even do a spreadsheet on Microsoft Excel?

Their one debate may be of interest, depending on the polls.  If close, both will be tiptoeing around the issues. Should the margin separating the two camps be wide, it could be a loosey-goosey affair for the trailer, who will need to take some pot shots for the sound-bite driven media machine. But, will it make a difference?

Bottom-line on the VEEPs, to paraphrase very loosely – Paul Ryan, I served with Lloyd Bentsen, I knew Lloyd Bentsen, Lloyd Bentsen was a friend of mine. Congressman, you’re no Lloyd Bentsen; for that matter neither is Joe Biden. 

Do we even remember? I didn’t think so.

I rest my case.


Lloyd Bentsen… what? Lloyd did not even deliver his home state of Texas and that is not surprising, because he and Michael Dukakis got run out of town, winning only 111 electoral votes in total from ten states, and California was not one of them. Now that was some ticket. God I miss those days !

I do not disagree with your take on VP nominee in general, but the fact is that Ryan helps old Mitt a bit. If Ryan can deliver (and Veeps can deliver) his home state of Wisconsin (10 electoral votes) it may, just may, be just enough to crest the Electoral College hill. Iowa ( 6 votes) next door  to Wisconsin just got a lot closer with the good the Irish Catholic Midwest boy put in play. Those Cheese Heads and corn fed Hawkeyes gotta be pretty excited now as they step into the forefront of key swing state status.

Do the math and you may find that Paulie boy may be a game changer in his own right. That all depends of course upon whether the Mittster can deliver a BIG convention speech and stay out of the gaffe machine for another 80 days. Ryan’s Midwest appeal will play well in Missouri, Iowa, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Indiana and those five states bring the same number of electoral votes as California (55).

Now Joe Robinette Biden is a whole different animal and a great representation of the Democrats’ mascot. He does deliver almost always Democratic Delaware and its whopping three electoral votes, and he is a great foil for the big “O” because of his constant blunderings. Let’s face it, Joe Biden is the Fredo Corleone of team Obama. That is, the weakest and least intelligent of the clan. They try to keep him out of the family business by giving him meaningless little gigs but somehow he still manages to creep back in and screw things up. Yeah, old Joe is the poster boy for the stereotypical phony politician. He is the perfect model of a disingenuous back scratching blowhard.

But then they say, “Joe knows foreign policy.” Joe Biden only knows anything more about foreign policy than Joe the Plumber  because he has been able to sleep through a million  top secret briefings during his obscene  40 years in office (a perfect argument for term limits).The only thing that Delaware Joe seems to be an expert at is “open mouth, insert foot”.

I for one am thankful that the Paul Ryan Express is coming down the track. He comes from a blue state that could matter a lot in this very close election, and I hope he can deliver  there in November. In actuality, he may be the best candidate of the whole bunch. He is better than Romney, light years better than Obama, and of course VP Fredo needs no introduction.

Anyway, time will tell if Ryan delivers some goods. If Romney and Ryan do win I’m gonna miss old Joe “The Weave” Biden. He has been awfully fun to watch during these worst of times.