In debates over whom to elect,
Is that when it's all done,
One's candidate won
But the other guy gets one's respect.
Dr. Goose's household gathered this evening to watch the debate between Vice President Joe Biden and the man who would take his job, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. We saw a spirited debate in which each man vigorously stated and defended his case while challenging that of his opponent; a sharp but respectful exchange. When it was over, the two men shook hands and remained on stage as their respective families joined them and greeted one another amiably. They gave us an example of what democracy should be - I had a momentary, faint vision of post-gridlock Washington.
On substance, it was a rather balanced outcome, regarding which most of the viewers in our family room gave the edge to the Vice President. He defended the Obama record while giving point-by-point rebuttals to the Congressman's challenges. Mr. Ryan, for his part, was hard pressed to explain what a Romney administration would do differently in Iran and Syria, and refused to provide specifics to back up the claim that 20% across-the-board tax rate cuts could be made revenue-neutral.
Still, it was a debate from which both VP candidates and their supporters could emerge with heads held high.