Biden came prepared to take it to his opponent. He gave him no breathing room. Ryan was not prepared for this exchange and far too often rambled. He's used to lying through his phony look of sincerity without being called on it.
A particularly delicious moment occurred when Biden countered Ryan's complaint about the stimulus by pointing out that Ryan wrote to ask for money for his district. When Ryan tried to minimize it as constituent support, Biden pivoted to Ryan's actual language in the letter--"these funds are important for stimulating growth." Priceless
Because Joe did so well on every front, I'm reluctant to point to a missed opportunity, but it was an important one because it both defends the Obama administration and discredits a claim of the Romney campaign.
The point: Ryan, among a litany of his complaints about Obama, accused the president of dividing the country and failing to be the bipartisan leader he promised to be, a point that Romney has also been making.
Joe had a ripe opportunity--one almost as his score on the Ryan letter; he should have pointed out that Ryan was one of the GOP congressional leaders who met in January 2009 right after the inauguration to plot how they would stop the Obama agenda. McConnell foolishly went on camera at a later point to announce their priority to make Obama a one-term president. So Ryan's critique of the president's alleged stubbornness is hypocrisy. The president cannot be bipartisan if the other party is lockstep determined to oppose him.
It's long past time to highlight Republican obstructionism as the cause of the slow recovery. The recent improvements we've seen--Friday's labor statistics, this week's lowest firtst-time unemployment claims in 5 years, the shrinking US debt, the lowering of the federal deficit by 200bn--are remarkable achievements in light of everything the GOP has done to prevent progress.