I thoroughly enjoyed the large amount of substance covered in the recent Vice Presidential debate. Tomorrow the media, fact -checkers and campaign surrogates will use the airwaves and Internet to tell you what they think you saw and heard. However, for those of us that watched the debate live, we know exactly what we saw and heard and have already drawn our own conclusions.
However, I have to digress for one minute to address something that may seem innocuous yet is, as they say in Poker, “a tell”. I observed one very meaningful visual cue that speaks volumes for how one of the debaters felt the debate was going in real-time. I almost hate to be so petty with this but I believe it is important to note:
Paul Ryan needed a drink.
Paul Ryan used his multiple glasses of water as a place of shelter during this debate.
I do enough formal presentations to know when someone is nervous and uncomfortable. Many times a good speaker has a prop to turn to when they feel a bit lost, uncomfortable or nervous. Sometimes it’s that annoying click of a pen, a transition word phrase so you can stall, or the picking of your nails. It’s a personal reality check for the presenter and he can use it to ground him/herself as they get their bearings.
Paul Ryan’s tell was to take a drink … often!
If you saw the movie, “Inception” you know EXACTLY what I mean. The lead character’s have a single prop that only they know about. They bring it out when they need to confirm they are in the real-world, not the dream-world. Ryan’s prop was his consumption of numerous glasses of water and it looked very obvious to me. Subtle, but obvious to my prying eyes.
I know it sounds silly but I assure you Ryan’s debate preparation team knows exactly what I am pointing out.
Ryan had a good debate and did his best as he tried to defend his positions and those of the Governor yet he simply could not overcome the confidence of the Biden strategy. As strong as Romney looked last week, Biden actually looked a bit stronger , especially since the stakes were so high for his team. Trailing is never easy; however Biden seemed to have exceeded his campaign’s expectations.
All I know is the debate was very interesting and I saw a lot of issues being clarified. Even the lack of clarity in some cases was instructive because the lack of specifics belies the weakness of policy.
I am going to spend tomorrow conducting my own fact-checking exercise.
Tomorrow the talking heads and spinners will have their shot at analyzing what happened but I was less concerned that Biden was visibly aggressive and more interested in the fact that many facts got placed into the public record.
With that much heat, it’s no wonder one of these guys needed a drink!