NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

October 13, 2012

Setting the stage for the final stretch

Big Freddy was grinning ear to ear as I joined him on an otherwise dreary Friday morning.

“So,” I said. “You apparently liked the Biden-Ryan debate last night.”

“Indeed I did,” Freddy said. “Good, old head-to-head with Joe out-grinning Ryan while he’s hammering away.”

“Politics as entertainment,” I said.

“Which it wasn’t for the Democrats when it was Romney smiling all the way in his first head-to-head with Obama, who looked like he was out to dinner with his wife during it,” Freddy said. “He had a lot riding on this one between Joe Biden, the old war horse, and Paul Ryan, who turns out to be a young colt who knows his way around the track.”

“And the winner?” I asked.

“They were nose-to-nose at the wire, but Obama was, really,” Freddy said. “Joe Biden needed to re-set the starter button for him after that sleepwalk he did in his first debate with Romney. He did that.”

“Ryan didn’t let Romney down,” I said.

“He did better than that,” Freddy said. “Ryan’s no newcomer to Congress, but he’s a new face nationally and he’s politically savvy. He’s as bright as they come, which he proved. All he had to do was hold his own with Biden, and Biden made it easy for him.”

“Too much with Biden’s head shakes and grinning?” I asked.

“Not for the Democrats,” Freddy said. “They needed Joe to be Joe for a couple of hours, which he did, and they loved it. Technically, Joe won the debate, but at another level, Ryan was no loser.

“Let’s face it. Times are different. So’s the culture. It’s a generational thing. That’s what Ryan brought to the table. Fresh face. Plenty of get up and go down a different road.”

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