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Love Him or Hate Him, All Eyes Were on Biden, Insiders Say

Patch's political insiders from both parties have plenty to say about Vice President Joe Biden's performance in Thursday night's debate against U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan.

When Patch asked Wisconsin political insiders who won Thursday night's debate between Republican Paul Ryan and Democratic Vice President Joe Biden, the responses were pretty much what one would expect.

More than 86 percent of the Republicans who responded to Patch's post-debate survey declared Ryan the winner, while all of the 36 Democrats who answered called it for Biden.

So, while they didn't see eye-to-eye on the outcome of the debate, they did agree on thing: That Biden pretty much stole the show.

When asked the open-ended question of what was the most memorable moment of the debate, more than two-thirds of the respondents of both parties had something to say about Biden.

For Republicans, Biden came off as "rude," "boorish," "arrogant" and "disrespectful." They also were irked by Biden constantly interrupting Ryan, something he did — at least according to the Republican National Committee — 82 times in the 90-minute debate.

"Biden was smirking and being disrespectful throughout the entire debate," one GOP insider said.

Another Republican accused Biden of "constant smirking and laughing and interrupting to try and prevent Ryan from speaking."

Added another: "Joe was flashing his Cheshire Cat veneer smile. Creepy!"

Democrats had a different take on Biden's performance, with many saying the vice president was able to make up for President Barack Obama's lackluster performance in the first debate.

"Joe was much more relaxed than President Obama was last week," said one Democratic insider.

Added another: "This is what the Obama/Biden team needed — a cleanup hitter."

  • You're invited: RSVP now for Patch's next debate viewing party on Tuesday
  • Who won?:
  • Live blog replay: A look back at our real-time coverage of debate

When asked what was the most memorable moment of the debate, several Democrats responded with one word: malarkey. Biden used that word early on in the debate in responding to Ryan's criticism of the Obama administration's Middle East policies.

Other Democrats praised Biden for bringing up GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's "47 percent" comment — something Obama did not do in the presidential debate.

When Thursday's debate ended, Patch sent its "Blue Wisconsin" and "Red Wisconsin" surveys to more than 150 influential members of both parties who have agreed to be regularly polled between now and the Nov. 6 election. The panel includes party leaders, elected officials, talk show hosts and prominent political bloggers.

Of the 52 influential Republicans who responded, 29 percent said Ryan won by a wide margin, while 58 percent said he won by a slim margin. Eleven percent were neutral and 2 percent (one respondent) said Biden won by a slim margin.

Of the 36 Democrats who responded, 83 percent said Biden won by a wide margin and 17 percent said he won by a slim margin.

Other findings from the unscientific survey:

  • Republicans were divided on whom the national media would declare the winner: 36 percent thought it would be Ryan; 39 percent said it would be Biden.
  • Among Democrats, 95 percent said Biden would be called the winner by the national media.
  • Two-thirds of Republicans thought that Ryan's performance would help Romney get more votes in Wisconsin, while 6 percent disagreed with that statement.
  • Among Democrats, 86 percent said they thought Biden's performance would help Obama in Wisconsin and none disagreed with that statement.

Patch will be conducting Red Wisconsin and Blue Wisconsin surveys between now and the election in hopes of determining the true sentiment of active members of both parties in the Badger State. Not everyone who agreed to be part of our survey panels participated in this survey.

Participants in Patch's Red Wisconsin Survey are:

Jim  Bender, president of School Choice Wisconsin, former chief of staff for Assembly Republican Leader Jeff Fitzgerald; Bill Berdan, first vice chairman, Wauwatosa Republicans; Keith  Best, public relations chairman for Waukesha County Republicans;  Bob Bradley, party activist; Charles Brey, field director for state Assembly candidate Tracy Herron; Tracy Brodd, Republican campaign worker; Paul  Bucher, former Waukesha County district attorney and candidate for Wisconsin attorney general; Roy Catron, Tea Party activist; Andrew Cegielski, former Milwaukee County Board candidate; Sara Conrad, party activist; Bill Cosh, spokesman for the state Department of Natural Resources; Michael Crowley, Waukesha County supervisor; Jake Curtis, former state Assembly candidate; Lou D'Abbraccio, board member, Racine County Republican Party;  Brian Dey, Racine County Tea Party member; Fred Dooley, conservative blogger; Steven Duckhorn, former Republican candidate for Milwaukee County sheriff; Bill Folk, chairman of Racine County Republican Party;Elisabeth Friesen, Republican activist; Jesse Garza, chairman, St. Croix County Republican Party; Mark Green, senior director of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, former U.S. ambassador to Tanzania and former congressman; Chris Haines, longtime campaign volunteer and former GOP campaign manager; Deb Hawley Jordahl, conservative strategist and consultant; John Hiller, co-chair of Scott Walker's transition team as governor; Sandra Hollander,  member of Mitt Romney's  “Juntos con Romney” leadership team; Ethan Hollenberger, former chairman of the College Republicans at Marquette University and staff member on several legislative campaigns; Mark Honadel, state reprsentative, 21st District; Marguerite Ingold, party activist; Valerie Johnson, former GOP fundraiser and staffer for various campaigns; Thomas J. Keeley, political consultant; Scott Kelly, communications director for former state Sen. Van Wanggaard; Cindy Kilkenny, conservative blogger; Rik Kluessendorf, attorney and former state Assembly candidate; Dan Knodl, state representative, 24th District; Tif Koehler, campaign volunteer and civic leader; Johnny Koremenos, regional field director for Tommy Thompson campaign; Gordon Lang, member of North Shore Republicans; Chris Larsen, trustee in Village of Sturtevant Trustee; Noelle Lorraine, field coordinator for Americans for Prosperity; John P. Macy, first vice chairman of Waukesha County Republican Party; Kathleen Madden, Waukesha County Clerk of Circuit Court; Ginny Marschman, party activist; Jessica McBride, conservative columnist; Bill McCoshen political consultant and; former cabinet secretary for Gov. Tommy Thompson; Joe Medina, party activist; Randy Melchert, field director for Mark Neumann's campaign; Gerald Mellone, Brookfield alderman; Ryan Morgan, conservative blogger; Dean Munday, conservative blogger; Mark Neumann, U.S. Senate candidate and former congressman; Kelly O'Brien, founder of Shorewood Citizens for Responsible Government; Eric Wm. Olsen, conservative activist; Nick Oliver, state Assembly candidate, 22nd District; Victoria Ostry, treasurer of the Wisconsin Federation of Republican Women.; Rick Owen, Brookfield alderman; Monnine  Parnitzke, party activist; Steve Ponto, mayor of Brookfield; Don Pridemore, state representative, 99th District; Paris Procopis, grassroots activist; Jim  Pugh, director of public relations and issue management for Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce; Denise Rate, Tea Party member; Bob Reddin, Brookfield alderman and executive director, Jobs First Coalition; Pam Reeves, treasurer, Waukesha County Republicans;  Joe Rice, former county supervisor and member of North Shore Republicans Executive Committee; Nate Ristow, candidate for 13th District State Assembly; Brandon Rosner, Wisconsin Republican consultant;  Bill Savage, aide to state Rep. Don Pridemore and  officer of Menomonee Falls Taxpayers Association; Jim  Schaefer, Muskego-Norway School Board president; Josh Schimek, conservative blogger; JB Schmidt, conservative blogger; Christian Schneider, senior fellow at Wisconsin Policy Research Institute and former policy analyst for Wisconsin State Legislature; Ashley Schultz, state director of the Recall Action Fund;  Nick Schweitzer, Libertarian pundit and blogger; Tim Schwister, former State Assembly candidate; Dan Sebring, vice chairman, Milwaukee County Republicans and candidate for 4th Congressional District; Cathy Stepp, Wisconsin Natural Resources secretary and former state senator; Jeff Stone, state representative, 82nd District; Jonathan Strasburg, attorney; Dave  Swarthout, board member, 1st Congressional District Republicans; Charles Sykes, conservative talk show host for WTMJ Radio;  Steve Taylor, Milwaukee County supervisor; Jenny Toftness, executive director of the Republican Assembly Campaign Committee; Greg Torres, Jefferson County supervisor; Jim  Villa, former chief of staff to County Executive Scott Walker and Alberta Darling; current CEO of Commercial Association of REALTORS® Wisconsin; Robin Vos, state representative; 63rd District; Dan Vrakas, Waukesha County Executive; Yash Wadhwa, former State Assembly candidate; Jeff Wagner, conservative talk show host, WTMJ Radio; Tom Weatherston, candidate for 62nd Assembly District and Village of Caledonia trustee; Steve Welcenbach, head of the Menomonee Falls Taxpayers Association and Tea Party activist; Todd Welch, Wisconsin state coordinator at Campaign for Liberty; James Wigderson, conservative blogger and columnist for Waukesha Freeman; Eddie Willing, conservative columnist in Racine County and executive director of FoundersIntent.org; Chris Wright, Sturtevant village trustee and former candidate for State Assembly; Phil Ziegler, CEO of InPro Inc. and party activist.

Patch's Blue Wisconsin Survey participants are:

Kelley Albrecht, candidate for 63rd State Assembly District; Mandela Barnes, candidate for 11th State Assembly District; Ron Biendseil, vice chair for membership, Dane County Democratic Party; Tammy Bockhorst, membership secretary/membership chair, Milwaukee County Democratic Party; Randy Bryce, candidate for 62nd State Assembly District; Brian Carlson, liberal blogger; Sachin Chheda, chair, Milwaukee County Democratic Party; Jeff Christensen, chair, 5th Congressional District Democrats; Mark Conforti, chief negotiator for the Fox Point-Bayside Teachers Association; Rick Congdon, former judge and former chair, Democratic Party of Waukesha County; Deb Dassow, progressive and labor activist, and semi-retired educator; Victor Drover, liberal blogger; Dale Dulberger, party activist; Perry Duman, candidate for the 60th State Assembly District; Brett Eckstein, Democratic attorney; Waring R. Fincke, vice chair, Washington County Democratic Party; Stephanie Findley, chair, 4th Congressional District Democrats; Kelly Gallaher, founding member, Community for Change; Heather Geyer, liberal columnist; Ginny Goode, Grassroots North Shore; Darcy Gustavsson, party activist; Kristin Hansen, neighborhood team leader, Obama for America and co-host, Drinking Liberally Waukesha; Robert Hansen, co-chair of Progressive Democrats of America in Milwaukee County; John Heckenlively, secretary, 1st Congressional District Democrats; Kelly Herda, treasurer, Democratic Party of Wisconsin Women's Caucus and political consultant; Robert Heule, Region 5 Chair, Democratic Party of Milwaukee County; Peter Knudsen, legislative aide and longtime Democratic staffer; Marga Krumins, candidate for 97th State Assembly District and associate chair Democratic Party of Wisconsin Women’s Caucus; Bill Kurtz, candidate for 21st Assembly District; John Lehman, state senator, 21st District; Matthew Lowe, youth outreach director, Waukesha County Democratic Party; Fran Martin, election observer for the Democratic Party and appeared in Wangaard recall ads; Tom Michalski, Oak Creek alderman; Bridget Moen, chair, Democratic Party of Ozaukee County; Meg Moen, treasure, Democratic Party of Ozaukee County; Rick Moze, party activist; Lisa Mux liberal blogger, and co-founder and co-host of Drinking Liberally Waukesha; Thad Nation, political consultant and former aide to Gov. Jim Doyle; Larry Nelson, former Waukesha mayor, current County Board supervisor and delegate to Democratic National Convention; Jason Patzfahl, liberal blogger and founding member of the Progressive 28th Political Action Committee; Jeffrey Perzan , attorney and party activist; Colin Plese, Shorewood School Board member; John Pokrandt, candidate for 13th State Assembly District; Steven Potter, communications aide, state Democratic Party; Jason Rae, Democratic National Committee member; Aaron Robertson, party activist; Chris Rockwood, candidate for 14th State Assembly District; Kristopher Rowe, party activist; Keith Schmitz, member, State Democratic Platform Committee and founding member, Grassroots North Shore; Richard Schwalb, party activist; Erin Sievert, chairwoman, Jefferson County Democrats; Kathleen Slamka, party activist; Eilene Stevens, party activist; Mike Tate, chair , Democratic Party of Wisconsin; Melissa Ugland, business owner and party activist; Sarah Wagner, community activist for Wisconsin Jobs Now; Jamie Wall, candidate for 8th Congressional District; Jim Ward, candidate, 28th State Senate District; Jane Witt, chair of Racine County Democrats; and Graeme Zielinski, communications director, Wisconsin Democratic Party.

James R Hoffa October 14, 2012 at 04:05 AM
@Beth - What did Ryan lie about exactly? Biden lied about Libya, Iran, voting against the Iraq and Afghan wars, Obama's tax plan, Romney/Ryan's plan, the Obama/Biden record, etc.
James R Hoffa October 14, 2012 at 04:09 AM
@Beth - Apparently, you've been misled about Romney's/Ryan's plan. Hoffa suggests that you look at the plan without the filter of liberal bias. Lay off the liberal kool-aide - it's definitely warping your brain!
James R Hoffa October 14, 2012 at 04:12 AM
@Randy1949 - What Ryan misstatements exactly? Ryan was lucky to actually make a point before being cut off by Biden when it wasn't Biden's turn to talk. Romney played by the rules and never interrupted Obama during Obama's time.
James R Hoffa October 14, 2012 at 04:13 AM
@Dirk - That's the stupidest thing that Hoffa's read this entire week - congratulations!
James R Hoffa October 14, 2012 at 04:14 AM
@John Feia - Obama and Biden lied more than Romney and Ryan did!
James R Hoffa October 14, 2012 at 04:16 AM
@lyin' morninmist - Ryan voted against the stimulus - he's never denied it. The stimulus passed anyway, despite his objection. As a representative of his congressional district, Ryan has a duty to his constituents to advocate for receipt of federal funds when they're being handed out. There's no hypocrisy here. Just bad policy and more debt from the Dems!
James R Hoffa October 14, 2012 at 04:22 AM
Had Hoffa been debating Biden, he wouldn't have been as deferential as Ryan was! Had Hoffa debated Biden, everyone would have concluded that Hoffa won the debate (even liberals)! Hoffa for President - 2016!!!
Craig October 14, 2012 at 06:41 AM
Well see now Dirk, that is where we differ. I do not feel underclassed or sub par just because someone's wealth and silver spoon child rearing make us different. Barry likely got a free education because of his foreign status, so how the hell can he identify with American's and college debt, paying a mortgage, etc? This is when kids become adults, when they start dealing with the shit that comes with being an adult. Having everything handed to you because you were not born here teaches you absolutely nothing.
Lyle Ruble October 14, 2012 at 12:56 PM
@JRH....Sometimes I worry about your mental health.
James R Hoffa October 14, 2012 at 04:22 PM
@Lyle - What is that supposed to mean - you don't think that Hoffa could be President?
Bren October 14, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Rolling Stone article: Mitt Romney's tax dodge. All should read. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/mitt-romney-s-tax-dodge-20121012
WEACHATER October 14, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Let start a unofficial poll. How many times did Lyle get his ass kicked in elementary school? How many times did Lyle scream, "You cant hit someone with glasses? How many times did Lyle get pantsed?
Lyle Ruble October 14, 2012 at 04:33 PM
@JRH...Nope! You don't play well with others.
Lyle Ruble October 14, 2012 at 04:38 PM
@WEACHATER...Are you still in middle school?
WEACHATER October 14, 2012 at 04:40 PM
No Im a business owner who thinks you are a douchbag
James R Hoffa October 14, 2012 at 05:04 PM
@Bren - Thanks for wasting Hoffa's time - that article is a joke! It's mostly premised on hearsay from so-called 'experts' and academics, while at the same admitting that nothing is known for sure or supported with primary source factual evidence. This is trash journalism and a smear/hit piece if Hoffa ever saw one. A true independent would see right through this piece for what it truly is - biased propaganda! So how come you, as a self-declared independent, insist that "all should read?" When it comes to politics, Rolling Stone is as far left as Mother Jones! Once again proving that Bren = lefty liberal stooge parading as an independent.
James R Hoffa October 14, 2012 at 05:06 PM
@Lyle - It's true, Hoffa doesn't play very well with others. But neither did Jesse Ventura, and he made it work for him in Minnesota. If Hoffa ever did run, he'd have to do it as an independent.
James R Hoffa October 14, 2012 at 05:09 PM
@WEACHATER - That's not very cool! Please try to show some respect. Lyle is good person - his ideas are just wrong. If you really want to insult Lyle, challenge his ideas by providing an analysis showing how his ideas are clearly wrong. But please, drop the pointless name-calling and character attacks - it's wholly unbecoming of 'our' side!
WEACHATER October 14, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Sorry JRH but Lyle is a liberal douchbag
Lyle Ruble October 14, 2012 at 05:24 PM
@JRH...Thanks.
Lyle Ruble October 14, 2012 at 05:28 PM
@WEACHATER...If you must label me, I prefer to be labeled as a social democrat, it's much more descriptive of my actual politics.
Carolo October 14, 2012 at 06:41 PM
Romney-Obama Debate: Romney interupted, was aggressive and even bossed around the Moderator and Obama did poorly......Republicans cheered Biden-Ryan Debate: Biden interupted, smiled, laughed and was aggressive.....Democrats cheered.
James R Hoffa October 14, 2012 at 07:29 PM
@Carolo - Romney was no rougher on the moderator than Obama was - and the moderator forced Romney to fight for his time because as it was, Lehrer gave Obama an additional 5 minutes of talking time over Romney. Had Romney not fought for his talking time, the debate would have been little more than an Obama re-election infomercial, which you probably would have preferred. Also, Romney didn't interrupt Obama during his time, as Biden frequently interrupted Ryan during his time. Biden was actually given nearly 3 additional minutes of talking time over Ryan by the moderator, not including his interruptions, laughing, snickers, etc. Thus, there was no reason for Biden to act like an @ss other than to show his true colors. If you can't see the difference, well, that's pretty sad, isn't it?
morninmist October 14, 2012 at 08:03 PM
I agree! @McBlondeLand So now Ambassador Steven 's dad has to call out Mitt Romney. Romney has no morale compass. http://gregmitchellwriter.blogspot.com/2012/10/stevens-dad-to-mitt-shut-up.html … Sunday, October 14, 2012 Stevens' Dad to Mitt: Shut Up First it was parents of the slain Navy SEAL. Now the father of slain U.S. ambassador Christoper Steven has called for an end to using his son for political gain in the Libya debate. “It would really be abhorrent to make this into a campaign issue,” Jan Stevens, 77, said in a telephone interview from his home in Loomis, California, as he prepares for a memorial service for his son next week. Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, has criticized President Barack Obama for not providing adequate security in Libya, saying the administration has left the country exposed to a deadly terrorist attack. The ambassador’s father, a lawyer, said politicians should await the findings of a formal investigation before making accusations or judgments.
James R Hoffa October 14, 2012 at 08:18 PM
@morninmist - Mitt is not exploiting the death of Ambassador Stevens. He's merely pointing out the flaws in Obama's administration, the same way you guys did to Bush when it become known that Saddam really didn't have any WMD's. Perhaps Obama/Biden should stop extolling bin Laden's death for political gain, as Hoffa is certain that bin Laden's family would not be pleased with such exploitation. Where's the media reports of how bin Laden's family feels about his exploitation for political gain by Obama/Biden? Once again, the left/Dems show their hypocrisy and how they're clearly targeting the low-information, non-thinking voter! ROMNEY/RYAN/THOMPSON 2012!!!
Craig October 14, 2012 at 08:29 PM
So Dirk; you must feel you got rights because you were born to a disadvantaged family? You should have free college for your kids, not have to pay your mortgage, food, and utility bills? Now I understand why you like Obama. When this Country is full of 100 million Robin Hood types, there will not be any rich people to give to the poor. Then what? Talk about eliminating the middle class. Everyone but the wealthy will be living in the projects. Yeah that sounds like the America Obama's dad wished for.
morninmist October 14, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Hey Hoffa Go talk to the Ambassador's father. ........... James R Hoffa 3:18 pm on Sunday, October 14, 2012 @morninmist -
The Anti-Alinsky October 14, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Absolutely Hoffa. It's loaded with phrases like: "...impossible to say for sure..." "...He's not quite denied that..." "...could explain..." "... driving speculation..." Ya gotta love an article loaded with such solid facts.
The Anti-Alinsky October 14, 2012 at 09:28 PM
WEACHATER, Lyle's views may be misguided (OK, wrong), but he is one of the few Liberals who doesn't go around name calling.
yomammy October 15, 2012 at 12:10 PM
funny, mitt bring up the poor security "making" it a political issue. the left brings essentially the same thing up- cept in different context saying that the right is making it a political issue...alrighty then...

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