• With: Dan Henninger, Bill McGurn, Jason Riley, Kim Strassel, Bret Stephens, Matt Kaminski

    (LAUGHTER)

    GIGOT: All right, Dan, by one count, 83 times --

    DAN HENNINGER, COLUMNIST & DEPUTY EDITOR: Yes.

    GIGOT: -- Biden interrupted? How effective was that as a strategy?

    HENNINGER: I think it was totally in effective, Paul. At that point, I think there might have been about 25 interruptions.

    (LAUGHTER)

    And let me just -- somebody counted. There were 83 interruptions in a 90-minute speech and Joe Biden probably spoke three-quarters of the time, which means he effective destroyed every statement that Paul Ryan tried to make. And, you know, Biden came across as a bar-room bore. Except in a bar, you can say, thanks, old timer, I've got to go home.

    (LAUGHTER)

    And he forced 60 millions of people to sit and listen to him for 90 minutes.

    (LAUGHTER)

    GIGOT: All right, Bill, but was Ryan too differential given that onslaught? There's some conservatives that think he should have been more assertive.

    BILL MCGURN, COLUMNIST: Yes. I think three things. I think he was too differential. I think he let Joe Biden have the last word on too many things and so forth. That said, I think he did what he was there to do, which was to show he was a vice presidential candidate, that he had a good demeanor, a good argument. No one is going to remember anything bad about what he did. Joe Biden dominated the debate. You can say he won, but it might be also that he lost the debate, especially once we see the "Saturday Night Live" portrayal of this.

    GIGOT: You mean he might have won in terms of the --

    (CROSSTALK)

    GIGOT: Well, he led the debate but he lost it, if you look at his smirk, his snarl --

    (CROSSTALK)

    MCGURN: My former colleague, Marc Thiessen said one of the measures of a debate -- he was saying this before the Romney debate -- is who cuts the ad after the debate. The RNC has this ad of laughter --

    GIGOT: Republican National Committee.

    MCGURN: I think it's very, very effective and so forth. And I think in the post-debate, what are people going to remember? They aren't going to remember the fine points. They are going to remember Joe Biden's mannerisms. Michael Goodwin, in The Post today, says, he was laughing at the beginning, he was angry at the end, it wasn't clear whether his medication was wearing off or kicking in.

    (LAUGHTER)

    RILEY: If you like Joe Biden, you are happy with that performance. If you didn't like Joe Biden, you thought he was a bore last night. But what about the people in the middle? What about the undecideds?

    (CROSSTALK)

    GIGOT: And what do you think? What do you think?

    RILEY: I think that it wasn't just the interruptions but the condescending manner that turned off some of those undecided voters. And I think that that may come back to haunt the ticket later on.

    GIGOT: Kim, was -- do you think Paul Ryan looked presidential? Rose to the presidential level on foreign policy?

    STRASSEL: He did. Look, that was a bit of a mixed performance at times. You know, he scored very heavily talking about Libya and Benghazi at the beginning, talking about American projecting its image in the world. Some of the focus groups afterwards showed some people thought that was some of his most effective lines of the entire debate.

    I think there was less of a good response on some issues, Syria and Iran to a certain degree. Although, the question is again whether or not Biden's performance was just so over the top that, did any of that really matter because people were having a hard time paying attention to anything about Joe Biden?

    GIGOT: Dan?

    HENNINGER: Paul, this was supposed to be a debate. It's called a debate. It was not supposed to be a WWF smack down.

    (LAUGHTER)

    What I'm saying is that I think most people came to it tuned in because they wanted to hear the vice president of the United States and his opponent talk about the issues that are before the American people right now, primarily being the economy. They were not given the opportunity to do that. And the reason they weren't is because of the way Joe Biden behaved during the debate. So I think he's going to cost the Obama campaign long-term among undecided voters.

    GIGOT: Any obligation here, Bill, on the part of the moderator? I hate to pick on the moderator --

    MCGURN: Yes --

    (CROSSTALK)

    GIGOT: -- but they're supposed to make sure people can at least hear when they say.

    MCGURN: I was disappointed. I don't think she was biased. I know some people say she was biased in the questions and so forth. But I much preferred the first format because I found disconcerting, part what Dan said, but partly, they were debating with Martha Raddatz, one person, rather than debating with one another and the American people. If you look at the split screens, they weren't looking at each other. I found we had a much more productive debate the last time. I would rather the issues to be debated be decided less by one newspaper person or one TV reporter than by the candidates themselves.

    GIGOT: Yes. It's not a press conference, it's a debate.

    MCGURN: Right.

    GIGOT: All right.

    Much more on this week's vice presidential debate when we come back. Plus, a look ahead to Tuesday's Obama-Romney rematch. Expectations are high for both candidates. So will the president raise his game and can Mitt Romney sustain his momentum?