Despite the fact that vice presidential debates are rarely credited with changing the eventual outcome of a presidential election, Thursday night’s face-off between Vice President Joe Biden and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan proved to be an especially vigorous one.
Since its broadcast, political reporters have described the debate in terms varying from spirited and watchable, to strange and even ugly. But all seemed to remark on the disparity between Biden and Ryan’s styles of debating.
In a debate that covered a variety of global and domestic issues ranging from the recent assault in Libya that killed U.N. ambassador Chris Stevens; how the United States should handle the threat of a nuclear Iran; the economy; and the candidates’ personal views on abortion, Biden and Ryan poised themselves remarkably differently.
“Ryan was speaking in the economics seminar at some obscure think tank. Biden was shouting answers in the middle of a loud sports bar,” wrote Timothy Stanley, in an op-ed for CNN. “Biden laughed his way through Ryan's answers and Ryan was often visibly irritated.”
While Paul Ryan played it calm and collected throughout the 90-minute-long debate, Joe Biden gave a deliberately theatrical performance, making no effort whatsoever to play nice or hide his condescension for his much younger challenger.
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“[Biden] interrupted Ryan, talked over him, met his every remark with theatrical sarcasm and incredulity,” wrote Atlantic reporter Molly Ball. “Even by the self-parodic standards of Joe Biden, it was a hammed-up shtick, grating and impolite.”
It should therefore come as no surprise that once again, the televised debate format proved to be an excellent source fodder for satirical memes. Without further ado then, here is our selection of the top 5 memes from the 2012 vice presidential debate.