First off, a spoiler: Neither Vice President Joe Biden nor Congressman Paul Ryan won the debate. That honor went to moderator Martha Raddatz, who, after last week’s sweat-sock-in-a-jet-engine-blast performance by Jim Lehrer was a breath of knowledgeable bad-assery. Rachel Maddow was stoked for her before the debate even started.
In fact, she didn’t just moderate a debate: According to Twitter, she launched her own candidacy. My personal favorite Raddatz moment was when she asked Ryan for specific numbers on his plan and after three attempts at vague evasion, Raddatz cut in with “So no specifics, then.”
She was great, but several women noticed that it took a while – a long while – for us to get mentioned.
…And once the topic did arise, well, Melissa Harris-Perry producer Jamil Smith brought up an excellent point.
In one of his best moments, Joe Biden explained that he didn’t feel the need to impose his personal pro-life beliefs on every woman in the nation while Ryan invoked science and then zoomed straight into the land of really, really, really not science. Ryan also took shots at birth control for good measure. “Religious liberty,” in his parlance, means “An employer’s ‘right’ to make you conform to his religious views whether you share them or not.”
Before the debate was even over, the delightful Mansplaining Ryan Tumblr was all the rage.
Words of the night:
In addition to saying “my friend” every time he meant “I am about to purple your nurples beyond all recognition,” Joe Biden brought the word “malarkey” back into the mainstream. And talked about… uh… “Stuff.” I’m pretty sure Biden didn’t want to say “stuff” when he said “stuff.”
Biden also had a pretty great I-can’t-believe-I’m-hearing-this-“stuff” face.
I thought that if you just listened instead of looking at the screen, Paul Ryan sounded like Urkel, but Paul Ryan Gosling showed me that I was mistaken.
…While political writer Zerlina Maxwell passed along a tweet that took Romney’s bizarrely terrible workout photoshoot into account.
And, yes, Ryan got in one good line about Biden’s history of gaffes.
Which was a nice little break from watching Biden pummel him for much of the night.
Do you want some fact-checking? Yeah, you do. Salon ran an impressive live fact check, and more have been popping up all over the web ever since. And PoliticsUSA just went with Paul Ryan’s five biggest lies from the first half of the debate.
…Overall, one or two people on Twitter thought Biden won the night.
What did you think? Hit the comments and let us know.