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If the presidential debate offered a strangely lopsided and shapeless match-up between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, Thursday’s vice presidential showdown offered voters something to sink their teeth into.
From the beginning, it was clear that Vice President Joe Biden was fired up, given as he was to angry confrontational rhetoric punctuated by frequent outbursts of incredulous laughter. To that, his rival, Paul Ryan, played the role of cool challenger, rarely breaking eye-contact or losing his train of thought as he adhered to a well-worn list of GOP campaign talking points.
There were almost too many quotable moments to seize upon, though Twitter seemed instantly drawn to the term “malarkey” — a quaint term used by Biden in place of a popular synonym for cattle fertilizer. And then there was “Bean,” a nickname Ryan said he gave his daughter, inspired by the legume-like shape she took on in a pre-birth sonogram. The reference came during a question about the candidates’ stances on abortion.
And while the evening offered no breakout star on the level of Big Bird, moderator Martha Reddatz, the senior foreign affairs correspondent for ABC News, stood out as the anti-Jim Lehrer –– regularly interrupting the candidates to steer the conversation back towards her questions, which tended towards issues of foreign policy.
Celebrity reaction came fast and furious — perhaps even moreso than for Obama and Romney’s debate.
Some early Twitter reactions:
My conservative friends on Facebook are saying that Martha Raddatz is being “rude.” That’s how I know Ryan’s losing. #debate
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) October 12, 2012
Once again, the Dem doesn’tmention Bain, tax returns, war on women, voter supression, etc – but Biden was alert, feisty and honest.
— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) October 12, 2012
Biden is hitting in one answer all the things Obama left out in the entire first 90 minute debate
— Bill Maher (@billmaher) October 12, 2012
Trending hashtags you couldn’t have predicted before debate : #malarkey #bunchofstuff
— Diane Sawyer (@DianeSawyer) October 12, 2012
This debate gives me the same uneasy feeling I had during the entire gangsta rap era.
— Dane Cook (@DaneCook) October 12, 2012
Got to say. Refreshing to see two smart guys truly debate policy with the gloves off. Been awhile…
— Patrick J. Adams (@halfadams) October 12, 2012
If you’re not watching this debate right now you should be. It is gripping. @cnn
— Anderson Cooper (@andersoncooper) October 12, 2012
Joe’s smile. #ItsAllAbout
— yvette nicole brown (@yvettenbrown) October 12, 2012
Biden constantly looks like he’s standing behind his ex wife’s drunk new husband at Daughter’s wedding. #VPDebate
— Adam McKay (@GhostPanther) October 12, 2012
Go Biden, go!!
— Julia Louis-Dreyfus (@OfficialJLD) October 12, 2012
Biden is amazing tonight. Ryan looks like he might cry #vpdebate
— Joy Behar (@JoyVBehar) October 12, 2012
Life begins at 40. Get your facts right.#VPDebate
— Kevin Nealon (@kevin_nealon) October 12, 2012
Breaking news: life now begins when a woman first makes eye contact with a male. #vpdebate
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) October 12, 2012
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