Ten days ago, Politico staffer-turned Debbie Wasserman Schultz flak-turned Politico staffer Jon Allen published a laughably-headlined story in "Joe Biden: Sex symbol?" So naturally, Allen was the perfect choice for the liberally-slanted MSNBC's The Cycle to bring on its Friday program to review the previous night's vice presidential debate.
While Allen refused to be as gaga over Joe Biden as liberal co-host Krystal Ball was, he failed to do any fact-checking of the vice president and suggested that Biden won on the substance of the debate:
BALL: You know, Jonathan, I was struck by something S.E. said just a moment ago about how conservatives expected and wanted Ryan to just come out and just wipe the floor with Joe Biden. That was what was sort of expected from conservatives and I heard from a few Republicans last night that they thought he did a fine job, but they're not sure he has really what it takes to go to the next level. Are you hearing that from people too?
ALLEN: I haven't heard a lot of that so far, but look, there's no question that Paul Ryan is not today an experienced presidential candidate in the way that Barack Obama is or the way Mitt Romney is in his second run for the presidency.... Conservatives definitely wanted to see that floor wiping happen....
I think one thing that Joe Biden reminded us all of was he's pretty good at public policy, he's been doing it for a long time, and there's maybe a tendency to dismiss him as some guy who's been off in foreign policy land or judiciary land. This is a guy who's been dealing with the budget talks, with the deficit reduction packages the same way that Paul Ryan has. I thought he was very strong on that just in terms of his command of the substance, which made it a lot harder for Ryan to go out and show himself to have greater command.
That was an area where I think conservatives and Republicans expected a little too much out of Paul Ryan and where Democrats could be proud of their guy, I guess Joe Biden in terms of his command of the substance that he wasn't expected to necessarily have command of.
After this, co-host Steve Kornacki asked Allen about how Republicans were critical of Biden's boy language and constant interruptions, attempting to make it the "equivalent of Al Gore, the sighing in 2000, where that becomes the post-debate story."
For his part, Allen said that did have resonance with folks beyond the political right, but downplayed its potential to go down as a Gore-like "sigh moment" (emphasis mine):
...only for this reason: The sigh moment sort of was dismissive in a way that I think President Obama actually got hit for last week.
I don't think Biden was so much dismissive of Ryan or certainly not of the audience at home which is much more important. And so I think that it probably won't have quite that traction, but certainly part of the story, certainly part of the story that was going on last night. It was an odd first few minutes of the debate, I thought.
Just the first few moments of the debate?! What debate was Jon watching?
Maybe he was just too distracted by Biden's sexiness. From Allen's aforementioned Oct. 2 love letter to the nation's #2:
He’s kissed women on the lips – and the cheek. He pulled a biker chick so close to him at one pit stop that she appeared to be sitting in his lap in photos. And he’s talked about the acrobatic acts of cheerleaders in terms that would draw at least a PG-13 rating in Hollywood.
Chris Kofinis, a Democratic strategist, said it makes sense to have Biden working the crowd at lunch counters because he’s good at it.
“He is a classic old school retail politician and politics and elections never [tire] of that. Obama’s a great orator and Biden is the retail politician,” Kofinis said. “They’re very different and they appeal to different types of emotions of voters.”
It’s undeniable that he’s a little different than the other candidates on the presidential ticket — the vice president is a big flirt.
Get a room, Jon.