Debates between Vice Presidential candidates typically draw in half the audience of their presidential counterparts - but those who did settle down last night to Joe Biden vs. Paul Ryan were treated to a classic. And, this time, the Democrats didn't take a pasting. We round-up the morning's reaction.
LEVEL ON POINTS
USA Today shared the spoils. Both men "presented themselves quite well, acting (for the most part) in a civil manner throughout". Wonks were satisfied too, as "fairly detailed discussion of domestic and foreign policy" was the order of the night. Ryan suggested he'd make a capable president, were the situation to arise. He seemed more at ease than an agitated Biden, but on the whole this was "a draw" - good news for sliding Team Obama.
BIDEN GOES LOCO
Slate worries for Biden's sanity, calling his perfomance "breathtakingly strange and boorish". Whereas four years ago the VP took pains to show deference to Sarah Palin - last night he played playground bully with Ryan, going out of his way "to belittle him, demean him, and show exactly how little he took seriously the congressman 27 years his junior." Perhaps this was the Democrats' way to make up for Obama's limp performance against Romney. And Biden may just have accomplished his kamikaze mission.
In The Independent Rupert Cornwell revelled in a debate as "uninhibited as any in history" - and approvingly cites some waspish Biden put-downs: "Not a single thing he [Ryan] says is accurate, I don’t understand what he’s talking about. With all due respect, that’s a bunch of malarky". That will have got Democrats whooping, but few voters will change their mind after last night. However, Biden's aggressive performance might just have slowed Romney's rise in the polls.
You can watch the debate in full here.