Paul Ryan was much more likeable tonight than Joe Biden. His logic was a lot easier to follow. His level of knowledge was at least the equal of Biden's. His credibility was usually greater than Biden's. His body lanugage was better. He blinked less. While Ryan left some wide open opportunities untaken, and while there was one exchange of about five minutes where he looked like he was dodging a question, he overall came across as somebody that Americans would be far more comfortable with in terms of facing a future rife with problems.
My wife felt even more strongly. She said: "I thought Biden was splattered against the wall."
This debate, in short, certainly did nothing to stop the trajectory of a campaign that is creeping in favor of Romney and Ryan. The only question I have is whether Ryan accelerated that movement. I think he did, slightly. But Biden's pugnaciousness probably stopped a lot of the glumness that has been bedeviling Democrats in the past eight days. That alone is a not insubstantial benefit for the Obama team.
This is still a very, very close race. The Romney campaign still needs to step up its game. It needs stronger, more memorable commercials. And it needs to start blasting ObamaCare's medical device tax. But if I'm Mitt Romney right now, I am feeling very good about having chosen Paul Ryan as my running mate. He is very impressive, and very capable. I think he achieved a slight victory tonight.