The expectations were set incredibly low for Joe Biden. As Ryan would put it to him during the debate, "Sometimes words don't come out of your mouth the right way," eliciting laughter from the gallery. As a man who wouldn't be taken seriously entering this debate, he couldn't possibly be more buffoonish. So why not go ballistic and interrupt Ryan at every turn?
The move paid off. The only times Ryan got to enjoy uninterrupted time to make his pitch to the American people were during his opening and closing statements. Every other moment was shared with Biden or the moderator, Martha Radditz.
Ryan's strength comes from his knowledge of the math and the numbers. He needed to establish with the American people that he was a competent, thoughtful aspiring vice presidential candidate who could work across the aisle. Just a month ago, he was being protrayed as a right-wing radical with ideas too crazy for independents. That's why his pitch was so focused on how he would focus on working with Democrats to reach a solution on the budget or on foreign policy, contrasting that to the experience of Obama's first term.