My take on the Biden/Ryan showdown is up over at Plum Line. Basically, I predicted that reactions would be mostly determined by whether people like Joe Biden or not; he dominated that much.
I'll just add a few random points here...
1. I strongly suspect that Ryan will come off worse on the transcript than he did live on TV. We'll see, but that's my guess.
2. It remains amazing the extent to which Republicans, despite having a perfectly fine real target, are running against a fictional Obama. There was a bit of the real target tonight; Ryan had a riff he repeated at least once about this being a lousy recovery. That's true! But mostly, Ryan's (and Romney's) targets are, as Biden said, a bunch of malarkey about apology tours, a fictional war Catholics, an "unraveling" foreign policy, and an economy worse now when Obama took office.
3. It surely doesn't matter, but Biden seemed to hit a point with, I don't know, 15 or so minutes remaining where he apparently decided he risked overkill and shut down the stuff that was dominating the debate up to that point (where "dominating" just means keeping the attention on him). I suspect that was a mistake, even though few were still watching and the pundits had surely made up their minds by then, because I think there was a chance Ryan would rattle further.
4. There was apparently a phony "AP poll" released after the debate which went around twitter rapidly. Seems like a smart, if totally slimy, thing to do; the instapolls do drive coverage.
5. Just a guess, of course, but I think that once everything settles down the polls will judge Ryan a clear winner. Why? GOP spinners and GOP-aligned media have already settled on a simple, clear, line of what happened (That jerk Biden was a jerk and everyone hated him). Democratic spinners, from what I've seen, do not have nearly as clear a line, and the Dem-aligned media is far less efficient. They'll say Biden won, but they won't have a story to use to convince people of that. Therefore, more people will buy the GOP "Ryan won" story.
6. Nevertheless, I agree with the conventional wisdom that the goal here for Biden was to rally Dems, and he did that effectively; the polling consensus won't be strong enough to dilute the Democratic spin that Biden won.
7. Dems also may benefit if they push substantive points while Republicans are obsessing about Biden's demeanor.
8. It's just amazing how poorly placed the Republicans are to criticize Obama on foreign policy and national security. That's true generally, of course; what the House Republicans have done over the last two years (with Romney basically on board) is just so far from the mainstream that it's constantly tripping them up. For example, on diplomatic security. Mind you, I don't think that logic matters all that much in these things, but to the extent it does it's a real problem for them.
Okay, that's it for now. I'm not even sure I'm going to post a "Read Stuff" in the morning...