For supporters of President Obama, who was enjoying a comfortable lead in the polls in late summer and appeared set to cruise to reelection despite a still faltering economy, the first presidential debate of Oct. 3 was like running full tilt into a brick wall. The President’s listless performance in his faceoff with Mitt Romney changed the face of the campaign and suddenly made the Republican ticket a force to be reckoned with. It was up to Joe Biden, facing off against GOP Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan, to right the Democrats’ ship.
And Smokin’ Joe came out swinging. The Vice President grinned, guffawed and gesticulated his way through the debate, throwing Ryan off balance and appearing to have a lot more fun. That’s not to say, of course, that the debate didn’t get serious and aggressive, or that Biden and his opponent, Paul Ryan, didn’t discuss key issues like taxes and foreign policy. But the most memorable moments featured an especially enthusiastic, uninhibited Biden tossing around phrases like “With all due respect, that’s a bunch of malarkey.”
In fact, the veep’s use of such phrases segued into a helpful vocabulary lesson. When Biden declared one of Ryan’s arguments to be nothing more than “a bunch of stuff,” moderator Martha Raddatz asked him what exactly that meant, as seen in the above clip. “Stuff,” apparently, is just another word for what the Irish call “malarkey.” Turns out Biden’s wife Jill isn’t the only one in the family with teaching skills.