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The Ungentlemanliness of Joe Biden and Paul Ryan

If we spent 75 grand on veneers, we’d inappropriately laugh a lot, too.

That said, Joe Biden’s unremitting laughter during nearly every moment of Paul Ryan’s responses during last night’s vice presidential debate was ungentlemanly, at best. At worst, it amplified his primary weakness: that he is a fusty old man drenched in a salty combo of Dewar’s and lower-lip sweat. Regardless of your politics, we imagine you found it at least somewhat difficult to watch the vice president of the United States mockingly laugh at a seated congressman for an hour on national television.

On the other hand, there’s kind of a lot to laugh at...

If Biden once again came off as a patrician oldster, Ryan once again came off as a wedgied, pubescent narc.

We don’t often give style advice to US congressmen since, after all, they’re not elected to be dandies. But in the case of Mr. Ryan, whose style missteps are so glaringly Skippy-like, for us to remain silent on the issue would be tantamount to calling in sick for the day.

As always here on Kempt, we’re talking about the broader definition of “style”—one that encompasses both appearance (sporting “the wet look” to such an extent, for example, that your hair glistens like a QVC “Smart-Shopper” amethyst choker during a vice presidential debate) and behavior (say, needlessly lying about running a marathon in under three hours when you didn’t even finish in under four).

The fact is, Mr. Ryan, that along with money and sex, a gentleman does not talk about how fast he runs or how much he lifts, and most certainly is not dishonest about the former and/or photographed while doing the latter.

In a word, it’s laughable.