I actually don't think Paul Ryan is as wonky or as smart as the right likes to believe or portray him as. He never explains his math, he can't take being challenged, he doesn't like being wrong (who does) but optics in this show down are everything (as we learned from the last presidential debate), and he comes across as just a little too self-satisfied (like most privilaged frat boys.)
This smug silly grin was actually intentional, if you can believe that—no photoshop here, this was a recent shoot for Time magazine. Some photo editor is either having a good laugh or being fired.
I think I can safely say both parties are waiting for a big knock down drag out battle at the podiums tonight. But I doubt it will be a draw, someone is going to come out on top.
What does Joe Biden need to do tonight? Just rattle him Joe, just rattle him a little.