In contrast to President Obama, Joe Biden seems a lot more willing to get his hands dirty by just stepping up and scoffing at what he finds to be untrue. I'm certain he's spinning things just as well, but at least he's willing to not dance around the things he objects.
If nothing else, this debate has been much more entertaining for me to watch than the first one.
Iran's vital seaborne trade is buckling under the weight of Western sanctions, deepening hardship for a population deprived of basic imports and heaping intense pressure on Tehran over its nuclear programme.
Many of Iran's imports, including food and consumer goods, arrive on container, bulker and other ships, but the number of vessels calling at its ports has dived by more than half this year as the United States and European Union tighten the screws.
Analysts doubt the Iranian economy is near collapse, even though its rial currency has plunged in the last few weeks, but they say some shortages and rising prices of imported goods could provoke public unrest directed at Tehran's leadership.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Iranian officials on Wednesday to stop bickering over mounting economic woes as Tehran grapples with Western-imposed sanctions, voicing concern heightened by the collapse of the rial currency.
His comments touched on divisions between Iranian government agencies and political factions exacerbated by the rial's fall over the past several weeks, fanning an atmosphere of crisis in the world's No. 5 oil-exporting state.
"The country's officials should know and accept their responsibilities and not blame each other," Khamenei said in a televised speech in the northeastern c i ty of Bojnourd. "They should be united and sympathise with each other."
The rial plunged some 35 percent in the free market to a record low against the U.S. dollar over the 10 days to Oct. 2, reflecting a decline in Iran's oil income wrought by tightened sanctions imposed over its disputed nuclear programme.
Iranian savers have rushed to convert their rials into hard currency, and riot police briefly clashed with crowds protesting against the rial's slide near Tehran's Grand Bazaar last week.