Obama campaign manager Jim Messina had two words for critics of Vice President Biden's demeanor at Thursday night's debate.

"He's a happy warrior," Messina told reporters in the red-carpeted spin room immediately after the debate. "That's fine. That's who Joe Biden is. And what people got from him was passion for the middle class. What people saw tonight was facts versus index-card talking points, and Ryan couldn't go anywhere past index-card talking points."

Deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter echoed that point, telling a swarm of reporters as she exited the spin room that "Joe Biden is 100 percent authentic, and that's what the American people saw tonight."

If spin room arrival times are anything to go by, the Democrats felt as if they had the upper hand after the vice-presidential face-off: the Democratic spinners arrived at 10:24 p.m., several minutes before most of those on the GOP side did.

That stood in contrast to last week's debate, when Democrats reportedly took a full 15 minutes to enter the room after President Obama's lackluster performance.