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In a normal Presidential election year, the one vice presidential debate is usually an exercise in political vanity but Campaign 2012 is anything but normal.
After President Barack Obama’s dismal debate performance last week put challenger Mitt Romney back into the race, the watchers and clockers will keep an eye on tonight’s veep talkfest between Vice President Joe Biden and GOP challenger Paul Ryan to see if the current vice president can save his boss’s ass.
That could be a challenge for Biden, the man of a thousand political faces, the vice president known for twisting facts, stepping on his constantly slipping tongue.
The sad fact that Obama must depend on Biden for a political comeback showcases how surreal the current campaign for the nation’s top job has become.
If the Republicans had found a real candidate for President, Obama should be polishing his resume and calling a moving company to relocate come January 2013.
At best, Obama is a lackluster President with a crappy record in his first term. He frittered away his first four years, blaming others for his mistakes and lack of leadership. Against a good candidate he would be toast. That a loser like Romney is even close is a sad testament to the sorry state of the American political system.
So now it is up to Joe Biden, the vice president who recently told voters in Danville, Virginia that “with your help we can carry North Carolina,” the veep who in 2010 mourned the death of the Irish Prime Minister’s mother — who was very much alive — and who — in front of an open mike — told Obama that signing of the health bill was a “big fucking deal.”
Yep, that Joe Biden.
Biden’s history of screw-ups is so bad that Time magazine published a list of the “Top 10 Joe Biden Gaffes.”
Biden’s last debate was with Sarah Palin, the laughing-stock veep candidate that the John McCain campaign brought in out of desperation. A political screwup with an IQ around that of the average plant, Palin still matched Biden in some parts of the debate and while most polls declared Biden the winner, he still didn’t win going away against an incredible lightweight.
“Paul Ryan may be just as much of a right-wing zealot at Palin but he’s a hell of a lot smarter than Palin and that could be a problem for Biden,” a longtime GOP consultant tells Capitol Hill Blue.
So can Biden get through tonight’s debate without messing up?
The odds are not good, which means it may well be up to Obama to save his own butt in this year’s anything-can-happen Presidential race.