I can’t wait for the VP debate in Kentucky. The Obama campaign needs Joe Biden to win this debate. If not, then (to use a baseball analogy) they will go down 2-0 to Team Romney and that’s not a good place to be at this stage in the campaign narrative.
I actually think Paul Ryan has the heavier lift. Despite the fact that he has never debated like this before, he is considered the intellectual leader of the conservative movement so they’ll be pressure on him to live up to that reputation. The bar is high for him.
Additionally, with all due respect to Ryan’s intellect, he needs to be able to come across as not just really smart and competent but also as someone who cares about people. In other words, he needs to ooze empathy. This is a challenge for Ryan, not because he doesn’t have empathy, but rather because in this debate setting it will be very easy to get sucked into a policy wonkish defense of his budget proposal.He might start to drown in facts and figures and lose the audience.
He needs to strike the right balance of compassion and competency. It’s not easy.
As for Uncle Joe, (I’m sorry…VP Biden) he needs to make sure he doesn’t make any glaring mistakes. As long as he doesn’t go off the reservation (no sure bet) then he should be fine. Expect him to invoke the words “middle class,” “Scranton,” and “Amtrak” multiple times (Google his name and those words and you will understand why).
The Brody File will be in Danville, Ky., for the debate on Thursday.