Fighting The Fair Fight: What Can We Expect From Ryan and Biden?

Joe Biden has a lot riding on tonight’s debate, Save Jerseyans. 

I am willing to bet that his prep team has been drilling him nonstop about the points he absolutely needs to communicate to the public so that he can revive the campaign and return credibility to his boss. 

All in all, I think that Team Obama is very nervous, and understandably so. Although Vice-President Biden has had a very long political career and has obviously done some things right, he is not the most eloquent speaker on Earth.  He frequently runs off at the mouth, most recently declaring that the middle class had been “buried” for the last four years.  And while this is one instance where I actually agree with Biden, it is also a clear example of how he can become a true detriment to the ticket if he goes too far off the cuff during this debate.

Some expect Biden to be in the attack position to kick things off on Thursday night (Paul Ryan agrees, according to The Daily Standard), but I question that tactic. I still maintain that playground fights are not what the public needs right now. 

These are our senior elected officials, and we should expect and demand more from them, especially at this juncture of the campaign.  People want answers and direction from their candidates, plain and simple.  Trying to drag Romney and Ryan through the mud will not accomplish the goal of delivering on Obama’s message – FORWARD – to spend, spend, spend some more!!!!  I kid, I kid, Save Jerseyans (but not really).

In any case, Biden can become a serious liability if he does not play this debate correctly.  And that is exactly what I am counting on, folks.  He suffers from chronic foot-in-mouth disease, so I feel like it is almost a fait accompli.  I have seen plenty of people lose sight of their contentions in the midst of a heated dispute, so this is definitely not beyond the realm of possibility.

But Biden could surprise us by remaining calm and professionally challenging his opponent.  Unlikely, but possible.  Lashing out may be entertaining to viewers but does it really have any lasting, positive effects? I feel like the public will see the attacker as someone who wants to take focus OFF OF HIMSELF AND HIS TEAM.  And then, what will he really be delivering?  Not much, in my opinion.  There is strength in a display of confidence and knowledge of the facts.  This is what I am counting on from our GOP golden boy.

Paul Ryan has a lot to prove to the public during this debate.  He is still relatively unknown, and even though we saw much promise from his address at the RNC back in August, he has quite a bit to demonstrate to the American people.  He has several objectives going into tomorrow evening.  Ryan needs to highlight the key elements of Romney’s message, supported with specific and illustrative examples, all while conducting himself in a professional manner.  It will be a challenge, to say the least, since he will be dodging cannonballs the whole way through.  But if he can pull this off, it will inspire even more confidence in the Republican ticket and reduce the incumbents’ previous electoral advantage even further.

The Vice-Presidential debate does not need to be as civil and mature as the presidential debate.  In fact, I don’t think anyone really expects the same level of decorum from Ryan and Biden.  They are expected to fight hard this week, but with respect to the American people, they should fight FAIR.  Since they also both have future presidential aspirations as well, they need to both defend their respective platforms and lay the groundwork for their future endeavors.  Hence, the reason why they need to be very careful about the way in which they interact with each other.

According to all of the Democratic commentators and supporters, Obama missed his opportunity to go after Romney on key points around his policies.  Perhaps he thought it might put him in a negative light to voters, make him look UN-presidential.  I agree with that.  But he needed to find a balance, and he could have very easily done what Romney did – told the world exactly what he wants to do for the next four years.  Except, as we all already know, he does not truly HAVE a plan; he has never presented his agenda to voters.  Instead, he has constantly been on the attack.

I expect that Joe Biden will come out peppering Ryan with harsh points largely ignored by Obama last week, to pick up the slack of his ticket.  If we can count on past experience, Biden is going to shoot first and think later, if at all.  If Ryan plays it cool, he will infuriate Biden and come out like a shining star. 

And if he gives Biden enough rope, the VP will be sure to verbally hang himself.