BAYHAM: What Biden Needs to Do and What Ryan Shouldn’t

“Stand up Chuck, let ‘em see ya!”- US Senator Joe Biden to wheelchair-bound State Senator Chuck Graham at a Missouri campaign rally.

“When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelet got on the television and didn’t just talk about, you know, the princes of greed.”- US Senator Joe Biden in an interview with Katie Couric in 2008. FDR was not the president in 1929 and the consumer television had not been created

“This is a big f*cking deal!”- Vice-President Joe Biden caught on an open microphone congratulating President Obama on the signing of his signature health care legislation.

“His mom lived in Long Island for years or so, God rest her soul. And although she’s- wait- you mom’s still- your mom’s still alive?”- Vice-President Joe Biden speaking about Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen’s still living mother.

“You don’t know my state. My state was a slave state.” -Then-presidential candidate Joe Biden making his case that he’s not a typical northeast liberal. Editor’s note: He succeeded.

“They’re going to put y’all back in chains.” – Vice-President Joe Biden addressing a largely black audience in Virginia, somehow working that line in during a rant on Mitt Romney’s pro-Wall Street economic positions.

The above is the Joe Biden most conservatives are familiar with.

Scratch that.

The above is the Joe Biden most Americans, regardless of ideology, are familiar with, since he tends to only make headlines when he makes a gaffe.

Republicans have eagerly anticipated the vice-presidential debate ever since Mitt Romney announced his fiscal brainiac running mate. While the thought of a New Gingrich-Barack Obama showdown appealed to many Republicans, a Biden-Ryan debate seemed to be the next best thing.

And while Vice-President Biden has at times come off like Leslie Nielsen’s Frank Drebin character from the Naked Gun movie series, Republicans should acquaint himself with another Joe Biden.

Biden was a candidate for the US Senate when he was 29 years old and defeated a two-term Republican incumbent the same year Richard Nixon carried Delaware by 20 points and 48 other states.

He would be re-elected to his seat six times, including in 1984 when Ronald Reagan carried the First State by 20 points.

And then there was his war on Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork. Though Massachusetts US Senator Ted Kennedy was the leader of the jihad against Bork, Biden did his fair share of damage to Reagan’s choice for a seat on the highest court as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

At the 2012 Democratic National Convention Biden succeeded in upstaging his boss when he delivered a better acceptance speech than the one given by the top of the ticket.

Biden has been sequestered at a Delaware hotel for days going over research and holding mock debates. And thanks to his propensity to make outrageous comments, Biden goes into the debate with expectations that were as low as Sarah Palin’s four years before.

To be brutally honest, I’d be shocked if Biden doesn’t win Thursday night, if only because of his decades of political experience.

Expect Biden to go on the offensive, challenging Ryan on any questionable arguments and facts that were raised by Romney during last week’s presidential debate.

Furthermore, Biden has probably committed the most radioactive aspects of Ryan’s budget plan to memory and will try to squeeze in a laundry list of the unpopular line items at every opportunity.

At a minimum Biden only needs to get out the standard anti-Romney talking points without sounding hysterical.

The ideal would be for Biden to also make Ryan appear unfit to be president, thereby getting the media to focus on the wisdom of the Ryan pick and away from Obama’s record beyond the Democrats’ “GM’s alive and Bin Laden’s Dead” bumper sticker narrative.

And this will sound ugly to even speculate but Biden will likely trot out his personal familial tragedy in relation to some softball question to attract sympathy from viewers.

In contrast, Ryan will be addressing a real national audience for only the second time in his political life and has the burden of multitasking: introducing himself to America, defending his budget, defending his ticket and making a case that he is qualified to serve as president.

Ryan must avoid trying to do too much and should prioritize his talking points while not addressing every hit leveled by the Biden rhetorical whirligig.

The Wisconsin Republican should try to emulate the deftly defensive Walter Mondale from 1976 and not the absent-minded professor Jack Kemp from 1996.

Rather than serving up a collegiate level talk on economic philosophy, Ryan needs to point out the quality of life measures that have plummeted over the past four years in basic consumer talk (or as I like to call it, Price Is Right lingo- which Romney effectively utilized the week before).

Finally Ryan needs to avoid sounding excited. He has a high-pitched nasal voice that sounds…nerdy when he starts talking fast. If he can help it, Ryan should minimize the material he provides to Lorne Michaels’s writers.

A good performance by Biden won’t decide the election, but it would take some of the steam out of Romney’s victory in last week’s debate, which drove up his poll numbers nationally, filled his supporters with hope and his campaign coffers with badly needed cash.

For Ryan, how he does on Thursday night will ultimately affect his presidential aspirations in 2016 more than Romney’s in 2012. Ryan doesn’t need to rout Biden in the debate to keep the Republican ticket’s momentum going, just not lose.

That said, take the Blue Hen +9 over the RedHawk.

Interested in more national news? We've got you covered! See More National News
Previous Article
Next Article
Join the Conversation - Download the Speakeasy App.

Trending on The Hayride