I am sure President Obama doesn’t like to admit it, but he needs Joe Biden. Bad has gotten worse for the Obama reelection campaign since the president’s near-catastrophic performance during the Oct. 3 debate. Vice President Biden enjoys a lot of goodwill and respect in Washington; he has been admired — even by Republicans — as a thoughtful advocate of his position and as someone who hasn’t been gratuitously partisan. However, the vice presidency isn’t always a flattering position, and Biden’s image has been tarnished by the "junior partner" aspect of the job, as well as his own tendency to say the wrong thing at the wrong time.
But now the president’s core supporters are rattled. They are even questioning the president’s commitment to the office he is seeking and whether he has the requisite enthusiasm to mount a successful comeback. A strong performance by Biden in tomorrow night’s vice presidential debate could begin to right the Obama ship.
Biden is lucky in that his opponent, Rep. Paul Ryan, is viewed so adoringly by the core of the Republican Party. Ryan is considered to represent the GOP’s new generation of thought leaders and to be the standard bearer for the next era of Republican leadership. If Biden were to weaken Ryan it would disillusion Republicans and embolden worried Democrats. Many in the mainstream media are eager to take Ryan down a peg or two and offer Biden something of an apology for the teasing he has taken for being “crazy Uncle Joe.”
Biden has great character, and he will give the debate his all, yet no one could blame him if he felt the urge to deliver a little payback to the Obamaites and the West Wing cabal, who have both marginalized the vice president and contributed to the hapless caricature of him that has developed in the Obama White House.
Obama might not believe it, since he never thinks he needs anyone’s help, but he is limping, and his persona isn’t selling anymore. He needs the old Joe Biden to come back and reverse the course of the train wreck the Obama reelection effort has become.