Sen. Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Senate Democrat who has served with both President Obama and Vice President Biden in the upper chamber, said Thursday night that he thought Biden's performance could energize Obama at next week's face-off at Hofstra University.

"I think he came back forcefully, fiery, with passion and conviction, and I think you're going to see the same thing from Barack Obama in the next debate," Durbin said of Biden in an interview in the post-debate "spin room."

Asked whether that meant he thought Obama could learn from Biden, Durbin responded: "Well, we can all learn from Joe Biden. I learned from Joe Biden tonight, and I'm sure the president will, too. He did a great job."

Biden came out swinging, he added, "because he knew his assignment."

"He was carrying his banner into battle. But a lot of people were watching closely across the country. And I think Joe was ready for this assignment. He's been engaged in a lot of battles before, but this was one of his biggest," Durbin said.