Vice presidential debates have generally been inconsequential in the grand scheme of presidential elections. But a Biden win against Republican hopeful Paul Ryan this Thursday may be precisely what the Obama campaign needs to regain momentum.
Thursday’s vice presidential debate has taken on heightened importance as Democratic voters look to Biden to bring Obama back full force into the game. For the first time in a year, Romney has taken the lead in polls, increasing his favorability ratings and upping his chance of winning the Electoral College for the first time since August. And, there is no doubt Ryan will use the debate to help lock in the American voters Romney captured with a strong Denver performance.
Though vice presidential debates have been regarded by some as mere entertainment and a source of additional information, often they provide memorable moments and produce much needed enthusiasm among voters.
In many ways, Thursday’s event may resemble the 2004 and 1984 elections. After a less than stellar first debate by Ronald Reagan, running mate George H.W Bush pulled a winning performance and the two went on to win the election. Two decades later, Dick Cheney scored a memorable debate win against John Edwards and, again, the incumbent remained in the White House.
Taking this into consideration, many are asking: Will Biden succeed in reversing momentum?
Thursday will be a prime opportunity to attack where Obama chose not to hit, such as the auto bailout and Romney’s “47 percent” comment, or Ryan’s own proposal to move Social Security to the free market.
One Biden official remarked, “Romney and Ryan offer a multitude of opportunities for us to show the contrast between our middle-class agenda and their plan to repeat the mistakes that got us into this mess in the first place.”
Biden’s largest advantage is that with nearly forty years of experience under his belt, he has participated in more debates than any of the other running candidates. Still, Biden is using the time in between Obama’s loss and the Thursday night showdown to hunker down in a three-day debate camp. He will face his opponent this Thursday at 9pm in Danville, Kentucky.