5 Key Strategies For Biden In Vice Presidential Debate
Joe Biden’s role during his 2008 vice presidential debate against Sarah Palin was to play it safe and steer clear of any accidental gaffs.
Biden most likely will be forced to change that strategy when he faces Paul Ryan in the election's first vice presidential debate on Thursday night.
Due to a weak performance by President Obama in the first presidential debate, Biden may feel pressure not to deliver a careful performance, but rather deploy his experience and policy knowledge to reinvigorate the Democratic base, The Daily Beast predicted.
From The Daily Beast:
“President Obama all but ignored the major Democratic lines of attack against the Republican nominee, forcing Joe Biden to consider an effort to renew those forgotten narratives when the vice-presidential candidates face one another."
To come out ahead, here are five things that Biden will most likely try to utilize in the debate Thursday night:
Serve as a "fact checker"
In the wake of the first presidential debate last week, the Obama campaign and many media outlets were critical of some of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's statements during the night on taxes, health care and other policies.
From The Huffington Post:
"The vice president's biggest job will be as a fact checker," David Steinberg, a debate coach and political communications specialist at the University of Miami told the Huffington Post. "He can come in and say, 'Well, this is what Governor Romney said last Wednesday, and this is why it's wrong.'"
Emphasize his experience
Having participated in two presidential campaigns and served for 36 years of the senate to the debate, Biden brings a wealth of political knowledge to the debate.
The Chicago Tribune reported that Biden is “an experienced debater who can combine a down-to-earth demeanor with deep policy knowledge.”
During his time in the senate, Biden notably served as a former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which Bloomberg predicted will help his debate performance.
"Biden has a reputation for his foreign-policy expertise, and Ryan has little experience in this area," Bloomberg reported.
Jennifer Granholm, a former Michigan governor who played Sarah Palin in debate practice in 2008, told The New York Times that the vice president “can go hard on policy" and Biden seems to be preparing himself to do just that in this debate.
The Guardian reported that he has “cleared the decks” for an intense debate camp in Wilmington, Del., this week to prepare for Thursday night.
Biden himself told reporters last week that he has been carefully studying Ryan's position on the key issues, The Guardian added, and has engaged in two mock debates with Chris Van Hollen, a Democratic representative for Maryland.
Keep his head up
Maintaining eye contact may be a technical point, but in a televised debate it is still important, The New York Times reported:
[Obama] kept looking down and was not using the lines they had practiced assailing Mitt Romney, who kept the president on the defensive and presented a forceful case against his re-election.
Try to steer clear of gaffes
It was not too long ago that Biden remarked that the middle class had been “buried” these past four years under the Obama administration. Biden has to steer clear of similar gaffes during the debate.
A damaging Biden gaffe that becomes “the story” of the debate would compound the Democrats’ difficulties or at least delay their effort to move on from Obama’s poor performance.
Reach Staff Reporter Jackie Mansky here.