No. of Recommendations: 1
folgore: Agreed. That may have been what sank O during the first debate; not taking the threat seriously until it was too late. Also, building up Ryan too much and Biden emerges as the winner if avoids any major gaffes.

You need to have realistic expectations for this debate. A few notes on that:

1) This is the VP debate. People don't choose the President based on the VP. Sure, the VP can inject some energy or some doubt, but it isn't going to move things much.

2) As such, the VPs often end up giving campaign speeches for the top of the ticket. I flipped by CNN last night and the 1984 VP debate was being shown. The format was quite bizarre, both Bush and Ferraro appeared to be reading from notes for their closing. Also, not much in the way of the party talking points has changed. But what I wanted to note was that they weren't talking about themselves much. It was speaking on behalf of the candidate for President.

3) Biden is already viewed as acceptable. He is the current VP, it didn't hurt 0bama before. He is already a laughingstock, and there is nothing he can say that will harm his reputation. Honestly, there is no downside for the 0bama campaign on this one.

4) Ryan has the chance to introduce himself to the country and counter the negative ads, just like Romney had. This is the big upside for Ryan. Not a smackdown of Biden, which he isn't going to try to do and wouldn't have any impact anyway.

Bottom line, I don't really see this as a zero sum game, the way the Presidential debate was. Biden gets a free pass. Anything he does or says is OK. As such, he will, to some extent, be viewed as "stopping the bleeding". But it is just the VP debate, it won't really do anything. Ryan gets to clear up the lies about himself. Both of them have the chance to succeed at the same time. And frankly, I expect both of them to do so. Ryan is not going to be sent in to bring the hammer down on Biden, because that doesn't help him achieve his objective. Biden, on the other hand, probably will go on the offensive, because part of his objective will be to keep Ryan from making his case. If you are expecting Ryan to slam Biden and leave him begging for mercy, you'll be disappointed. He has no reason to try to do this.
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