Rick Wilson persuasively argues below that Vice President Joe Biden’s principal objective going into Thursday night’s debate was to reenergize the dispirited Democratic base. If so and if the vice president’s clownish performance fitted the script, it only confirms the cluelessness of the supposedly brilliant Chicago-based managers of the Democratic campaign.
Everything I learned about presidential communications in the Reagan White House tells me that the American people will interpret Biden’s clownish contemptuousness toward Paul Ryan as contemptuous toward them and toward the electoral process. But the problems with the Biden performance went beyond his lack of manners.
The morning after the debate, I wrote elsewhere (http://tinyurl.com/8lgq8w6 ) that in substance as well as style Mr. Biden hurt the Democratic ticket. The article finished with this assessment:
“If last night had been a presidential debate, the game would be over. Instead, the Obama-Biden ticket merely dug the hole it was in just a little deeper. It will take the remaining presidential debates to seal their fate. But if those face-offs are like the ones we’ve seen last couple of weeks, the bottom could drop out of their campaign.
The amazing thing is that saying their re-election operation might fall apart is now plausible. After last week and last night, it looks as though the problem with that incredibly professional political behemoth might be that at its center are two empty suits.”
Since that article appeared, the Catholic bishops have categorically contradicted Mr. Biden’s statement about the contraceptive mandate (http://www.usccb.org/news/2012/12-163.cfm ) , too many source to list here have expressed disbelief about his “we weren’t told” excuse about the Libyan disaster and today the Wall Street Journal’s lead editorial took on his disturbing revisionism about the character of the Iranian nuclear threat (http://tinyurl.com/9m5bs73 ).
With each day that passes, his performance looks like an even bigger negative for the Democrats than it did on Friday morning.