By Dave Andrusko
When even David Letterman says it’s dicey for President Barack Obama to count on Vice President Joe Biden to turn his campaign ship around, you know it’s been a bad week for Mr. Obama. At the same time you can be sure that Paul Ryan will not underestimate a sharp-elbowed man who has been on the political scene for 40 years. (By the way, in case you forgot or never knew, in 1987 then-Senator Biden presided over the Judiciary Committee mugging of Robert Bork when this distinguished jurist was nominated by President Reagan to sit on the Supreme Court.)
So, with a day to go before the Biden/Ryan debate, what do we know?
For starters, the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press reported today that Ryan is more popular than Biden. 44% of voters view Ryan favorably and 40% unfavorably which is a +4.
By contrast more than half, 51%, view Biden unfavorably to only 39% who view the vice president favorably which is a -12.
“More people used negative words than positive ones to describe Biden, while one-word impressions of Ryan were mixed,” Pew reported. “The current survey finds that just 35% of independent voters have a favorable opinion of Biden, while 52% view him unfavorably. As many independent voters view Ryan favorably (42%) as unfavorably (42%).”
What else? When Ryan was announced as Mitt Romney’s running mate, Democrats professed to be overjoyed. They would pillar him with attacks on his position on, among other things, Medicare. “Two months later, that’s turned out to be mostly wishful thinking.” POLITICO reported yesterday.
But, of course, short of a catastrophic performance, the debate is unlikely to change the new dynamics of the contest between Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney. Which brings us back to the ongoing flow of complaints by President Obama’s own supporters and largely unhelpful advice about what tack to take in the last two debates.
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