President Barack Obama’s perilous drop in the polls following last week’s shaky debate performance sets the scene for an extraordinary moment in presidential politics: A vice presidential debate that could play a major role in the outcome in November.
If Vice President Joe Biden can prevail in his 90-minute face-off against GOP foe Rep. Paul Ryan, it could turn the media narrative and help repair some of the damage incurred by the weak Obama showing on Oct. 3.
But the savvy Ryan, who gobbles up dense budgetary reports as if they were dime novels, will try to replicate the political jiu-jitsu Romney performed against Obama. If he succeeds, it could go a long way toward convincing swing-state independent voters not to wait to see what four more years under Obama would bring.
As the media hype builds for the Thursday debate, to be held at Centre College in Danville, Ky., some breathless pundits speculate the Biden-Ryan tilt could be the most consequential ever on the vice presidential level. Even tested veterans of previous political wars are taking notice.
“This debate will be watched closely for a number of reasons,” Susan MacManus, the author and professor of politics at the University of South Florida, tells Newsmax. “Some analysts believe a strong Ryan performance would underscore Romney’s performance in the first debate, and make it difficult for the president to rebound on the #1 issue: economic recovery, spelled ‘job creation.’
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