Steve Kornacki’s latest Salon.com article: Joe Biden to the rescue?

Updated

It’s no guarantee that he’ll succeed, but the set-up is kind of perfect for Joe Biden: a chance to show tens of millions of Americans who watched in bafflement as President Obama rolled over for Mitt Romney in Denver what a real debater looks and sounds like.

Later this week, Biden will share the stage with Paul Ryan for the vice presidential debate. It’s still unclear what (if any) polling damage the Democratic ticket sustained from Obama’s listless performance, but at the very least it’s fair to say that Democrats are more apprehensive than they were before Denver. Romney last week mixed broad-stroke rhetoric and confident, if factually flawed, assertions to paint himself as an utterly reasonable, swing voter-friendly moderate – exactly the sort of widely acceptable vehicle for economically anxious swing voters his campaign is predicated on appealing to.

Obama’s refusal – or inability, or strategic reluctance, or whatever it was — to pounce on any of the many openings Romney gave him during the debate flummoxed Democrats (in some cases, comically), and left them wondering what will happen if the president doesn’t step up his game in the next two showdowns.

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Steve Kornacki's latest Salon.com article: Joe Biden to the rescue?

Updated