Joe Biden did his job Thursday. But in the end, winning the election is up to the presidential candidate, not the vice presidential candidate.
He had it when he was first sworn into office. (Jae C. Hong/AP)
The next presidential debate is Tuesday, and the advice President Obama is getting is largely stylistic. Attack more. Look less sleepy. Stop writing in your diary while Mitt Romney is talking.
That Obama lost the first debate because he didn’t seem sufficiently psyched to be there is probably partially true, but it’s also a form of flattery. It says, in effect, that Obama’s only problem was the superficiality of the format and Mitt Romney’s untruths. Obama was just too deep and too thoughtful and too honest to win.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Obama buys into it. “I do think that on television it was clear that I was being too restrained when Mr. Romney was telling his tall tales,” he told a Miami radio host. “But the truth is, when you read the transcript, everything I said was true and a lot of what he said was not.”
But when I went back and read the transcript — thus removing appearance and tone and body language from the equation altogether — it was clear that Obama had lost the debate at least partly because he didn’t know what he wanted to say.
At this point, Romney and Obama are running almost perfectly opposite campaigns. Romney can tell you exactly what he wants to do, but barely a word about how he’ll do it. Obama can’t describe what he wants to achieve, but he can tell you everything about how he’ll get it done. It’s a campaign without real policies against a campaign lacking a clear vision.
Read the whole story by: Ezra Klein