Ponnuru: Ryan-Biden smackdown should be no contest
When Mitt Romney defeated Barack Obama in their first presidential debate last week, and by common consent that’s what happened, he raised the pressure on Joe Biden to even the score in the vice presidential debate today.
Biden will have a tough time doing that. Even though Republicans will be trying to lower expectations for their candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan, everyone knows he is a formidable and unflappable debater. He knows the ins and outs of domestic policy at least as well as Biden, and speaks more authoritatively about them. Ryan also has spent more elections having to win voters outside his party. What’s more, Biden has some predilections that will make his own job harder.
The vice president seems to believe that he has some special gift for connecting with middle-class voters. This may lead to overconfidence. Ryan has been at least as effective as Biden in making a blue-collar case for his party’s ideas.
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