Now that Obama is down by 4 percentage points in the polls, the media say he is dead meat.
The media giveth, and the media taketh away. Fickle be the name of the media.
The media mindset is dependent not on fact, but on attitude. And now comes a man who can change that attitude: Joe Biden.
Say it ain’t so, Joe.
Say it ain’t all on you, Joe, as you prepare to meet the Janesville Juggernaut, Paul Ryan, in the “Who Gets Lucky in Kentucky?” vice presidential debate at Centre College in Danville on Thursday.
In some respects, the bar is set low. Mitt Romney beat Barack Obama so soundly in the first presidential debate that the media thought it looked like Mike Tyson vs. Cicely Tyson.
So it’s up to you, Joe. The stakes are high. The party faithful are in what Obama senior adviser David Plouffe used to call “bed-wetting” mode.
Big-time blogger Andrew Sullivan wrote in the Daily Beast on Monday: “Obama just essentially forfeited the election. In the first matchup between the two candidates, one was a potential president; the other a dithering wonk. I’m still reeling. I’m sorry if these are not things an Obama supporter should say at this point. But the demoralization is profound.”
Wow. All this after one debate. In the old days, disappointed pundits would open up the whiskey. Now they are opening up their veins.
Calm down, Andrew. The president lost a debate; he didn’t lose Seattle to a North Korean missile. The moon is not about to crash into the Earth. “Homeland” is not being canceled.
The British got through the entire Second World War with the motto, “Stay Calm, and Carry On.”
The very least Democrats should be able to manage now is, “Eat Some Crow, and Pray for Joe.”
Joe is in a tough spot. If he wins the debate, the media will grumble that it’s “only a vice presidential debate” and it doesn’t really matter much. But if he loses, the headline will be, “Team Obama 0-2.”
But you can do it, Joe. Keep in mind that you were being sworn in as a United States senator when Paul Ryan was 2 years old.
You were made chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee when Paul Ryan was 16 and dreaming about becoming prom king of Joseph A. Craig High School in Janesville, Wis. True, Paul Ryan did become prom king. But you went on to become chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Joe.
You are not chopped liver! Let the comics have their fun. Let David Letterman say, as he did Monday night: “Joe Biden is taking six days off to prepare for the debate. Six days off from what?”
First of all, it’s only three days off. And second, they don’t know how hard you work, Joe. They think the president tells you what to do and all you have to do is do it. As if.
Jen Psaki, the Obama campaign’s traveling press secretary, was asked by a reporter aboard Air Force One a few days ago: “Does the president work with Vice President Biden in a case like this to go over (the) debate? I mean, is that a natural part of their conversations?”
“I’m not sure if they’re having conversations,” Psaki replied.
You don’t need no stinkin’ conversations, Joe. What can Obama tell you, anyway? Look down at the lectern and appear dazed and confused?
Hell, you know how to do that on your own.
Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who helped prep Biden for his debate with Sarah Palin in 2008, told The New York Times that with Ryan “it’s a different dynamic” and Biden “can go hard on policy.”
Don’t do it, Joe. The press does not want 90 minutes of policy. Policy bores the press. The press wants you to rip Ryan up one side and down the other. We saw policy in Denver. In Danville, we want to see blood on the walls.
“Hey, Badger Boy,” you should say to Ryan. “How come if you’re so sure Romney is going to win, that you’re spending $2 million to hang onto your House seat?”
Stomp him, Joe. Crush him. Slap the smirk off his face. It is the only thing the media pack will accept.
Reminiscing Sunday about his 2008 campaign, President Obama said: “We made all kinds of mistakes. We goofed up, I goofed up, but the American people carried us forward.”
Don’t goof up, Joe. And don’t depend on the American people to carry you forward.
Depend on yourself, Joe. And if you do so, the reward will be great:
You will get to spend another four years as vice president.
On second thought, maybe you should just let Ryan win.
Roger Simon is editor of Politico.