Vice President Biden did during his debate what President Obama couldn’t: take the Romney/Ryan ticket to task for their doublespeak and nonspecific policy proposals. As I said in my blog last week, “The first one always catches hell,” the president knew he had to walk a thin line so as not to come off the stereotypical angry black man. Some have taken issue with Biden’s aggressive stance, saying he interrupted Paul Ryan repeatedly and was unnecessarily rude, but the risk attached to his attacking the other side was much lower. Other than the vice president’s tap dancing around the Obama administration’s handling of the Benghazi situation, Biden showed mastery of the facts and a passion to fight on behalf of the American people.
The vice president will turn 70 next month. Biden, like the seniors I’ve worked with during my career, has an extraordinary wealth of knowledge in his chosen line of work that deserves to be admired and respected. He does get tongue-tied on occasion and has produced some cringe worthy gaffes, but he means well. New York Times Columnist David Brooks said today that the debate was “a generation war” and he compared Biden to Ed Norton from “The Honeymooners.” He’s right. As I’ve witnessed first-hand with my aging family members and friends, their B.S. filter disappears over time. They call things as they see them and don’t worry about making you feel good.
I think a generational and cultural shift in American politics is warranted based on the country’s changing demographics. But as Biden proved last night, you should never bet against the senior citizen. They’re a scrappy bunch who will fight to win.