Joe Biden should mop the floor with Paul Ryan tonight, is my guess at things. Not that Joe Biden is a great orator. He's not. He's as prone to gaffes and mouth-running as any serious Presidential contender I've ever seen, with the exception of Sarah Palin.
But Biden has an awful lot going for him heading into tonight's tilt. For one thing, the moderator Martha Raditz of ABC News is the senior national security reporter for the network and as such, likely to ask an awful lot of questions that will be softballs for a foreign policy wonk like Biden and will give ample opportunity for Biden to remind America that Osama bin Laden is still dead. So long as Biden pre-empts Ryan from reminding people that Biden advised against the assault, he's golden here.
Centre College, the actual site of the debate, is a liberal arts college, which automatically inks Biden in as the home team. He'll have a plurality of the audience on his side.
And if he stays gaffe-free, Biden can unleash his snarky sarcastic side and probably rattle Ryan's feathers. After all, Ryan is most notable for telling FOX News (!) that he "didn't have time" to explain how his proposed $5 trillion tax cut and $2 trillion increase in defense spending could possibly create a balanced budget and pay down some of the national debt.
His. Not Romney's. His own plan was too "complex" to even give a broadstroke primer coat to the single most Republican-friendly media outlet on the planet!
Finally, Biden has been here before. In 2008, he took on then-liked Sarah Palin who flirted and teased the camera as much as any harlot, and still had her lunch stolen with his tale of the losses he suffered in his family. Palin couldn't even muster the empathy to say "I'm sorry," and she barely bothered to defend the top of her ticket.
I don't think Ryan will make the same mistakes, to be sure, but he's on brand new turf here. I don't think he survives intact.