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Biden debates well but onus still on Obama

US: Vice President Joe Biden’s assertive debate effort righted the Democratic ship but the pressure is still on Barack Obama to come back from his own dismal performance if he wants a second term.

Obama’s re-election hopes have hung in the balance since Mitt Romney knocked him about for 90 minutes on October 3 in the first presidential debate, with the incumbent seeming passive and putting up little resistance.

Biden stepped up to the plate on Thursday night needing a more robust performance if he was to slow the momentum of the Republican ticket, with Romney having seized the lead in several national opinion polls.

“The most obvious takeaway was how much more combative it was,” Charles Franklin, politics professor and co-founder of Pollster.com, told AFP. “If the Democrats wanted Biden to be more aggressive, they certainly got that.

“It’s hard to say if it has changed the momentum of the race in a dramatic way, but I think it was a vigorous enough performance and it certainly did not reinforce the passivity that we saw from Obama last time.” Biden set about Romney’s running mate Paul Ryan with relish, appearing incredulous at many of his statements and punctuating his replies with astonished exclamations like “Amazing!” “Incredible!” and “Malarkey!” He brought up Romney’s “47 percent” remarks, when the Republican nominee appeared to write off almost half the electorate, but Ryan dodged the bullet well, reminding the electorate that Biden is prone to gaffes himself. AFP

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