If you were thinking V.P. Joseph Biden’s performance in the Ryan debate was just a case of “Joe being Joe,” think again. Team Obama knows Gov. Romney wiped the floor with the President in the first debate and believes he did so by dominating the moderator, the President, and the format itself. They think they have learned from the experience, and the Biden performance was the carefully-calculated beta version of what they have in store for Romney in round 2.
David Axelrod and the rest of the Chicago Gang know their Alinsky, their Che, their guerilla theatre. They would enjoy nothing more than to have the President, a’ la Biden, interrupt every single attempt by Romney to answer a question of the moderator; Obama would be instructed to maintain a steady stream of sarcasm, condescending smirks, shows of impatience or irritation, and wise-cracks. And they might indeed direct the President to push the act to the point of bullying and goading Romney into – best of all – losing his cool and storming off the stage and abandoning it to maybe a half-hour of street theatre and chaos involving interviews with the moderator and the Obama spin team. The Governor had better be prepared.
We knew this was going to get ugly if Obama ever found himself facing a realistic possibility of losing. The stakes are enormous and this crowd is not about to give up without a battle to the metaphorical – if not literal – death. In the Alinsky playbook, this is all they know: the end always justifies the means.
If Romney and his people are not anticipating what you describe and he is not prepared and able to handle it, he will be cooked. It’s actually a pretty good test of his ability to handle pressure.