As VP Debate Looms, Biden Buckles Down Vice president preps feverishly after weak Obama performance By Matt Cantor, Newser User Posted Oct 8, 2012 12:02 AM CDT Updated Oct 8, 2012 8:11 AM CDT 27 comments Comments Vice President Joe Biden speaks in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik) (Newser) – After President Obama faltered in his own debate, it falls to his gaffe-happy second-in-command to put things back on track—and Joe Biden isn't taking this one lightly, the New York Times reports. What he's doing to prepare: Biden has holed himself up in a Delaware hotel to practice, with Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen playing the role of Paul Ryan. Van Hollen's Ryan impression: a nice guy launching vicious arguments. Top Obama adviser David Axelrod is in charge of the performance, taking a hands-on role that seeks to learn from Obama's stumbles. Biden's instructions: Be aggressive. It's very different from Biden's debate with Sarah Palin; this time, says former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, the VP can "go hard on policy." The veep is reading Paul Ryan's book, Young Guns. Meanwhile, more post-mortem from Obama's own debate: Departing the stage, it seems the president thought things had gone OK. "He knew that Romney had had a decent night as well," says Axelrod. "But it’s very hard when you’re standing there." Later, Obama told his team: "This one's on me."