Debater Biden Doesn't Always Know When to Zip It

Exuberant speaking style, experience could turn into liabilities at debate
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 1, 2008 11:34 AM CDT

(Newser) – Joe Biden is a skilled and captivating speaker but his inability to stop speaking at the right time could turn debate victory into defeat, Katherine Q. Seelye warns in the New York Times. Biden's "gusto and exuberance" could make him seem to be bullying Sarah Palin if he's not careful, and his bluntness could spawn a headline-making gaffe, Seelye writes.

Beyond his speaking style, Biden's experience could be another strength that becomes a debate weakness, Seelye observes. His decades in the Senate and 14 debates early in the Democratic primaries give him far more experience than Palin, but they also give him a long record of sometimes unpopular votes and attacks on Democratic rivals. "On Thursday Mr. Biden may have to answer for both," writes Seelye.