I don't think I am especially good at the strategy aspects of politics, and I don't have a lot of interest. The advancement of ideas is more my concern, and in that, a single presidential election may not loom so large.
Yet it occurs to me that Biden's rudeness may have an explanation. The usual Republican explanation, that he is a rude and arrogant person by nature, may be true, of course. But there may have been some calculation. That it did not play well with independents is a distraction. Observers may think that the last few weeks of an election are all about persuading those last few, but I think the politically experienced say it is all about turning out the base at this point. Biden's rudeness was well-received among the partisans. The message may have been "We're going to kick 'em in the balls. We won't work with those bastards for one minute or entertain any of their evil ideas." Chuck Schumer's recent tax comments support this interpretation. The attack dogs are being sent out to let the rubes know who it is they can count on in a fight.
BTW, Biden threw Hillary under the bus, and her recent statements that "I confess, I am a rabbit" are startling. She and Bill play to the main chance. She could have destroyed Obama's campaign in 48 hours, but apparently decided it would destroy her own career as well and is taking one for the team.*
Don't get me wrong. There are conservatives who think that way too. I've listened to years of people complaining that if Bush/Dole/Bush/McCain/Romney would just be a real conservative and tell it like it is they would win in a landslide. The meaning seems to be "I and my friends would then be genuinely excited about voting for 'em, not just reluctantly going along, and I'm sure that excitement would be shared by Americans in general, because they're just regular folk like us." They want red meat. Reading the Huffington Post, it seems pretty apparent there are liberals of similar mind. They aren't so excited by Obama anymore. They still reliably hate Republicans, but they aren't in love anymore and are convinced Obama's pretty much the same old, same old. A percentage won't show up. A little red meat might encourage them. And undecided voters are weird and unpredictable anyway. There're more votes in turning out the base.
I have no way of measuring this, so I'm just blathering, really. If Obama takes the same prepare-to-be-boarded attitude tonight it gives a little support to my theory, but if he stresses that he's the one who plays well with others (hinting that it's those other guys who won't) it neither supports nor undermines my theory. Going on the attack could be evidence infavor, but so could triangulating and sending the VP out as pit bull.
For Democrats, this was 2008:
In 2012? Meh.
(Tangent: I was never much of a Joni Mitchell fan, but this is simply great poetry, and the best version of the song. I knew the oversweet Judi Collins and Clannad versions, but go to Youtube and see. They're all oversweet versions. I don't generally like her style, I don't like that tuning, I really don't like her politics, which are "One Side Forever," but dammit, Joni absolutely gets it right, far more right than even brilliant artists here.)
*She must believe she will not be airbrushed from next spring's May Day photographs.