The debate was not Biden's lowest moment. That came during the solemn ceremony greeting the body of slain Navy seal Tyrone Woods. Biden first approached Charles Woods and, referring to his own experience with family tragedy, noted, "I received one of those damned phone calls." Just a few minutes later, the vice president of the United States sidled over to the grieving father and asked, "Did your son always have balls the size of cue balls?"
Biden seems to set the tone for the Obama White House. Presidents have used swear words before, but Barack Obama now has the distinction of using them, not in private, but in an on-the-record interview. And not in the abstract, as in, the "s--- hit the fan," but as an epithet about his opponent.
It was Barack Obama's campaign, not a super PAC, not an independent supporter, that ran a crass ad aimed at women comparing voting for Obama with losing one's virginity. (An idea lifted from, of all people, Vladimir Putin!)
Mr. Obama was always a down-the-line leftist, but when he ran for president the first time, he did so with dignity and even a touch of elegance. That style may have led some voters to overlook the reactionary leftist policies that the "cool" candidate was peddling.
This time, the elegance is gone, the fangs are bared, and standards of honesty are long gone. His policies failed, so no accusation against Mitt Romney is held back: He's an enemy of women who will outlaw all abortions (no exceptions). He will raise taxes on the middle class just to cut them for the rich. He ships jobs overseas and pockets the profits. He won the first debate through lies (sheesh). He gives cancer to the wives of unemployed workers. He delights in bankrupting companies. He wants to prevent women from getting "access" to birth control, and so on.
It's as if Barack Obama, once so stylish, is making the same gesture Madonna did -- to at least half the nation.