He has been stereo­typed as the Obama administration’s gaffe-​​prone sideshow.

But Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Biden also is a vet­eran debater who was in the U.S. Senate for a quarter cen­tury and is per­haps the Demo­c­ratic White House’s most pas­sionate defender of the working class.

Now, with his debate against Repub­lican vice pres­i­den­tial nom­inee Paul Ryan coming up on Thursday, Biden is under pres­sure to help Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s cam­paign recap­ture the momentum it enjoyed before Obama was out­ma­neu­vered by Repub­lican rival Mitt Romney last week in the first of their three debates.

Biden has got some­thing going for him in a debate, which is a sense of humor,” said Alan Schroeder of North­eastern University’s Alan Schroeder, who has written a his­tory of pres­i­den­tial debates.

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