Hidin' Biden: Reining In a Voluble No. 2

Though Obama's campaign struggles to keep his voluble running mate in check, Biden has been valuable in connecting with swing-state voters

Callie Shell / Aurora for TIME

Senator Joe Biden listens to his iPod aboard the Obama campaign plane en route to Washington, D.C., from Greensboro, N.C.

Anyone who has watched Joe Biden over 35 years in the Senate might have a little bit of trouble recognizing the guy who is running to be Barack Obama's Vice President. Oh, yes, he looks like the same fellow. But traveling with Biden during this campaign has sometimes been like reporting on a politician packaged in shrink-wrap. While his windy, off-point pontification was the stuff of legend among his Senate colleagues, Biden is now leashed to a teleprompter even when he is talking in a high school gym that is three-quarters empty. The exposure hound who in recent years...

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