CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Traditionally, it's the vice presidential nominee's job to attack the opposition, but Joe Biden spent most of his 40 minutes at the podium touting the Obama administration's accomplishments.
Biden set the stage for President Obama, who is about to deliver a much-anticipated speech in which he is expected to outline plans to create manufacturing jobs, support renewable energy, reduce the deficit, double exports and stem college tuition increases.
"We're on a mission to move this nation forward -- from doubt and downturn, to promise and prosperity. A mission we will continue and a mission, I guarantee you, we will complete," the vice president and Scranton native said.
"We see a future. We really honest to God do," he said. "We see a future for everyone, rich and poor, who does their part and has a part."
But Mr. Biden didn't only look ahead. In emphatic tones, he reminded voters that President Obama saved the automobile industry and sent the special forces that killed Osama bin Laden.
"Conviction. Resolve. Barack Obama," he said, spurring rousing applause. "Bravery resides in the heart of Barack Obama, and time and time again I witnessed him summon it. This man has courage in his soul, compassion in his heart and a spine of steel."
He characterized the president as a steady-handed decision- maker with a big heart and himself as a deeply loyal partner.
Most people don't really know the president because the substance of him cannot be captured in sound bites, Mr. Biden said.
"I walk 30 paces down the hall into the Oval Office and I see him, I watch him in action," he said. "He never, never backs down and he always asks the same fund question: How is this going to affect the average American? How is this going to affect people's lives. That's what's inside this man. That's what makes him tick."
The crowd roared inside Time Warner Cable Arena.
He drew contrasts between Mr. Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney, former head of Bain Capital, and said Romney has the wrong vision and the wrong values for America.
"Folks, the Bain way may bring the highest profits but it's not the way to lead our country from the highest office," Mr. Biden said.
He told voters the future is up to them.
"We find ourselves at the hinge of history and the direction that we turn is -- not figuratively -- it is literally in your hands," he said.
"The journey of hope is not yet finished but we are on our way."
Washington Bureau Chief Tracie Mauriello: 703-996-9292 or firstname.lastname@example.org. First Published September 7, 2012 2:15 AM