WASHINGTON (CNN) –- Boarding the train home to Delaware Wednesday night after voting for the Senate bailout bill, Biden told reporters, “I’m feeling good” about Thursday night’s debate with Sarah Palin.
His campaign agrees. “He’s ready” said spokesman David Wade as Biden stepped out for lunch in at a local burger joint on Tuesday afternoon in Wilmington.
It was a rare admission of strength amid efforts by Biden advisers to raise expectations of Palin’s debating skills. On Sunday Wade called Palin an undefeated “leviathan of forensics.”
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After campaigning last weekend with Barack Obama, Biden cleared his schedule for debate prep. He spent the first two-and-a-half days of the week at a downtown Wilmington hotel, holed up with senior advisors and Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who played Palin in mock debates.
The campaign sealed off the second floor, converting the hotel’s gym into a debate prep room complete with a makeshift stage.
Wednesday afternoon, Biden called an end to debate prep, going home to see his family before taking the train to Washington to cast his vote in favor of the financial rescue package.
The Delaware senator flies to St. Louis Thursday afternoon for the eagerly-anticipated debate. He will be accompanied by his wife Jill, son Hunter, sister Valerie and niece (and campaign staffer) Missy Owens. Biden’s eldest son Beau will stay at home in Wilmington ahead of his deployment on Friday for a year-long tour in Iraq with the Delaware National Guard.