Rich Lowry‘s latest column for National Review Online explains why Vice President Joe Biden plays such a valuable role for the Obama re-election team … and for Americans generally.

Joe Biden is performing a public service, God love him. Out on the stump, he renders the case for President Barack Obama’s reelection in all its populist crudity.

No dulcet tones. No faux sophistication. No charm. C’mon, man! There’s no time for that when Mitt Romney is descending on America promising to commit the most heinous acts in the history of vampire capitalism.

The Obama reelection campaign must make Romney, a mild-mannered man with a sterling business record and a center-right record as Massachusetts governor, into a fiendish apparition too risky to entrust with the highest office in the land. That entails over-the-top attacks delivered with a cocksure shamelessness and little regard for nuance or truth. Vice President Biden reporting for duty, sir!

Speculation that President Obama will throw Biden overboard and select Hillary Clinton as his running-mate won’t die. It entirely misses the point, though. Yes, Hillary is — to damn her with the faintest possible praise — a more serious figure than Biden. But since when is that the standard? Biden’s willingness to say anything makes him the ideal attack dog. If the Obama team didn’t have Joe Biden, it would have to invent someone as hyperbolic and overeager.