Awfully sporting of him to help the RNC ad team out.

“Even though 50-some percent of the American people think the economy tanked because of the last administration, that’s not relevant,” said the vice president. “What’s relevant is we’re in charge.”

The economic recession began during the final year of the Bush administration, and polls show many Americans continue to blame Mr. Bush – not his successor – for the current economic situation. A CBS News/New York Times poll over the summer found that 26 percent of Americans mostly blame the Bush administration for the state of the economy, while just 8 percent blame the Obama administration…

Biden said it is “totally legitimate” for the 2012 presidential election to be “a referendum on Obama and Biden and the nature and state of the economy.” He said Americans will need to make a choice between what the Obama administration is offering to address the problem and what is being offered by the eventual Republican nominee.

True enough about the summer CBS/NYT poll, but Gallup asked the same question just 10 days ago and found a dwindling gap between Bush and Obama among independents when it comes to economic culpability. Among indies, 67 percent say Bush deserves a “great deal’ or “moderate amount” of blame compared to 60 percent who say the same of Obama. Bush still leads Obama in those categories overall — 69 percent versus 53 percent — but that’s mainly because Republicans aren’t nearly as partisan on this question as Democrats are. Fully 50 percent of GOPers say Bush deserves a great deal or moderate amount of blame; just 25 percent say the same about The One. I assume that’s a function of Dems having a lot more invested in Obama’s political fortunes going forward than Republicans do in Bush’s, but as time passes, O’s culpability will naturally creep up. Democrats will probably hold fairly steady, especially as election day approaches, but look out for those disgruntled independents. They’ll getcha every time.

As for Biden, he’s not the only prominent Democrat to take responsibility for the economy recently. Remember when lifelike talking-points robot Debbie Wasserman-Schultz told Politico back in June that “we own the economy”? And of course The One began his term in 2009 by infamously observing to Matt Lauer that if he didn’t have things on the mend in three years, he’d be a one-termer. I wonder why Biden and Debbie Downer are now suddenly so mellow about wrapping their arms around this electoral atomic bomb. Just pure fatalism at work, maybe, knowing that they can’t escape it and might as well salvage a little “the buck stops here” bravado from disaster? I could almost respect that if I didn’t think they’ll be spending every waking moment next year blaming Bush anyway.