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Palin shoves Biden out of the spotlight

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  • Selection of Gov. Sarah Palin for VP has energized Republicans
  • Sen. Joe Biden calls on Alaska governor to answer questions about record
  • Democrats may count on Sen. Hillary Clinton to blunt "Palin-mania"
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From Jim Acosta
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(CNN) -- With Gov. Sarah Palin getting so much attention these days, Sen. Barack Obama's running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, is being elbowed out of the vice presidential spotlight.

The Alaska governor may be a newcomer to the national political stage, but Palin is drawing big crowds for her running mate, Sen. John McCain, and gracing magazine covers across the country.

The sometimes tough-talking Biden has steered clear of a dogfight with a self-described pit bull in lipstick, instead tearing into both politicians on the Republican ticket.

"I heard Sarah Palin and John McCain talk about change. Tell me one single thing they're going to do on the economy, foreign policy, taxes, that is going to be change. Name me one," Biden said on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday. "This is such malarkey; 90 percent of the time, John votes with the president."

Biden has called out Palin on one area in which he has her beat -- the Sunday talk shows. On Sunday, the Delaware Democrat made his 42nd appearance on "Meet the Press."

"Sarah Palin has made a couple really good political speeches. She makes a very strong and confident impression. But Sarah Palin eventually is going to have to do what I do," Biden said Monday during a campaign rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Video Watch Palin campaign in Missouri »

"She's going to have to answer questions. She's going to have to say where she wants to take America and she's going to have to say what her record was and defend her record," he said.

Biden also suggested Palin had "extreme views" during his appearance before a union audience Monday.

"Hopefully by the time the debate takes place, we'll have a better sense of her other than some of what she says and what appear to be some very extreme views," Biden said.

"I'm assuming that she shares John McCain's views on most of the issues. And she even says, if the press is correct -- and I'm not ready, prepared to make a judgment [on this] -- her views on everything from global warming to other things, if they are as presented, they're pretty far out there."

Obama's former rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Hillary Clinton, may be the Democrats' best counter to "Palin-mania."

During a campaign stop in Florida on Monday, the New York Democrat and former first lady pulled no punches.

"No way, no how, no McCain. No Palin," Clinton said while she stumped for the Democratic ticket in Kissimmee, Florida, adding to the line she used during her speech at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado. Video Watch an look at Palin's religious views »

"The election is clear. The choice is obvious. ... Sen. Obama and Sen. Biden presented the positive change that America needs after eight years of failed Republican leadership. I didn't see that from Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin," she said.

As for Biden, he's making the case, as Clinton once did, that he's a kid from Scranton, Pennsylvania, and not just a creature of Washington.

It's that same small-town appeal that has led to Palin's ascension to the Republican's national ticket.


"You know, the Democrats have a celebrity on the ticket and his name is Barack Obama. They didn't need a celebrity running mate. John McCain did," said Bill Schneider, a CNN senior political producer. "That's why Sarah Palin has made such a difference for him, because he needed that star power. I don't think Barack Obama needed the star power." Video Watch how Palin is viewed in Europe »

It's an old political adage that people don't vote for the bottom of the ticket, but Biden versus Palin at this year's vice-presidential debate may be one of the hottest political events of the year.

CNN's Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report.

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