There really is no good way to spin this:
Mr. Biden stunned Democrats and elated Republicans by praising Mr. Upton while the lawmaker looked on from the audience. Alluding to Mr. Upton’s support for a landmark medical-research law, Mr. Biden called him a champion in the fight against cancer — and “one of the finest guys I’ve ever worked with.”
Mr. Biden’s remarks, coming amid a wide-ranging discourse on American politics, quickly appeared in Republican advertising. The local Democratic Party pleaded with Mr. Biden to repair what it saw as a damaging error, to no avail. On Nov. 6, Mr. Upton defeated his Democratic challenger by four and a half percentage points.
That's right, while Barack Obama was busting his ass (and not getting paid for it) to help make the Blue Wave happen, good ol' Joe was earning $200,000 to help get a Republican re-elected. Of course, his people deny this, and try to play it off as some sort of coincidence, but this was a scant three weeks before the election. Both Biden and his staff had to know this was a monumentally bad idea, which makes these rationalizations even more infuriating: