VP debate: An epic non-event?

posted at 12:41 pm on October 10, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Tomorrow night, the American electorate will watch another in a series of four debates intended to help voters decide who should be the next President.  In this event, however, neither presidential candidate will be present.  Instead, the two running mates will discuss and debate policies and issues on national television for 90 minutes.  While that will no doubt provide much entertainment for the pundit class, will it move the needle for the election?

Politico’s Jonathan Martin thinks it might:

Vice presidential debates typically matter as much as vice presidential picks — which is to say not a lot — but a convergence of factors is raising the stakes on this week’s faceoff between Paul Ryan and Vice President Joe Biden.

Looming most heavy over the clash in Kentucky is President Barack Obama’s remarkably weak debate performance last week, a showing that has given Republicans their first sense of hope in weeks and increased the pressure on Biden to get Democrats back on course. …

If “Gentleman Joe” took the stage four years ago, determined not to come off as patronizing or bullying Sarah Palin, it seems almost certain that Thursday will bring the appearance of “Scranton Joe,” the scrappy pol who’s never been afraid to throw a punch.

That’s probably true, although we’re a lot more likely to see Gaffemaster Joe, too — the one who helpfully explained that the middle class had been “buried the last four years,” while he and his boss occupied the White House.  Ramesh Ponnuru notes that while mainly discounting its impact, but predicts a walkover for Paul Ryan anyway:

The Democratic reaction to Obama’s debate loss may also point Biden in the wrong direction. Among liberals — and among some Democratic strategists, too — the prevailing view is that Obama lost because he didn’t call Romney on his outrageous lies, and especially because he didn’t draw a stark contrast on Medicare and Social Security. Obama even said the two candidates had a “similar position” on the second program. Democrats will be urging Biden to be more combative.

The vice president isn’t above demagogic attacks: In his convention speech, for example, he claimed “experts” had said that one of Romney’s tax proposals would create 800,000 jobs, “all of them overseas, all of them.” In fact, Biden was referring to a study by one expert, and it didn’t say what he claimed: It estimated 800,000 jobs would be created overseas, but it didn’t examine the impact domestically. Yet Biden also likes to be liked, and has tended to take his hardest shots before partisan audiences rather than in front of the Republicans he is criticizing.

And the consensus Democratic view that Obama was too passive and disengaged probably misunderstands why he lost the debate. The real problem was that he was less up to speed on the arguments and counterarguments than Romney was. If Biden internalizes the Democratic conventional wisdom, he will be more engaged than Obama was — but it won’t help unless he is also better informed. An amped-up yet inadequate response can come across as bluster.

Yes, but will it matter either way?  In my column today for The Week, I argue that running-mate debates are not game-changers in any sense:

In the end, though, this is merely an academic exercise. Voters don’t choose presidents on the basis of the bottom of the ticket. That point was made quite clearly in 1984, when Walter Mondale chose Geraldine Ferraro as the first woman on a major-party ticket, a move that generated mountains of praise — while Mondale went on to win only Minnesota in Ronald Reagan’s re-election landslide. Four years later, Lloyd Bentsen humiliated Dan Quayle in a debate, while George H. W. Bush went on to thump Bentsen’s running mate Michael Dukakis by 315 electoral votes.  Sarah Palin briefly re-energized John McCain’s campaign in 2008 and held her own against Biden in the debate, but Obama sailed to victory nonetheless.

That means Team Obama may get an opportunity to finally stop talking about the last debate, but they almost certainly won’t win much from Thursday’s, either. Nor do the next two debates look promising for Obama. The next presidential debate will take place in a town-hall format, in which candidates normally pay more attention to the voters than each other. The final debate will focus on foreign policy, which has become a trap for Obama…

Even if Obama does well in these debates, though, the first impression has already been fixed from last week’s contest. Team Obama has made it stick all the more by constantly reminding everyone about how badly he did. Obama’s best chance to reverse the slide will be to make the case for his second term outside of the debate halls, rather than focus entirely on Romney as his campaign has done since May in an attempt to disqualify him in the mind of voters. That strategy evaporated in the thin air of Denver, and there won’t be any time left to revive it.

The point on foreign policy may be worth emphasizing.  Biden doesn’t have much expertise on budgetary matters, but was considered a Democratic eminence grise on foreign policy in 2008, and was chosen by Obama to shore up his credentials in that arena.  As recently as the Democratic convention, Biden and Obama made it clear that they intended to hit Romney and Ryan hard on this topic — until the Benghazi terrorist attack and the unbelievably clumsy and foolish attempt to cover it up.  Any discussion of this topic will allow Ryan to demand answers for the White House’s deceptions on the attack and their refusal to provide a proper level of security to a dangerous mission, as well as challenge the Obama/Biden claim that al-Qaeda is “on its heels.”

Making that more likely is the choice of moderator in this debate: Martha Raddatz, the chief foreign correspondent for ABC News.  However, Raddatz’ scholastic and personal connection to Barack Obama has raised questions about her impartiality in this debate already:

President Barack Obama was a guest at the 1991 wedding of ABC senior foreign correspondent and vice presidential debate moderator Martha Raddatz, The Daily Caller has learned. Obama and groom Julius Genachowski, whom Obama would later tap to head the Federal Communications Commission, were Harvard Law School classmates at the time and members of the Harvard Law Review. …

On Monday evening ABC spokesman David Ford grudgingly confirmed Obama’s attendance at the wedding, after shielding Raddatz in August by declining to comment when The Daily Caller first reported the story.

“This is absurd,” Ford said, in the same statement now circulated by ABC’s media allies on the left.

Obama, Ford wrote, “attended their wedding over two decades ago along with nearly the entire Law Review, many of whom went onto successful careers, including some in the Bush administration,” he said without providing a specific number of Harvard Law Review employees to verify the statement.

When pressed further on Tuesday for a specific number of Harvard Law Review employees in attendance at the wedding, Ford could offer none, despite circulating the same unverified approximation through sympathetic media outlets earlier that day in order to discredit The Daily Caller’s reporting.

Will Raddatz be fair in tomorrow night’s debate?  I’d guess that with this out the open, she’ll have to be.  In the end, though, it probably won’t matter much in the presidential election.  However, a tough exchange on Benghazi might make a difference in getting the rest of the media to start pressing harder for answers on the White House cover-up.

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Debate THIS.

MontanaMmmm on October 10, 2012 at 1:23 PM

..SUPERB!

The War Planner on October 10, 2012 at 1:28 PM

If you think that these are the defining issues that should be the focus of discussion then you’re truly beyond redemption.

Happy Nomad on October 10, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Well that certainly shows where you stand, Mr. Conservative.

Dante on October 10, 2012 at 1:28 PM

What I said a month ago or so was likely to take place by Obama and by Biden in these debates and campaigning has, indeed, now occured: both of them continue to TRY to throw the whole point of the campaigns and the debates into something that’s silly, funny (so-called), lightweight, not serious, not to be taken seriously.

Obama claiming he “was too nice” in the Denver debate wherein Romney utterly shown as the clear leader among the two, the clearly intelligent man standing against Obama, the clearly insipid, weak immature cartoon character…that’s a part of their method they’re using of trying to create a “don’t take this seriously” atmosphere with the campaigning and the debates.

They CAN’T correspond with the nation nor compete with Romney and Ryan and voters on the issues, so Obama/Biden/DNC are working the “atmosphere” of the relection and debates to be something like a carnival. By doing so, I suppose they assume that they’ll force a “carnivale” personna onto Romney and Ryan by them simply being present associated with the political time of election and debates.

I DON’T think Obama, Biden nor the DNC actually believe that this is a “funny” or comical season of events. But since they’re losers on specifics, absent on successful actions and policies, and untrustworthy on ethics and behaviors, they’re working the “feeling” or ATMOSPHERE of the relection effort to be one that shouldn’t be taken seriously, with them as being the “funny entertainers” you favor like a channel you change to to avoid the “serious stuff”.

Lourdes on October 10, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Well, it’s not that much ‘ahead of time’, is it, the day before the debate…how many people are reading about this, the drudge readers, where else is this story reported and how amply?

jimver on October 10, 2012 at 1:20 PM

There is always all of us, which I find is better than the MSM. We also have Rush, Levin, et. al. to maybe make mention of it. The MSM aren’t the monopoly they used to be, where we people discussed the news they were all hearing and saying basically the same thing no matter which network we watched. Plus, if this came out three days ago or more, I imagine it might well be forgotten at this point.

It may not matter at all, for all I know. But it’s better than the MSM being able to claim sour grapes if the display she puts on becomes an issue after the debate.

Liam on October 10, 2012 at 1:30 PM

I’m hoping that Ryan doesn’t remain seated.
tomg51 on October 10, 2012 at 1:06 PM

If it’s a roundtable type debate setup, as it was Cheney-Edwards, I don’t think he’ll have much choice but to remain seated. Would look mighty silly standing up during such a setup.

whatcat on October 10, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Foreign policy? Ok.

Lets talk about one of our allies, and neighbors… Mexico.

Do we have any new plans to aid criminals in murdering innocent Mexican civilians in the next four years, or is that also something you can’t answer due to Executive Privilege?

What? Not happy with the question? Seeing as you’ve already done that one while hiding it from the Mexican Government and Law Enforcement they’re not happy with it either.

I’m just curious if you can speak to any new plans to aid criminal enterprises in allied nations while trying to keep our involvement secret from those nations. We know you’ve done this at least twice (Fast & Furious and Operation Castaway) so I’m curious what new plans are in the works.

Sorry, that just seems like it could be a fun question to throw out there.

gekkobear on October 10, 2012 at 1:34 PM

MontanaMmmm on October 10, 2012 at 1:23 PM

That is super !!

pambi on October 10, 2012 at 1:35 PM

This:

The best outcome for Biden will be if people walk away from the debate thinking “Gee, he’s not as big a moron as I thought, but he’s still a moron.”

natasha333 on October 10, 2012 at 12:55 PM

What does that say about Obama’s judgment in picking this goofball as V.P.? OMG, can the Dems lower the bar any further? Dang, it’s on the ground already!

Moron Joe.

BigAlSouth on October 10, 2012 at 1:37 PM

joejm65 on October 10, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Bull Pucky! It’s not the “wedding”; it’s the relationship! Further emphasized by Obama giving the groom a great job! It’s also about full disclosure and the appearance of fairness.

But we really don’t have to worry. As previously said, VP debates (and picks) make very little difference. Do you really think ANYONE would choose Gafftastic as a running mate if it did?

Ryan needs to ask about the Indians at Dunkin’ Donuts, the $1 trillion tax raise, the middle class being buried, seeing FDR on television explaining stock market crash, the three letter word – jobs, putting black people back in chains, and the airports in China.

katablog.com on October 10, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Here’s how Joe Biden wins the debate:

“Paul Ryan voted for TARP, the bailouts, raising the debt ceiling, Medicare Part D, presidential appointments without Senate confirmation, and making the Patriot Act permanent. These are all things the president and I voted for and/or supported. Thank you, good night.”

Dante on October 10, 2012 at 1:10 PM

He also voted for ObamaCare and the Failed Trillion Dollar Stimulus (the two most UNPOPULAR pieces of legislation in the past 100 years), the grossly unpopular Dodd/Frank, the failed Cash For Clunkers, brought charges against NOT A SINGLE EVIL WALL STREET BANKER,
wanted to divided Iraq into three separate countries, supports “unfettered abortion on demand”, supports forcing Catholic organizations to pay for Sandra Fluke’s abortions and contraception, and said “you can’t go into a 7-11 in Delaware without hearing an Indian accent” and called candidate Obama “a clean and articulate Negro”…
Oh, wait, that was Biden…

Strike Hornet on October 10, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Liam on October 10, 2012 at 1:30 PM

I hope you are right….about that it may not matter at all…I haven’t had any idea until I read about this story half an hour ago, and then saw the head title on Drudge too….and I found it a blatant conflict of interests, but then it’s just my opinion…

jimver on October 10, 2012 at 1:41 PM

HotAir.com — Guaranteed Soft & Squishy™ Or Your Money Back

FlatFoot on October 10, 2012 at 1:42 PM

I think the VP debate is all risk with no upside for the Dems. If Biden wins (which I consider unlikely) or even wins decisively (alternate universe thinking here), it will provide as much boost to Obama as the previous VP debates did to their respective running mates. However, if Biden loses (extremely likely) or loses big time (along the lines of the Obama thrashing at the hands of Romney), it could very well be the final nail in the coffin for Obama. It would demonstrate the complete unseriousness and incompetence of the Administration from the top to the bottom of the ticket. Perhaps more importantly, it would demonstrate the – would it be appropriate to say “gravitas” – of the Romney/Ryan team.

Harrell on October 10, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Off Topic

At the Examiner article they have a poll re: presidential race:

If the presidential election were held today and the candidates were Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, who would you vote for?
4% Barack Obama
94% Mitt Romney
2% Undecided

Now there’s a poll that shows Owe’s supporters don’t read.

katablog.com on October 10, 2012 at 1:45 PM

In the end, though, this is merely an academic exercise. Voters don’t choose presidents on the basis of the bottom of the ticket. That point was made quite clearly in 1984, when Walter Mondale chose Geraldine Ferraro as the first woman on a major-party ticket, a move that generated mountains of praise — while Mondale went on to win only Minnesota in Ronald Reagan’s re-election landslide. Four years later, Lloyd Bentsen humiliated Dan Quayle in a debate, while George H. W. Bush went on to thump Bentsen’s running mate Michael Dukakis by 315 electoral votes. Sarah Palin briefly re-energized John McCain’s campaign in 2008 and held her own against Biden in the debate, but Obama sailed to victory nonetheless.

Ed, you forgot about the election of 2004, where George W. Bush looked tired in his first debate against John Kerry, and Kerry closed the gap in the polls, but Dick Cheney routed John Edwards in the VP debate and Bush/Cheney got a 5-point bounce in the polls.

Sarah Palin did “hold her own” against Biden in 2008, despite being a fairly inexperienced Governor of a sparsely-populated state. Now the same gaffe-tastic Biden will be facing Paul Ryan, a 14-year Congressman who is Chairman of the House Budget Committee, the architect of the House national budget plan, who knows the facts and figures of his plan inside out and backwards, who is a much stronger debater than Sarah Palin.

If the first (Romney/Obama) debate led some Obama supporters to have doubts, a masterful performance by Ryan could seal the deal for them, for Romney.

Steve Z on October 10, 2012 at 1:52 PM

In the end, though, this is merely an academic exercise. Voters don’t choose presidents on the basis of the bottom of the ticket.

There were many of us who loathed the GOP’s good old angry man pick in John McCain (of “my friends across the aisle” fame)but jumped on that ticket only because of Sarah Palin, who left no doubt that they weren’t her friends..though she was stifled in the campaign so as to not offend the messiah cult.

Don L on October 10, 2012 at 1:53 PM

and I found it a blatant conflict of interests, but then it’s just my opinion…

jimver on October 10, 2012 at 1:41 PM

I totally agree! Heck, it would look less fishy to me if they pulled up Dan Rather to moderate the thing.

Liam on October 10, 2012 at 1:55 PM

OT BREAKING NEWS, from Nikki Haley’s FB page:

..South Carolina just won the Voter ID case! Lawsuit by unions….WON! lawsuit by NLRB against Boeing….. WON! Protecting the integrity of the voting process by showing picture ID….WON! The Feds keep throwing punches but in South Carolina heels and boxing gloves prevail! This is another win for our state and country!

pambi on October 10, 2012 at 12:56 PM

For the GOP, as always, there can be no victory without defeat:

A panel of three federal judges in Washington has upheld South Carolina’s voter identification law, but says the state cannot put it in practice until 2013.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on October 10, 2012 at 1:55 PM

It was always going to be difficult to beat the expectations game against Slow Joe Biden. The best we can hope for is a begrudging acknowledgement that Ryan performed better.

But the Romney manhandling of the dog-eating President changed the game. Biden needs to WIN for the Regime, because if the momentum of Romney-Ryan isn’t stopped soon, he may have to think about moving to Delaware or some other gawdawful place that’s not inside the Beltway.

They’ve had him in intensive preparation for SIX STRAIGHT DAYS with Axelrod himself leading the team. I suspect this has huge potential to backfire when Joe confuses the various factoids they’ve crammed into his head.

Adjoran on October 10, 2012 at 1:58 PM

I think the VP debate is all risk with no upside for the Dems. If Biden wins (which I consider unlikely) or even wins decisively (alternate universe thinking here), it will provide as much boost to Obama as the previous VP debates did to their respective running mates. However, if Biden loses (extremely likely) or loses big time (along the lines of the Obama thrashing at the hands of Romney), it could very well be the final nail in the coffin for Obama. It would demonstrate the complete unseriousness and incompetence of the Administration from the top to the bottom of the ticket. Perhaps more importantly, it would demonstrate the – would it be appropriate to say “gravitas” – of the Romney/Ryan team.

Harrell on October 10, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Yup, with the decisive win for Mitt , the VP debate became less important for team Romney, they could almost afford to lose it.
But they have been preparing Ryan for weeks as they didn’t know how the first debate would go, so they’re loaded for bear.

For Team Obama this debate became more important , which they are unprepared for.
You dont wont to be in a situation where Biden becomes more important for you to win…

the_nile on October 10, 2012 at 1:59 PM

He also voted for ObamaCare and the Failed Trillion Dollar Stimulus (the two most UNPOPULAR pieces of legislation in the past 100 years), the grossly unpopular Dodd/Frank, the failed Cash For Clunkers, brought charges against NOT A SINGLE EVIL WALL STREET BANKER,
wanted to divided Iraq into three separate countries, supports “unfettered abortion on demand”, supports forcing Catholic organizations to pay for Sandra Fluke’s abortions and contraception, and said “you can’t go into a 7-11 in Delaware without hearing an Indian accent” and called candidate Obama “a clean and articulate Negro”…
Oh, wait, that was Biden…

Strike Hornet on October 10, 2012 at 1:38 PM

I forgot to add, Ryan also voted to give 90 billion tax payer dollars to failed “green energy cronies” who either gave large contributions to or bundled for Obama/Biden and took several photo ops while announcing it…and bailout the failed UAW that bankrupted the American Auto Industry (and continues to keep the failed model that did so)
Oh, WAIT…

Strike Hornet on October 10, 2012 at 1:59 PM

For the GOP, as always, there can be no victory without defeat:

A panel of three federal judges in Washington has upheld South Carolina’s voter identification law, but says the state cannot put it in practice until 2013.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on October 10, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Too much at stake for the commies to allow this now…

Strike Hornet on October 10, 2012 at 2:01 PM

A nitpick about the Daily Caller piece quoted: I have never heard of law student staff and editors of a law review being called “employees.” At least in my case, at my law school, those of us who ran the law review (with minimal assistance from a faculty advisor or two) were not paid, and we only received academic credit for the many long hours put into the publication.

acasilaco on October 10, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Anyone watching the Libya hearings?

kit9 on October 10, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Joe Biden, a man who charmed his way through Delaware, cheated his way through Syracuse, and then got elected to the Senate for 30 years.

Put him away, Paul Ryan. Put him out to grass where he belongs…

JohnGalt23 on October 10, 2012 at 2:07 PM

O/T from the HotAir headlines, but appropriate:

When Chuck Todd laments the corrosion of “trust in government,” what he is really lamenting is that the American people have caught on to the way the game is played and the public now realizes just how complicit the media is. Compounding that, the public largely now realizes just how in bed — sometimes literally — the press is with members of the Obama Administration. There is a revolving door between liberal organizations and the mainstream press. For every one Republican who may become an “objective” member of the press, there are many more Democrats who do the same. Further, for all the Republicans who do it, there are many more liberal than conservative Republicans who do it.

A good read.

PatriotGal2257 on October 10, 2012 at 2:08 PM

There you go again, Ed, being insipid. OF COURSE it’s a conflict of interest.

rayra on October 10, 2012 at 2:08 PM

What does that say about Obama’s judgment in picking this goofball as V.P.? OMG, can the Dems lower the bar any further? Dang, it’s on the ground already!

Moron Joe.

BigAlSouth on October 10, 2012 at 1:37 PM

If you X-rayed Biden’s head, you’d probably see a hamster running on a wheel.

Not a whole lot going on up there.

UltimateBob on October 10, 2012 at 2:09 PM

You know how a kitten chases its tail around in circles until it loses its balance and then crashes down the stairs while the older and wiser cat just looks at it with sort of a befuddled look?

That’s how I picture this debate going.

LoganSix on October 10, 2012 at 2:11 PM

kit9 on October 10, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Embassy property assessed as only able to withstand a 15 minute attack by no more than 4 assailants.

Request for security denied, but State Dept. upped their risk assessment pay!

katablog.com on October 10, 2012 at 2:14 PM

There were many of us who loathed the GOP’s good old angry man pick in John McCain (of “my friends across the aisle” fame)but jumped on that ticket only because of Sarah Palin, who left no doubt that they weren’t her friends..though she was stifled in the campaign so as to not offend the messiah cult.

Don L on October 10, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Count me among those who voted for “Palin and the old guy she was running with.”

UltimateBob on October 10, 2012 at 2:17 PM

me too

katablog.com on October 10, 2012 at 2:25 PM

This is big deal if Biden beats Ryan, but if Ryan wins then it is a non-event. Heads I win, tails it doesn’t matter.

Wigglesworth on October 10, 2012 at 2:25 PM

I think what we’ll see is Biden primarily trying to take on the Romney remarks (from the last debate) that Obama didn’t.
I’m not sure it’s an effective strategy – but the narrative within both the Obama campaign as well as Obama supporters is pretty focused on this.
The issue for Ryan is how much he’s going to be capable of defending the ‘evolving’ Romney positions & statements. Aside from the ’716 billion Medicare’ line they can’t get straight, he also needs represent the new severely moderate Mitt – a bit outside his comfort zone, true believer he is. As he was chosen primarily to offer assurances to concerned conservatives, it’ll be interesting how he manages this. I’m sure the abortion issue will come up – and Mitt has yet a new position (and not so ‘pro-life agenda’) today.
Basically, I think they are equally burdened – and if nothing else, it’ll make for an entertaining night.

verbaluce on October 10, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Paul Ryan should start his talk tomorrow night by saying,

“Martha, I hope our audience knows that Preisdent Obama was a guest at your first wedding in 1991, and that your first husband became the head of the FCC, but I’m sure that you will be fair,impartial and that you haven’t leaked your questions to the Democrats. By the way, how was the wedding?”

patch on October 10, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Paul Ryan should start his talk tomorrow night by saying,

“Martha, I hope our audience knows that Preisdent Obama was a guest at your first wedding in 1991, and that your first husband became the head of the FCC, but I’m sure that you will be fair,impartial and that you haven’t leaked your questions to the Democrats. By the way, how was the wedding?”

patch on October 10, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Oh, how awesome it would be to hear him say that.

UltimateBob on October 10, 2012 at 2:37 PM

I think that there is a lot of interest in this election and if we are lucky enough to get Biden at his worst and Ryan at his best, that should clinch it.

Vince on October 10, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Expect a question about Todd Akin to put Ryan on the spot. It’s win/win for the Dems. If Ryan slams Akin, he puts the final nail in that doofus’s coffin (and guarantees the Senate seat for the Dems) if he waffles and equivocates, Biden and the moderator attack him for it.

PackerBronco on October 10, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Crazy Joe is an old school “smilin’, kissin’ babies and shaken hands” pol from a different era. An era that had very few media outlets, basically 3 tv stations with liberal controlled Network Nightly News, a few big city liberal newspapers and no internet blogosphere, youtube, talk radio or Fox News…

He could lie through his teeth and NOBODY would call him on it…
Old crazy Joe doesn’t translate well to the “new media” era where EVERYTHING HE SAYS is played back over and over and over again in the 24 hour news cycle and talk radio…

His own words are feed right back to him and he “denies” saying them…even with a “willing to suspend disbelief liberal mainstream media” trying to cover for him, his lunacy and lack of substance is overwhelming obvious…

Old school pols like Crazy Joe and Charlie Rangel are dinosaurs in a media era that moves at “light-speed” and this will be ABUNDANTLY clear when Old Crazy “Smilin’” Joe is contrasted by the younger, FAR more substantial Ryan…

Strike Hornet on October 10, 2012 at 3:01 PM

I argue that running-mate debates are not game-changers in any sense

True, but running-mate debates can help to maintain momentum as well as to destroy it.

burt on October 10, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Strike Hornet on October 10, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Biteme will open the debate by kissing Ryan on the lips, Fat Al/Tipper style.

slickwillie2001 on October 10, 2012 at 3:46 PM

As for the younger and older women, all Ryan has to do is walk on stage without a shirt, flex his muscles and bat those baby blues – and leave.

Cody1991 on October 10, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Cheers! I’ll drink to that!

lucyvanpelt on October 10, 2012 at 3:54 PM

patch on October 10, 2012 at 2:34 PM

She will open with that disclaimer, now that she has been exposed…

Biden will focus on “women” and Ryan has been schooled and has all the answers down pat…it will be a trap Biden will fall into.

right2bright on October 10, 2012 at 3:57 PM

Congressman Paul Ryan is going to mop the floor with Greezy Joe’s dolls-hair hairplugs.

CatchAll on October 10, 2012 at 4:15 PM

In Michigan, the DEMs are running a cheesy dishonest ad for Debbie Stabenow, asserting the GOP wants to take money fron Medicare and replace it with vouchers. She promises to defend Medicare from GOP raids

Hoekstra is running a weak IMHO counter add showing Stabenow stating that yes we are cutting Medicare. Stabenow is running her ad more often. While the GOP shows video evidence, it does not connect the dots properly

Wonks who know the whole story see the Hoekstra ad shutting down Stabenow. Those not involved in the election issues see Stabenow promising one thing versus a clip from the GOP which does not have enough context to connect the clip to the charges made against her. Wonks are too deep into their own world to see they did not close the case

A voice over would have fixed this

Romney has it so much in his grasp to win Micigan. I was struck in the Romney/McCain contest how many blue collar union DEMS liked Romney, but the Medicare issue is being mishandled

Ryan has the debate to straighten the issue out for my state, and shut down the Stabenow game. He only has to connect the dots

Its a big deal. Many hard hat DEMs love what Romney showed them last election, and Stabenow is working to discredit what was hard won. Hoekstra is not up to it. Find one non wonk in Michigan who even knows what Hoekstra looks like. That will tell you a lot about how important Ryan is to Michigan.

I blame the Club for getting Mich into this. They put a higher priority on having the ‘right’ candidates, than winning. Was Romney their first choice? Or Ryan?

entagor on October 10, 2012 at 4:18 PM

Hope they ask Biten how he gets them wooden teeth so white.
What grade sandpaper he uses on them. Tough questions like that.

Buttercup on October 10, 2012 at 4:26 PM

Hope they ask Biten how he gets them wooden teeth so white.
What grade sandpaper he uses on them. Tough questions like that.

Buttercup on October 10, 2012 at 4:26 PM

Back in old crazy Joe’s heyday, he could smile his way out of his lies and incompetence…those teeth were worth a lot more “back in the day”…
Today, he just looks like a smiling village idiot…

Strike Hornet on October 10, 2012 at 4:58 PM

This Veep debate will matter. Mitt is surging at just the right time. (Sorta like he did in the primaries. Coincidence? I think not.) Ryan will keep that Mitt-mentum going and even help accelerate it. The comparison between the poised, informed and brilliant Ryan going up against the sure to be desperate, vulgar and stupid Veep will most definitely count.

MJBrutus on October 10, 2012 at 5:25 PM

So I just the Big Bird Obama ad. What a sad, sad campaign out Prez is running.

MJBrutus on October 10, 2012 at 6:36 PM

If you X-rayed Biden’s head, you’d probably see a hamster running on a wheel.

Not a whole lot going on up there.

UltimateBob on October 10, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Hilarious visual!

PatriotGal2257 on October 10, 2012 at 6:45 PM

Well, yeah, if Ryan wins it will be considered an epic non-event by the slimestream media. If Uncle Joeke should wi–no, I can’t even go there.

stukinIL4now on October 10, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Job Biden’s pearls of wisdom:

“They’re going to put y’all back in chains.”
“The Taliban is not the enemy”
“The middle class has been buried these last 4 years”
“You people look dull as hell.”
“Chuck stand up – let the people see you”. (Chuck is a paraplegic)
“We’re not supporting ‘clean coal.’ “No coal plants here in America.”
“Paying more taxes is ‘Patriotic’”
“Barack Obama Ain’t Taking My Shotguns, If He Tries To Fool With My Beretta, He’s Got A Problem.”
“When the stock market crashed (in 1929), Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, ‘Look, here’s what happened,”
“A 3 letter word, JOBS, J-O-B-S”
“Hillary would have been a better VP Pick”

Dollayo on October 10, 2012 at 7:39 PM

Dollayo on October 10, 2012 at 7:39 PM

Hillary was considered, but Val and Mooch nixed it. ‘Too many hens’ syndrome.

slickwillie2001 on October 10, 2012 at 8:06 PM

Paul Ryan should start his talk tomorrow night by saying,

“Martha, I hope our audience knows that Preisdent Obama was a guest at your first wedding in 1991, and that your first husband became the head of the FCC, but I’m sure that you will be fair,impartial and that you haven’t leaked your questions to the Democrats. By the way, how was the wedding?”

patch on October 10, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Oh, how awesome it would be to hear him say that.

UltimateBob on October 10, 2012 at 2:37 PM

…sometimes he gets a little crazy…it would be nice!

KOOLAID2 on October 10, 2012 at 8:40 PM

All I know is this: the idiotic decision by the Romney campaign to pick Ted Olson as Ryan’s coach for the debate has cost him one vote, my vote. I just filled out my ballot which will be mailed tomorrow. Not that my vote matters in California for the presidential race, but the president section was left blank. I cannot in good conscience vote for a campaign that is using the services of a man who has spent the last 2 years of his life viciously fighting the democratic decision of California on gay marriage. Ted Olson is a traitor who should be repudiated, not rewarded.

p_incorrect on October 10, 2012 at 11:40 PM

Here is another example of Biden in action – we need to be very worried – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmRXH7RkCZQ

iam7545r on October 11, 2012 at 2:00 AM

A mediocre post about what will be another memorable and meaningful debate.

Sherman1864 on October 11, 2012 at 10:07 AM

WHERE ARE THE BEEFCAKE RYAN WORKOUT PHOTOS HOTAIR

HE IS SO DREAMY

http://lightbox.time.com/2012/10/11/paul-ryan-all-pumped-up-for-his-closeup/?iid=lb-gal-viewagn#1

SO

SO

DREAMY

Dave Rywall on October 11, 2012 at 4:01 PM

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