Open thread: The VP debate

posted at 8:31 pm on October 11, 2012 by Allahpundit

9 p.m. ET across the dial. It’s true that VP debates usually don’t matter, and Gallup has the data to prove it. It’s also true that the shellacking Romney gave to the Empty Chair in Denver has created an unusual and unpredictable late swing in momentum. What we’re looking at tonight, then, isn’t so much a potential gamechanger as an opportunity to preserve a game that’s already changed. If Ryan makes a good impression, it’ll cement the impression Romney made at the last debate and give undecideds more confidence in rolling the dice on the new guys. That makes Biden’s task simple: Ensure that Ryan doesn’t make a good impression by calling him a liar, a woman-hater, blah blah. Dave Weigel went back through the Biden debate archive and found that he’s perfectly comfortable in that role:

The Clatworthy debates give us a better idea of Biden’s style than the Palin debate of 2008. That match-up was sui generis. Biden’s job then: Just don’t do anything that would make a swing voter root for the put-upon Hockey Mom. But Biden’s job, in his Senate races, was to humiliate Republicans by pointing out how cruel their policies were, and how little they knew. Abortion and women’s safety issues, which he could never deploy against Palin, are the tools he knows best. When Biden meets Ryan tonight, it would be out of character if he didn’t try to mire him in a discussion of pro-life bills and “legitimate rape.” Plenty of pols use soft language when they have to discuss those issues. Biden doesn’t.

Really, whenever an issue can be mined for pathos, Biden thrives. In the second Clatworthy debate, after the Republican failed to trap the senator into a joint PAC money-pledge press conference (“See if anyone shows up and pays attention to you,” said Biden), moderators switched the discussion to entitlements. It was 1996, and the fiscal problem du jour was whether to balance the budget by 1999 or by 2002. Clatworthy suggested that a privatized Social Security system and privatized Veterans Affairs administration would be more efficient. Biden reacted like he’d just heard a Tourettes patient question the death toll of the Holocaust.

A few days ago I predicted plenty of table-pounding atmospherics from Greasy Joe in the name of re-energizing deflated liberals and winning back wavering middle-class indies. With Obama advisors now telling Politico to expect a “very aggressive” debate, I’ll stand by that. He’s not going to win this on substance, but if he gets outrageously outraged enough, the media will award him the decision on “style” for having effectively channeled their own anger at the prospect of a GOP win. (Besides, it’s the first step in the inevitable “Obama comeback” narrative.) Hope Ryan’s ready to repel a sustained effort to keep him on the defensive, especially since, with Biden’s favorables already underwater, he doesn’t have to worry about coming off as a nice guy. Read Ace for more on why it’s foolish to underestimate him: The moderator’s under pressure not to anger the left the way Jim Lehrer did, all issues — including easy demagogue-able “war on women” trivia — are on the table, and Biden’s proved plenty of times that he’s good enough behind a mic to impress low-information voters. The left needs someone tonight who can grandstand effectively, not out-brainiac Ryan on federal budget minutiae. A guy who got elected to the Senate six times and then to the vice-presidency can grandstand effectively.

Robert Costa has a nice piece on Ryan’s exhaustive debate prep so read that while you’re waiting for the show to start. (Note the bit about Ted Olson mimicking Biden down to his hand gestures.) One obvious X factor: How much time will moderator Martha Raddatz spend on the White House’s Benghazi clusterfark? A Romney advisor told Byron York that Ryan’s prepared to hammer Obama’s “unraveling” foreign policy, but that he probably won’t get into the weeds on Libya and the subsequent cover up. That might be for the best: When it comes to terrible foreign-policy decisions endorsed by his opponent tonight, there’s an awful lot of other ground to cover.

Here’s the handy dandy Hot Air/Townhall widget for debate live-tweeting. If you’re looking for drinking-game rules, Reason has got you covered. Exit quotation: “Joe just needs to be Joe.”



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Comment pages: 1 2 3 34

Democrats are toast.

bluegill on October 11, 2012 at 8:33 PM

Crazy Joe is taking no prisoners. I’m nervous.

El_Terrible on October 11, 2012 at 8:34 PM

Y’all gimme the gist of it.

Lanceman on October 11, 2012 at 8:34 PM

Here’s toasting Paul Ryan!

*clink*

petefrt on October 11, 2012 at 8:34 PM

Someone tell Obama the real eye candy is about to appear.

jazzuscounty on October 11, 2012 at 8:35 PM

My guess: Worst case is a draw.

petefrt on October 11, 2012 at 8:35 PM

I’m well stocked up with popcorn.. The meltdown of the left is much more enjoyable than I envisioned. I hope it continues for 4 more weeks

gatorboy on October 11, 2012 at 8:35 PM

Biden doesn’t have to worry about being the nice guy? I wonder if thats actually true. If he comes off as mr pissypants I think it will exacerbate the Obama slide in the polls.

Zaggs on October 11, 2012 at 8:35 PM

They probably got him on coke… cocaine is a hell of a drug. Slimiest debate evah?

El_Terrible on October 11, 2012 at 8:35 PM

My guess: Worst case is a draw.

petefrt on October 11, 2012 at 8:35 PM

What does a draw mean for Mittmentum?

El_Terrible on October 11, 2012 at 8:36 PM

Obama/Biden 2012: It’s a No Brainer

PolarCoug on October 11, 2012 at 8:36 PM

Democrats like toast.

ExpressoBold on October 11, 2012 at 8:36 PM

…I have to listen on the radio…have an hour or so to drive home…

KOOLAID2 on October 11, 2012 at 8:37 PM

I wanna see Biden shirtless :O

burrata on October 11, 2012 at 8:37 PM

The accountant vs the armchair VP. If nothing else, it’ll be an interesting clash of styles. Two questions though…

Question: will Paul Ryan relentlessly hammer Biden on Benghazi, or will he try to shift things to budgetary issues?

Question: will Biden succeed in driving a Wedge between the Ryan plan and Romney’s plan?

Stoic Patriot on October 11, 2012 at 8:37 PM

NO RESPONSES from audience !
Just wondered if they’d actually require that.. hey.
Yay !

pambi on October 11, 2012 at 8:37 PM

The Von Ryan Express is going to steamroll Joe.

predator on October 11, 2012 at 8:38 PM

Got some wine and chinese…and a plastic cover for my laptop…

lovingmyUSA on October 11, 2012 at 8:38 PM

Good grief, on FBN Gray Davis is still talking about “green shoots”.

Leftie language/cliche is soooo yesterday.

petefrt on October 11, 2012 at 8:38 PM

Wow, it only took 4 minutes for the page to load. There go the Townhall servers.

John the Libertarian on October 11, 2012 at 8:38 PM

Good evening fellow HA’ers!!

What a night this is gonna be!!

I am gonna follow every comment :-) Lurk nite tonite…

*Clink* everyone and have at it!!

Scrumpy on October 11, 2012 at 8:38 PM

I wanna see Biden shirtless :O

burrata on October 11, 2012 at 8:37 PM

I always wanted to see cdseven in a tank top.

Lanceman on October 11, 2012 at 8:38 PM

They said if I voted for McCain, we’d have an idiot as VP….

joekenha on October 11, 2012 at 8:38 PM

I have a question
Joe said there are 650,000 troops in Afghanistan. Does that explain the spike in new jobs? (jobs is not a 3 letter word)

seven on October 11, 2012 at 8:38 PM

Hi, Scrumpers.

Lanceman on October 11, 2012 at 8:38 PM

Pray, everyone. Pray hard. I love Ryan and think him fully capable, but Joe is the representative of the cornered rats. He will say or do ANYTHING if he thinks it will score points, and the media, prepared this time, will do all they can to help him. Pray, everyone. Send Ryan good thoughts and simple eloquence. And cross your fingers.

idalily on October 11, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Clink

Just a quick peek to say hey

cmsinaz on October 11, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Slimiest debate evah?

El_Terrible on October 11, 2012 at 8:35 PM

My guess, yes.

It will be playground stuff, with Biden playing the Kool Kid who tries to make Ryan the Nerd look foolish.

farsighted on October 11, 2012 at 8:39 PM

The ladies seem to like Paul Bunsyan

SparkPlug on October 11, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Got some wine and chinese…

lovingmyUSA on October 11, 2012 at 8:38 PM

Chinese? Yum! Is she good lookin’?

petefrt on October 11, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Crazy Joe is taking no prisoners. I’m nervous.

El_Terrible on October 11, 2012 at 8:34 PM

Me too.

changer1701 on October 11, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Say Hi to Sparky and Lanceman and Jackie and Bmore and Axe and Fred and EG and Canopfor and Flora Duh and JP and ohhhhhh just

EVERYONE!!

Scrumpy on October 11, 2012 at 8:39 PM

My guess: Worst case is a draw.
petefrt on October 11, 2012 at 8:35 PM

No – worst case would be a slip by Ryan without a balancing one from Biden.

whatcat on October 11, 2012 at 8:40 PM

petefrt on October 11, 2012 at 8:34 PM

*clink*

pambi on October 11, 2012 at 8:40 PM

Nervous.. because Ryan has been my fake boyfriend since 2010.

Illinidiva on October 11, 2012 at 8:40 PM

AP, thanks for choosing the picture you chose.

Schadenfreude on October 11, 2012 at 8:40 PM

They said if I voted for McCain, we’d have an idiot as VP….

joekenha on October 11, 2012 at 8:38 PM

And they were right!

Lanceman on October 11, 2012 at 8:40 PM

SparkPlug on October 11, 2012 at 8:39 PM

I see what you did there ;-)

Scrumpy on October 11, 2012 at 8:40 PM

HotGassers……….

Snark your commenting Engines:)

canopfor on October 11, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Play it smart, be conservative, think before u speak..Mitt hit a grand slam, just need to keep the separation we gained over the past 10 days.

hillsoftx on October 11, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Good evening, Scrumpy! :)

thatsafactjack on October 11, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Evenin’ Scrumpy. I want an a$$ whoopin’ tonight.

predator on October 11, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Just running through a montage of Greasy Joe’s greatest hits in my mind…..”clean, articulate black, Indians owning all the mini marts, stand up Joe, four years of middle class oppression…..”. Yeah, not all that worried about the guy who’s a heartbeat away from the Presidency. Who’ s that laughing out there? Is that you, Sarah Palin?

BettyRuth on October 11, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Drinking rule :
everytime Bidet wags his index finger , 1 shot down the hatch

burrata on October 11, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Ryan had 9 dry runs, each 90 mins.

That poor Mr. Olson had to really, really, really dumb himself down.

Btw, Biden has NOT been allowed to talk to media and others since he outed Obama as the gay guy.

Schadenfreude on October 11, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Here is to Joe having one of those Joe nights. *clink!* Say, what are the rules for tonights game? 7% !?!?!

Bmore on October 11, 2012 at 8:42 PM

Hi, Scrumpers.

Lanceman on October 11, 2012 at 8:38 PM

Ditto. Sorry I’m late but I had to log back in. Something ate my breadball cookies.

SparkPlug on October 11, 2012 at 8:42 PM

Live Feed:

Only Vice Presidential Debate tonight at 9pm et / 6pm pt
By Nate, on October 11th, 2012

http://www.2012presidentialelectionnews.com/2012/10/only-vice-presidential-debate-tonight-at-9pm-et-6pm-pt/

canopfor on October 11, 2012 at 8:42 PM

Biden usually makes his gaffes in off-t6he-cuff comments-rarely makes in a debate scenario. My concern, therefore, is by simply NOT SCREWING UP BIDEN WILL APPEAR THE WINNER because he EXCEEDED the low expectations expected of him.

MaiDee on October 11, 2012 at 8:42 PM

And, in this corner, weighing in with all synapses and braincells firing on WIN, we have Paul Ryan.
In the other corner, drooling, five braincells fighting with each other, we have Stand UP Joe Biden.
Stand up CHUCK!

HornetSting on October 11, 2012 at 8:43 PM

I’ve got butterflies.

Dear Lord please be Paul Ryan tonight. Give him the words needed to express what is necessary.

gophergirl on October 11, 2012 at 8:43 PM

petefrt on October 11, 2012 at 8:34 PM

*clink*

conservative tarheel on October 11, 2012 at 8:43 PM

Pray, everyone. Pray hard. I love Ryan and think him fully capable, but Joe is the representative of the cornered rats. He will say or do ANYTHING if he thinks it will score points, and the media, prepared this time, will do all they can to help him. Pray, everyone. Send Ryan good thoughts and simple eloquence. And cross your fingers.

idalily on October 11, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Yep. Don’t underestimate Slow Joe. Just decimate him.

Go Paul Ryan!

PatriotGal2257 on October 11, 2012 at 8:43 PM

Hey predator!!

Me too!!

The pace set here is soooo fast I can’t keep up lol… so I am gonna sit back and totally lock eyes with Ryan… ;-)

Scrumpy on October 11, 2012 at 8:43 PM

Dear Lord please be with Paul Ryan tonight. Give him the words needed to express what is necessary.

gophergirl on October 11, 2012 at 8:43 PM

OOPS

gophergirl on October 11, 2012 at 8:43 PM

I hope that Ryan remains deferential and polite towards papy Joe the entire time.

If he does, and they make it through the questions, back/fro, the media will declare it a draw either way.

Schadenfreude on October 11, 2012 at 8:43 PM

OT: Megyn Kelly… that is all.

bernzright777 on October 11, 2012 at 8:43 PM

Live FEED:

CSPAN

Vice Presidential Debate: Centre College, Danville, KY

http://www.c-span.org/Debates/Events/VP-Biden–Rep-Ryan-Debate-in-Kentucky/10737434293/

canopfor on October 11, 2012 at 8:44 PM

I love Ryan and think him fully capable, but Joe is the representative of the cornered rats. He will say or do ANYTHING if he thinks it will score points, and the media, prepared this time, will do all they can to help him.

idalily on October 11, 2012 at 8:39 PM

I know Joe will sell his soul tonight. But I have confidence in Paul to keep things reasonably straight. Hoping for a big Ryan win, but expect something more like a draw. Then it’ll be up to Mitt to score against the Poser-in-Chief one more time.

petefrt on October 11, 2012 at 8:44 PM

HotGassers……….

Snark your commenting Engines:)

canopfor on October 11, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Rotf, snark your engines. Hehe

SparkPlug on October 11, 2012 at 8:44 PM

Tonight’s Drink:
Dr. Pepper Torched Cherry Rum Bombs.

*Clink*

HornetSting on October 11, 2012 at 8:44 PM

Hornet, cheers my friend!

Schadenfreude on October 11, 2012 at 8:44 PM

here is hoping the kid takes Grandpa to the shed tonight….if Joe goes unhinged and drops a couple crazy ones it could really put the Mitt-mentum into overdrive!

SDarchitect on October 11, 2012 at 8:44 PM

Prayers are flooding the airwaves tonight!!

Still saying them…

Amen!!

Scrumpy on October 11, 2012 at 8:45 PM

If Ryan says budget, drink.

If Biden mentions any restaurant in Delaware, DRINK!

Make us proud Paul.

hawkdriver on October 11, 2012 at 8:45 PM

It seems that this is the happening place to be for the next two hours. :)

Bob's Kid on October 11, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Good Luck to Mr. Ryan…

https://twitter.com/PaulRyanVP/status/256427610295369728

workingclass artist on October 11, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Ditto. Sorry I’m late but I had to log back in. Something ate my breadball cookies.

SparkPlug on October 11, 2012 at 8:42 PM

COOOOKIEEEE!

MYAM MYAM MYAM MYAM MYAM!

Lanceman on October 11, 2012 at 8:45 PM

BettyRuth on October 11, 2012 at 8:41 PM

one of my fav’s was “put you all back in chains”

conservative tarheel on October 11, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Dear Lord please be Paul Ryan tonight. Give him the words needed to express what is necessary.

gophergirl on October 11, 2012 at 8:43 PM

Diet Pepsi for me – I’m boring tonight

gophergirl on October 11, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Titans – 3, Stealers – 0.

RickB on October 11, 2012 at 8:45 PM

I’m not at all nervous tonight.
Watch Joe’s body language, not just his words.
The press has no clue what might just happen tonight.
Some of us do.
Win, lose is a human’s judgement.
Never fully trust those.
;-)

pambi on October 11, 2012 at 8:46 PM

I hope Ryan practiced what to do when Joe spouts off something completely at variance to reality.

Count to 10 on October 11, 2012 at 8:46 PM

The ladies seem to like Paul Bunsyan

SparkPlug on October 11, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Yes, indeed, and not just because of his good looks–Paul Ryan loves his momma and lets everyone know it!

jazzuscounty on October 11, 2012 at 8:46 PM

Too nervous to watch, but will stay on this thread to read the reactions…

jimver on October 11, 2012 at 8:47 PM

Here We Go, 26 days to D-Day, hope y’all are stocked up in case of any ‘civil disturbances’.

Who is John Galt on October 11, 2012 at 8:47 PM

If Biden mentions any restaurant in Delaware, DRINK!

Make us proud Paul.

hawkdriver on October 11, 2012 at 8:45 PM

.
HAH !

If Biden opens his mouth . . . . . . .

listens2glenn on October 11, 2012 at 8:47 PM

Screw your courage to the sticking place, friends.

Last week was D-Day. This week will be Remagen. But if it’s Market Garden or The Bulge, we WILL eventually cross the Rhine and get to Berlin!

The War Planner on October 11, 2012 at 8:47 PM

pambi on October 11, 2012 at 8:46 PM

Hi, Pambi.

{{{hugs}}}

GrannyDee on October 11, 2012 at 8:47 PM

I hope Ryan practiced what to do when Joe spouts off something completely at variance to reality.

Count to

Pretty sure Ryan is use to Joe.

Zaggs on October 11, 2012 at 8:47 PM

In all honesty, if it’s not too *Democrat* of me to claim victory before the returns are in:

IT’S RYAN IN A LANDSLIDE!!!

Okay. *Now* we can get back to serious drinking… *clink!*

“Ask not what your TEA Party can do for you…” ~ DeepWheat

DeepWheat on October 11, 2012 at 8:47 PM

Hornet, cheers my friend!

Schadenfreude on October 11, 2012 at 8:44 PM

Cheers, Schadenfreude! I can cheer tonight, knowing that ‘my friend John McCain’s idiot campaign’ had nothing to do with the VP debate prep.
It was lovely when Sarah Palin called them out for her debate prep. Should have concentrated on the economy.
Yeah, and had a better presidential candidate with balls and who was actually a conservative.

HornetSting on October 11, 2012 at 8:47 PM

Tonight’s Drink:
Dr. Pepper Torched Cherry Rum Bombs.

*Clink*

HornetSting on October 11, 2012 at 8:44 PM

sorry my choices are Diet Dew … and sweet tea ….

conservative tarheel on October 11, 2012 at 8:47 PM

Oh God, please make Bidet act like the stupid jerk that he is !!
May he babble like a clueless dimwit and may he not even know it !!

burrata on October 11, 2012 at 8:47 PM

Ryan had 9 dry runs, each 90 mins.

That poor Mr. Olson had to really, really, really dumb himself down.

Btw, Biden has NOT been allowed to talk to media and others since he outed Obama as the gay guy.

Schadenfreude on October 11, 2012 at 8:41 PM

I read that Ted Olson really got into the part.

When we win this thing – we need to send big ol’ fruit baskets to Portman and Olson.

gophergirl on October 11, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Paul Ryan vs. Joe Biden. Ryan should be able to wipe the floor with Biden on substance, but…

I’m sorry, but I’m worried that
IT’S A TRAP!!!!!

JimLennon on October 11, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Gonna watch NFL football instead. I’ll peek in here during commercials.

22044 on October 11, 2012 at 8:48 PM

GaffeBiden meets HamBurg Hill!!
(sarc)

canopfor on October 11, 2012 at 8:49 PM

Let the job interview begin.

KCsecurity1976 on October 11, 2012 at 8:49 PM

GrannyDee on October 11, 2012 at 8:47 PM

Back atcha, dearie !!

pambi on October 11, 2012 at 8:49 PM

Too nervous to watch, but will stay on this thread to read the reactions…

jimver on October 11, 2012 at 8:47 PM

..yeah..like that’s gonna happen, Jim. I said the same thing and went through twenty or so comments here about “Romney’s kicking the Pantload’s™ asss” and I was over to Fox like a shot!

The War Planner on October 11, 2012 at 8:49 PM

Very nervous! Not gonna get cocky. Working again, like during the last debate, so I will be by when I can to see how things are going.

Jack_Burton on October 11, 2012 at 8:49 PM

Joe Biden will anally rape ryan tonight and win the election. I’m druknk though

davemason2k on October 11, 2012 at 8:49 PM

Paul Ryan vs. Joe Biden. Ryan should be able to wipe the floor with Biden on substance, but…

I’m sorry, but I’m worried that
IT’S A TRAP!!!!!

JimLennon on October 11, 2012 at 8:48 PM

It makes two of us…that’s why I can’t watch it…

jimver on October 11, 2012 at 8:50 PM

JimLennon on October 11, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Ugh, ya silly negative nelly!!

Put your manly pants on fer gawds sake… sigh…

Scrumpy on October 11, 2012 at 8:50 PM

I am a little worried about this debate. Only because everyone expects Ryan to kill Biden. So anything less of Ryan completely dominating, the press will say Biden is the winner.

The Notorious G.O.P on October 11, 2012 at 8:50 PM

Big swig here at each utterance of the word “jobs”!

surrounded on October 11, 2012 at 8:50 PM

Dear Lord please be with Paul Ryan tonight. Give him the words needed to express what is necessary.

gophergirl on October 11, 2012 at 8:43 PM

Amen. When all is said and done, this is in the Lord’s hands. I pray he finds 10 righteous and preserves the Republic.

AZfederalist on October 11, 2012 at 8:50 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3 34