Vice Presidential Debate
Tonight is the only Vice Presidential debate of the 2012 election, moderated by Martha Raddatz of ABC News. The venue is Centre College in Danville, Kentucky.
The stakes for tonight’s contest were raised by President Obama’s performance in the first Presidential debate, which most pundits regarded as lackluster. Accordingly, the pre-debate posturing has begun.
The Daily Caller and Tucker Carlson have claimed that Raddatz has a conflict of interest because Barack Obama attended her 1991 wedding to Julius Genachowski. At the time, both Obama and Genachowski were Harvard law students. Raddatz and Genachowski were divorced in 1997, and Raddatz is now married to NPR correspondent Tom Gjelton.
The Democrats will try to cut off the Republican team’s momentum that they gained from the Denver Presidential debate. Biden’s extensive foreign policy experience and four years of intensive, on-the-job training as a valued advisor and assistant to Obama are his strengths.
On the Republican side, Ryan will try to close the deal. He has been in Congress 14 years, and has worked in public service his entire adult life (with the exception of a stint at the wheel of a Wienermobile). He now chairs the House Budget Committee and is the principal author of the Republican plan to cut the deficit, primarily by repealing Obamacare and replacing the current Medicare funding system with a voucher-based funding model.
Biden comes into the debate struggling, even though he needs to make up some polling ground lost by Obama in his own debate. It’s an uphill climb, because Biden’s favorability ratings are underwater, with 39 percent of voters viewing him favorably vs. 51 percent unfavorably (a –12 net) in a recent Pew poll. Ryan’s numbers are 44 percent favorable vs. 40 percent unfavorable, or a +4. Forty percent of those surveyed by Pew during the first week of October expect Ryan to do better, while 34 percent expect Biden to do better.
What will the Friday morning headlines read?
Will Joe Biden stick his foot in his mouth with one (or more) of his trademark gaffes?
Will Paul Ryan lie about his sub-3 hour marathon time, his 6 percent body fat, climbing Colorado’s Fourteeners, or some other act of physical prowess? Will Ryan start off by asking “Hey, can I call you Joe?”
We have Disqus turned on today so that we can handle the live traffic for tonight’s debate, which starts at 9:00 PM EDT (6:00 PM PDT). Join us and comment.
- ABC: Daily Caller’s Raddatz inquiry ‘absurd’
- Danville, Kentucky to host the only vice-presidential debate
- Biden-Ryan Debate May Produce Foreign Policy Fireworks
- Benjamin Knoll: Previewing the 2012 Vice Presidential Debate
- Biden hopes vice-presidential debate with Ryan helps regain lost ground
- Vice presidential debate could be a tale of two Ryans
- Pressure is on Biden after Obama’s lackluster debate performance