Don’t look for Mayberry in tonight’s vice presidential debate

Only in America could tag-team wrestling serve as a sensible political model.

Eight days after Mitt Romney slapped a half-nelson on President Barack Obama, clearly winning a first round on points, their two surrogates will climb into the ring this evening to give their principals a breather.

Aborist Amra Boanerges trims trees in downtown Danville, Ky., as the town spruces up ahead of hosting the vice presidential debate between Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Paul Ryan scheduled for tonight. Boanerges said the throngs of visitors for the debate will feel welcome in a town he likened to a “modern-day Mayberry.” AP/Bruce Schreiner

Aborist Amra Boanerges trims trees in downtown Danville, Ky., as the town spruces up ahead of hosting the vice presidential debate between Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Paul Ryan scheduled for tonight. Boanerges said the throngs of visitors for the debate will feel welcome in a town he likened to a “modern-day Mayberry.” AP/Bruce Schreiner

The one and only debate between Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic incumbent, and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the GOP challenger, will take place in the small college town of Danville, Ky., said to be one of the most Mayberry-like cities in the nation.

Don’t expect the encounter to be neighborly. With 26 days left, too much is at stake.

Biden, the former Delaware senator often derided by the GOP as a walking gaffe machine, will be asked to undo the damage done by Obama’s uninspired performance in Denver – the president said Wednesday he was “just too polite” – and put a lid on Romney’s rising poll numbers.

The vice president will be expected to mention what Obama didn’t: An unemployment rate now below 8 percent, Romney’s “47 percent” video, the Republican’s changing statements on abortion, and the late Osama bin Laden.

With a federal debt now at $16 trillion, Ryan’s first close-up since his introduction to the nation in Tampa is sure to feature his expertise as chairman of the House Budget Committee – and his take-your-medicine recommendations for a privatized Medicare for those now 55 or younger, and a state-by-state voucher system for federal welfare payments.

As many times as Biden mentions bin Laden, Ryan will mention Libya and the deaths of four U.S. diplomatic personnel on Sept. 11.

Biden has the edge in debate experience. His 2008 session with Sarah Palin was the most-watched vice presidential debate in history – a high-water mark unlikely to be topped this evening. This despite another historic tidbit: For the first time, both vice presidential nominees are Catholic.

As political creatures, vice presidential candidates aren’t necessarily designed to be liked. A poll released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press declared that 51 percent of American voters have an unfavorable impression of Biden. Forty percent have an unfavorable view of Ryan – while slightly more view him favorably.

For more handicapping, I turned to two Atlanta political veterans. Former mayor Shirley Franklin, a Democrat, campaigned with Biden in Philadelphia in 2008, and often interacted with the vice president during her last year in office.

Franklin doesn’t necessarily agree that Biden is working from a debate deficit.

“I would have preferred for [Obama] to be more forceful, but I thought he was very thoughtful. I don’t think the debate last Wednesday persuaded anybody that he was a good candidate. But I actually don’t think it dissuaded anyone either,” Franklin said. “Certainly, Romney was much more coherent. Whether he was substantive or not is another matter.”

Franklin likes what Biden will bring to the stage: A firm, blue-collar grasp of domestic issues, and strong schooling in foreign policy – Biden is a former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“He has a real grasp of what happens on the ground,” she said, reminding me that it was Biden who toured Cobb County after that historic flood in 2009.

Eric Tanenblatt is Romney’s finance chairman in Georgia, and one of the presidential campaign’s top fund-raisers nationally. The senior managing director at an Atlanta law firm was in Denver last week, and will be at Centre College tonight.

Tanenblatt said he wasn’t surprised by last week’s outcome. “To me, that was the Mitt Romney that I know. The president’s lack of interest only made it better,” he said.

Tanenblatt is among those who expect the incumbent vice president to compensate. “I’m sure Biden’s being coached to go for the jugular and try to fix what happened last week,” he said.

The loser of tonight’s debate is likely to be the fellow who allows himself to become the issue.

“They’re going to try and dwell on the Ryan budget, and I think Ryan is going to make sure that he articulates that the Mitt Romney budget is not exactly the Paul Ryan House budget,” Tanenblatt said. “They agree on principal, but Mitt Romney is the top of the ticket. I think he’ll be able to articulate Mitt’s vision.”

And keep in mind that younger Americans like himself – Tanenblatt is 46 – are aware of the need to fix Social Security and Medicare. “As someone of my generation, I don’t think there’s going to be much around unless we do something,” he said.

The final participant in the debate will be moderator Martha Raddatz, chief foreign correspondent for ABC News. The Daily Caller, a Washington conservative newspaper and website, created a stir earlier this week by noting that Obama attended Raddatz’ wedding in 1991. As a friend of the groom.

The couple has divorced, and each has remarried. The Ryan campaign has declared, to Fox News, no less, that it has “no concerns” about the 21-year-old connection.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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28 comments Add your comment

Steve

October 11th, 2012
1:20 am

I have no doubt Paul Ryan will give his “principles” a breather, as did Mitt Romney in the presidential debate, but I’m pretty sure you meant to say Biden & Ryan with give their “principals” a breather.

Look before I leap...

October 11th, 2012
1:23 am

Don’t think it will do much for the polling numbers, but should be fun to watch.
Ryan’s biggest issue will be to hold to the Romney message (whatever that is) and deflect from his differences.
Biden biggest issue will to be to keep his feet as far from his mouth as possible.

Warning to Biden: Ryan is MUCH smarter than Palin so don’t take him for granted.

Kris

October 11th, 2012
1:36 am

I hope that Ernst T. Bass shows up with a big bag of rocks to throw at rynnie/

Obama/Biden 2012

[...] Supporters as Romney Gains MomentumBloombergPhiladelphia Inquirer -New York Times -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)all 10,046 news [...]

Buckhead Boy

October 11th, 2012
5:12 am

Speaking of Mr. Ryan, Mr. Tanenblatt opined, ” I think he’ll be able to articulate Mitt’s vision.” Would that be “Mitt’s vision” yesterday, today or tomorrow?

Anyway, he who would doubt that Mr. Biden is up to the challenge need only ask Robert Bork. Yes, Mr. Bork still lives. No, he is not a Supreme Court Justice.

Wilbur

October 11th, 2012
6:39 am

We will see if the Obama team still desires a post partisan, past racial thoughtful, hopeful future for America or if all Obama offers is more hate, division, personal attack, envy and anger and failed left wing ideology. It sure seems from the folks that write here that the dems don’t have much else to offer.

An observer

October 11th, 2012
6:50 am

As noted in the article, a great number of Americans think Biden is a jerk. No doubt he will confirm that view in the debate by being snarky and too aggressive. Ryan will gain sympathy support because of Biden attacks. The public will benefit most if the debate is kept impersonal and focused on the issues, instead of on getcha attacks.

Call It Like It Is

October 11th, 2012
7:39 am

“Franklin doesn’t necessarily agree that Biden is working from a debate deficit.” You know its okay to be a homer for your team, but statements like the above just make you look silly. Obama had his tail handed to him, and everyone on the right, left center know it. Will it be different tonight, more then likely no. Biden is just not welled like by anyone it seems. Ryan should defeat him soundly.

honested

October 11th, 2012
7:56 am

All Biden has to do is insist ryan provide any evidence for his misguided crackpot ideas.

Advantage Biden.

Whirled Peas

October 11th, 2012
8:47 am

“The couple has divorced, and each has remarried. The Ryan campaign has declared, to Fox News, no less, that it has “no concerns” about the 21-year-old connection.”
Jim Galloway, being the bugger eating leftist that he is, will say anything to justify this egregious conflict of interest.
The Cox family needs to apologize to the people of Georgia for allowing this once great paper to descend to such levels.

Frontman

October 11th, 2012
9:18 am

So, you’re proud of the fact that Robert Bork was torpedoed by lies and misrepresentation which Biden either didn’t realize or just simply ignored, Buckhead Boy? Sounds like you have a future as a Democrat strategist…
Ryan will eat Biden up and spit him out. Of course, it will help the Dems having one of Obama’s wedding guests as the debate moderator. Just remember her complete impartiality, though. Riiighhhtt…

Rush

October 11th, 2012
9:57 am

What’s Obummer’s strategy for the next four years, libtards? Oh that’s right…..tax the wealthy…invest in failing schools….play golf frequently….blah blah blah

RGB

October 11th, 2012
10:10 am

What a funny comment that Biden should make Ryan provide justification for his “crackpot” ideas.

Ryan should ask for justification for the $787 billion stimulus. Or the repeated $1.5 trillion budget deficits. Or spending $90 billion on “green” energy. Or the fact that the administration hasn’t passed a budget in 4 years. Or why 11% unemployment is a good idea.

I hope Plugs will ask Ryan the question, but Jumpin’ Joe better be careful what he asks for.

Maybe that Ole Blue Collar Joe (on the government dole his entire life) will tell us how we can get an ObamaPhone: “Everybody in Cleveland, every minority, got an Obama phone. Keep Obama as president. He gave us a phone. He gonna do more.”

I wonder if “Doctor” Jill Biden has an ObamaPhone. I’ll bet she does.

Rafe Hollister

October 11th, 2012
10:33 am

Lets have a drinking game with the key phrase “millionaires and billionaires”. Joe will have us drunk in less than 30 minutes. More division and class warfare will be on full display as Joe tries to claw the Dims back into the game.

It took all he had to stand toe to toe with Palin, I’m guessing Ryan makes him look more foolish, than he looks everyday.

cc

October 11th, 2012
10:36 am

The latest jobless arte shows over 300,000 new jobs created . . . but fails to mention that the report does not include the fact that an unidentified “large state” failed to report offsetting first time unemployment claims. One has to wonder if that “large state” just might be (gasp!) Illinois?

Repeated requests for additional embassy security personnel in Libya were denied . . . but Obama appointees have more than adequate security personnel wherever they travel

No money was available to upgrade the embassies in Libya to meet the minimum security standards . . . but millions of dollars were spent refurbishing muslim temples in the Middle East.

“It has been reported recently by WSB-TV 2 in Atlanta that the US State Department funded, with US taxpayer dollars, more than $750 million dollars to rebuild Mosques in the Middle East. When questioned, State Department officials would acknowledge only that rebuilding the Mosques was a way to “build goodwill” in the area with local inhabitants.”

http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/flashpoint/2011/07/how-they-spend-your-money-in-troubled-times

Retired Soldier

October 11th, 2012
10:37 am

Ryan in a 9th round knockout. Ryan will toy with him. jab him and then in the 9th use a haymaker right to put Biden on the floor. End of debate.

cc

October 11th, 2012
10:40 am

“More division and class warfare will be on full display as Joe tries to claw the Dims back into the game.”

Isn’t that what it has been for nearly five years now, Rafe?

cc

October 11th, 2012
10:52 am

“All Biden has to do is insist ryan provide any evidence for his misguided crackpot ideas.”

If you keep smoking that stuff, you want have any left to sell and will have to lay off an employee or two.

Don’t add to the jobless number . . .

I dropped my fried twinkie

October 11th, 2012
11:31 am

We might not see Mayberry but Barney “Biden” Fife will be there with his 1 bullet.

I dropped my fried twinkie

October 11th, 2012
12:43 pm

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=414617125259125&set=a.330374477016724.83603.311190048935167&type=1&theater

hope you can get the Facebook feed. WOW the liberals are More RACISTS then the White Republicans. Who knew?

Carol

October 11th, 2012
1:20 pm

RGB
hope Plugs will ask Ryan the question, but Jumpin’ Joe better be careful what he asks for.

Maybe that Ole Blue Collar Joe (on the government dole his entire life) will tell us how we can get an ObamaPhone: “Everybody in Cleveland, every minority, got an Obama phone. Keep Obama as president. He gave us a phone. He gonna do more.”

I wonder if “Doctor” Jill Biden has an ObamaPhone. I’ll bet she does.
++++++

Wow, it’s amazing you can find this site and type anything. That has got to be one of the most ignorant replies on here. Shows how little (meaning NO) research you have done about the “Obamaphone”. The program that was started back during the REAGAN administration.

And Biden being on the gov’t dole all of his life, again obviously little (NO) research. Do you realze that Ryan has been on that same dole for a few years himself. And on top of being the VP candidate he’s still running for his House seat, which would mean either another 2 or 4 more years added to 13 he already has.

oldfart

October 11th, 2012
1:43 pm

My own first thought regarding both of them is a scary one for me. The old “heartbeat away” thing. Would I really want either as the President? Emphatically NO.

TheDixieDove

October 11th, 2012
2:07 pm

Enter your comments here Palin was More Qualified than Ryan!
“Are You Ready to be President Right Now Mr. Ryan”?

That is the only question Paul Ryan needs to be forced to address for America to see clearly that we are not in good hands with Romney. Romney’s pick of Ryan is akin the the choice of Dan Quayle by George H W Bush. He’s a bone to the right who makes Romney look somewhat presidential in comparison.

Sarah Palin, as John McCain’s VP nominee was more qualified to step in as Commander in Chief than is Paul Ryan. For all of her bluster, she is a tougher, more experienced and mature candidate than is Paul Ryan. She is comfortable in her own skin and fearless, while Ryan is a nervous young technocrat, better suited to Romney’s economic team than his current perch.
http://TheDixieDove.com/

TheDixieDove

October 11th, 2012
2:10 pm

Palin was More Qualified than Ryan!
“Are You Ready to be President Right Now Mr. Ryan”?

That is the only question Paul Ryan needs to be forced to address for America to see clearly that we are not in good hands with Romney. Romney’s pick of Ryan is akin the the choice of Dan Quayle by George H W Bush. He’s a bone to the right who makes Romney look somewhat presidential in comparison.

Sarah Palin, as John McCain’s VP nominee was more qualified to step in as Commander in Chief than is Paul Ryan. For all of her bluster, she is a tougher, more experienced and mature candidate than is Paul Ryan. She is comfortable in her own skin and fearless, while Ryan is a nervous young technocrat, better suited to Romney’s economic team than his current perch.
http://TheDixieDove.com/

Schmitty

October 11th, 2012
3:16 pm

Anybody that votes to re-elect this terrible administration should be forced to pay a moron tax. This moron tax can then be used to help pay for the failed policies of this administration.

The Mirror

October 11th, 2012
4:12 pm

The best evidence that CC is a paid political operative is his repeated use of the same talking point, copied and pasted from the drudge report across multiple topics.

FCM

October 11th, 2012
4:51 pm

@ Schmitty….LOVE IT!

yellowdog

October 11th, 2012
6:27 pm

what government dole? public service is what I call it; even ryan whom i have no use for ran for office and won thinking he could make change; his no big government rule is a joke; he is the governent; and the GOP likes to get into women’s wombs, decide when a person can die etc; they all who are qualified take social security and medicare (remember when romney said he would return his? ) if you dont like it give back your benefits; i for one worked for mine 58 years and pay 500/month into medicare; so get real about who are the takers and who not; or pay the healthcare for your aunts and mothers ad grandfathers. i pay more taxes as a single person than romney or ryan; y’all make me ill with your whining and all knowing comments; you just woke up or not; if not pull ypur head out of the sand