Let’s get ready to rumble! The first (and only) Vice-Presidential debate takes place tonight in Lexington, Kentucky. How fitting such a fight takes place in the home state of Muhammad Ali? In the blue corner, he’s the giant of gaffes, he’s the man-behind-the man, really far back behind, Joeeeeee Biden! And in the red corner from Wisconsin, it’s boy-king, the muscles from near-Madison, he’s the behind the Mormon, Pauuuuuulllll Ryan!! Let’s get it on, here’s what you need to know.
1. Republican Strategy is Likely to be a Little Different
Last week during Mitt Romney’s debate win in the real debate, there was a strategy within the Republican party to “let Mitt be Mitt”. It will be the opposite tonight, with many thinking that Ryan is too far to the right, something that scares off moderate voters. Whereas as Barack Obama put it this week, to win, “Joe just needs to be Joe”.
2. Biden Might Show a More Fight Than His Boss
Well it would be physically impossible to show less. Will he mention Romney’s lies from the Presidential debate? Surely he will bring to right Ryan’s unwavering support for the 2008 bailout? Not to mention the “47%” remark. Ryan is a representative for Romney, so if Biden attacks Mitt, the Wisconsin Senator will have to defend.
Biden is 69, Ryan is youthful 42, not the biggest age gap in politics but still worth noting, Biden will have the in his back pocket should he need it. Ryan was just three years old when Biden first stepped in publicly elected office in 1973. It’s a card the Vice President can play, but it might seem desperate if he does. Biden was once young and inexperienced, in fact, he’s was the sixth youngest Senator to take office of all time.
4. It’s the Economy…
The stock market has made little to no improvement this week despite the good numbers in a decline of jobless claims. Ironically it’s the Presidential election that’s been making people uneasy, not to mention the potential financial meltdown in Europe, the economy is an easy target for Ryan.
5. Can you really imagine Ryan as President?
Last week Mitt Romney had the difficult task of proving to the electorate that he is in fact human, now Ryan has a similarly hard job of convincing the American people that he would be ready to lead the nation if the unthinkable happens. But if he can show that he understands the issues, and that he can take any shots Biden has for him, perhaps he will prove himself.
6. Medicare and Social Security
As previously mentioned, Biden needs to attack Ryan as if he were Romney. Including the Social Security cutbacks, which arguably are just finance more Wall Street speculation, something the general population aren’t so thrilled about. Also, Ryan’s one time policy of turning Medicare into a voucher system should provide some lively debate.
7. And Iran…
The Romney campaign has been outspoken in their belief that President Obama has not done enough to deter Iran from building a nuke. Biden can hit Ryan with this one too, what exactly would they have them do? Biden has spent much of his time in the Senate on foreign committees, he should be able to kill Ryan if talk turns to the Middle-East.
8. Immigration, Specifically the Mexican Border
With so many votes in key-areas, the Democrats will be keen to ensure they keep their lead amongst Latino voters. The Republican’s traditional line of being hard on immigration will have to soften if they are to take some votes from the Obama campaign. But be careful, go to soft and Ryan will only serve to alienate his base.
It’s the Vice President who has handled the troop withdrawals from Iraq. Biden will be quick to bring that up, as he should, Ryan could still come off well on the issue if speaks with knowledge and passion about the war in Iraq.
10. Does Biden have to win this?
It’s not a position that most Democrats would like to be in, putting the gaffe prone VP in a vital position. But Obama’s poor showing last week has created that situation. The Obama ticket cannot afford another bad hit like last week ,if Ryan were to win as comfortably as his boss did last week, it’s going to be a tight race.
You can watch all the proceedings on YouTube here.