It's Ryan vs. Biden in the only vice presidential debate of the 2012 election cycle. What will happen? Will Biden come out swinging in order to make up for Barack Obama's dismal performance? Will Paul Ryan score points on the budget and the economy?
The vice presidential debate will take place Thursday night at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. GOP nominee Paul Ryan has been preparing by sparring with former Solicitor General Ted Olson. Fox News reports that Olson and Ryan have "held a whopping nine 90-minute prep sessions."
President Obama, though, expressed confidence in his man ahead of Thursday night's faceoff in Kentucky.
"Joe just needs to be Joe," the president told ABC News. "Congressman Ryan is a smart effective speaker, but his ideas are the wrong ones."
Though vice presidential debates are typically a sort of intermission between the more closely watched presidential debates, the Biden-Ryan contest could have more of an impact, which could explain the intensive practice sessions. It comes as the polls in the race take a turn on the heels of Romney's dominating performance against Obama last week in Denver. The Republican nominee has closed Obama's lead in several swing states and in some polls has surpassed the president nationally.
One piece of interesting information is that Barack Obama was a guest at the moderator's wedding. ABC News' Martha Raddatz will serve as moderator, and in 1991, Barack Obama was in attendance at her wedding to then-husband Julius Genachowski. Obama later appointed Genachowski, a Harvard law school buddy, to head the Federal Communications Commission.
As reported by the Daily Caller, ABC has tried to downplay the connect, but is it relevant?
Irrelevant information? Put it this way: If Raddatz were a judge, she'd likely have to recuse herself from cases pertaining to the Obamas.
We're not arguing that Raddatz will slant tonight's debate in the Obama campaign's favor -- any more than a member of Congress would automatically vote for an appropriation simply because it helps a campaign contributor. We are arguing that the public has a right to know the facts about Raddatz's relationship to the president.
Is this a big deal? Should ABC have disclosed the connection? Will it make a difference in the debate?
If, as Barack Obama says, Joe is just going to be Joe, then maybe the moderator won't be able to save him. If there is any time for another Biden gaffe, it's right now.