The vice presidential debate between Paul Ryan and Joe Biden, which will begin at 9:00 PM EDT from Centre College in Danville, will be moderated by Martha Raddatz (ABC News Chief Foreign Correspondent). Interestingly, it seems that Ms. Raddatz was once married to Julius Genachowski, a Harvard Law School classmate and friend of Barack Obama, who attended their wedding. Later, Genachowski served on Obama’s presidential transition team before Obama appointed him to head the FCC. Small world. Surprisingly, ABC was reluctant to share that information.
Tonight the Democrats find themselves in the unenviable position of having to rely on, er, Joe Biden to stop Romney’s momentum. Interestingly, the debate moderator’s colleague at ABC, Arlette, Saenz, noted in a piece on Tuesday that Biden hasn’t answered any questions from the national media since May:
When Vice President Joe Biden steps on the stage at Centre College for the Vice Presidential debate in Kentucky Thursday night, it will be the first time the vice president has been on national television airwaves answering questions from a reporter since the May Meet the Press interview when he expressed his comfort with gay marriage.
The vice president has engaged in no national TV interviews and few local and print interviews since that May questioning session which forced President Obama to complete his evolution on the issue sooner than expected.
Biden’s lack of subsequent national interviews stands in stark contrast to his Republican counterpart Rep. Paul Ryan, who is creeping towards the 200 interview mark since he entered the race in August. Ryan conducts interviews with local television stations during many of his campaign stops as well as national interviews, including a recent joint interview with his running mate Mitt Romney with FOX News’ Sean Hannity last week.
In contrast, Biden has only completed one major national interview since Ryan entered the race.
I can’t help but wonder why the Obama campaign has essentially quarantined Biden from the media for the past five months. Could it be due to his propensity for “rhetorical flourishes” such as this, this, this, and this? The question answers itself. Team Obama had better hope it’s not too hot inside the debate hall since Biden has said his ability to successfully explain why we’re better off than we were four years ago is inversely related to the temperature. I’m guessing Team O had the maintenance people turn up the AC has high as it will go. Anyway, a debate between the gaffe-prone Veep and Paul Ryan should be fun to watch, notwithstanding Reince Priebus’ hilarious assertion that “Joe Biden is a gifted orator” who’s “very good at rhetoric” (the money quote comes at about the 0:45 mark).
You have to give credit where credit is due. Priebus deserves an Academy Award nomination for laying that on us while maintaining a straight face. I don’t think Sir Laurence Olivier could have pulled that off. I digress.
While we wait for the debate to begin, here’s the complete video of the 2008 vice-presidential debate between Joe Biden and Governor Palin.
Finally, to watch tonight’s Ryan-Biden debate, click on either of the livestream links below at 9:00 PM Eastern. (I’ve included two in case one is better than the other.)