Vice presidential debate

Try to make it real compared to what

Featured image Here’s the Washington Post’s John Wagner on last night’s debate performance by Tim Kaine: At the vice-presidential debate here Tuesday. . .Kaine turned in a performance that threatened to undermine the image of authenticity that has been one of his greatest strengths. The senator from Virginia came across as over-rehearsed, often interrupting his Republican opponent, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, with points Kaine had already made several times earlier in »

What to watch for in tonight’s Veep debate

Featured image I don’t believe a vice presidential debate has ever influenced the outcome of an election. The most consequential ones have, however, stopped the bleeding afterthe presidential candidate flopped in his first debate. Vice President Cheney’s performance against John Edwards in 2004 is the best example. But one could also cite George H.W. Bush in 1984 (against Geraldine Ferraro) and perhaps Joe Biden in 2012 (against Paul Ryan). Donald Trump flopped »

Abiding Biden

Featured image I’ve been wondering since the vice presidential candidates’ debate this past Thursday night: how can Democrats have been pleased by Joe Biden’s performance? His behavior was almost beyond belief. But for his excellent articulation, one might have taken him for a loudmouth drunk — until he shifted his dynamics into the stage whisper of the last half hour. As many have observed, his behavior was rude, boorish, bordering on the »

Joe Biden Democrats square off

Featured image During today’s episode of the Hinderaker-Ward experience, Brian Ward made a great point about Joe Biden’s debate performance. Biden, said Brian, was behaving like a Democrat. Not all Democrats, of course, but certainly a great many of those one encounters on the internet. Like Biden, they are rude, eager to prevent the other side from talking, and prone to attack arguments they don’t like with bad behavior rather than reasoning. »

The Hug family take on the debate

Featured image Procter Hug III is the son of prominent Ninth Circuit Judge Procter Hug, Jr., and a long-time reader. His messages always catch my attention because of his name; I have been reading his father’s opinions for many years. Procter Hug IV has now joined Mr. Hug in his Reno law practice, so they are keeping the family tradition alive. Mr. Hug wrote yesterday with kind words for our commentary on »

The VP debate — not 2004, more like 1976

Featured image Some on the left want to compare last night’s debate to the 2004 mismatch between Vice President Cheney and John Edwards. As I noted before the debate, there is a superficial similarity. In both instances an elderly, highly experienced incumbent vice president squared off against a fresh face. And now that the debate has occurred, I can point to another similarity — like Cheney, I believe that Biden rallied a »

Biden’s Libya dodges

Featured image Whatever else one might say about Martha Raddatz’s moderating of the VP debate, she did Paul Ryan a favor by starting the debate with a question about Libya. Joe Biden tried to change the subject to Afghanistan and Iraq, but the diversion failed because Ryan stayed after him on the issue (I wish Ryan had done so more consistently). Biden tried to minimize the damage through dishonesty. When Ryan pointed »

Thoughts on the vice-presidential debate

Featured image Joe Biden was always going to be an attack dog tonight. After the presidential debate, the Democrats needed him aggressively to promote their post-debate excuse that Romney is all smoke and mirrors. Moreover, Biden is well suited for the attack dog role. I didn’t expect, however, that Biden’s demeanor would be so off-putting. The ridiculous toothy smile didn’t come as a shock. But the smirking, mocking, laughter, constant interruptions of »

ABC News’ version of a proper debate moderator

Featured image Tomorrow’s vice presidential debate will be moderated by Martha Raddatz. The Daily Caller has reported that in 1991, Barack Obama attended Raddatz’s wedding to the future president’s law school classmate and fellow Harvard Law Review member Julius Genachowski. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Obama appointed Genachowski to head the Federal Communications Commission. Raddatz and Gemachowski divorced in 1997. But they have a son together. So the father of »

Previewing the vice presidential debate, Biden’s mission

Featured image The Obama campaign has responded to the defeat of its man in the first debate by accusing Romney of lying his way to victory. It thus becomes incumbent on Team Obama to make this assertion stick in a forum where the other side gets to participate. This task falls to Joe Biden in tomorrow’s vice presidential debate. His mission is not generally to reassure Americans that the country is in »

Previewing the Vice Presidential debate, Part One

Featured image “Big stakes for Biden and Ryan in VP debate.” So reads the Washington Post’s headline to this story by Dan Balz. Actually, the debate of vice presidential candidates is almost always inconsequential in the end. The odds are that this will be the case once again. Vice presidential debates seem to take on a heightened importance when an incumbent president loses the first debate. In that event, the party in »