Seven-term Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan will make his national debate debut tonight as he steps on the same stage as the Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden.
Ryan and Biden will only have this one encounter on a debate stage this election cycle. Four years ago, Biden went toe-to-toe with Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Biden is a Washington veteran of over four decades and has run for president twice. Thus, he is also a veteran of these debates.
Although Biden is widely known as gaffe prone, these incidents normally occur in smaller venues, not in well publicized, high profile events. Biden has done his duty on the campaign trail as the attack dog in 2008 as well as this year. So, Ryan can expect a similar aggressive style from Biden tonight.
Paul Ryan has made quite a name for himself in his 14 years in the House. He became the chairman of the House Budget Committee in 2011 and has been a leader and advocate of a large-scale reform of America’s entitlement programs (Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security). While his House plan is not the same as Romney’s plan, you can be sure that Biden will attempt to tie his controversial proposal to the ticket as a whole.
There have been very few “moments” in VP debates. One of most memorable was in 1988 when Sen. Lloyd Benson told Sen. Dan Quayle “You’re no Jack Kennedy.” However, It was the Bush/Quayle ticket that eventually prevailed that year. VP debates may sometimes garner a large audience, but their impact on the election as a whole is quite small. Unless either man makes a giant mistake, the dynamic of the race will not change significantly.