Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan face off tonight in a debate students in Danville, Kentucky are calling the “Rumble in the Ville”, with stakes higher than they were a week ago.
They represent different campaigns but have similarities. They entered the Congress at a young age (Biden, Senate at 29, Ryan, House at 28) and both are Catholic. But tonight, their differences and differing views on the role of government will be front and center. Both family men are from different generations. Biden, 69 has white hair, is a father and grandfather of five, while Ryan is a generation plus younger, a fitness enthusiast, father of three, and 43 years old.
Tonight they will try not to rock the boat. One will try to protect the momentum Romney gained last week, while the other will try to get it back on the President’s side. Neither has an easy job. Ryan may have to deflect attention from the bold proposals he’s offered as Chairman of the House Budget Committee that could affect Medicare in the future. Biden will promote the President’s record highlighting that the unemployment rate is going down, people are being hired, the housing market is getting strong, that the Administration saved the auto industry and the country is going in the right direction.
Viewers will get something they didn’t get in the first debate, a conversation on foreign policy. Biden was selected as Obama’s Vice Presidential nominee in 2008, because he has a very strong foreign affairs and national security background. Look for Ryan to attack the President and Biden for their handling of the Benghazi attacks where US Ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens were killed.
Ryan will pivot more tonight than Romney did last week. And Biden will seek to do what he did at the DNC convention, highlight the President’s record. This debate will be different than 2008, when Biden was coached to not look condescending or harsh because his opponent was a woman. Tonight his opponent will be a Washington insider who is a formidable opponent ready to Rumble in the Ville.