During each presidential election year, there is typically one debate between the two major vice presidential candidates. On Thursday October 11 at 9pm Eastern, Vice President Joe Biden (D) and Congressman Paul Ryan (R) of Wisconsin will square off in their only debate of the campaign. It will be held at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, and focus on both domestic and foreign policy. The gaffe-prone Biden finds himself in the unusual position of having to redeem his running mate President Barack Obama, after the latter put up a subpar performance in his debate against Mitt Romney on October 3 at the University of Denver. Ryan, the GOP's budget wonk, is the author of the controversial "Path to Prosperity" budget, which would, among other things, phase out Medicare and replace it with a voucher system. The debate will be moderated by ABC News Chief Foreign Correspondent Martha Raddatz.
This is Biden's second vice presidential debate. In 2008 he squared off against John McCain's vice presidential selection Sarah Palin. That debate was perhaps the most anticipated vice presidential debate in history, as during the run-up to the event, Palin had committed a series of blunders and gaffes that called into question her knowledge of domestic and international affairs. This was one of the more memorable exchanges during that debate:
Although it was not a debate, a health care summit held in February 2010 on the prospects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act gives a glimpse of what viewers can expect in Ryan's debate performance. Here, Ryan explains his objections to the Obama's health care plan:
In truth, the Biden-Ryan debate will be little more than an ancillary campaign event. As much as Romney's announcement of Ryan as his running mate was covered and discussed in the media, what ultimately matters is the candidate at the top of the ticket.