Election 2012: It is Biden vs Ryan – debating in Kentucky
That debate was more of a curiosity: It allowed Palin to outdo Biden in folksiness and recover from a series of painfully awkward media interviews but did little to alter the trajectory of the race.
“Normally vice presidential debates are good political theater and sort of interesting from a talent scout standpoint, as you evaluate the up-and-comers on the political stage,” says Alan Schroeder, author of a book on presidential debates. “But this year could be different because of the negative reviews of Obama’s performance. That heightens expectations for this second debate.”
“Joe just needs to be Joe,” Obama said, when asked his advice for the vice president in an interview Wednesday with ABC News.
Senior Obama adviser David Axelrod, appearing Thursday on “CBS This Morning,” said he believes “the big challenge for him is to pin Congressman Ryan down.”
“Right now the Romney campaign is running away from some of their positions like unwanted stepchildren,” Axelrod said.
Thursday was a rare day when the political activities of the running mates were taking center stage and those of Obama and Romney were seen as secondary. But with just 26 days left until the election and the race still tight, neither Obama nor Romney was completely ceding the spotlight. The president headed to Florida while his GOP opponent had his own debate prep at his hotel in Dayton, Ohio, Thursday morning before traveling to North Carolina, another battleground.
Thursday’s debate, moderated by Martha Raddatz of ABC News, will cover both foreign and domestic topics. The debate is to be divided into nine, 10-minute segments. At the outset of each segment, Raddatz will ask an opening question, and each candidate will have two minutes to respond.