Tonight we’ll start the VP debate liveblog around 8:30, in a post with comments turned off, and if the site stops working, I’ll turn all comments off. The test liveblog was viewed by a lot of people, but we learned that if we let a bunch of commenters into the liveblog, the stream becomes unreadable. So we’re going to let people comment, but only approve some, not just because we’re fascists, but also because we want to have something going on during the debates versus what we had last time, which at least for me was more-or-less nothing. If that doesn’t work tonight, we’ll try plan C for the next Presidential debates. Any front pager who wants to participate, send me an email and I’ll get you set up. We might also have a special guest, a debate expert, arranged by DougJ. Tune in and find out.
I guess Bernard has left me an opening here, because he’s apparently not positive that tonight’s debate will be a total disaster. The day is long, so perhaps he will tell us later why a Biden failure is an almost certainly. Meanwhile, here are a couple of my pollyanna observations about the VP debates. First, these things are set up via secret negotiations between the campaigns, who are risk-averse, so it’s tough for one candidate to score a total win. Expectations of a slam-dunk by either candidate are stupid. Romney did not score a slam-dunk last week, but the expectation that Obama would wipe the floor with him set up a liberal backlash. I don’t expect Biden to wipe the floor with a well-prepared, slippery weasel like Paul Ryan. Adjust your expectations accordingly. Second, the VP debate is always more heated, and also less important. Lloyd Bentsen did not become Vice President, and Dan Quayle is dumber than Paul Ryan.
Also, too: this week’s jobs report showed the best numbers since February, 2008. That’s a hell of a lot more important than a debate.
I dont know what will happen, but i do not think that there is a more misunderestimated figure in politics than biden. the guy knows how to bring it.
I posted this in Bernard’s thread as well, but I do think the comedy is something BJ readers will appreciate. Enjoy the epic fail that is the GOP’s Benghazi hearings. You have to hand it to the asshats, exposing state secrets because they’re all too eager to embarrass the President.
As the economy looks to be getting slightly better, it’s miraculously disappeared from the beltway narrative. Their only concern now seems to be covering for Willard’s lying.
It’s going to be an interesting debate, no matter what. Biden really did handle Palin extremely well four years ago, but I felt like he was probably instructed to go easy on her and held back a little. I don’t think he’ll hold back much tonight.
Also, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I plan on drinking every time I hear “Ladies and gentlemen…”
Something you guys say about assuming facts not present, or something. I’m not that witty.
I have a middle school choir concert to go to tonight. Of course, I’ve messed with my daughter and told her I’m only going to watch someone fall off the risers, but I’m looking forward to it.
Biden has to hammer Ryan’s(and by extension Romney) extreme economic positions. Judging from some of the polling, Willard had some success convincing people he was a moderate in the first debate. If Biden has one goal, it has to be nipping Ryan’s/Romney’s desperate transformation in the bud tonight.
Biden had to take it easy on Mooseface back in ’08, or else he would have been faulted for being to hard on her (like that awful meanie Katie Couric and her “gotcha” questions).
He won’t have to worry about that this time ’round.
You have a plan C too ? Wow, you should work for mittbot.
Actually, my expectation for tonight is exactly the same as yours, FWIW.
The only way a veep debate matters is if people have real doubts about one of the candidates, and whether he/she might be able to step up if the president died. And even then, when does it matter? People thought Quayle was a lightweight. Debate with Bentsen exposed him as such. Bush still won.
There is some upside, here, though in the sense that everyone “knows” Paul Ryan is a smart, well-prepared wonk. He isn’t, of course. He’s a fraud. And there is a small chance he implodes, but I think that’s unlikely, and as a result, I think tonight will be a snoozer.
For all the talk of Biden’s “gaffes,” the guy is seasoned and extremely affable.
Anyway, I’m not worried about tonight, but thanks for your concern.
Job reports? Good job report? Who cares about job reports when we’re all on tenderhooks about whether or not Biden will mention Big Bird?
Get real, this debate will be all about style, gaffes and affect.
@Bernard Finel: i think it might matter if Biden can get Ryan to make categorical right wing statements that Ryan truly believes, but which Mitt wants to run away from. then that is the set up for the townhall … “mitt do you agree with your republican running mate that …”
@Bernard Finel: Ha, good to hear. I agree that catching Ryan out would be a good bonus, but not likely. He’s not the salesman Romney is, but I think he can probably stick to his Randian BS for a 90 minutes.
The new unemployment claims report is actually quite significant. In and of itself, it doesn’t mean much to people. However, IIRC, 350,000 is kind of the critical number. Claims over that amount indicate slow job growth. Claims below that number indicate good job growth. If this stays pretty much the same for the next couple weeks, it bodes quite well for the October jobs report which comes out the Friday before the election.
Sometimes it is the last thing people hear that influences them when they go to cast their votes. I still think the bin Laden tape just before the 2004 election sealed Kerry’s fate. If the last thing to happen just before the election is job growth of 175,000-200,000 and another drop in the UE rate, that will, IMHO, seal it for Obama.
I hope Joe will give us another quip as memorable as “a noun, a verb, and 9/11”.
@japa21: Benen always says under 400,000 claims shows an improving job market. Under 370,000 claims indicates good job growth. We’ve been under 370,000 claims for 9 of the last 14 weeks.
I think Biden will do well, but there’s not much upside to this debate. Even if Biden is fantastic, it’s not suddenly going to restore whatever confidence was lost from the last debate – only the President can do that.
In contrast, the downside scenario would actually be pretty devastating for our team because it would reinforce the impressions from the last debate, but I really don’t expect that to happen.
I think team Mittens is holding their breath about Ryan sticking to the script.
In theory, he should be able to. In practice, he’s never had a formal debate in his 14 year Congressional career and Biden is an old hand at debating.
@Hill Dweller: you libtards dont get it…these numbers are cooked to favor obama…his rich hollywood sugar daddies are hiring people in the short term to make it look like the economy is improving. once the election is over, those jobs will disappear and those people will go make to mooching off of us all on welfare.
They hate the President of the United States more than they love their own country.
Dick Cheney set the precedent when he helped out a CIA agent.
They are just scum…
@eric: Not bad. You are no Jack Welch though.
Time Magazine has become Ryan Fap central.
Someone needs to juxtapose these pathetic fanboy pics with Sarah Palin and Justin Bieber.
The Moar You Know
They should, as he won’t. The “smartest guys in the room” types – which Ryan certainly is – can’t help themselves. Best case scenario is Ryan’s going to come off like the arrogant nerd who got the crap kicked out of him every day in high school.
Worst is that he’ll prattle on about how we MUST end Social Security and Medicare.
@Cacti: But he’ll be doing something Biden and (esp) Obama can’t: prepping hard for a few days. He’ll make it, he’s not an idiot.
He does have a bit of temper though. I’m interested to see if Biden will bait him.
I wonder if the moderator at the debates will mention that today is National Coming Out day and ask Paul Ryan for comment?
There will be plenty of BS, but it won’t be of the Randian variety. The Etch-a-Sketch has found the winning formula: “compassionate” conservatism. Lots of talk about how mean old Obama will cut Medicare and how much Ryan loves SS. I fully expect a 180 on Big Bird.
His heart wasn’t really in it. He neglected to compare the United States to China/Soviet Union.
@GregB: They should have taken his photo after he had come back from the restroom.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
Once again, expectations. Biden doesn’t have to prove anything; he’s the VP, not Ryan. It’s Ryan’s job to try to outdo Biden, with Biden going “Uhm, no” a lot.
The republicans have spent the last four years trying to portray biden as some stumbling, dumb fogey. He is none of those things (well, I guess he is kind of old) so I expect a lot of people are going to be surprised by how well he does tonight.
@Paul: speaking of the commies you libtards love so much…look for gas prices to take a steep decline leading up to the election when Obambi’s comrade in arms, chvez, floods the us market with cheap gas to help his buddy get relected…then you will start hearing about obama and the dems wanting to repeal the 22nd amendment so that obambi and chavez can keep their commie love affair going
I’m going to watch at the field office. Biden is well-liked here.
Although we watched the 2008 VP debate together at the field office and most of the men thought Palin won over Biden which is, of course, completely ridiculous :)
@eric: eric is this parody or real? I’d like to know before I bother responding
Hey, good idea.
1. OT: I’m gonna do some slight spamming over the next few months and I apologize in advance. My Firefighter class has to do a service project as part of our course. It’s not in the curriculum, but our Chief thinks it’s important to remind everyone we’re supposed to be role models and public servants; I agree with the sentiment. So, my class has chosen this one. I personally don’t have any attachment to lung cancer other than my continual fight to quit smoking, but this is what my class voted on. We’re doing the “Fight for Air” climb in February 2013 and between now and then we’re trying to raise $100 or more per person. If you have some spare change that you haven’t allotted for political races, would you consider it? Thank you.
Your donation buys you a small part of misery on my part. We’ll be climbing 42 floors/ flights of stairs in full bunker gear and air pack.
@Cassidy: did you manage to navigate that minefield you were in earlier in the week?
Didn’t Ryan refuse to debate his Democratic challenger in Wisconsin?
@Soonergrunt: How are you this morning? Feeling any better? I hope Sooner doggie is taking good care of you.
@eric: I smell projection, mixed in with the faint scent of cheeto dust, basement mildew, and subtle hints of cat urine.
You are funny! I needed a laugh and I got it.
Nah. This one sounds like 14-year old on fall break.
@Soonergrunt: Kinda. They’re still in a Cold War that I expect to last until 12 becomes 18, but we got it figured out. I was able to pitch goth-punk Harley Quinn and the kid is cool with it. No we gotta find a used prom dress to rip up.
Nice to see that the job reports and unemployment rate are going in the right direction. Funny that despite all the obstruction from the Repubs, President Obama was still able to get the economy going.
Biden is a master at that.
@mistermix: Biden has been off the campaign trail for since this weekend actually, I believe. I bet right after the 1st debate, they changed Biden schedule to include more debate time. Plus I believe I’ve read that Axelrod is taking over debate prep for Biden.
So Biden has actually had more than a few days to prep. People have been so focused on Obama they didn’t notice that Biden has been used scarely since the debates. Biden’s been prepping plenty.
Hence the collective howls of despair/outrage from the right.
They couldn’t come out and say “We’ve done everything in our power to sink the economy!” But you know it’s what they were thinking.
Every time I see Senator Blanche Lincoln on TV and then they show her title and it has a D before her name I am momentarily confused because I believe they made a mistake.
Davis X. Machina
John Sides, today at The Monkey Cage
For people still wondering why Obama’s not up 60%-40%
But what does Jack Welch have to say?
@eric: You’re getting there. Last time you didn’t go quite far enough. I think this effort maybe just call him Obama and not Obambi but leave the rest in. Chavez was a righteous inclusion but the 22nd Amendment may have also been too ripe.
It’s tough but I think you’re getting better.
@schrodinger’s cat: Well, after I blew a blood vessel in my nose coughing at work, and thereby creeped everyone out at work, I spiked a fever last night to 102.2. So I’m home again today.
Davis X. Machina
@Hill Dweller: My theory — electing a black President was a counsel born of desperation, when the country was plummeting down an elevator shaft, we’d try anything.
Now, though, extreme measures like that are less necessary, and we can begin to return to
@Cacti: Please don’t take anything that comes out of Mitt’s mouth as truth. Ryan has had eight formal debates already during his congressional career.
@Corner Stone: Whereas can one get valuable constructive criticism on trolling. :)
@Corner Stone: If they’re showing her as a sitting senator, they are.
Yep. I think the SNL parodies of him as a gaffe-prone fool and petulant teenager are contributing to that underestimation. I hope he surprises everyone tonight and Ryan is shown to be the petulant teenager.
@Cassidy: well, I’m only a year ahead of you on that one, so I got no advice for ya, other than good luck.
Submitting this without comment. Aw heck, don’t even click on it, just the headline is enough:
Paul Ryan completes P90X-style debate training ahead of Biden showdown
I’ve never seen the attack dog Joe Biden, and I’ve been to a number of events where he spoke. I don’t have any idea what he’ll do, but I just haven’t heard him lay into anyone.
I hope he’ll defend the stimulus. Ryan lies about it constantly, and Biden had a big role in getting it out. I hope he’ll defend it as one does their own work, personally.
@Kay: I haven’t seen the attack dog Biden either. Enthusiastic, motivating, engaging, passionate, yes. But he doesn’t pummel people. I’m not saying he should, but I hate to see that be everyone’s expectation for tonight.
What’s wrong with helping out a CIA Agent. They could use help and…
@Davis X. Machina: Proof that if you howl long enough that Obama is the leftiest liberal who ever liberaled, people will perceive that he’s far to their left even when a majority of Americans actually agree with his major policy positions.
For whatever it’s worth, the audio of the the oral arguments at the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces in the matter of Center for Constitutional Rights, et al v. United States and Colonel Lind are available here.
There were several issues discussed, all of which revolved around CCR’s contention that the first amendment to the US Constitution is being violated by the military’s more restrictive policies customs and statutory limitations.
I’ve never seen or heard of appeals court hearings before except on fiction shows like Law & Order so I’m not remotely an expert, but the Judges seemed like they were pretty hard on both Counsel.
@Cassidy: Kudos for this. I have a friend who is a wildfire firefighter. I know how heavy those packs and gear are.
@WarMunchkin: I have a sneaking suspicion that this story is a more accurate rendition of Ryan’s prep.
@Soonergrunt: Sending healing thoughts. Rest up. Take care of yourself. Sorry you’re having such a challenging time right now.
Let’s just try to remember that the role of liberal pundits and bloggers during but especially after the debate is to craft the best argument you can in favor of our guy and against the other guy. That doesn’t mean lying, and it doesn’t mean you can’t acknowledge shortcomings, but it means you are always taking aim at the other guy and that needs to be your focus.
Higgs Boson's Mate
Hold your horses; Romney and Ryan are now moderates (Because they said so). Ryan will try to come across as a doe-eyed, moderate genius whose economic plan is simply misunderstood. The vacant-eyed granny starver will not be appearing tonight.
Can people who decide to tweet be so kind as to use the #balloonjuice hashtag? I’ll be at someone else’s house with my iPhone so I’m not going to be able to see the liveblog, but I’d love to follow along on Twitter.
@The Moar You Know:
Ryan will likely try to frame his Randian positions as promoting an “ownership society” in which even layabouts from the 47% have a share in their fates.
I think this is probably what he would like to see:
I have been commissioned by someone who shall remain nameless to continue my passive-aggressive work pointing out how much it sucks that Cole won’t get more bandwidth.
I don’t actually care, because I had more fun last debate on FB
— but I might point out that, except in the rare case of an extraordinarily talented blogger like Rude Pundit, live blogging is kind of pointless without comments. With all due respect, none of y’all — except maybe Mrs. Sarah — are in that category.
We were all shocked when he went into voting rights in Ohio in 2010. Very aggressive!
I (fairly) recently went to a UAW event in Toledo where he spoke and it was 100% positive. It was him and Marcy Kaptur just loving them some American automobiles. A love-fest.
Anyway, I’m not worried about him. If he has a “gaffe” political media will go fucking nuts, but no one here cares, at all, about his (alleged) gaffes. They see it as part of his personality.
Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God
@The Moar You Know:
That would actually be a GOOD thing for him to say, wouldn’t it?
I’m more worried he’ll pull a Romboot and suddenly be Medicare and SS’s staunchest defender. And MSM will of course conveniently forget everything else he’s said in over a decade in the House.
IMO, Biden is less an attack dog than the guy who gives you a jolly smile and a slap on the back and then cuts you off at the knees. “A noun, a verb, and 9/11.”
Jim, Foolish Literalist
I don’t think it will do any good, but just for fun, we’re gonna make fun of this preening, forty year old wanna-bro, aren’t we?
I’m in a Red State and been just starting to phone bank for Obama in the battle ground states. First 25 calls and haven’t gotten the right voter on the phone yet. Is this uncommon?
Also, I’ve been trying to figure out the right message to leave on anwsering machines. I think something very short about the importance of voting and perhaps a bit of early voting info. Any thoughts?
I think he’ll do fine. He’s generous on a stage, though. He often promotes down-ticket candidates when he’s here ahead of himself. It’s nice, actually. He loves us all very, very much.
This liveblog is shitty. It crashes my 17 year old PC. WordPress won’t post comments while its running. There are no Tunch pictures in the liveblog. ABL won’t approve my comment because she thinks its racist. Tom is too wordy in the liveblog, and he left out an Oxford comma – what a dick! Why is Betty talking about chickens during this debate? Didn’t Dougj already use that song reference? Getting lazy. No, mistermix, Joe Biden didn’t lose the debate because he spoke favorably about Apple. And how could we go through this whole thing without learning who Bobo thought won? Why the fuck do we bother coming here?
Just thought I’d get all that out before the server melted down later tonight. Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.
@? Martin: I must be doing pretty well tonight, then
Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God
Jack Welch wants unemployment to be at 10% every year.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God: anything else leads to a lazy, demanding discontented rabble instead of a thrifty, grateful working class.
I just realized that all of that white guy alpha-male stuff that I’ve been complaining about all week is some of the stuff Biden can do really well when he wants to. Not necessarily the aggressive Sham-WOW! salesman stuff that Romney was doing, but Biden is very good at finding an opponent’s weak spot and making a sly joke about it that the opponent has trouble responding to without looking like a humorless jerk.
I just want my crazy Uncle Joe to be himself tonight. I really think that’s all we need.
Most decidedly. I have been thinking the same thing. The restraints are off! And how many people, in all honesty, wouldn’t enjoy watching Joe drop-kick Pretty Boy Ryan across the stage, pick his sorry lil arse up, and do it all over again and again.
Not sure if it has been posted anywhere else here at BJ, but check out this letter from David Siegel, owner of Westgate Resorts.
@Soonergrunt: You’ve had a challenging enough couple of weeks. I don’t even want to pile on in jest. Get better man, and get all those loose ends wound up.
@khead: Same old going Galt shit.
I don’t know.
I think his strength is that people feel they know him and he’s good at heartfelt, positive recitations that are comforting. “I believe…” Like that. I generally see him as a positive figure. I really cannot recall much negativity from him, ever. I’m not knocking it. I think it absolutely works for him. I don’t see him as a score-settler.
@Mnemosyne: Some of my friends/acquaintances have talked about the alpha-male stuff in the last week, but I’ve tried to remind them that Willard’s tough guy act was an attempt to hide the fact he was running away from his past positions. Ultimately, Willard is a coward who tries to mask it with bravado.
I just wish they would.
Also, I now see Digby and TP already teed off on the guy yesterday. I fail at the internets.
I c wut u did ther
@Kay: It’s absolutely his strength, and that’s why the right attacks him for allegedly being a dumb buffoon. He totally connects with people, and wingers have to attack that connection by telling people he’s not worthy of their liking or affection.
Post debate, keep in mind that the msm has a huge amount of ink and bandwidth invested in Ryan’s economic “genius” and it will be near impossible for them to get past that.
and a bag of chips…
Not at all. And if you mean that all you’ve been getting is nonsupportive responses, that’s entirely common unless your list is marked something like “hot leads,” which is a pre-pared-down list of people who have already expressed support and interest in helping with the campaign.
And your message ideas sound fine. If you can leave a call-back number (the local campaign office, your OfA coordinator’s, etc.), do that too. Your coordinator should have some ideas too.
Gawd I hate to link to Dave Weigel (I think he’s a douche), but this article on Biden is a good one. Seriously, ANY VPDEBATE WORRYWART, STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND READ THIS
Can Joe Biden Save Barack Obama? People are underestimating the veep. They shouldn’t
@Violet: The gaffe thing. It’s laughable considering what Ryan’s been doing. As in cutting off reporters b/c he can’t/won’t answer those trivial questions about those pesky budget numbers and tax cuts/loopholes.
Well, it would be funny if it weren’t so tragic and frightening for the country.
@khead: I’m not telling you which way to vote. I’m just saying, it’s a nice job you’ve got there. Be a damned shame if anything, you know, happened to it.
Another Halocene Human
@Sly: No shit. I always thought that two-term thing was a good idea until Obama came along. GODDAMMIT!
As for tonight’s debate, like I said earlier, Ryan has shown himself to be a pathological liar, and I’m betting that he won’t be able to help himself tonight. Even if Joe is his usual affable self, I can’t help but wonder if Ryan’s whoppers will get under his skin, especially in light of Romney making hay on the basis of dishonesty in the first debate.
I like him much more because endlessly savvy political media dismiss him (“HAH HAH HAH” the fake-laugh) and Karl Rove, Political Professional, thinks he’s an idiot.
As far as I’m concerned, that’s an endorsement. I think the joy and generosity he sometimes puts out is genuine.
@Kay: Very genuine and fairly irresistible.
Another Halocene Human
@Cassidy: I was able to pitch goth-punk Harley Quinn and the kid is cool with it.
Ooo, that is f’n awesome. I wish my parents had been that cool.
When I was old enough I did do some of my own costumes. I did Lorenzo the Magnificent, which went really unappreciated by my neighbors. Then, later, I did Starfleet Bajoran (totally home-made costume) which was also pretty much lost on my neighbors but it involved that face-putty stuff, so that was fun.
@Soonergrunt: Take care of yourself. Make your self a pot of tea and curl up with a book.
Or write a post making fun of Andrew Sullivan, whatever works!
@Another Halocene Human:
I’d have loved to see that.
Another Halocene Human
Nope, not at all. I was doing persuasion calls yesterday and the list wasn’t very long and even on that list there weren’t many to be persuaded.
I think door to door will be the most important part. They’re pushing canvassing now that the 10/9 deadline has passed.
I think the campaign needs money right now. And food. And they are planning to do follow up calls to everyone they registered to GOTV so calling is still important.
O/T but TPM has a headline “new polls suggest premature Dem freak-out”.
I didn’t read it and I don’t know if it’s true, but that is an instant classic.
Another Halocene Human
@shortstop: It was actually lucky as hell because I picked up a stage costume at a rummage sale that looked nicely quattrocento (musta been from a low-rent Bard production) and was actually very comfortable to wear, and I had the frou frou nobility shoes, too. I think the flaming red tights made it, though.
I even had an entourage of siblings, heh heh.
I did young Lorenzo, although I didn’t get the hair quite right. I think I could probably do older Lorenzo now. I’d have to practice my hatchet face.
Another Halocene Human
@Kay: Reading TPM is usually not worth it.
@Another Halocene Human: I loved every word of this.
Just Some Fuckhead
We’d prolly be fine with regular blog-commenting if we could figure out some way to ensure mistermix didn’t have to endure a slowdown like the proles. That seems to be the entire point here.
@Another Halocene Human: Well, we went from Arkham City HQ and a couple days of pouting and sulleness because I told her that was a little too mature for her age. The funny part is that she knew I would say that and already had a plan to alter the op by wearing a tank top and covering up the skin. Honestly, that would have been fine, but she didn’t anticipate me being not cool with the hip hugger vinyl pants. Who’d a thunk right? A dad not being cool with that.
@Cassidy: hip hugger vinyl? that doesn’t sound comfortable. BTW have you finally succeeded in kicking the cancer stick away?