Tonight is America’s chance to have a bit of fun, courtesy of our competing candidates for the office of Vice-President. Which is not to say, of course, that they are not serious men. Simply that the job for which they are contending has historically been a much less important one that their boss’s. While the possibility always exists that they could be handed the reins of government in a literal heartbeat, this has been rather infrequent in American history.
Joe Biden and Paul Ryan are apparently both very likeable men, and their “conversation” tonight will probably be much less high-stakes than just about anything that is going to happen in the election battle over the next four weeks. In the spirit of this reality, here are some fun facts for you to enjoy.
Joe Biden’s strange aphorisms are well-known. So enjoy them and look forward to more tonight:
- “Folks, I can tell you I’ve known eight presidents, three of them intimately.” –Joe Biden, Aug. 22, 2012
- “A man I’m proud to call my friend. A man who will be the next President of the United States — Barack America!” –Joe Biden, at his first campaign rally with Barack Obama after being announced as his running mate, Springfield, Ill., Aug. 23, 2008
- “Look, John’s last-minute economic plan does nothing to tackle the number-one job facing the middle class, and it happens to be, as Barack says, a three-letter word: jobs. J-O-B-S, jobs.” –Joe Biden, Athens, Ohio, Oct. 15, 2008
Paul Ryan is unique as well…but more, perhaps, for the facts of his life than public misspeaking:
- He used to drive the Wienermobile. Surely a vice-presidential first.
- Ryan is a skilled bow-hunter. This will come in handy, especially if American slips into Hunger Games style chaos.
- He likes to catch catfish with his own hands. This seems like a metaphor for…something, but in his case it is literally true. I’m glad he’ll have something challenging to do as Vice-President.
So there we have it. While the debate tonight could certainly be the most pivotal hinge upon which the whole of the election turns, I suspect it will not. So let’s just enjoy these two curious men as they hang out together on stage. Who knows: maybe the evening will turn into a game of “who can say the craziest thing” (advantage Biden) or target practice (clearly, no contest).
I’ll be back tomorrow with some thoughts about the debate as we head into the weekend.