Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Guide to the 2012 Vice-Presidential Debate

I just love a debate for and about vices, don't you? And I bet the vice-presidential debate will be way more entertaining than the snooze fest that was the first presidential debate.

As per usual, as a public service announcement, I have put together a brief Guide to the 2012 Vice-Presidential Debate. And if there are any questions I did not answer, just leave me a comment.

Q: So, who's running for vice president again?
A: That would be current vice president and proud Amtrak rider Fightin' Joe Biden in the Democratic corner, and Marathon Liar Man Paul Ryan, Congressman from Wisconsin, in the Republican corner.

Q: And when and where will they be debating?
A: The debate will take place Thursday, October 11, between 9 and 10:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time and will be held at Centre College in Danville, KY -- or as NBC News Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd put it, "an hour from anywhere." As with the presidential debates, the vice-presidential debate will be aired on all the networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, PBS) as well as on the the cable news channels (CNN, CNBC, Fox News, MSNBC) and streamed live on several news sites (pick your national newspaper or political blog) -- though for a really good time, follow the debate on Twitter.

Q: Excuse me, did you say Centre College in Danville, Kentucky? WTF?
A: I know. It seemed like an odd choice to me too. But apparently two former vice presidents attended the school -- John C. Breckinridge, who was the country's youngest vice president, under James Buchanan (before the Civil War broke out), and Adlai E. Stevenson, who was VP under Grover Cleveland. (More here.)

Q: Who's moderating this debate? Any chance it'll be Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert? I really like those guys.
A: I like them, too. But sadly, the answer is no. While Jon Stewart would have been my pick, the Commission on Presidential Debates selected Martha Raddatz, Senior Foreign Affairs Correspondent, ABC News (who couldn't possibly be as bad as Jim Lehrer, could she?).

Q: And what will the vice-presidential candidates be debating?
A: Per the CDP: "The debate will cover both foreign and domestic topics and be divided into nine time segments of approximately 10 minutes each. The moderator will ask an opening question, after which each candidate will have two minutes to respond. The moderator will use the balance of the time in the segment for a discussion of the question."

In other words, it will be a no-holds-barred smackdown. All that's missing will be a ring and funny costumes (and Linda McMahon refereeing).

Read more here:

Q: So why is this debate important?
A: Because it is the duty of candidates running for President and Vice President of the United States to give the late night talk show hosts (particularly Jimmy Fallon, whose "Mister Romney's Neighborhood" is must-see TV), Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, and the folks at Saturday Night Live new material. And the vice-presidential debate should not disappoint. [Alternative answer: It isn't really, though some folks think it's important we know the guy who would take over running the country in the event something happened to the President.]

Q: Will there be fact checkers at this debate, you know, to keep those politicians honest?
A: LMAO. Uh no, but the usual suspects -- Politifact,, and the Washington Post’s Fact Checker blog, as well as several news outlets, including The Associated Press and ABC News -- will be monitoring and tweeting or blogging about any untruths in real time (or within 24 hours after the debate has aired). Like it matters. (Weeping)

Q: What about vice-presidential debate drinking games? Any ideas?
A: Excellent question! I recommend you check out the Cloture Club's Vice President Debate Bingo Drinking Game. (With six vice-presidential debate Bingo boards to choose from, everyone can be a drunken loser -- or winner, depending on your point of view.) There is also's Biden-Ryan Vice Presidential Debate Drinking Game. FYI, if you're looking to get really snockered, just take a sip or a shot of booze any time either candidate says middle class, the wealthy, tax cut, or small business. I guarantee you will have a hangover come Friday morning.

Q: What else will be on Thursday night?
A: You've got Beauty and the Beast on the CW (which is not code for the vice-presidential debate), Return to Halloweentown on Disney (also not code for the vice-presidential debate, though the thought of watching Biden and Ryan yapping for 90 minutes is pretty scary), Gone in 60 Seconds over on ABC Family (hey, are these channels trying to tell us something?), baseball playoffs over on TBS, Jersey Shore on MTV, and Project Runway on Lifetime. (In politics, one day you're in, the next, you're out.)


Anonymous said...

This is going to be good. My guess for the final gaff/lie count: Biden 359 Ryan 872.


Do you believe in miracles????

Cloture Club said...

Thanks for linking back to our drinking debate game -- we made a new one that we want you to see also!