November 23, 2014

Vice presidential debate will feature a contrast in styles (AUDIO)

A University of Nebraska-Lincoln political science professor John Hibbing says the vice presidential debate tonight will pit two contrasting styles against each other.

“Well, I think the item that is going to be of most interest to me is just the contrasting styles,” Hibbing tells Kevin Thomas with Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN’s Drive Time Lincoln. “I mean, you have the young, athletic policy wonk on the Republican side and then you have the affable, avuncular, emotional Joe on the Democratic side and I just think it’s really going to be interesting to see how that plays out.”

Democratic Vice President Joe Biden goes into tonight’s debate a Centre College in Danville, Kentucky with Republican Congress Paul Ryan of Wisconsin with higher than normal expectations. Vice presidential debates rarely garner the attention this one has, partly because of the contrasting styles of the two men and party because of the fallout of the first presidential debate.

Nearly all analysts agree that Republican challenger Mitt Romney won the first debate with President Barack Obama. Pressure will be on Biden to turn the table on Ryan the turn the tide back to the incumbent ticket.

Hibbing agrees Democrats have put a lot of hope that Biden can make up some of the ground lost by the president in the first debate.

“I think that’s a little bit dangerous for him,” according to Hibbing. “I’m reminded of the ballgame last night where Raul Ibanez hit a home run and people said, ‘How’d you do it?’ and he said, ‘The important thing is not to do too much, not to try to do too much.”

Ibanez hit a pinch hit home run to tie the American League play-off game between the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles. He hit another three innings later to win the game for the Yankees.

Hibbing disagrees with suggestions that Biden must win tonight’s debate. He says Biden doesn’t have to win, but does have to stem the tide that seems to be coming in for the Republican ticket.

The debate begins tonight at 8pm CDT, 7pm MDT.

Click here for the Commission on Presidential Debates website.

Kevin Thomas, KLIN, contributed to this report.

AUDIO: Kevin Thomas interviews UNL Professor John Hibbing on KLIN’s Drive Time Lincoln. [5:25]