Possible Topics At Tonight’s Debate
The Vice-Presidential debate will have a number of issues to be kicked around between the two candidates. One that may pop up is gas prices. You have probably noticed that they’ve been rising again. They are now at an average of around $3.80 a gallon. In 2008, they were averaging just above $3 a gallon and then-Senator Joe Biden made it a campaign issue. Will Romney running-mate Paul Ryan use it to his political advantage this time around? He should.
Gas is something that most of us have to figure into our personal budgets. It’s not an expense we want to have. But we have to drive to work or to the store. When the prices are high, we take a financial hit and we tend to blame whoever we can find. Usually the sitting administration gets the fingers pointed in its direction. That’s why prices at the pump are such a popular weapon in political battles.
Expect other topics as well.
We will probably hear about the Middle East and how the Obama Administration handled the problems in Libya during the 9/11 anniversary. There is a strong likelihood that we’ll hear that they knew about the planned attacks and did nothing to stop them from occurring. It will be interesting to see how Ryan handles this. Will he turn it into part of his attack on Biden? Will he let it slip through? Will Biden bring up botched intelligence during the Bush era that lead to the Iraq War? This will be a topic worth tuning in for.
It will be likely that the national debt will be part of one of the questions. The Vice President has often said that the Republicans have rejected offers to cut spending. However, the offers weren’t overly serious and Democrats were rejecting them too. The truth is, the Obama Administration has been fiscally irresponsible in a big way. Now Paul Ryan has to convince us that he would be any better with spending. He has to talk about spending cuts, but not sound like he is ruthless about it. If a politician talks too much about cutting government spending, they might be hurting themselves politically. Though our spending has to be toned down severely, it’s not overly popular for candidates to speak about it. The recent Meryl Streep movie “The Iron Lady” shows how former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher didn’t win a lot of popularity contests by promoting spending cuts. Romney/Ryan should take note.
Jobs will be a major topic for this debate, of course. It’s been perhaps the top issue in this country for years now and it isn’t going away. Unemployment is still too high and too many people are wondering how they will ever truly be able to recover from The Great Recession. The Vice President has to be very careful in how he handles this. If he breaks out the standard talking points about how he saved jobs at General Motors, Ryan will attack him like he is wearing a Cowboys jersey at a Redskins tailgate party!
We will probably hear about Mitt Romney’s now infamous tax plan. Paul Ryan has to convince us that it would actually work. That could be a tough challenge for him. He has to hope that Biden doesn’t pounce too hard on him over this one. It would be devastating for Romney/Ryan if this part of the debate goes wrong for them.
Immigration, abortion and a boatload of other issues could likely come up for discussion.
Of course, there are other reasons people will be watching. They want to see if the youngish Congressman from Wisconsin can handle himself well live on national television during a debate with a veteran politician. Of course, people want to see if Biden will say or do something crazy to add to his long list of gaffes. Will the moderator be able to maintain impartiality? Will it be animated with screaming and yelling or diplomatic? There are a number of questions that will be answered tonight in Kentucky. I hope we can all watch and get to the voting booth in a few weeks.