Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

October 10, 2012

House of Burgess: Insignificant office, significant debate

(Continued)

“I have as much experience in the Congress as Jack Kennedy did when he sought the presidency,” Quayle said.

“Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy, I knew Jack Kennedy, Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine,” Bentsen shot back. “Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.”

In 1992, Ross Perot’s running mate, Admiral James Stockdale, crashed the vice presidential debate.

“Who am I? Why am I here?”

Those were Stockdale’s opening lines, which defined him in the minds of the public as completely confused. During the debate he frequently couldn’t hear the questions and fumbled his answers. Stockdale tripped over himself from the beginning and never fully recovered.

And in 2008, Biden faced Republican Sarah Palin. Evidently whoever coached Palin must have told her the word “Joe” polled well with voters.

“Can I call you ‘Joe’?” Palin asked Biden as they shook hands.

Palin proceeded to make references to “Joe the Plumber,” “Joe six-pack” and “average Joes” multiple times. It’s obvious who Republicans were trying to appeal to.

And this time should be no less exciting. Even moderator in Thursday’s debate, Martha Raddatz, has been known for keeping things gangsta. In 2007 she was attending a press conference held by White House Press Secretary Tony Snow when Raddatz’s cell phone loudly went off to the tune of “Ridin’” by Chamillionaire and Krazie Bone. Raddatz later claimed it was her 15-year-old son Jake’s choice.

“He grabbed it and in no time I had a new, very loud ring tone,” Raddatz wrote on her blog. “’Ridin’ Dirty’ — that’s all I could catch from the lyrics — and I wasn’t really listening very carefully anyway. And quite honestly, I liked it!”

So tune in tomorrow if no other reason than this may be your only chance to see Ryan and Biden reach any semblance of relevancy. As an aide to vice president Hubert Humphrey once said:

“Once the election is over, the vice president’s usefulness is over.”

Rob Burgess, Tribune night editor, may be reached by calling 765-454-8577 or via email at rob.burgess@kokomotribune.com.

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