Just kidding. This is about the other hardball.
Obviously the media has hyped the hades out of the Biden-Ryan rumble in Kentuck, leaving America to believe the very election might depend on it, sorta like the Nat's season.
So what might occur? Surprises, most likely. Biden is no spring chicken. He's had his share of debates. Ryan's only debates have been on the state level, but he's appeared on the national media stage many times.
But like the Washington Nationals against the World Champ Cardinals in the baseball playoffs, there's something to be said for experience. Doesn't mean either the Cards or Biden will win, only that experience should not be dismissed. The moderators also matter--think of the baseball games with an umpire crew consisting of lifelong Cardinal fans--or a debate moderator a lifelong liberal.
For me the question will be foreign policy. Biden was trumped as Obama's FP expert yet as pointed out he's made more than his share of bad calls in this area over his career. The obvious moment might come in relation to the state of al Qaeda. Biden's seminal moment at the DNC convention was his quip about UBL being dead and GM alive; will the debate moderator or Ryan challenge that assertion based on the latest news on Libya (and today's attack on one of our diplomatic employees in Yemen)?
Will anyone point out that aside from Egypt being run by the Muslim Brotherhood and aside from Ayman Zawahiri and his brother Mohammed (present for the Cairo riots in support of releasing the Blind Sheikh) that the almost-vanquished AQ still has longtime operative Saif al Adel and "Jafar the Pilot", aka, Adnan Shukrajumah, on the lam? What about Syria's alleged release of the "Red-headed Terrrorist", aka Abu Musab al-Suri? Haven't heard of any of them? Neither have probably 7/8ths of the debate audience, so nobody will go there. But the point remains.
Chances are Ryan will stay largely away. He's a domestic guy. His expertise is in budgets, not FP, and he's on record as saying he doesn't want to interject FP into the politics:
A good source tells me that Romney's chief advisor, Stu Stevens, has an almost fervently religious conviction against using any foreign policy issues in a campaign. But the Libya debacle isn't really about foreign policy. Its about competency and the public's trust in the Administration. The Obama Administration made virtually every wrong decision in the run-up to our Ambassador's murder. And then, they lied about the event and tried to cover up their mistakes. No Administration can survive when its lost the public's trust.Biden would probably love to get Ryan into a FP debate and away from the economy. Ryan will probably try to stay closer to the latter, perhaps discussing the idea of "losing the public's trust" by questioning the latest surprising numbers from the BLS, surely fodder for Biden's bluster. Should be interesting.
The NY Times calls it "spirited"..
It was Mr. Biden who sought to quiet the rising clamor among Democrats that the president was not assertive enough with Mr. Romney at their debate last week in Denver. A day after Mr. Obama conceded he was “too polite,” Mr. Biden showed no hesitation in hectoring, heckling and interrupting his challenger.
Within a single minute, Mr. Biden worked in three attacks on his rivals, referring to Mr. Romney’s opposition to the auto industry bailout, his statement that the foreclosure crisis would have to “run its course” and his comment about “47 percent” of Americans who he said were overreliant on government benefits.Obviously, the Times is giddy. The WaPo also calls it spirited and says Biden was "repairing the damage". We don't need any blockquotes here. CNN actually had a poll that called it for Ryan. CBS's poll showed a blow-out win for Don't Mess with Joe. NBC, the Maddow-Matthews network, basically calls it a draw. ABC had a piece called "and the winner is", wherein they didn't say. Interestingly, most everyone in the media admits Biden lost points on the Libya debacle. In other words, a scandal-screw-up in the last days of the campaign, which would sink any GOP incumbent.