Vice presidential candidates Dick Cheney and John Edwards face off in front
of the nation Oct. 5 at Case Western Reserve University's Veale Convocation
Center, leaving us to wonder: Does the VP debate really have any effect whatsoever
on the outcome of the election? We ponder the strategies, surprises and surreal
moments tied to our nation's 28-year-old tradition of letting the guys in the
No. 2 slots go a few rounds with each other every four years.
U.S. senator (D-North Carolina)
Secretary of Defense
CEO of Halliburton
Vice president of the United States of America
||Engaging, though at times schmaltzy
||Mumbles, not big on rhetorical flourishes
||Playing up his connection to real working Americans and what's
important to them
||The trust-me-because-everything-I'm-saying-is-right sneer
— very convincing
||Has only worked in Washington since 1999, after being elected
senator in '98
||His former involvement with oil giant Halliburton and the
company's big-money, no-bid contracts in Iraq
|"Star Wars" Alter Ego
||The young, plucky and very inexperienced Luke Skywalker, who
lives with his aunt and uncle on a remote farm far away from the matters
of the Empire.
||Shadow governments, secure undisclosed locations, a life prolonged
by technology -- hes all Darth Vader
in a good way, of course.
1,000,000 to 1 Case and MoveOn.org benefactor and billionaire Peter B.
Lewis is so moved by Cheneys words that he will announce hes throwing
a Republican Party fund-raiser.
12 to 1 Folksy, millworkers son Edwards will show up clad in the
sort of pricey Italian suits fellow down-home Democrat Bill Clinton wore while
running for office.
6 to 1 Cheney will still try to argue that Saddam Hussein was involved
in planning the Sept. 11 attacks.
2 to 1 Cheney will subliminally confirm his core conservative nature
in the wake of his same-sex marriage comments by donning a bright red tie for
If every United States voter between the ages of 18 and 23 went to the polls
this November, they could sway the outcome of the election. Unfortunately, a
number of those college-aged voters are more worried about the next keg than
the person wholl be a heartbeat away from the U.S. presidency for the
next four years. Of course, if you turned the debate into a drinking game
Take one drink any time the names Saddam Hussein or Osama
bin Laden are mentioned by anyone.
Take one drink every time Edwards drops the names Halliburton
Take two drinks every time Cheney mentions
the phrases trial lawyer or Swift boat.
Do a shot if Cheney utters the George W. Bush buzzword evildoers.
Chug your entire drink if Edwards clumsily knocks over a water glass
as he did during the CBS Democratic primary debate earlier this year.
Even if voters dont cast their votes based on the VP debates, the verbal
sparring over the years has churned out a load of great sound bites. Here are
a few of our favorites:
Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy, I knew Jack Kennedy, Jack Kennedy
was a friend of mine. Senator, you are no Jack Kennedy.
Lloyd Bentsen to Dan Quayle (1988)
Who am I? Why am I here?
Opening statement of Ross Perots seemingly discombobulated running
mate, retired Vice Adm. James Stockdale (1992)
I want to avoid any personal attacks. I promise not to bring up your singing.
Dick Cheney to Joe Lieberman (2000)
Four Years Ago Today
Tiny Centre College in Danville, Ky., was the scene of the last vice presidential
debate, on Oct. 5, 2000 exactly four years ago to the day from when
Cheney and Edwards will face off here. The smallest entity to ever host a debate,
the college almost didnt have its moment in the spotlight. After
we won the debate, we lost the debate and then won it back again, recalls
Centre College director of communications Mike Norris. After the college was
selected and began making renovations to the hall where the debate would be
held, Republicans vetoed the list of debate locations and provided their own
crop of possibilities that didnt include Danville. The college promptly
launched a Save the Debate campaign, which snared national headlines,
and the Republicans ultimately backed down. That wasnt the only wrinkle.
Rumors also circulated that protesters unhappy that third-party candidates werent
invited to participate would try to shut down the debate. Norris says the college
sidestepped that pitfall by setting up a PA system on campus so protesters could
have a forum to express their views. And in true small-town fashion, the college
provided lemonade and cookies. They did not disrupt our debate,