A Look Back on Vice-Presidential Debates

     Thursday, Oct. 11th marks the first, and only, Vice-Presidential debate for the 2012 election.

     While many are concerning themselves with the upcoming debate/battle (20 Million Quatloos on the young one!), let us take a gander at the past eight Vice-Presidential debates.

     The first Vice-Presidential debate was the 1976 contest between Minnesota Senator Walter Mondale and Kansas Senator Bob Dole, where Dole (in)famously referred to WWI, WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, as “Demcorat Wars.”  The entire debate is available online, though, alas, it is not embeddable.  1980 saw no Vice-Presidential debate, though in 1984 George H. W. Bush did have a chance to debate Rep. Geraldine Ferraro of NY:

     The 1988 debate between Senator Lloyd Bentsen of Texas and Senator Dan Quayle of Indiana.  This debate had probably the best debate quips of the Vice-Presidential debate when Sen. Bentsen replied to Sen. Quayle’s comment, about being the same age as JFK, by saying: “Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy, I knew Jack Kennedy, Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.”  Unlike Dole in ’76, the Bush/Quayle went on to curb stomp Dukakis/Bentsen in a landslide.

     The 1992 debate was a three-way affair that included not only incumbent Dan Quayle, but Tennesee Senator Al Gore and retired Vice Admiral James Stockdale, who ran as Ross Perot’s running-mate and (in)famously said “Who am I? Why am I here? I’m not a politician.”

     Incumbent Al Gore faced off against former HUD Secretary and Congressman Jack Kemp in the 1996 debate (alas, again to embedding allowed).  Probably the closest thing to a memorable moment was Al Gore’s lame attempt at self-effacing deadpan humor:

     Probably the most genteel Vice-Presidential debate was between former Defense Secretary and Congressman Dick Cheney, and Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman.

     In contrast, the 2004 debate between the now incumbent Dick Cheney and coiffured ninny/ North Carolina Senator John Edwards, wherein verbally slaps around Edwards.

     This, of course, brings us to the 2008 debate between Delaware Senator Joe Biden and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin:

     The only real question for the 2012 debate is this: Could either Joe Biden or Paul Ryan do as badly as Obama did in the first 2012 Presidential debate?

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One Response to A Look Back on Vice-Presidential Debates

  1. avatar Julie near Chicago says:

    Alas, Mr. Hat, I am at the moment unable to see the videos (shortage of bandwidth)–but I can’t wait to watch Gov. Palin crush Joe bin Biden Way Too Long, and Mr. Quayle dealing with Sen. Bentsen, and V. Pres. Cheney with both Sen Liebermann and the Silken One….

    I have to remember to buy popcorn tomorrow. –Maybe something a little stronger than apple juice for tomorrow night’s show, too. Anyway, thanks for the trip down Memory Lane!