The no-sound debate

I’ll be live-blogging tomorrow night’s presidential debate. Maybe VP candidate Joe Biden will be following along, because he’s suggesting everyone watch the debate with the sound turned down.

“For this debate, for part of this next debate, do what I did for part of the last two debates,” he told a rally in Delaware. “Literally, turn the sound off. I’m not being…I’m not joking now. Literally, turn the sound off. And just watch. Watch the body language of both men. You can sense it folks. You know it, when there’s a command [sic] presence. You know it when someone has the confidence and the certitude about himself and what he believes in.”

But just in case this whole White House thing doesn’t work out, Biden’s got a Plan B:

“Just remember, folks, I am on the ballot. Don’t be carried away with this vice president stuff. I am on the ballot running for my seventh term…so don’t forget, don’t stop at the top of that ticket, walk your way down. You can vote twice for the first time in your life for the same guy and it’d be legal.”

Biden made his remarks in his home state of Delaware. In the rush to cover Sarah Palin, little attention has been paid to Biden, who has apparently been put on a short leash by the Obama campaign strategy.

He makes relatively few campaign appearances according to his public schedule, and very few are outside spitting distance of Delaware, allowing him to campaign for his Senate re-election.

Biden’s main assignment has been to help deliver Pennsylvania (5 appearances since 9/1), Virginia (4 appearances since 9/1), Ohio (5 appearances since 9/1). According to, Democrats lead in each of those states.

In fact, other than Ohio, and the VP debate in Missouri, Biden has campaigned away from the Atlantic seaboard in only four states — Colorado and Indiana (he made only one appearance in both), Texas (he attended a fundraiser), and Michigan (twice).

The New Yorker seems to confirm the targeted Biden strategy in a piece this week:

The Obama campaign wants Biden to be seen as a working-class Catholic from Scranton, Pennsylvania, in the hope that he will win over skeptical Clinton Democrats in the Rust Belt and Appalachia.

Meanwhile, Minnesota, once seen as a battleground state, has been relegated to a “spousal state.”

  • Jennifer B

    They actually had a very interesting show called “Secrets of Body Language” on the History Channel last night. It looked at how people’s body language, facial expressions, and vocal clues can give away much more than their words do.

    Besides, if every debate is just going to contain the same topics and answers, perhaps body language will give us the only new insight on the issues.