How much do running mates matter in deciding your vote for president?

Vice President Joe Biden and his Republican challenger, Rep. Paul Ryan, meet tonight in their only face-to-face debate of the campaign. Today’s Question: How much do running mates matter in deciding your vote for president?

  • Gary F

    The VP is part of the package, so, yes, they do carry some weight. But the Presidential candidate carries most of the weight?

    The moderator tonight is Martha Raddatz, good friends with the Obamas, it will be interesting to see how she runs the debate. I would presume there would be some pressure on her to make sure Bidon doesn’t make a fool of himself. And they need a good showing for Bidon after Obama’s train wreck last week.

    Think she will ask any questions about the Benghazi lies and cover up?

  • Steve the Cynic

    The choice of a running mate is a major decision that reveals something about the candidate’s decision-making processes. Obama, knowing he’d need help on foreign policy, chose someone who had some expertise in it. Romney, knowing he wasn’t radically conservative enough for his base, chose someone who would please them, without regard to whether he would actually bring any expertise that Romney himself didn’t have. The result is a ticket that’s the weakest on foreign policy for as long as I’ve been paying attention to presidential elections.

  • Snaab

    Since neither of the debaters tonight are named Obama, the correlation between the moderator and the President is dizzying in its stupidity, but that is the case for the rightwing nuts. Oh and Biden’s name is spelled with an e, pretty easy to look that one up, but to hell with the facts right.

  • Clark

    Makes little difference. Biden will want to insure left wing radical crazies are not let down again after their clueless president’s poor performance.

    Cheers to the 1%.

  • georges

    Running mates have little impact on a presidential election.

    This year, however, in light of recent events, Joe Biden is hoping to show that the Democrats have at least a little knowledge of what goes on in the rest of the world……..

    To that end, Biden is studiously going over the speeches of Neil Kinnock……..


  • Gary F

    “The result is a ticket that’s the weakest on foreign policy for as long as I’ve been paying attention to presidential elections.”

    How could it be any weaker than what we are seeing right now with the Benghazi blunder?

  • MagnifiedAnt

    During the last election cycle, it sure seemed like the choice of a running mate was a big deal. The attack dogs were on Sarah Palin like Clinton on an intern.

    p.s. Really, Snaab? Aren’t you polite – maybe a little more forgiving for a faux pas – to a friend of a friend who shares your view of the world, especially when helping him helps your friend? Oh, and learn to park that Swedish junk between the white lines.

  • Larry M.

    To me a running mate tends to reflect on the person running for president. On one hand you have a VP with tons of experience in leadership and the other an ideologue that worships Ayn Rand. I mean Paul Ryan is not as incompetent as a Sarah Palin, but he is, in his own brand of crazy, just as radical.

  • GregX

    None whatsoever. There is so much party-maneuvering to control who’s on the list for VP that its out of the candidates hands. Its a measure of the party.

  • jockamo

    Did you know……

    If you re-arrainge the letters in “Paul Ryan…..

    You can make “Ayn Rand”?

    Well, you can make “Ayn Rapul”, which is certainly close enough for Democrat work……

    Remember when Hillary Clinton said she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary?

    I, for one, firmly believe she was called Baby Girl Rodham for the first 5 1/2 years of her life, until Hillary climbed the mountain, giving the Rodhams good reason to finally fix her with a first name.

    But then, telling lies comes so naturally to Democrats………it is a flood that flows like mothers milk to a baby.


  • John P.

    Twice in my life, the VP has ended up as president. It’s very important to me that the VP candidate is someone who wouldn’t freak me out as President. Sorry Sarah!

  • GregX

    I’m hoping the debate tonight focuses on the innability of Paul Ryan to find the same simple math errors in his plan that everyone else does. In addition, I am hoping that the Ryan can provide any cogent insight on Romney’s historically vague plans to have plans to make plans that will plan the future of America.

  • GregX

    Dera Gary F – if you attempting to make some point regarding foreign policy – you might wanna focus on comparable events. Untested Candidate Obama in 2008 – visits the world – and the world is impressed. 2012 Untested Candidate Romney visits the world – and blunders, bumbles, insults and convinces the world – he has the skills of a blind 12-thumbed butcher. comparable events – different outcomes. Obama -Won, Romney-Done.

  • Mark in Freeborn

    It didn’t matter much to me until 2008, when I was considering voting for McCain….until he chose Sarah Palin as his running mate. That’s when I decided that he was not a credible candidate for the highest office in the land, but rather a shill determined to pander to the lowest common denominator of the Republican base.

  • kim

    I’m with John P. It makes a difference. I was seriously considering voting for John McCain, until he made his VP choice. That did it for me on 2 counts. First, one of the things I liked about him was that he came across as being his own person, not sold out to the party. That choice just HAD to be a sellout, there was not other excuse for it. He lost most of his appeal, for me. Then there was the fact that he was relatively old and maybe slightly more likely to die or be incapacitated in office. This country has survived a lot of poor presidents, but I was afraid we wouldn’t survive “President Palin”.

  • Gary F

    You are right! Hugo Chavez is a big fan of Obama’s, as well as the Muslim Brotherhood and our loan shark, China! He bows to the prince of Saudi Arabia.

    He has alienated our best allies, the United Kingdom and Israel.

    Obama doesn’t like the United States being a world power.

  • david

    I like many others on here I never gave much concern to the VP until McCain’s idiotic choice. I figured the stress would kill that fossil in his first term and the idea of bachmann junior with an assault rifle being in charge scared the crap out of me. Up till then i thought maybe McCain wasn’t just another extremist shill like the rest of them.

    Now garyf, since it’s obviously a slow day in the HVAC trade and you want to keep bringing up ridiculous conspiracy theories, and I’m guessing most of us MPR listeners don’t listen to rush limbaugh can you please explain just what the issues are in Benghazi? If not how about giving it a rest, you sound like a broken record and an idiot and like usual add nothing to the conversation.

  • Carrie

    Let’s try sticking to the question of the day.

  • Gary F

    Oh, I keep forgetting david, if NPR does report it, it didn’t happen.

    ABC, CNN and Fox were talking about it last night.

    Better get some diversity in your news sources.

  • david

    Ok gary, but i still fail to see your point. Obama is not responsible for the attack, he hasn’t even denied that it may be an act of terrorism. My understanding is that it’s an ongoing investigation. What is it you think Obama should be doing? Invade them? Unsubstantiated fear mongering? This obviously is the most important issue in your life these days, you bring it up in every post. Several times a day. Please please please explain the importance to me, because i am not getting it. It just seems like a minor issue. It actually effects me less then who will win the next American idol, which doesn’t concern me at all. And while you are at it can you tell me how it ties into today’s question? Does mitt’s side kick have a great plan on how to deal with it, what ever “it” is.

  • Jeremy

    It depends, are they attempting to slow evolution or are they ready to embrace our co-creative destiny in this wonderfully unfolding MultiVerse?

    If so, check their position on ending the failed War on Drugs and abolishing the Prohibition of Cannabis/hemp (the world’s most utilitarian plant).

  • GregX

    Thus spaketh GrayEff “He has alienated our best allies, the United Kingdom and Israel.

    Obama doesn’t like the United States being a world power.”

    RUBBISH …. conservatives don’t like a world power that gets things done without bombs and he-man heroics. Conservatives better get used to the idea of low-budget POWER solutions. No more 300 billion dollar weapons systems, No more military over the globe, … because spending more on military than the rest of the top 5 global power combined is ansustaniable Practice. The conservative paranoia about the rest of the world is due to 100 years of shooting first and asking questions later. Well – that is both stupid and expensive. Obama is the front edge of the united stated becoming smarter at using the rest of the globes resources for safety, balance and security. Israel doesn’t like it – because it means they either have to back their own hand or start learning to live in their chosen neighborhood. Britain doesn’t like it because they’e gonna have to be responsible for their own actions too – not just putting a 600 troops on the ground and an officer with one jet on a US aircraft carrier. Friends have to know when to tell Friends … get real.

  • GregX

    Dear GaryF …. the biggest security drop on the planet …. departing Clinton staff advise Bush to focus on Bin Laden… and the Bush team punts it to the “not so big a deal” pile. Benghazi – if this is the hook you’re hangin your hat on … harDhar har. better bend over – your hat is on the floor.

  • Jim G

    Presidental candidates should put as much effort and fact checking into their choice for Vice President as anyone considering marriage would put into choosing a mate. An individual running mate should make the team stronger. Even though my mate and I have weaknesses, together our strengths make one considerable person.

  • Jim G

    Oh yeah, you also need to find out whether your running mate is espousing ideas that conflict with your own. For Mitt Romney that doesn’t seem to apply because he has shown us that he is willing to backtrack on positions he’s taken and disavow them when the audience changes.

  • Joberg

    I believe the Ryan pick is fantastic. Tonight, when Biden again discusses increasing taxes on millionaires, Ryan should remind Biden that $200,000,(where Obama’s tax increases begin) is not $1 million. Hard to call Obama and Biden liars on TV, but clearly, with the polls swinging in Romney’s direction, perhaps the American public is tired of 4 years of lies and more lies.

  • Truth


  • Snaab

    @Magnified Ant,

    If you are going to impugn a politician, at least know how to splell their name. Absent that ability, if you post like a child, expect to be responded to as such.

    BTW, and I’m Swedish AND Norwegian, and why are you concerned about my junk? Talk about being impolite.

  • Steve the Cynic

    I remember during the Papa Bush administration, when suspicions arose that maybe he was more involved with that Iran-Contra thing than had previously been known, the investigation not pursued by Congress, partly because the idea of a President Quayle made impeachment unthinkable. When that happened, I wondered if maybe that was why he had chosen Quayle in the first place. Likewise, when it became clear that the rationale for the Iraq invasion was based on lies, Shrub was shielded from impeachment by the prospect of President Cheney. So I have to wonder, when the running mate is much more objectionable to the opposing party than the candidate is, is that impeachment insurance?

  • david

    I think you are onto something there Steve, but that it may be more complex. Didn’t ever notice shrub never spoke when vice president Halliburton was drinking a glass of water? Shrub was the empty suit that made cheney’s cronyism palatable.

  • Linda in Plymouth

    In this election, the VP debates are very useful. It allows for one party to expose the real agenda of the other, to speak of the things most in the media has failed to address.

    The poster called david, his immature comments are appalling but it again shows what liberal Progressives are supposed to do. They must follow the Handbook for Radicals, Obama’s mentor in print , written by the radical Saul Alinsky. Their radical “Quran” Handbookl tells them that one must smear, demean and create a crisis when they have little to fall back upon. It is the way of Chicago politics.

    But tonight’s debate allows for honest discussion of their role and views. I will bet that even though Obama knew the truth about the Ambassador’s murder within 24 hours as the Intelligence dept admitted this week, he makes up a story 5 days later to support a video as cause..why? Is it because there were 16 confirmed attacks in the prior two months that was kept under the radar of media? Is it because Hillary Clinton refused American security for our people and instead she had Libyan body guards with no live ammunition_ all to keep a low media profile?

    Only idiots can say this is only a small problem for Obama. Either they were incompetent or they did a cover up, as big or more as was the President Nixon Watergate. Cover up is what all think today because of Bret Baer’s investigative news showing last night on Fox News, he showed the time lines of thei White House statements to us, the public. Obama should be impeached for this..4 murders lied about and could have been prevented.

    This is fact from all sources from security department, deceased members’ journal and family interviews after White House talked with them.

    First we saw Fast and Furious scandal, then this. Even his own spokes person Stephanie Cutter and silly Debbie Wasserman-Scultz all lied on camera so many times in past month. They think we are all stupid and can be fooled. They are the foolish ones.

    I am so ashamed I ever voted for such a fake, just another Chicago trained organizer as is Mr.Obama.

  • kevins

    I think that VPs do make a difference these days, with the instant mobility of information. This was not the case in the past. Shame.

  • Leonard

    Vice Prsidents matter the most in this election because it is the most divided country between how we want the country to proceed. Choices supported by the VP’s are:

    Capitalism vs. socialism.

    Free markets vs. WhiteHouse wasting $90 billion in Green energy grants to pay for their players vs. ending hidden pork in bills. ($90 billion could have done good for more than just his campaign pals)

    Transparency in the White House vs. holding cabinet members and departments accountable for scandals.

    More going on food stamps ( nearly doubled in 3 years) vs. more jobs that sustain a living?

    More taxes on all of us through the 1,1000 extra taxes hidden in the Obama Care bill or freedom to buy insurance across state lines that will help competition and increase jobs?

    More energy costs by continued EPA attacking coal production, attacking oil drilling, using Cap and Trade scam to grwo wealth for the Al Gore group, Chicago Climate Exchange thugs and refusing new refineries vs. using our own American energy and lowering our rising costs.

    Check the price of fuel with stupid EPA czar’s new rules, new ethanol gasoline blends and killing the Keystone Pipeline!. Gasoline nearly 3 times higher in 3.5 years that hurts the poor and middle class!

    Abortion (the propaganda name of Pro Choice) to allow doctors to murder living babies with scalpels and caustic chemicals, killing yet to be born children vs. protecting all life.

    Ever see a botched abortion or the remains of a child at 16 weeks gestation? It is horrible. Adoption is a true CHOICE, but abortion is not, it is legally sanctioned killing of the innocent. It is not a choice.

    Ending the death penalty for criminals and avoiding passing Jessica’s law ( as Cumo of NY has avoided to pass) failing to deal with child sex offenders vs. mandatory sentencing with strength to keep predators off the street.

    Support bills to punish our job creating business’ and then bailing out big banks ( too big to fail as their Dodd Frank bill does) while destroying more small community banks vs. creating an environment where small business can grow and hire more.

    Four more years of more failed policies of net zero growth of the economy and more unemployment ( 50% U.Employment in blacks under age 40 is not change we can believe in anymore)

  • David

    I would love for it to include Cheri Honkala, James Gray and Jim Clymer (of the Green, Libertarian and Constitution Parties respectively). However until 5 minutes ago I hadn’t even heard of them.

  • WTF

    WTF Leonard? I don’t see the correlation between the importance of the vice president and the long rambling list of wingnut rhetoric. You may as well call yourself Linda in Plymouth, jackamo, or georges.

  • jockamo

    A Tag-Team match….

    I love a good tag-team match.

    Especially a 2 against 1……..

    Joe the Laughing Hyena and his partner Martha the Visually Challenged…….

    What a pair.

    Good thing Paul Ryan has what it takes to beat both of them…….

    Truth triumphs over smarmy smirks anyday of the week…….