A look at the Republican vice-presidential nominee's five secret weapons
The U.S. vice-presidential debate may be shift the conversationaway from President Obama's poor performance against Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
So who will Vice President Joe Biden, the six-term senator and occasional comic figure, be facing off against in tonight's debate?
Asked in April whether Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan might be a good running mate for Romney, Republican political insiders ranked Ryan a tie for third place. He was a party leader, sure, and an attractive spokesman, but his plans for health-care entitlements are controversial. A tendency to upstage the man in charge, too -- look how uneasy his relationship is with Speaker of the House John Boehner, his nominal leader.
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On August 11, he was introduced as the Republican vice-presidential candidate.
Ryan has a tendency to move fast. He was elected to the national legislature at age 28 in 1999, but I began covering him 10 years later, when he charged himself with articulating his party's intellectual opposition to a newly-elected President Obama. He helped turn the House back to Republican control in 2010, becoming the chairman of the Budget Committee. I remember congratulating a magazine writer who became a Ryan speechwriter during this time for joining a rising operation.