Biden, Ryan Won’t Stand For it

Photographer: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

As in 2000 and 2004, the vice presidential nominees will be seated at a table rather than standing at separate podiums.

Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan will meet in debate tonight.

But this won’t be a stand-up debate.

As in 2000 and 2004, the vice presidential nominees will be seated at a table rather than standing at separate podiums.

In 2004, this arrangement was demanded by then-Vice President Dick Cheney and his negotiators, according to Northeastern University professor Alan Schroeder’s book, “The Presidential Debates: Fifty Years of High Risk TV.”

“We were adamant that we were going to have that debate sitting down,” said former Secretary of State Jim Baker, one of Cheney’s debate negotiators. “The vice president’s not going to stand up and walk around the room with a trial lawyer. We’re going to have that debate seated or we might not even have it.”

Biden stood up the last time he debated, with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, in 2008.

In two other installments, Bloomberg’s Greg Giroux reports in Political Capital today on past veep debates, both upright and seated:

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