Former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm (D), who was the stand-in for Sarah Palin during Joe Biden’s vice presidential debate preparations in 2008, spoke with the American Prospect on what it’s like to spar with him ahead of Thursday’s head-to-head with GOP challenger Paul Ryan.
Granholm said as “Palin,” who at the time was considered a political outsider, her job was to try and get under the Washington veteran Biden’s skin. Biden, in turn, had to be sure not to come across as condescending. She explained how debating Ryan will be different.
I’m not involved so I don’t know any of the details of how that debate prep is going—I can imagine from the outside that because he’s debating someone entirely different, who is very familiar with all of the policies in Washington, who is wonky, who knows this stuff, it really is going to be a robust debate practice and probably a robust debate in terms of policy. I would imagine that for both of them they’ve got to monitor how much inside-the-Washington-Beltway they sound. They’ve got to reach across that Beltway and speak to the people at home. It might be easy for them to get bogged down in some of the policy details since they’re both so good at that.
On playing offense against Ryan, Granholm said he should exploit the differences between him and Romney.
There is not going to be daylight between Biden and Obama, but there is daylight between Ryan and Romney. Going after that, exploiting that and showing people what Ryan’s positions really are would be an important tactic.