We’re gearing up to air special live NPR coverage of the Vice Presidential Debate from Center College in Danville, Kentucky Thursday night. Commentator and History Professor Dr. Brian Clardy imagines being a moderator, and the substantive questions he would ask regarding foreign and domestic policy.
Politicians are not the only ones hoping for a boost from Wednesday’s vice presidential debate. Danville is preparing for visitors and recognition too. The city of about 16,000 has repaved streets, planted flowers and erected new signs all in preparation for the debate and the many visitors that it will bring into town. One of the local bars has even created cocktails bearing Joe Biden and Paul Ryan’s names. That’s a big change from the last time the debate was held at Danville’s Centre College in 2000, when alcohol sales were banned in the city.
Security at Centre College in Danville has significantly increased for Thursday’s vice presidential debate. The most outward signs of this increase include chain-link fences and concrete barriers on the streets surrounding the college. Centre’s Debate Committee Co-chairman Clarence Wyatt says planning this year is much more complex than when the college hosted its first vice presidential debate in 2000. Roads around the campus will be closed starting Tuesday and anyone attending the event should expect their bags to be searched.
A national nonpartisan group that encourages politicians to work together to address the country’s national debt plans to make its mark on this week’s vice presidential debate. The debate is being held Thursday in Danville, Kentucky at Centre College. And the Fix the Debt campaign plans to be active all week around the college, making the argument that the debt should be the main political issue right now.
Fix the Debt president Maya McGuineas says voters need to be immersed in the discussion, since the debt is a major issue facing Washington D.C. right now.
This year's vice presidential debate at Centre College is shaping up to be a policy wonk's dream.
Both Vice President Joe Biden and newly-minted Republican VP candidate Paul Ryan are longtime lawmakers who are steeped in policy.
“I think it will be a substantive debate, meaning that these are both serious policymakers and they both have substantial voting records and careers to discuss, even though Congressman Ryan is relatively young at 42, he’s been in Congressman since January 1999,” says University of Louisville professor Jasmine Farrier.
In ten weeks, political observers will focus their gaze on Danville. Centre College hosts a second vice presidential debate. Its first was 12 years ago. Last night on Kentucky Educational Television, Lucas Weton ,who’s president of the Centre College Republicans, says they learned a lot from that first debate.