Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan speaks to a crowd of supporters… (Brenna Norman / The Hawk…)
WASHINGTON – The debate spotlight now slowly turns toward the running mates—the relatively untested Wisconsin Rep. Paul D. Ryan, whose aides say he may have participated in one debate when he first ran for Congress 14 years ago, and the very experienced Vice President Joe Biden, who has run for president twice and memorably faced former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in a high-stakes debate in 2008.
Ryan and Biden will have their first and only face-off on Oct. 11. They will meet at Centre College in Danville, Ky.
Thursday evening, Ryan will join Mitt Romney in Fishersville, Va., at a “victory rally” that is bound to be one of their most upbeat appearances, given the widespread consensus that Romney outperformed President Obama in their first debate Wednesday night in Denver.
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Ryan had left the trail Tuesday night to spend Wednesday and Thursday morning in debate preparation sessions at a resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains about 150 miles southwest of Washington. The campaign would not divulge his location, but did not contradict local news reports that Ryan stayed in a house in the Wintergreen Resort development. Wintergreen is a mountaintop resort where development is scattered along the ridge, not at the base of the mountain, as is more traditional for a ski area. The resort is open year round and has a golf course and ski lifts.
Channel 19News, a TV station in Nelson County, Va., reported that Ryan arrived at the resort late Tuesday night after campaigning for a day and a half in Iowa. The station said Ryan rose early Wednesday morning to work out, and that the resort’s tennis courts were blocked off to allow the congressman to play. However, reporters found no one who actually saw Ryan in action.
On Wednesday, said an advisor to the vice presidential nominee, Ryan was joined by former Solicitor Gen. Ted Olson, his debate sparring mate, who plays the role of Biden.
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Olson, who led the legal fight in 2000’s Bush vs. Gore case on behalf of George W. Bush, surprised many conservatives in 2009 when he joined forces with his Bush vs. Gore rival, attorney David Boies, to argue in favor of same-sex marriage in California. The two attorneys persuaded the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn California’s Proposition 8, which had amended the state Constitution to define marriage as between a man and woman.
At Wintergreen, said a Ryan advisor, debate prep “included a lengthy set of debate exchanges with Ted Olson, a series of meetings and time for reading policy materials.”
Ryan watched the presidential debate at the resort with his aides.
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