Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.

Has it really been four years since VP candidate Sarah Palin, at the outset of her debate with Sen. Joseph Biden, said "Hey can I call you Joe?" She later said she didn't know the mic was hot.

Anyway, the playing field differs this time. Rep. Paul Ryan — seasoned in House debates and hailed in many an echo chamber for his RNC performance — now steps in against Biden who plays the very different role of White House incumbent. After it's over tonight, Biden may well say, "I debated Sarah Palin. I ran against Sarah Palin. Congressman, you're no Sarah Palin." And that, of course, could mean a lot of things.

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Will tomorrow's headline be a tongue twister, like "Biden says Ryan is lyin'; Ryan says Biden is hidin'"? Tough to say before it starts.

Below, is what you may call the Biden baseline: