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Memorable VP debates: ‘Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy’

By Tim Darnell, Atlanta Journal-Constitution #local-all (CNT)

After the train wreck that was the first debate between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden, their running mates are set to meet Wednesday for their only debate.

Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic California Sen. Kamala Harris are scheduled to debate beginning at 9 p.m. EDT at the University of Utah. USA Today’s Susan Page will moderate.

Harris will make history once again, becoming the first woman of color to appear in a vice presidential debate. Geraldine Ferraro was the first female vice presidential running mate, on Walter Mondale’s 1984 Democratic ticket that was defeated by President Ronald Reagan in a landslide.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was picked by U.S. Sen. John McCain in 2008 to oppose Biden, who was Democrat Barack Obama’s running mate.

Some Trump supporters hope Pence will provide a more stabilizing presence to national (and global) viewers than his boss, who constantly interrupted Biden and Fox News moderator Chris Wallace last month.

Here are some memorable moments from the last several vice presidential debates:

In 1976, Mondale, who was running with Jimmy Carter, called his opponent Bob Dole, who ran with President Gerald Ford, a “hatchet man.”

After Dole asserted that 1.6 million Americans had died in “Democrat wars,” Mondale shot back, “’I think Senator Dole has richly earned his reputation as a hatchet man tonight. Does he really mean that there was a partisan difference over our involvement in the fight against Nazi Germany?”

In 1984, Vice President George H.W. Bush faced Ferraro, and during an exchange on foreign policy, Bush said, “Let me help you with the difference, Mrs. Ferraro, between Iran and the embassy in Lebanon.”

“I almost resent, Vice President Bush, your patronizing attitude that you have to teach me about foreign policy,” she shot back.

In 1988, U.S. Sen. Lloyd Bentsen was Michael Dukakis’ running mate. He squared off against Vice President Bush’s running mate, U.S. Sen. Dan Quayle of Indiana. Quayle likened his experience to John F. Kennedy’s when he ran for president.

“Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy,” Bentsen said, in what is arguably the most memorable line from any vice presidential debate.

Palin’s selection as McCain’s running mate shocked the political world in 2008. She appeared in one debate against Biden, taking the stage and greeting Biden with a cheery “Hey, can I call you Joe?”