Tonight's vice presidential debate is the only one of the 2012 presidential campaign, and the newest face in the race will be ready.
That's the assessment from Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., about his House colleague, close friend and 1998 freshman classmate Paul Ryan. Terry says he is looking forward to this debate because he's well aware of Ryan's command of the most important issue of the day.
"Paul really knows his stuff," Terry told WND. "He is an expert at budgets and numbers and tax policy. There's no doubt that people are going to look for him to win this debate."
Terry admits a couple of factors could play to Vice President Joe Biden's advantage, including a heavy focus on foreign affairs.
"Foreign policy is not an area that Paul is really engaged in," he said. "He knows it well enough. He attends all the classified briefings that we get. I'm sure they've worked with him, but it's one of those areas where that does fall to Joe Biden's expertise."
The congressman says another advantage for Biden could be the third person on the stage. ABC's Martha Raddatz is the moderator and many on the right have suggested Raddatz has a conflict of interest because she hosted President Obama at her first wedding back in 1991. Ryan says he's not concerned about that but Terry isn't so sure.
"I got to tell you I'm a little worried that (the moderator) is a friend of Barack Obama's and she's the foreign correspondent. They seem like they're going to be loading up on the foreign policy questions."
Biden's habit of putting his foot in his mouth provides some reassurance for Terry.
"Joe Biden is kind of like attending a NASCAR race. You just kind of sit there and wait for the wreck."
Biden has promised to be more aggressive in this debate than Obama was in last week's first presidential debate. Terry says
Ryan will be just fine in that environment.
"He is ready for that," said Terry. "That's the other talent that Paul brings to this. He's gone into the lion's den and argued for these economic positions. He's already taken every shot possible that Joe Biden can bring to the table."
Terry says he is sensing a definite surge in enthusiasm in his "classic swing district" surrounding Omaha. President Obama narrowly carried Terry's district in 2008 and picked up an extra electoral vote as a result. Terry predicts that won't happen this time around.