Nobody could have predicted that Big Bird would have been the big star (besides Mitt Romney) of the first presidential debate or that President Obama would be perceived as the big loser. Even Obama admitted to Diane Sawyer this week that Romney had a good night and he had a bad night.
Tonight's vice presidential debate will likely hold additional surprises, but not everything will be unexpected. Certain words and catchy phrases don't just pop out of the candidates' mouths. They've been campaigning and cramming for the debate for months. Here's a look, in no particular order, at 10 of the things the ABC News producers who cover Vice President Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan think you're most likely to hear at vice presidential debate.
Tune in to ABCNews.com on Thursday for livestreaming coverage of the 2012 Vice Presidential Debate moderated by ABC's Martha Raddatz in Danville, Ky. Coverage kicks off with ABC News' live preview show at noon, and full debate coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET
In Joe Biden's 2008 vice presidential debate against Sarah Palin, Biden aimed his attacks at Republican presidential nominee John McCain, not his counterpart standing on the debate stage with him. But in tonight's Kentucky showdown, Biden will target Ryan just as much as Romney and likely argue Ryan has provided a clear definition to Romney's campaign.
"Look, now that Gov. Romney has selected his running mate, those differences are even more stark. And the reason I say that, Congressman Ryan has given definition to the vague commitments that Romney has been making. There's definition to it now. It's clear," Biden said in Durham, N.C., just days after Ryan was announced as Romney's running mate.
Biden is ready to pounce on Ryan for the plans he's proposed in the past, and he'll likely highlight how Ryan's has proposed turning Medicare into something Biden calls "vouchercare."
"What they don't tell you, what they really don't want to talk about, is how they fundamentally change Medicare. They turn it into a voucher system. They call it 'VoucherCare,'" Biden said at a retirement community in Boca Raton, Fla., last month.
|Fact Check Me|
Biden often challenges the press to fact check his statements made on the trail, and tonight should be no different, especially as Biden tries to point out some of Ryan's misleading statements, and fact-checkers tonight will certainly oblige that challenge.
"What they're proposing, and this is a fact. I say to the press, 'fact check me,'" Biden said at a speech in Zanesville, Ohio.
While making his sales pitch on the road, Biden often invokes the wisdom of his family members – from the Medicare benefits his mom received to calling himself a "son of an automobile man." As he tries to explain the differences between Ryan's and Democrats' budgets, don't be surprised if Biden recites one of his father's now famous phrases about how your budget reflects your values.
"Well, ladies and gentlemen, my dad had an expression. When anyone would say to him -- you know, his name was Joe -- Joe, let met tell you what I value, my dad would always look back at them and say, 'Charlie, don't tell me what you value, show me your budget. I will tell you what you value,'" Biden said in Chesterfield, Va., last month.
|Joe's Favorite Words|
Biden has an affinity for using some of his favorite words as segues in his stump speech. While he might try to eliminate the use of these words in tonight's debate, here are a few phrases from his campaign speeches that might make an appearance at the debate.
"Ladies and gentlemen."
"This is not hyperbole."
|The Choice Is Clear|
Paul Ryan is fond of saying how clear the choice is for voters in this election, from jobs and the economy to foreign policy there should be no confusion for voters, Ryan says, and he likes to explain that now is the time in the election where those choices are laid out.
"The choice is clear. And here is what we are doing. We are entering the debate phase, the choice phase of this campaign. And this choice is ever so clear."
Ryan says the current unrest in the Middle East from the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, to the massacres in Syria shows that the president's foreign policy is "unraveling."
"If you go home after this and your turn on your TV, you will likely see the failures of the Obama foreign policy unfolding before your eyes. You see, if you look around the world, what we are witnessing is the unraveling of the Obama foreign policy.
Ryan has started to use a term his running mate has been using for months, "daylight," when talking about the relationship between the United States and Israel. In a Romney/Ryan administration, Ryan says there will be no "daylight" between the allies.
"And our allies are more hesitant to trust us. We can't afford to put more daylight between ourselves and our allies, like Israel."
|A Nation in Decline|
Ryan likes to tell crowds on the campaign trail that if the president stays in office the United States will become a "nation in doubt," "a nation in debt" and a "nation in decline." But, his running mate will get the "country back on the right track."
"Friends, we got a big decision to make. This is no ordinary time. It's no ordinary election. And the choice is basically this: We can stay on the same path we are on, a nation in debt, a nation in doubt, a nation in decline, or we can elect real leaders like Mitt Romney, and get this country back on the right track."
|Distort and Divide|
Ryan likes to say the president inherited a tough situation, but now his campaign is left to "distort" and "divide" because as the GOP vice presidential candidate tells it there is nothing Obama's first term that he can run on.
"Now, let's be very clear and fair. The president inherited a difficult situation. No two ways about that. The problem is he made things worse... So his campaign has now been relegated to waging a campaign based on frustration and anger, dividing people, distracting people to try to win an election by default."
"It is such an amazing moment in history, because I have rarely seen a moment when the man and the moment meet so well like Mitt Romney does at this moment in our history."
Ryan also loves to sound like a local in battleground states from Ohio to Iowa, despite his Wisconsin roots:
"Janna and I are kicking off a bus tour today in Iowa. I live two hours east of here in Janesville. We wanted to start here in Loras because this is where my grandfather went to college. Duhawks!...I also have along with my wife, her two sisters – Molly and Dana. Her uncle, Paul, my father-in-law, Dan. And the reason they are all here is because we are doing this bus tour with family. My mother-in-law grew up in Clinton. Her grandmother, my wife's grandmother was from New Hampstead."
Arlette Saenz covers Joe Biden and Shushannah Walshe covers Paul Ryan for ABC News