Rumble in Kentucky: Biden vs. Ryan. Libya hearing ousts CIA base. 26 days until Election Day.
Happy Thursday. Tonight, the presidential candidates get to kick back and watch their running mates duke it out in the highly-anticipated but only one-time debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan. The 90-minute debate starts at 9 p.m. Eastern/7p.m. Mountain.
-> The Drudge Report criticized ABC News correspondent Martha Raddatz, tonight's moderator, for her potential threat to objectivity: the fact that now-President Barack Obama attended her wedding reception in 1991. [HuffPost] Other conservative news outlets defend the moderator-to-be. [Politico]
-> ABC4's Chris Vanocur, meanwhile, notes that Raddatz is a graduate from East High and has Utah roots. [ABC4]
Topping the news: In a packed and sometimes contentious congressional hearing yesterday, a Utah National Guard/U.S. special forces soldier described the security situation in American facilities in Libya as weak and says requested help never came. [Trib] [DNews] [Fox13]
-> Rep. Jason Chaffetz objects to a map being displayed by State Department officials while Democrats counter that it can be found on Google. [Trib]
-> The Washington Post's Dana Milbank notes that while members worried about classified information, they were still able to out a CIA compound and note that the agency has video of the attack. [WaPost]
-> Pat Bagley pokes fun at Chaffetz, noting the House GOP's efforts to cut embassy security funding. [Trib]
Tweet of the day: From @jimgeraghty: "Raddatz won't be easy on Biden because Obama was at her wedding. She'll be hard on him, because Obama gave her a cassette of his speeches."
Happy birthday: To former state Rep. Ben Ferry and Rep. Rob Bishop's press secretary Melissa Subbotin.
Happening tonight: Utah State University College Republicans will host Rep. Rob Bishop for pizza and politics this afternoon. [CacheValley]
In other news: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Peter Cooke said that the recent voter purge in Utah could deter low-income and minority Utahns from the voting booths. Concerns were also raised by the Cooke campaign about Gov. Gary Herbert's appearance in taxpayer-funded public service announcements. [Trib] [DNews]
-> Attorney General Mark Shurtleff said that briefs have been filed by those parties both for and against HB497, an immigration enforcement law passed in 2011. [DNews]
-> Of the thousands that were predicted to be eligible, only 745 illegal immigrants in Utah have taken advantage of the two-year work permit granted to school-goers between the ages of 16 and 30 without a criminal record. [Trib]
-> 4th District Republican candidate Mia Love is getting some financial help from Republican members of Congress. [UtahPolicy]
-> In their second debate, Jay Seegmiller and Chris Stewart, candidates for Utah's 2nd District seat, revealed stark differences in their views of Social Security, immigration and war. Just outside, third party candidate Joe Andrade organized a small group protest in response to his exclusion. [Trib]
-> Salt Lake County mayoral candidates will debate this morning at 9 a.m. at the Salt Lake Chamber offices. [Trib]
-> The Utah Transit Authority announced some TRAX changes made to accommodate budget constraints, including shortened lines and reduced weekend hours. [Trib]
2012 watch: A Reuters/Ipsos tracking poll released Wednesday gives Romney a 45-44 lead nationally. [Reuters]
-> Romney's recent remark that he has no plans to put any anti-abortion legislature in place could make things a little awkward for the staunchly pro-life Paul Ryan. [ABCNews]
-> Obama spends Wednesday wooing female voters and attacking his opponent's stances on women's rights and abortion. [WaTimes]
-> Romney seems to be drifting to the center as the campaign nears its final weeks. [Politico]
-> Obama said he was "too polite" at the first debate and predicts there will be "more activity" at the second. [NBCNews]
-> Should he be elected, Romney explained that he would remove all funding for Planned Parenthood and would reinstate the Mexico City policy that prohibits using U.S. aid for foreign abortions. [Politico]
-> Ann Romney's Welsh cakes burned while on Wednesday's Good Morning America. [CNN] [ABCNews] Her husband, who dutifully watched the program, got a taste of all the fiery political ads that aired between her segments and said that his "blood pressure would be very high" if he watched them more often. [ABCNews]
Where are they?
-- Thomas Burr and Betsy Blanchard
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