FOX6 will carry the vice-presidential debate LIVE on Thursday at 8:00 p.m. -- and the debate will also stream live via FOX6Now.com.
However, just as Ryan is a student of the great minds in conservative economics, he is also a student of 1980s comedy movies. He can quote Chevy Chase and Bill Murray with the best of them. So, will the serious policy wonk bring a bit of his humor to the stage?
Here's what his brother, Tobin had to say:
"I don't know if Caddyshack, or Fletch or Animal House will play well, but he's a serious guy -- particularly when it's serious issues. He's the most human guy I know, very light-hearted," Tobin Ryan said.
FOX6 News sat down with Paul Ryan's brother, Tobin and his wife, Oakleigh -- who say the experience of this campaign has been as much of a whirlwind for the Ryan family as it has been for Ryan himself.
"I think it came through in his speech at the Convention. We had the privilege of sitting in the family box -- which is nerve racking. I had to practice for that! You don't want to look like a goofball. When I laugh, I laugh hard, and his line about living in the basement and staring up at a faded Obama poster, I was laughing so hard. It was Paul. It wasn't disrespectful, it was funny. It was good Midwestern sense of humor," Oakleigh Ryan said.
Tobin Ryan is five years older than Paul and knows what it's like to debate him.
"He's a good debater, but I had experience on my side for many of the years. Most things these days we see pretty much eye-to-eye, until heaven forbid, the Badgers ever have to play Notre Dame. Then we may not see eye-to-eye," Tobin Ryan said.
Tobin Ryan said his brother's announcement as the VP candidate came as a surprise to the family.
"The first couple of weeks were frenetic. I think Paul was able to keep his head on his shoulders, but the rest of us -- we were upside down. Didn't see it coming, certainly. It's not something you plan for or prepare for. Since then, we've kind of grown to the pace of it," Tobin Ryan said.
Tobin said he's not nervous for his little brother ahead of Thursday night's debate.
"Not like you'd think. Perhaps I should be, but he's a prepared guy. He is such a student of what makes America tick, and he and Mitt Romney have such a clear vision for what a real recovery would look like and where they want to take America, that I think there's an inherent confidence in that," Tobin Ryan said.
"I would say When Paul and Joe are debating, is to remember it's about us. I think people talk about the female vote a lot. It is about us. Speak to us -- and Paul will do that very effectively. No matter what's going on, remember you're trying to reach out to America and he'll do a great job," Oakleigh Ryan said.
Vice President Joe Biden is the other half of Thursday's debate, and FOX6 News spoke with Biden's son, Beau for some perspective on his expectations ahead of the debate.
FOX6's Mike Lowe: "How do you think your dad's going to do in the debate against Paul Ryan?"
"I think he's working very hard. Paul Ryan's a very, very skilled debater. He's been doing it since he was about 28 years old in the House of Representatives. He's an expert in the budget, his own budget, a budget that's been voted on by the United States Congress that voucherizes Medicare and cuts -- for instance the VA -- which is important to me -- by $11 billion," Beau Biden said.
Mike Lowe: "I once heard your dad say in Washington, D.C., an expert is anyone from out of town with a briefcase? (Paul Ryan) is an expert in the budget and your dad is an expert in foreign policy. To what extent does he need to move the debate in that direction?
"The debate will cover all facets of policy, both foreign and domestic so my dad is preparing for all issues, domestic and foreign -- budget, Medicare, Social Security -- a whole range of issues. He's studying his briefing books and doing a lot of reading up on Paul Ryan and his budget doing two things. One, making sure he knows what his opponent's positions are on policy, and two, making sure he communicates to the American people -- who will take 90 minutes out of their day or evening and sit in their family room or their dens -- and articulates the clear contrast that exists between these two candidacies," Beau Biden said.
FOX6's Mike Lowe: "Is there additional pressure on your dad, because of what is viewed as a lackluster performance -- even the President has acknowledged that -- in the first presidential debate?"
"My dad's preparing the same way he did the day before the debate and the day after the debate. I think the President did fine in the debate. The President has two more debates. You're going to see a stark contrast in the next three debates -- my dad's and the President's additional two debates. The American people and the people of the state of Wisconsin have a very clear choice to make November 6th and it will become more stark as the next 29 days progress," Beau Biden said.
After the first presidential debate, President Barack Obama held a rally on the UW-Madison campus. After the vice-presidential debate, Biden plans to visit LaCrosse. It's a sign of how Democrats view Paul Ryan's home state as critical to their victory strategy.
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