The decision by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Mitt Romney's running mate, to air a television advertisement in the race for his House seat turned heads Tuesday afternoon, as it was immediately interpreted as a sign that he was hedging his bets against the prospect of Romney losing.
Ryan is currently running for two offices -- Vice President and member of the House of Representatives -- and he is sitting on more than $4 million for purposes of the latter. He clearly calculated that it makes sense to remind voters at home about the work he's done on their behalf. Wisconsin, after all, is still a swing state in the presidential campaign.
But Ryan isn't the first vice presidential candidate who, during the course of the presidential campaign, has tended to his congressional race. Vice President Joseph Biden put out a minute-long Senate ad in late October 2008 during his reelection campaign that year. The spot was titled Kitchen Table, and it's unclear why he ran it. Biden stood no chance of losing his Senate seat. But he had money to spend and decided to spend it.
As the political ad tracking site Living Room Candidate put it:
The biographical ad doesn't specify which office it is for, but Biden will be on the ballot in Delaware as candidate for Vice President and for U.S. Senate. If he wins both races, he can resign from the Senate.
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements. Learn more