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.
"Oops!...I Did It Again" (Britney Spears)
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/23/a-big-fucking-deal-bidens_n_509927.html" target="_hplink"><strong>(May 23, 2010) --</strong></a> As President Barack Obama prepared to announce the passage of his landmark health care legislation, Vice President Joe Biden had a memorable slip of the tongue, dropping an F-bomb on live television. "This is a big f*ck*ng deal," he said. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
"Cleanin' Out My Closet" (Eminem)
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/28/biden-team-apologizes-to-scott-powers-closet_n_841313.html" target="_hplink"><strong>(March 28, 2011) --</strong></a> A journalist covering Biden's appearance at a Florida fundraiser found himself in a sticky spot. The vice president's communications staff kept <em>Orlando sentinel</em> reporter Scott Powers in a closet prior to Biden's speech for Bill Nelson. The VP's team offered its "sincere apologies" to Powers "for the lack of a better hold room." (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
"Sleeping With The Television On" (Billy Joel)
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/13/joe-biden-sleeping-asleep_n_848862.html" target="_hplink"><strong>(April 13, 2011) -- </strong></a> Was Biden catching some z's? Cameras appeared to catch the vice president dozing during President Obama's speech at George Washington University.
"Save Me, San Francisco" (Train)
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/19/joe-biden-giants-super-bowl-san-francisco_n_1216101.html" target="_hplink"><strong>(Jan. 19, 2012) --</strong></a> During a speech in San Francisco, Biden made an embarrassing error with the city's sports teams. In advance of the 49ers' NFC Championship game with the New York Giants, Biden said: "The Giants [are] on their way to the Super Bowl." His confusion possibly stemmed from the fact that the San Francisco's Major League baseball team is also called the Giants. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
"Thanks For The Memories" (Fall Out Boy)
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/28/joe-biden-mitt-romney-jobs_n_1385906.html" target="_hplink"><strong>(March 28, 2012) --</strong></a> While campaigning in Iowa, Biden blasted GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's record on jobs. He charged that Romney is "consistently wrong" on manufacturing, pointing to a photo album factory that closed under Bain Capital's watch. "Mitt, thanks for the memories," Biden quipped. (Photo by Andrea Melendez-Pool/Getty Images)
"Say My Name" (Destiny's Child)
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/28/biden-dr-pepper_n_1385982.html" target="_hplink"><strong>(March 28, 2012) --</strong></a> On another Iowa campaign stop, Biden flubbed the name of a local school leader, referring to Scott Community College President Dr. Theresa Paper as "Dr. Pepper." (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
"Feeling Good" (Michael Bublé)
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/06/vice-president-biden-gay-marriage_n_1489235.html" target="_hplink"><strong>(May 6, 2012) --</strong></a> In an interview with NBC's "Meet The Press," Biden announced his support for gay marriage. "I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties," he said.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/10/joe-biden-gay-marriage-apology_n_1507939.html" target="_hplink"><strong>(May 10, 2012) --</strong></a> Immediately before Obama revealed his own support for <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/09/obama-gay-marriage_n_1503245.html" target="_hplink">gay marriage</a>, Biden apologized to the president for making his announcement ahead of the president's moment. The AP reported that the duo met in the Oval Office, where Obama accepted Biden's apology, knowing that the VP was speaking from his heart. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
"Feel Like Makin' Love" (Bad Company)
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/14/joe-biden-chains-remark_n_1776463.html" target="_hplink"><strong>(July 11, 2012) --</strong></a> At the National Council of La Raza's annual conference, Biden turned heads with a sex joke surrounding his home life growing up. "By the way -- having your grandpop living with you, having your great aunt, your uncle, for real," Biden remarked. "Those walls were awful thin. I wonder how the hell my parents did it. But that's a different story." (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
"The Chain" (Fleetwood Mac)
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/14/joe-biden-chains-remark_n_1776463.html" target="_hplink"><strong>(August 14, 2012) --</strong></a> At a campaign rally in Virginia, Biden accused Romney of looking to loosen regulations on Wall Street. "They're going to put y'all back in chains," Biden told the crowd, turning heads. Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul said the comment was "not acceptable in our political discourse," while Maryland Gov. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/19/martin-omalley-joe-biden-chains_n_1806604.html" target="_hplink">Martin O'Malley</a> added that it was an "indelicate choice of words."