In that first congressional campaign, Spotswood was 47 years old. She was quoted then as saying she was old enough to be Ryan's mother.
Biden, 69, also is a generation older than Ryan, 42. Not to mention, as Ryan pointed out over and over, Biden has extensive experience debating on a national stage as a vice presidential candidate and presidential candidate during the 2008 Democratic primaries.
Is Ryan intimidated?
"No I'm not intimidated," replied Ryan, "I'm actually excited about it. I came to Congress when I was 28 years old. I'm used to debating people who are older," he said, though he also noted that one of the reasons his team chose Ted Olson to play the role of Biden in mock debates is because he is "about Joe's age."