Former Solicitor General Ted Olson plays Biden in Ryan debate prep

Former United States Solicitor General Ted Olson Former United States Solicitor General Ted Olson Charles Dharapak/AP

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Attorney Ted Olson, who was solicitor general for President George W. Bush, is playing the part of Vice President Joe Biden in Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan's debate preparation, the Romney campaign announced Saturday.

Olson has extensive experience both in and out of government. He served as the assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel for President Reagan, and acted as private counsel for both Reagan and George W. Bush. He has argued 58 cases before the Supreme Court, three quarters of which have been decided in his favor. His third wife, Barbara, was killed in the 9/11 attacks; she was a passenger on the plane that flew into the Pentagon.

Time Magazine named Olson one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2010. His high profile cases have included the Bush v. Gore recount in 2000 and the 2009 lawsuit against Proposition 8, California’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Olson represented Bush in 2000, then partnered with his opposing counsel in that case, David Boies, to challenge the marriage ban.

While his unexpected involvement in the California case alienated some conservatives, others still speak highly of him. Former attorney general John Ashcroft, in a quote circulated by the campaign, said Olson would be “a strategic asset in any endeavor.” He said he and many other conservatives “welcome his increased participation in the Romney campaign.”

Olson has already participated in a debate preparation session with Ryan, the campaign said, but would not disclose the location. Ryan spent his first full day preparing for the Oct. 11 vice presidential debate last Sunday in Oregon.

“Joe Biden has been in elected office for more than 40 years. There are few people in politics with more experience debating the issues than Joe Biden, so we are taking this process seriously. Mr. Olson is one of the most skilled, intelligent, and successful litigators in America – just the kind of opponent needed to prepare the congressman for Mr. Biden," said Ryan spokesman Brendan Buck.

Olson is the last of the four debate rehearsal stand-ins for the presidential tickets to be announced. Ohio Sen.Rob Portman is playing President Obama for GOP nominee Mitt Romney, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry is playing Romney for Obama, and Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen is playing Ryan for Biden.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.