The two Democratic presidential contenders will spar as Americans must. Here’s what you need to know:
Mr. Biden will hold a town hall in Ames, Iowa, at 5 p.m. New York time (4 p.m. California time and 1 p.m. in Iowa).
A partial transcript of the format is here. Here are some of the rules:
1. An audience of some 60 to 70 people will be seated in the Community Center at Linn-Mar High School. One person will be chosen to moderate the questioning.
2. The town hall’s audio and videotape will be produced and broadcast by The Ticket and CNN. The Town Hall will be available live on Twitter and the CNN mobile app.
3. The questions posed and the manner in which the questions are posed will be posted on Twitter and on the CNN mobile app starting one hour before the town hall starts.
4. The town hall is expected to conclude in about an hour or so.
5. The expected final crowd size is not specified, but the actual size is not expected to be smaller than 1,000 people.
6. The town hall is being held in Iowa, a state with a history of big-name presidential contenders making liberal hay out of the “caucus” vote.
7. Mr. Biden will appear on CNN.
8. Mr. Biden’s friend Mr. Paul will attend the event.
9. Mr. Biden’s not looking for the big presidential splash he made 20 years ago.
10. But the event is expected to showcase Mr. Biden’s mastery of the policy, foreign and domestic, that distinguishes him from other candidates.
11. And it’s expected to be the new base upon which a Democratic nominee will build if the former vice president has the opportunity to compete for the nomination.
12. It’s an early test of Mr. Biden’s skill with a gun to his head.
13. The event is expected to be live-streamed on CNN’s Facebook page and the CNN mobile app.
14. Mr. Biden may have an impact on the rest of the Democratic contest. After all, while neither Mr. Sanders nor Mr. Warren are expected to share his credentials to attract a coalition with Iowa Democrats, all of them will face a challenge of their own, much to the benefit of Mr. Biden.
15. They will attempt to engage him during the town hall. “This will be his moment to make his run,” said Sally Bradshaw, Mr. Biden’s chief political strategist. “He will have to address him both for the first time and for the last time.”
The Democrat’s media team said he has dispatched several staffers and advisers to attend the event and will travel to the campaign trail the following day with the hope of energizing the State Fair, of which the Biden Town Hall is a major part.