In what will in all likelihood be an inconsequential and completely meaningless exercise when it is all said and done next month, Vice-Presidential candidates Tim Kaine and Mike Pence met up for an at-times incomprehensible mess of a debate Tuesday night.
For a quick and dirty recap, Democratic nominee Kaine seemed both over-prepared and overstimulated. He was unable to let Pence talk for more than a minute without jumping in and interrupting him. Sure he had most of the facts down, and his mission was to make the case that Donald Trump was temperamentally and psychologically unfit for the office of president. But, he came across as almost a bully to Pence, consistently badgering him, pestering the Indiana Governor to defend Trump.
As for Pence, he didn’t come off that much better, if at all. While he seemed more calm, cool and collected than Kaine, he also did a piss-poor job of making the case for Trump. He constantly deflected when asked about Trump’s policy positions. He pretended that Trump never said a number of awful or disgusting things, providing openings for Kaine to bludgeon him over and over with Trump quotes.
Beyond that, he seemed to present a different foreign and domestic policy vision that his running mate. The Republican criticizes Russia and its leader Vladimir Putin and praised the Iraq War as something that was meant to stop terrorism. On the plus side, however, he did use his time to levy attacks on Clinton regarding her email server and the Clinton Foundation, things Trump as unable to do at the first debate.
If one had to call a winner, I’d go with Pence by a hair, but only because of the ‘feeling’ that the Trump team needed a win. Kaine was vastly more prepared, but likely too much. He had too many things memorized and wanted to lay it all out at once. He was too eager.
However, that is the spur of the moment, just-off-watching-the-debate sensation. There are two moments of the debate that will likely go viral over the coming days that can overshadow the whole (meh) event, leading to more embarrassment for the Trump campaign down the stretch.
Right off the bat, during the opening question, Pence called the cite of the debate Norwood University. Sadly, they were at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia.
— CNN (@CNN) October 5, 2016
This, of course, led to much mockery on Twitter, including a fake Norwood Twitter account.
Enrollment for Spring ’17 is OPEN!!!
— Norwood University (@NorwoodUniv) October 5, 2016
Then, towards the (merciful) end of the debate, Kaine hit Pence for the eleventieth million time on Trump’s “they’re rapists” attack on Mexicans, leading to Pence saying “you whipped out that Mexican thing again.” Ohhhhh myyyyyyy.
— POLITICO (@politico) October 5, 2016
In the age of social media and viral videos, it is easy to see Pence’s tie/narrow victory being turned into a humiliating defeat based solely on these two short moments.
And, if so, that is exactly what this debate deserves. Because, in the end, VP debates don’t mean anything.