90 Miles From Tyranny : VP Debate: Pence Makes Trump Look Good, Kaine Makes Clinton Look Bad

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

VP Debate: Pence Makes Trump Look Good, Kaine Makes Clinton Look Bad

For the first time since Dan Quayle in 1988, a vice-presidential candidate actually did damage to his running mate in a debate. Democratic Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Republican Governor Mike Pence (R-Id.) squared off Tuesday night in their one and only debate — and the Clinton campaign has to be grateful there are not more.

From the opening bell of the debate, Kaine interrupted Pence nearly every time he spoke, refusing to let him finish a sentence, particularly when he was scoring points on Hillary Clinton. It was a deliberate strategy. You can’t delete Pence’s answers as easily as Hillary’s emails, but you can try to stop voters from hearing them.

But Pence patiently carried forward, unrattled, ever gentlemanly and soft spoken, racking up points on substance while Kaine kept obsessing over Donald Trump’s taxes, tossing snarky asides and hurling insults.

At one point, Kaine even charged that Trump didn’t pay income taxes 15 years ago because he didn’t want to fund our military after 9/11.

After one particular interruption and insult, Pence finally said, “That is beneath even you and Hillary Clinton and that’s pretty low.” And later, “This isn’t the the old days were you can just say things and people believe it.”

Tim “Henchman” Kaine

Kaine started by calling Pence Trump’s “apprentice.” (As if it’s a smart thing to remind the public that Donald Trump parlayed his business success into a hugely successful show celebrating entrepreneurialism.) If so, Kaine was Clinton’s henchman. His task was to keep the debate away from Clinton’s failures or scandals or the sufferings of the American people or the chaos abroad and...

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