Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Vice Presidential Debate Wrap-up

 

Pence KaineThis is a preview from Wednesday morning’s The Daily Shot newsletter. Subscribe here free of charge.

All the networks took a break from their wall-to-wall dance and/or singing competitions last night to cover the only thing more boring than a television dance and/or singing competition: a vice-presidential debate. That’s right, Sen. Tim Kaine and Gov. Mike Pence met Tuesday night at Longwood University in the town of Farmville, VA. The moderator was Elaine Quijano of CBS News.

So what did you miss when you fell asleep right after the handshake? It was very calm. The candidates were calm. Everybody was seated at a big table for a nice, calm “conversation.” Even Twitter was pretty calm. (But the king of calm was Mike Pence. Man, that cat was chill. Nothing fazed him.)

Do you remember how politics used to be calm and therefore boring? That was Tuesday night. Kaine’s blindingly white shirt squared off against Pence’s blindingly white hair and it was a reminder what it was like to strip away all the high drama and watch two prepared, polished politicians hack away at each other.

Kaine, the guy who smiles more than a dolphin, played the aggressor. He threw Trump quotes at Pence and demanded he defend his boss. (The fact checkers will have their work cut out for them reviewing all the quotes.) He interrupted Pence early and often, which was a smart tactic, because Republicans can’t really complain.

Pence’s defense was mostly to squint, calmly shake his head, and incredulously claim Kaine was mistaken. (Always with the squinting, that guy.) Kaine’s canned lines didn’t always land, and more than once Pence called him out on them. (“Did you work a long time on that one?”)

So who won? From watching it, it seemed that Pence did. (That was also the early consensus among talking heads.) However, Pence won by refusing to rise to Kaine’s bait to defend Trump (which he said he was happy to do, but never got around to). Instead, Pence made what were pretty mainstream conservative arguments, (It was weird to hear a Republican talk like a Republican…) which were divorced from what his boss has been saying for the last 16 months.

This is a preview from Wednesday morning’s The Daily Shot newsletter. Subscribe here free of charge.

There are 26 comments.

  1. Max Ledoux Admin

    I liked the debate. Boring is not a word I would use to describe it.

    • #1
    • October 4, 2016, at 8:19 PM PST
    • 1 like
  2. Valiuth Member

    Max Ledoux:I liked the debate. Boring is not a word I would use to describe it.

    Unexpectedly satisfying like good toast or a fine cracker.

    • #2
    • October 4, 2016, at 8:25 PM PST
    • Like
  3. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Chief

    I literally fell asleep an hour in.

    • #3
    • October 4, 2016, at 8:36 PM PST
    • Like
  4. SkipSul Moderator

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:I literally fell asleep an hour in.

    I installed a garbage disposal. A fitting way to avoid the thing.

    • #4
    • October 4, 2016, at 8:46 PM PST
    • Like
  5. Titus Techera Contributor

    Gov. Pence looked like was going to sleep. Or putting the viewers to sleep? If he slowed down any more or professed his respect for Sen. Kaine anymore, everyone would have figured out it was an inception thing-

    • #5
    • October 4, 2016, at 8:51 PM PST
    • Like
  6. Titus Techera Contributor

    Max Ledoux:I liked the debate. Boring is not a word I would use to describe it.

    You’re a kind soul, a prince among people, & a light unto the people-

    • #6
    • October 4, 2016, at 8:52 PM PST
    • Like
  7. Titus Techera Contributor

    Gov. Pence ended up seeming slow & uninspiring. His job was to be the president Americans want to vote for but cannot–but will sorta-kinda vote for when they vote GOP. Nobody sees this? Where is everyone! Give me opinions. He was too gentle & not enough man!

    • #7
    • October 4, 2016, at 8:54 PM PST
    • Like
  8. Scott R Member

    Pence was a pro tonight. He couldn’t defend Trump (who could?), so he just moved on and made his points.

    He’s given us the template for how to handle this sorry Trump episode post-election: move on and never utter his name again. The conservative recovery will come quicker than many think. I think.

    • #8
    • October 4, 2016, at 9:06 PM PST
    • Like
  9. James Lileks Contributor

    Put some bushy unkempt eyebrows on Kaine and he would have looked like one of those second-tier Politburo guys you saw on the wall on May Day. Pence looked like a shaved, well-groomed Yeti.

    Kaine’s mistake was bringing all his contempt for Trump and pouring it on Pence, who was Not Trump. Pence’s mistake was accepting the VP slot. The part I saw – the last half – showed a reasonable guy with OG, or Obligatory Gravitas. I look forward to the rematch in 2020 when he’s the GOP nom running against President Kaine – who assumed the office when Hillary Clinton unexpectedly resigned due to health reasons, making her the second President Clinton to face difficulties in office arising from a series of strokes.

    • #9
    • October 4, 2016, at 9:12 PM PST
    • Like
  10. Valiuth Member

    Titus Techera:Gov. Pence looked like was going to sleep. Or putting the viewers to sleep? If he slowed down any more or professed his respect for Sen. Kaine anymore, everyone would have figured out it was an inception thing-

    I think if it was inception we would have had some sort of loud gong sound.

    • #10
    • October 4, 2016, at 9:24 PM PST
    • Like
  11. Valiuth Member

    Titus Techera:Gov. Pence ended up seeming slow & uninspiring. His job was to be the president Americans want to vote for but cannot–but will sorta-kinda vote for when they vote GOP. Nobody sees this? Where is everyone! Give me opinions. He was too gentle & not enough man!

    Well, I only heard the debate while engaged in more worthwhile pursuits of delving dungeons with my party of adventurers. But really it didn’t seem that bad. Both sounded perfectly fine, and human. Which is more than Hillary and Trump can usually say about themselves.

    • #11
    • October 4, 2016, at 9:28 PM PST
    • Like
  12. TKC1101 Inactive

    Pence played it well, he did not chase every rabbit Kaine let loose, but won on style points.

    He made Kaine look like the not so slick liar he is, telling the American public things are great in Hillary-Obamaland.

    Iran is no longer a threat

    Terrorism is contained , like when Hillary landed under sniper fire to take out Bin Laden… oh wait…

    The economy is good, lots of jobs…

    And we just love them immigrant folks. And them Syrian terrorists refugee types. It will be fine.

    But Trump taxes, now that’s important….

    It worked for me.

    Pence came away as a decent guy who stood by his boss.

    Kaine looked like an attack dog slobbering for a biscuit.

    Will it change any votes? No. It could be a new launch point.

    I do expect a new set of talking points:

    “Hillary and Little Tim’s Fantasy Land”

    • #12
    • October 4, 2016, at 9:30 PM PST
    • Like
  13. Titus Techera Contributor

    Valiuth:

    Titus Techera:Gov. Pence ended up seeming slow & uninspiring. His job was to be the president Americans want to vote for but cannot–but will sorta-kinda vote for when they vote GOP. Nobody sees this? Where is everyone! Give me opinions. He was too gentle & not enough man!

    Well, I only heard the debate while engaged in more worthwhile pursuits of delving dungeons with my party of adventurers. But really it didn’t seem that bad. Both sounded perfectly fine, and human. Which is more than Hillary and Trump can usually say about themselves.

    Yeah, it was close to the debate Americans would want to have & cannot get!

    • #13
    • October 4, 2016, at 9:36 PM PST
    • Like
  14. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    Pence won, and the Trump-Pence ticket is one step closer to the White House, much to the dismay of the NeverTrumpers.

    • #14
    • October 4, 2016, at 9:59 PM PST
    • 1 like
  15. DocJay Inactive

    James Lileks:Put some bushy unkempt eyebrows on Kaine and he would have looked like one of those second-tier Politburo guys you saw on the wall on May Day. Pence looked like a shaved, well-groomed Yeti.

    Kaine’s mistake was bringing all his contempt for Trump and pouring it on Pence, who was Not Trump. Pence’s mistake was accepting the VP slot. The part I saw – the last half – showed a reasonable guy with OG, or Obligatory Gravitas. I look forward to the rematch in 2020 when he’s the GOP nom running against President Kaine – who assumed the office when Hillary Clinton unexpectedly resigned due to health reasons, making her the second President Clinton to face difficulties in office arising from a series of strokes.

    Or maybe Hillary gets impeached for a sex crime going toe to toe with an intern.

    • #15
    • October 4, 2016, at 10:40 PM PST
    • Like
  16. Trinity Waters Inactive

    James Lileks:Put some bushy unkempt eyebrows on Kaine and he would have looked like one of those second-tier Politburo guys you saw on the wall on May Day. Pence looked like a shaved, well-groomed Yeti.

    Kaine’s mistake was bringing all his contempt for Trump and pouring it on Pence, who was Not Trump. Pence’s mistake was accepting the VP slot. The part I saw – the last half – showed a reasonable guy with OG, or Obligatory Gravitas. I look forward to the rematch in 2020 when he’s the GOP nom running against President Kaine – who assumed the office when Hillary Clinton unexpectedly resigned due to health reasons, making her the second President Clinton to face difficulties in office arising from a series of strokes.

    Little Timmy thought he was Ahab, and Pence the white whale. He’d shoot his heart onto Pence if that would amuse Empress HRC.

    • #16
    • October 5, 2016, at 3:47 AM PST
    • Like
  17. James Of England Moderator

    Max Ledoux:I liked the debate. Boring is not a word I would use to describe it.

    I agree. Mrs. of England was about as animated as she gets for political stuff, too, exclaiming and laughing. This was by far my favorite debate this cycle and the best non-fiction TV I’ve seen this cycle.

    Valiuth:

    Titus Techera:Gov. Pence ended up seeming slow & uninspiring. His job was to be the president Americans want to vote for but cannot–but will sorta-kinda vote for when they vote GOP. Nobody sees this? Where is everyone! Give me opinions. He was too gentle & not enough man!

    Well, I only heard the debate while engaged in more worthwhile pursuits of delving dungeons with my party of adventurers. But really it didn’t seem that bad. Both sounded perfectly fine, and human. Which is more than Hillary and Trump can usually say about themselves.

    I agree here, too. Both seemed like the opposite of the traditional joke about job/ life insurance for the top of the ticket; I’d be surprised if more than a tiny handful in Congress even hesitated in thinking of a VP accession as an upgrade unless it was in the sense that the VP nom would be harder to oppose.

    • #17
    • October 5, 2016, at 3:50 AM PST
    • Like
  18. James Of England Moderator

    Scott R:Pence was a pro tonight. He couldn’t defend Trump (who could?), so he just moved on and made his points.

    He’s given us the template for how to handle this sorry Trump episode post-election: move on and never utter his name again. The conservative recovery will come quicker than many think. I think.

    I find myself agreeing a lot this thread, but this seems particularly important and insightful. I certainly hadn’t thought of that angle, but you’re definitely right. It was surprisingly effective the way that Pence often treated Trump as if he were a figment of Kaine’s imagination and he were indulging Kaine by listening to him, but that may be a much easier task in a year’s time (assuming a Clinton win).

    • #18
    • October 5, 2016, at 4:06 AM PST
    • Like
  19. Fred Cole Member

    Mike LaRoche: the Trump-Pence ticket is one step closer to the White House

    Well, you’re half right. Pence is one step closer to the White House.

    • #19
    • October 5, 2016, at 6:39 AM PST
    • Like
  20. Kim K. Member

    Nothing fazed him.

    • #20
    • October 5, 2016, at 6:52 AM PST
    • Like
  21. Mountie Member

    Mother Flenniken and I are visiting in Charlotte with relatives. My brother-in-law and I spent last night talking about ’65 Mustang restorations, NASCAR (he lives in Mooresville, everyone of his neighbors is some way connected to a team), and Indian/Harley motorcycles. I asked him if he wanted to check in on the debate and he gave me a look as if I had asked him to sit on a porcupine. That pretty much sums it up.

    • #21
    • October 5, 2016, at 7:03 AM PST
    • Like
  22. Max Ledoux Admin

    Thanks, Kim. I fixed it.

    • #22
    • October 5, 2016, at 7:15 AM PST
    • Like
  23. Matthew Gilley Inactive

    Kim K.:Nothing fazed him.

    A fellow pedant – I like it!

    • #23
    • October 5, 2016, at 7:20 AM PST
    • 1 like
  24. Front Seat Cat Member

    Max Ledoux:I liked the debate. Boring is not a word I would use to describe it.

    The best line in the Daily Shot was that Tim Kaine smiled more than a dolphin. I’m still laughing!

    • #24
    • October 5, 2016, at 9:29 AM PST
    • Like
  25. Kim K. Member

    Matthew Gilley:

    Kim K.:Nothing fazed him.

    A fellow pedant – I like it!

    Me to son in college: You used the wrong “to.” It should be t-o-o.

    Him: Whatever. They’ll know what I mean.

    Me: (head explodes)

    • #25
    • October 5, 2016, at 11:40 AM PST
    • Like
  26. SkipSul Moderator

    Kim K.:

    Matthew Gilley:

    Kim K.:Nothing fazed him.

    A fellow pedant – I like it!

    Me to son in college: You used the wrong “to.” It should be t-o-o.

    Him: Whatever. They’ll know what I mean.

    Me: (head explodes)

    sometimes-tumblr-gets-it-right-29-photos-22

    • #26
    • October 5, 2016, at 11:55 AM PST
    • Like