Wednesday, October 05, 2016

After the Vice-Presidential Debate

Yesterday was the much-anticipated (and only) Vice Presidential candidates debate. It was moderately entertaining, but did nothing to illuminate the two candidates or help their campaigns. For what they're worth (and in this overheated political environment, not much), here are my observations ...

Democrat Tim Kaine offered more policy detail, but undermined his command of the issues with his nearly constant, impolite, and unprofessional interruptions of Mr Pence. Republican Mike Pence for his part remained calm and unflappable as he neatly dodged nearly every question and brushed Mr Kaine's attacks aside as if they were annoying gnats. Both men exhibited an annoying tendency to talk over each other, often making it impossible to understand what they were talking about ... as moderator Elaine Quijano said at one point, "Gentlemen, the people at home cannot understand either one of you."

Each man's focus was clear: for Mr Kaine, it was beating the drum of Donald Trump's tax returns; for Mr Pence, it was the "war on coal."

Mr Pence, for the most part, spoke only in the broad, black-and-white generalities that are the hallmarks of the Trump campaign. He proved himself to be a far better debater than Mr Trump, but did not clearly articulate policy positions and did not defend Mr Trump's more egregious statements ... in fact, in the fashion of the Trump campaign, he denied that most of them actually occurred. As comedian Paula Poundstone noted in tweets during the debate, "When Kaine simply quotes Trump, Pence says Kaine is slinging insults," and "Pence shakes his head when he hears Trump quotes. Have they met?"

As an adopted Virginian, I expected more of Mr Kaine than what he delivered. I think he had a great deal more to offer in terms of policy prescriptions - whether you agree with them or not - than did Mr Pence, but came across as hectoring and annoying rather than (vice) presidential.

Fact Checking. Look for yourself herehere, and here. Or at whichever politically-shaded fact-checking website you prefer.

Bottom line: I know nothing more now than I did last night. Ninety minutes of my life I'll never get back again. I can only wonder what will happen in the next Clinton-Trump "debate," coming up on Sunday. Oy.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



eViL pOp TaRt said...

I passed on last night's debate. The Presidential debates are like awful horror shows.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

I painted while listening to music. Much better for my blood pressure and mental health.

Mike said...

We were babysitting our granddaughter last night. She was watching cartoons on an iPad while we watched the snoozer. After about a half an hour she got sleepy, crawled into my lap, and fell asleep. I held her while she slept for the rest of the debate. It was time well spent.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

I decided I needed a beer. The way the debate was going, not so much. A waste of time.

Big Sky Heidi said...

Kaine disappointed me,

I wish we could vote for President and Vice-President separately.