Depending on what you were looking for during the first and only vice presidential debate of 2016, your choice as to who won will vary. If judging on style and refinement alone, the undisputed victor was the stately running-mate of Mr. Donald Trump, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, who served 12 years in the Congress and then sealed his Congressional Record until December 2022.
Unwilling to be baited into a tizzy by Senator Tim Kaine, who on Tuesday night resembled a forceful prize-fighter seeking to attack the most weakened part of the body in order to score a knock-out, Gov. Pence remained calm and cool, while sometimes being a bit condescending. Nonetheless, the soft-spoken, small-town-born Republican gave a cautious performance opposite to that of Mr. Trump’s at the first presidential debate with Mrs. Hillary Clinton.
But style was the entirety of what the Governor offered; his demeanor became overshadowed by his demon, which he not only failed to truly acknowledge, but condemn or defend.
Often tapped as chief explainer and foremost fire extinguisher, Gov. Pence performed neither on Tuesday night, but instead denied reality and attempted to, as CNN’s Mr. Van Jones put it, “invent a running-mate.”
When challenged repeatedly by Sen. Kaine to defend Mr. Trump’s idiotic discourse, Gov. Pence deflected each time, except for a question about whether women should be punished for abortions – as Mr. Trump once suggested on MSNBC before walking it back – it was then that his answer implied that the ramblings of the Republican nominee for President shouldn’t be always taken so serious because he’s not a traditional politician.
Surely the governor – who when serving in the House introduced 90 bills and resolutions, though none became law – was dignified but he was also dazed by Sen. Kaine’s zingers. In fact, Gov. Pence at times just simply lied about things either he or his partner-in-crime has said, like their lauding of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin as a stronger leader than President Barack Obama.
But beyond the alternate universe the governor endeavored to create, he also flubbed on two major questions, one about race relations and the other about homegrown terrorism.
Like Mr. Trump, who appears to have a hard-on for the boys in blue, Gov. Pence when asked what he would say to Republican Senator Tim Scott, who claims to have been stopped seven times by cops in one year, called for the police to have more powers and said we, as Americans, should refrain from immediately pointing to racism and implicit bias after every high-profile police shooting.
And when asked how a Trump administration would combat the phenomenon of radicalized American citizens who commit acts of terror, the governor reverted back a talking point on immigration reform, which wasn’t germane at all to the questioned asked.
Because Sen. Kaine was so obsessed with jabbing the vulnerable parts of the body, which is Mr. Trump, and more specifically, his tax returns, he missed many opportunities to further expose the governor’s responses as convoluted and hypocritical.
And when Gov. Pence assailed the Clinton Foundation, Sen. Kaine responded by correctly citing the Foundation’s great ratings and pointed out the Trump Foundation was recently fined by the IRS for violating campaign finance rules, but he didn’t mention the most current of events, which is that the New York Attorney General sent the Trump Foundation a cease-and-desist order, meaning it can disperse dollars but can’t for the moment solicit donations, due the organization’s failure to register itself properly with the state.
But even with all the opportunities missed, Sen. Kaine – who often interrupted both Gov. Pence and the debate moderator – seized on the most important one, which was highlighting that Mr. Trump’s speech and antics during this campaign is indefensible – and for accomplishing that feat, the aggressor, in my opinion, won.
Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™
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