Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Second thoughts on the response to the VP debate

Here on the morning after the Vice Presidential debate, pundits' reaction are falling into two camps.  Those who are judging it on the content of what was said think Kaine did the better job.  He landed blow after blow against Trump, with Pence failing (or unable) to defend Trump.   This group also focuses on number of lies and debunked distortions that Pence made -- which will be the subject of post-debate discussion.

On the other hand, those who judged it more on process and demeanor praised Pence's calm, presidential demeanor -- especially in what that conveyed to Republican party elites who are so uneasy voting for Trump.  And those people were critical of Kaine's aggressively interrupting Pence and his seeming unease.

I empathize with Kaine, because what got him so animated and led to his interrupting was the need for a fact-checker on Pence.   Kaine was trying to get in all that fact- checking as well as making the positive points about Clinton's policy positions.  Bottom line for me:   While the Pence-favoring ones have a point about demeanor, I will stick with the content-oriented truth-teller, Tim Kaine.

The bottom line, politically, is that Vice Presidential debates rarely make any difference in the course of the race.   There is another Clinton-Trump debate coming up five days later, and this one will be forgotten by then.


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