Top 5 Takeaways from the Vice Presidential Debate
Before I get to my takeaways, I have a few separate thoughts. Since the debate, media and analysis sources have released hyperpolarized perspectives of the vice presidential debate. When did news turn into glorified opeds? Based on reporting there are clear preferences of candidates and for anyone who didn’t actually watch the debate, the information you are absorbing is skewed, including from this post. To reiterate from the last debate, I am traditionally a conservative but have not endorsed a candidate this election cycle.
We can’t talk about this debate without talking about their strategies. Kaine entered the rink as a bully and his only mission was to mudsling against Trump. This was clear in his incessant interruptions and forceful insults against the Trump/Pence campaign. It was almost as if he was taking lessons from Trump himself. Pence needed to remain calm and be the complete opposite of his running-partner. Pence was cool, collected and sincere; personally, I would consider voting for him if he was the head of the ticket.
Immigration: Kaine talked about how we are a nation of immigrants. If he had stopped there, it would have been a nice thought but he didn’t. Instead he said that we have absorbed many immigrants into our society that were at one time very unpopular, like the Irish. This got me thinking: the immigrants in question are illegal. Yes, the Irish may have been unpopular but they came here through the naturalization process and were legally citizens of the USA. I’m not saying I know the solution but the first step is to understand that this is a different categorization of people.
Terrorism: Kaine argued that the threat of terrorism has decreased since Osama bin Laden has died. This is simply not true. While OBL was a significant threat, the global jihad has drastically changed since 9/11. Additionally, Kaine repeatedly brought up Hillary Clinton as the hero against Iran’s nuclear program and we have discussed already that that statement is 100% false.
Russian Reset: this was a clear win for Pence. The Clinton/Kaine campaign has continued to talk about how Trump “praised” Putin but it backfired last night. Pence walked the audience through the last 5 years or so of violence in the Middle East and Russia’s political theaters of influence. There was nothing Kaine could do to come back from that, at least in the eyes of someone who has dedicated some time to understanding the region.
While I think Pence did quite a good job, I think Trump’s live-tweeting during the debate undermined his efforts. I heard some commentary that accurately said that Trump was retweeting insults about Kaine while Pence was dodging questions about his insults.