Mike Pence 2020 got off last night to a strong start!
With the second presidential debate only a few days away, last night’s vice presidential debate was like the undercard match of the big PPV fight. But instead of two hungry upstarts, you got Mike Pence and Tim Kaine. Hey we paid for the match, might as well watch the undercard! Here’s some important takeaways from last night’s vice presidential debate!
Winning the Battle, While Losing the War
It was hard not to be impressed by Mike Pence’s performance during the vice presidential debate. Throughout the night Pence presented a view of Republicanism through a steady tone and temperament that hasn’t been presented in 2016. It was overall, a strong showing. The only problem however, Pence essentially did this to Donald Trump and his policies:
Pence did more for trying to advance the Republican platform as a whole – hawkish on international relations, pushing conservative fiscal ideas – than necessarily making the case for why Trump should be president. It was most definitely… strange. At times it looked as if Pence wasn’t aware that Donald Trump was his running mate!
When the debate was over, Pence presented a vision of what the Republican Party might look like after Trump, whether that is after a Trump administration or just picking up the pieces of a 2016 loss. In many ways it was a 90-minute defense of conservative policies that while a Trump presidential run does acknowledge, they usually play second fiddle behind Donald Trump the individual.
Last night Pence did a whole lot to preserve and repackage the GOP brand for anyone willing to listen. He presented a vision of the GOP after Trump fades from the political limelight. Which is great for the Republican nominee running in 2020, however not so great for the guy running in 2016.
In Politics, Truth is Relative
— Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) October 5, 2016
Also let’s not kid ourselves here. Mike Pence continually either lied or refused to acknowledge the things that Donald Trump has said in the past. Part of the reason for his impressive debate performance revolved around his ability to do this the entire debate whenever Trump was mentioned.
Surprisingly, not many media outlets are really nailing Pence on the multiple inaccuracies he talked about throughout the debate. But regardless, it’s a lot easier to be seen as calm and collective when you really don’t acknowledge your running mate’s obvious shortcomings.
“Just Like the Old Gypsy Woman Said!”
— Tom LoBianco (@tomlobianco) October 4, 2016
Some context, the GOP put that story up before the debate even took place! To be fair, Pence did end up being the overall winner of last night’s debate, but still…
The Elephant in the Room
When Hillary Clinton announced Tim Kaine as her vice presidential pick last summer, many pro-choice Democrats had become wary over her choice. After all, Kaine was a pro-life Democrat that personally believed in the sanctity of life. So what did that mean for the pro-choice movement if Clinton were to become president?
Impressively, Kaine tried to attack that very question head-on.
During last night’s VP debate, Kaine used the backdrop of his faith as reasoning for his pro-choice stance politically, even though personally he believes in pro-life. The basic reasoning revolves around his belief that a government servant shouldn’t be enforcing faith based laws. It was an interesting perspective taken by Kaine considering most Democrats frame pro-choice legislation as a woman’s health issue.
It was a refreshingly nuanced view of abortion and faith which is rarely seen in politics. Kaine framed the abortion issue in a way that most Americans can relate to. If they can actually utilize this nuanced view in their presidential campaign, then in a night where Pence looked to have the upper-hand in discussing every policy issue, Kaine (and Clinton) might have come out of this debate the bigger winners.
I Think Everyone on Stage Should Be Applauded for Not Making a “That’s What She Said” Joke
(Photo Credit: C-SPAN, Google Images, Twitter)