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The men who might be king.

October 5, 2016

The Kaine-Pence debate probably didn’t break viewing records. In fact, the usual group of debate watchers gave it an almost unanimous pass.

That might have been a little short-sighted.

For a couple of guys who were promoted as being mild-mannered, even didactic policy wonks, Pence and Kaine kinda went off script.

Predictable in tone and message?  Yes.  Boring?  No.

Maybe it’s just too much to ask of any moderator person to keep any of the candidates in line, but the first 10 minutes sounded like an old 1950s dial-tuned radio when it’s just slightly off the station and you get bleed-over from another station. It was hard to understand what either man was saying.

At first, I thought that was just another instance of an unskilled moderator.

As the debate chugged along, it seemed that the moderator person had been carefully rehearsed too.

I didn’t bother to count how many times Kaine stridently interrupted Governor Pence, but of course someone did, and it turns out it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 times. Most of the time the moderator either couldn’t or didn’t want to shut him down.

I did notice that the moderator person didn’t seem to have any problem shutting Pence off every time he tried to turn the exchange back to Clinton’s character, policy or policy failures, sometimes even stepping on Pence’s allotted time to do it.

I don’t know who the pollsters will pick as the winner.  Personally I’d take Pence over Kaine, but that’s just me. I thought Kaine was awfully busy trying to defend the indefensible and deflect from the obvious.

Plus, Pence didn’t creep me out. There was a tweet apparently re-tweeted by DJT that compared Kaine to a movie villain.  I could see why.  What is it about Democrats that gives them all that over-exaggerated sneering, smug expression?

Predictably, every time something like a comparison of policies came up, it was back to  “Did you hear what Trump said (or did)?”

That’s getting beyond thin as a strategy. At some point you have to be for something.

As far as any new ground being plowed, forget it.

What Governor Pence did do was to model the way you handle a campaign that attacks because it has nothing to brag about, and he did it well.

Why does it matter any way, you may be asking.

Well, there is that whole “heartbeat away from the presidency” thing.

That doesn’t mean the vice-presidency is only relevant to Democrats.

Every good commander needs good noncoms.

Donald Trump’s greatest strength is his business experience, and in business the CEO doesn’t do routine tasks, he (or she) provides the vision. The good CEOs put together a good team, gives them a goal or goals to achieve and then gets out of the way.

If the longevity stars don’t align for whoever wins the White House, one of these two men could extend a presidency considerably by virtue of the dynamics of the Presidential Succession Act.

Senator Kaine seems to be the classic big money, big government liberal, making him good enough to score an extra atta-boy this week from his party.

Pence has the virtue of being just enough different from Trump to provide leavening for the yeast, and somehow you sense that he wouldn’t go off the rails should history tap him on the shoulder.

The snap polls were, as they always are, about who the people voting wanted to win, not who actually won.

Later in the week we’ll get some more “normal” polling, but all that aside, last night’s anything but boring event just proved that you don’t want to blink even at this late date.

From → op-ed

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