Last night, voters got to see their vice-presidential candidates – Democrat Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia and Republican Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana – face off for the one and only time this election cycle.
While Kaine had some issues with style (the interrupting from the get-go was a bit off-putting), he did what he needed to do. And that was bring up all the distasteful things Trump has said throughout the campaign, which Pence tried to deny.
Pence was successful in looking calm and presidential, hoping to tamp down some of the fallout from last week’s first presidential debate where his running mate Donald Trump ran off the rails a bit.
As an LGBT advocate, I was disappointed that Kaine didn’t take an opportunity to highlight Pence’s virulently anti-LGBT record, which I’ve documented many times here on The Randy Report. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow felt the same way.
It did seem Kaine got under Pence’s skin a bit by bringing up Trump’s anti-Mexican comments. At one point Pence turned to Kaine and said, “You whipped out that Mexican thing again,” which immediately became an Internet meme.
The CNN/ORC poll right after the debate showed Pence won by a narrow margin. A CNN focus group of undecided voters, however, felt Kaine was the victor.
However, when it came to who defended their running mate better, Kaine won by a wide margin.
In the end, I don’t think the debate will move the needle much in either direction. As others have said, Pence helped Pence while Kaine helped Clinton. Kaine knew exactly what he was doing.
Kaine’s pugnacious performance made it possible to produce videos like the two below, which are devastating to the Trump/Pence campaign.
6. In the end, Kaine enable the Hillary campaign to produce this video, which is devastating pic.twitter.com/lAcAxI2n1U
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) October 5, 2016