Tim Kaine’t deliver for Hillary Clinton. We see that now after last night’s ridiculous performance.
I hate watching these things because they make me angry. This one certainly did. Kaine interrupted Pence 72 times by some accounts. The moderator, Elaine Quijano of CBS News, let Kaine do this and even ran interference for him when Pence brought up the email server scandal or the Clinton Foundation. It was outrageous.
Kaine’s strategy was simple: deflect and don’t give specifics on Hillary’s plans. Whenever he was asked something, Kaine tried to work in Trump’s tax returns, remarks about women and Mexican rapists. He alleged Trump has some Russian business interests that make him lean towards dictator Putin. It was the height of absurdity when he claimed that Trump has a kind of Mt. Rushmore with Kim Jong Un, Saddam Hussein and Moammar Khadafy. Kaine also suggested that Trump avoiding paying taxes when he had a business loss meant he didn’t support the military.
He couldn’t have been more absurd.
Kaine’s body language worked against him, too. He looked nervous. He looked mean. At times he would shoot daggers at Pence who, by contrast, was collected. Pence looked amused at times by Kaine, like a father or brother does at a young boy who is having a hissy fit. Pence at times addressed the audience, too, which was forceful. By contrast, Kaine cocked his head at Pence like a bird ready to strike a worm. Offputting.
Kaine’s answers were canned and planned. He used the line that Hillary will tell people ‘you’re hired’ while Trump will tell us ‘you’re fired.’ It was too forced. Frankly, I’d love for Trump to fire a lot of people in Washington.
When Kaine brought up uncomplimentary things Trump has said, Pence had a great response. He wondered how Hillary could insult millions of Americans by calling them deplorable and irredeemable. Touche.
Kaine told plenty of whoppers. He insisted Hillary will vet refugees, even though Pence quoted the FBI director as saying that is impossible. Kaine said he was a strong second amendment supporter, even though he’s with a candidate who wants to strip away our right to bear arms. Kaine said cyber security intelligence keeps us safe. Pence pounced on this, bringing up Clinton’s unsecured server and missing emails only to be stopped by Miss Elaine.
I enjoyed the post debate quips people had. “Kaine the insane” was one, as was “Kaine wreck.” “Able slays Kaine” was another good headline as was “Hurri-Kaine.” “Rude jerk” was a common theme.
Last night hurt the Hillary campaign because most of us are tired of these smug eye rolling liberal types who ooze condescension. They believe they are right and if you don’t agree it’s because you’re stupid. Independents have had enough of that, as have conservatives.
I was surprised that TPP was not discussed much by Pence. But, I can’t fault him for skipping any talking points because he got in about as many as humanly possible in the time he had, especially when Elaine cut him off.
I was surprised, too, that Kaine didn’t hammer Pence over RFRA, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that Pence signed. Indiana got a lot of backlash from it and Pence softened his stance. Surely Kaine could have used it to show how Trump/Pence “hate” gays.
All the online polls I checked easily gave the debate to Pence by about an average of 80%.
Trump can learn from Pence on this one. Sunday he needs to avoid personal attacks, interrupting Hillary and instead focusing on his winning issues. He needs to stay away from the distractions and traps they plan for him. This debate made clear that the Democrats really don’t have a plan for just about any issue.