Did you know that Hillary Clinton got Osama Bin Laden? Did you know that American troops are safe from terrorism because most of them aren’t in Iraq anymore? Did you know that Hillary Clinton’s inspired diplomacy stopped Iran’s nuclear program? This must be true because Tim Kaine said so.
Headline: Mike Pence won. It wasn’t close.
Pence, with a calm demeanor and a smooth, baritone voice was able to make most of his points despite 39 interruptions by Kaine. His answers were more or less complete, and he had a relaxed command of the issues. He did not sound rehearsed.
Tim Kaine, with a nasal, grating tenor voice, was grotesquely over rehearsed. His answer to the first question asked was so obviously rehearsed in content and delivery I exclaimed out loud “he was given the questions beforehand!” His constant, and rude interruptions of Pence were clearly a tactic. His misrepresentations of Donald Trump and Mike Pence were constant, and his smug grin and hyper attitude didn’t wear well.
Elaine Quijano: While some of her questions were pertinent, she avoided any questions about any significant issue harmful to Hillary Clinton. She skipped past Benghazi, the e-mails and the Clinton Foundation. Kaine interrupted Pence 39 times–at the least–while Pence, trying to correct obvious lies, made 19 interruptions. Kaine’s interruptions were loud, long, and aggressive and designed to disrupt Pence. Pence’s interruptions were brief, far apart, and in response to outlandish claims by Kaine. Quijano frequently cut off Pence, and far less frequently cut off Kaine. Any claim of pro-Hillary bias against Quijano can be easily sustained on the evidence.
Much more on this debate, in this space, tomorrow evening. I hope to see you all, gentle readers, then.
Actually, at times, Kaine did.
UPDATE: 10-05-16, 2050 CST: Since the original article was posted, I’ve had the chance to read a variety of pundits. Apart from drooling progressive partisans, there is no question Pence won, and won convincingly. Kaine is being roundly panned for his terrible behavior, and Elaine Quijano is also being panned for acting as a Kaine-Quijano tag team against Pence. She asked eight difficult questions of Pence, and only one of Kaine. I’ve seen sources observing that Kaine interrupted Pence as many as 72 times. I can’t verify that number, but his interruptions were loud, rude, and constant. It’s certainly possible, even likely, he did it more than 70 times. Go here to see a video compilation of the interruptions. Warning: it is so annoying I couldn’t watch more than 10 seconds.
I’ll take just a little more of your time, gentle readers, with some of my observations from last night, dutifully written down as I was watching the debacle.
Early on, Kaine established a pattern of ignoring questions from Quijano in favor of alternately praising Hillary Clinton in terms normally reserved for a deity, and unleashing a blizzard of wild attacks on Donald Trump. He would often say:” I can’t imagine how the Governor can defend this or that,” or words to that effect, accompanied by a smug, insincere smirk of the kind that no doubt caused Trump to label him an evil Batman villain.
Pence remained calm, and for the most part, refused to be drawn into responding to Kaine’s rapid fire insults and charges. This caused some to suggest he was dodging those charges, but had he stopped to answer them, he would have had no time to present his case, which was certainly the Clintonite’s plan. Pence was never able–if he intended it–to point out that Kaine was attacking things Trump may have said, but Hillary’s liabilities are things she has actually done, things that have cost lives and destroyed nations.
Hillary’s economic plan, according to Kaine, amounts to every progressive pipe dream imaginable: free college, income redistribution, soaking the rich with new taxes, raising the minimum wage, and fighting global warning was thrown in there somewhere as well, big government becoming ever bigger. Kaine had no answer about protecting Social Security, while Pence calmly said a Trump Administration would meet our obligations to our seniors.
On law and order, Kaine advocated community policing as a panacea, but there will be no stop and frisk–it upsets criminals–and an emphasis on mental health programs. Oh yes, gun control, lots of gun control, which will stop attacks like Virginia Tech, which is, of course, utter nonsense. Pence mentioned the Fraternal Order of Police endorsement of Trump, vowed to restore law and order, and argued against Kaine and Clinton’s automatically seeing implicit bias in every police officer and agency. He argued for fully investigating all shooting incidents, and against racist agitation. Pence tried to explain why stop and frisk is essential, but Quijano shut him off.
Amazingly, Kaine demanded that cops respect criminals.
On illegal immigration, Kaine’s arguments were utterly predictable: a path to citizenship, no deportations, increased immigration, the usual progressive attempts to import enough Democrat voters for a permanent majority. Pence was far more measured and proposed border security first and foremost, actually advocated enforcing the law, and deporting criminal illegal aliens. He also mentioned the Trump endorsement of the Border Patrol union. Pence also made the argument that the security and safety of Americans must come first in immigration issues. Kaine, as one might expect, disagreed and nearly smirked himself off his chair.
On the rare occasions when Pence interrupted Kaine, Quijano immediately shut him down.
It was on terrorism that Kaine was at his most delusional and bizarre. He kept repeating the Hillary got Bin Laden, and suggested that act essentially ended terrorist threats in the world. The world is much better than eight years ago, and Hillary did it. One of his other constant refrains was that Hillary’s diplomacy stopped Iran’s nuclear program. Even Pence fell into the trap of buying the fiction that Iran is somehow obeying the deal when even the IAEA has stated they are not, and they have no way to verify compliance as Iran refuses inspections. In an example of how progressives twist reality, Kaine argued that Hillary made our troops safer because she removed 100,000 of them from Iraq. Pence managed to point out the removal of those troops caused the fall of Iraq and the rise of ISIS.
One of the few times Pence was able to bring up Hillary’s server, Quijano immediately shut him off, and he let her do it. She did not mention any of Hillary’s criminal scandals or her lies.
Kaine also relentlessly brought up Trump’s supposed non-payment of taxes over and over again, saying that Trump was not supporting our troops. His most disgusting suggestion was when he yelped that Trump didn’t pay taxes “the year of 9-11” as though Trump was somehow responsible or not paying taxes that year was somehow morally reprehensible. Pence never responded completely effectively to Kaine on this issue, yet all he needed to do was explain the tax is on income, hence “income tax.” When one makes no income, there is no tax. When one loses huge amounts of money, the law allows one to catch up so they can make money again and pay taxes on their income.
On Syria and Russia, Pence made many telling points, and Kaine mostly sat there squirming and grimacing, desperate to change the subject, interrupting when he could.
When Pence momentarily squeezed in a little about the Clinton Foundation, Quijano was absolutely desperate to stop him. Bizarrely, Kaine suggested that the Clinton Foundation spent most of its money on charity and was more highly rated than the Red Cross. In actuality, the foundation spends only about 6% of its funds on charity. The rest goes to cronies and travel and expenses for the Clintons, which was Kaine was barely able to mention.
I’m afraid I must agree with most pundits. Pence should be running for president, but the debate will likely do little to change any votes. Progressives are willing to vote for Hillary Clinton no matter what revelations come up between now and November 8. The race remains Trump’s to lose, and much will depend on the next debate. That one will change minds, but primarily against Trump.