Pence won the debate in the moment; Kaine will seem more-the-victor in days ahead
|Republican Mike Pence (left) and |
Democrat Tim Kaine (right).
Images via Wikipedia
If we’re talking about who won in the moment, Mike Pence is the definite winner, though he didn’t win with a huge victory. He simply performed better than Tim Kaine. The Democratic nominee certainly had more facts on his side, but he frequently interrupted his opponent and pressed the same issues over and over. In watching the debate live, even I, one of his supporters, had to cringe at Kaine’s performance.
Pence was less factual, but more composed. I tried putting myself in the shoes of an undecided, low-information voter who doesn’t regularly follow politics. Pence just comes off more professional and ready to serve from that perspective.
However, when looking at “who won” from a different perspective, I think Tim Kaine takes the victory. That perspective is from the news fact-checking that is heavily prevalent in our media landscape today. Kaine consistently attacked Pence on the issue of Donald Trump, and asked him to defend Trump’s lewd and questionable statements. Pence refused to defend them, stating several times that Trump didn’t say what Kaine said he did.
As the video below shows (via Hillary Clinton’s Twitter account), that’s just not the case:
And perhaps that was what Kaine was after all along in delivering the same message over and over again. That method of debating makes him seem almost bullyish DURING the debate, but in this age of soundbite politics (coupled with the various fact-checking websites contradicting Pence’s insistence that Trump never said what he actually did say), it creates lasting impressions in the form of videos like those above. In that sense, Kaine is the clear victor TODAY and in the days AFTER the debate.In Mike Pence's defense, we wouldn't want to defend Donald Trump, either. #VPDebate pic.twitter.com/Z2jV6FNzFl— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 5, 2016
Indeed, the vice presidential debate was likely watched by less people than the first presidential debate between Hillary and Donald. It would be better strategy, then, to try and create situations in the VP debate that could be used on the campaign trail (in commercials or otherwise) rather than trying to win the debate in the moment. In that regard, Kaine won.