"The first duty of a man is to think for himself."
The one and only Vice Presidential Debate takes place tonight. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia will face Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana. As a democrat, and a self described politics and news junkie, I was well aware of him and his record in Virginia. He has served as a City Councilman, Mayor, Lieutenant Governor, Governor, and Senator. While Mike Pence has been a Congressman and Governor. Both men have served their respective parties, apparently to the satisfaction of their constituents. Although Governor Pence ruffled some feathers a while back in his home state. You can learn about it for yourself here. I don't need to throw in my two cents, you can probably guess by now how I feel about things.
What I am thinking about today, is really about how it's a fine line that a vice president walks, when it comes to their own personal stands on issues that sometimes contradicts or at least perhaps doesn't quite match the stands of the people they agree to support. In this case, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. As a democrat, I have learned a lot more about Tim Kaine, then I have about Mike Pence, it's just the nature of things. As much as I love politics, and I do, I simply can't learn every detail, about every politician in America! So, I have spent a little time getting to know who Mike Pence is. And what I found suprised me!
As much as he supports Donald Trump, he has veered away from some of Trump's most controversial decisions, such as choosing to release his personal tax returns, while Donald Trump will have none of it. I can admire that. He is a better spoken individual, choosing his words more carefully, and he shows no real sign of the off putting bombastic behavior of Trump! What he does do is follow behind Trump with a broom, sweeping away the stupid lies Trump tells himself, and his supporters. He seems to be quite the spin artist, and I find myself feeling sorry for him, more than I do most of the other spin artists that serve at the pleasure of Trump. What choice does he have? Someone has to try to make Trump make sense!
Tim Kaine is... well... rational. He is well spoken and he manages to support Clinton with a easy, non-forced assurance of a man comfortable with his choices. I don't always get that from Pence. But I don't feel like I can really blame that on Pence, because Trump has been a hand full even for his most ardent supporters and surrogates. I don't think Trump/Pence are on the same level as Clinton/Kaine when it comes to political theory. There are differences, but their support is unwavering, and Kaine has had to do little in the way of sweeping up after Clinton's gaffs.
I think tonight will be the meeting of two career politicians, both talented in their own ways, and both more than capable to behaving like the adult men they are. Here is the difference... if Mike Pence comes out, and sticks to the issues without lunging into a Trump-like tantrum, like the one Trump threw at the first debate, will it move voters to the Trump side? And what will Kaine do to set himself apart from Pence to strengthen the poll numbers for Hillary Clinton?
I don't know.
We won't know until later tonight I guess. Right now I think Tim Kaine has the clear edge. Nationwide Hillary is enjoying a 5 point lead over Trump, mostly because of Trump's personal emploding. Fat shaming beauty queens at 3 in the morning. Taking pot shots at Rosie O' Donnell. Hinting that she has been unfaithful to Bill Clinton, you know the laundry list. But Pence hasn't really engaged in this behavior, he is simply the clean-up man. It's not a great way to think of a potential future vice president, but what can I do? That is what's happening, and Trump only has himself to blame for that perception.
Leaf Of The Day
October 4th, 2016
Fun Fact: Tonight's debate is being held in Farmville,Virginia. My mother's hometown!