The 2016 presidential running mates, Tim Kaine and Mike Pence, held their only vice presidential debate tonight. Here are a few brief thoughts:


After a shaky start, this debate had the important, substantive policy debate this election needs. They covered immigration, refugees, policing, terrorism, Syria, Russia, jobs and even Social Security.

After the presidential debate focused on the candidates’ personalities, there was hope the vice presidential debate would focus on policy. But there was a concern the scandals on the top of the tickets could overshadow the policy issues. Thankfully, those instances were limited.

That’s not to say it was perfect. Forcing an entire election’s worth of policy debate into one night still makes for a shallow policy debate. But something is better than nothing.

Aggressive Kaine

Some of the instant debate reaction on Twitter focused on how surprising it was to see Kaine interrupting Pence so often. To be sure, in a debate setting, interrupting doesn’t come across well.

But perhaps the White House could use an aggressive vice president. The vice president is a close adviser to the president and an influential member of their administration. That’s not the type of person that should just roll over in private if the president is wrong.

It’s possible Pence is more aggressive in private with Donald Trump than he was in the debate with Kaine. Especially with all the questions about Trump’s qualifications for the presidency, it would be good to know if Pence is aggressive in correcting any misconceptions Trump has about governing.

Pence hammers Kaine on foundation, emails

Also from the Washington Examiner

Gov. Mike Pence hammered Sen. Tim Kaine Tuesday during the vice presidential debate over controversies stemming from Hillary Clinton’s time as secretary of state, highlighting the Democratic nominee’s stuggle to earn the trust of voters in either party.

“The reason the American people don’t trust Hillary Clinton is because they are looking at the pay-to-play politics that she operated with the Clinton Foundation through a private server while she was secretary of state and they’re saying, ‘Enough is enough,'” Pence said.

Donald Trump’s running mate tried thrice to attack Clinton on the conduct of her family’s foundation and the classified information on her email server.

10/04/16 11:07 PM

Role reversal

Who would win if the running mates were on top of the ticket?

No one thinks that way when deciding whom to vote for. Sadly, no one polls on, “Whom would you vote for if the presidential race were between Kaine and Pence?”

But it’s still an interesting question. Pence does have a better favorability rating than Kaine and is more well-known. Pence has a +5.6 percent net favorability rating, while Kaine has a +2.1 percent rating.If the two were running in an alternate universe, it doesn’t mean Pence would win, but it does suggest he’d have an edge.

Jason Russell is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.

MSNBC's Chris Matthews: Pence 'winner,' Kaine 'desperate'

Also from the Washington Examiner

Liberal MSNBC host Chris Matthews dubbed Republican Mike Pence the winner of the election’s only vice presidential debate.

Matthews said on Tuesday night, immediately after the debate was over, that GOP nominee Donald Trump’s running-mate came across as a “grown-up” and credible on conservative issues.

“[O]verall I think the winner tonight, in terms of the debate and what they were trying to accomplish, Pence,” said Matthews. “Because Pence really was solid. He looked like he had his head screwed on. And I think that’s going to look very important for Trump who doesn’t often look like he has his head screwed on.”

He said, though, that Democrat Tim Kaine, vice presidential nominee for Hillary Clinton, didn’t fare as

10/04/16 11:01 PM

Kaine, Pence spar over Clinton, Trump in heated VP debate

Top Story

Their mission during tonight’s debate— more than anything — is to make voters take notice.

10/04/16 5:32 PM

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