The Corner

Politics & Policy

Pence Beats Kaine, Kaine Beats Trump

The outcome tonight was what you might have expected: Mike Pence soundly defeated Tim Kaine on every metric that matters, if you were comparing the two men. Pence was more serious, more mature, more knowledgeable, more his own man, more presidential. Kaine came off as small, petty, bent on interruptions, satisfied with the status quo. If Pence’s goal was to make Kaine defend business as usual – defend the corruptions of Hillary Clinton (with the mantra of “there was a full investigation”) and the madness of the Iran deal – he succeeded with flying colors. Kaine fell back again and again on canned lines and corny jokes and ridiculous stretches on Trump’s taxes (hint: tax returns don’t say where your business makes money). He obviously has no informed opinions of his own on foreign affairs. He smiled at inappropriate times, while being utterly without warmth.

And yet, in electoral terms, Kaine probably won. He won not because he was right but because Donald Trump had willingly presented the Democrats with so very many easy targets personal to Trump and unrelated to the rest of the GOP that Pence wisely didn’t even try to defend besides shaking his head. Pence had an impossible task defending Trump, and prudently remained at arms’ length from doing so.

The debate opened with a quote from Lloyd Bentsen, who won the 1988 VP debate going away, yet saw his ticket sunk badly. Perhaps that was an omen.

Dan McLaughlin — Dan McLaughlin is an attorney practicing securities and commercial litigation in New York City, and a contributing columnist at National Review Online.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Kat Timpf Chased Out of Brooklyn Bar

Fox News personality and National Review contributor Kat Timpf was forced to leave a bar in Brooklyn over the weekend after a woman she had never met became enraged upon learning she worked in conservative media. Timpf, who has twice previously been harassed while socializing in New York City, first described ... Read More
Film & TV

The Dan Crenshaw Moment

Given the spirit of our times, things could have gone so differently. On November 3, when Saturday Night Live comic Pete Davidson mocked Texas Republican Dan Crenshaw’s eye patch, saying he looked like a “hit man in a porno movie” — then adding, “I know he lost his eye in war or whatever” — it was a ... Read More
U.S.

The Present American Revolution

The revolution of 1776 sought to turn a colony of Great Britain into a new independent republic based on constitutionally protected freedom. It succeeded with the creation of the United States. The failed revolution of 1861, by a slave-owning South declaring its independence from the Union, sought to bifurcate ... Read More
Elections

Florida’s Shame, and Ours

Conspiracy theories are bad for civic life. So are conspiracies. I wonder if there is one mentally normal adult walking these fruited plains -- even the most craven, abject, brain-dead partisan Democrat -- who believes that what has been going on in Broward County, Fla., is anything other than a brazen ... Read More
Elections

Fire Brenda Snipes

Brenda Snipes, the supervisor of elections in Florida’s Broward County, does not deserve to be within a thousand miles of any election office anywhere in these United States. She should be fired at the earliest possible opportunity. Snipes has held her position since 2003, in which year her predecessor, ... Read More