The one, and only, vice presidential debate will be held tomorrow at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia.
While vice presidential debates are normally as exciting as watching paint dry on a wall and as useless as an ejection seat in a helicopter, this debate between Republican Mike Pence and Democrat Tim Kaine could prove the exception to the rule.
Historically, vice presidential debates don’t move the needle much. A review of voter preferences before and after the eight vice presidential debates held between 1976 and 2008 “reveals that past vice presidential showdowns have had almost no influence,” a Gallup analysis found.
But it is safe to say there is nothing normal about this year’s presidential contest.
If for no other reason, it will be fun to watch the deeply religious Mike Pence defend someone being labeled the most vile, despicable and morally bereft candidate ever to seek the White House.
Mike Pence, if you recall, is the Indiana governor who signed one of the nation’s most odious anti-LGBT bills into law. All in the name of “religious freedom,” of course!
If we’re lucky, we may be treated to Lloyd Bentsen moment.
For all those too young to remember, Lloyd Bentsen was Michael Dukakis’s running mate in 1988. During the vice presidential debate with George H. W. Bush’s VP pick, Dan Quayle, Bentsen delivered one of the most memorable zingers of all time.
The young, unseasoned Dan Quayle foolishly likened his political experience to that of John F. Kennedy in one of his answers.
Not skipping a beat, Bentsen brilliantly retorted,” “I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.”
Proving that vice presidential debates do not amount to a hill of beans, even Bentsen’s winning performance against the dim-witted Quayle could not help Dukakis win the election.
If the Clinton campaign has any sense, it will advise Kaine to speak as little as possible. Let Pence try to defend the indefensible.
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