During the Vice Presidential (VP) Debate on Oct. 4, 2016, candidates Governor Mike Pence (R-Indiana) and Senator Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) failed to impress viewers. These candidates were supposed to show America who was the best man to be “a heartbeat away from the Presidency.” Neither managed to reassure the voters.
Instead, each Presidential candidate is shouting far and wide that their running mate was the winner of the dismal debate. Donald Trump boasts that his man did so well that he is being praised for selecting Pence to join his ticket. Whereas, Hillary Clinton touts Kaine’s success, as amazing.
The Washington Post stated that the Democratic Vice Presidential candidate was highly praised by Clinton. According to a tweet posted by Abby D. Phillip, the former Secretary of State spoke with Kaine over the phone and her aid indicated that the conversation was a “love fest.”
Trump told fans in a rally near Las Vegas, Nevada: “Mike Pence did an incredible job [during the debate] and I’m getting a lot of credit because that’s really my first so-called choice – that was my first hire,” according to The Wall Street Journal. Naturally, the man is taking credit for Pence’s performance.
Although the polls indicate that Pence won the debate, neither man managed to impress citizens of their ability to run the country if elected and the President became incapacitated or died. The CBS debate moderator, Elaine Quijano, asked this question in the beginning of the debate.
Instead, Pence avoided answering questions and had to be redirected several times in the 90-minute event. Kaine behaved as though he were Trump’s veep choice with his continuous interruptions and argumentative behavior.
CNS News had a focus group of undecided voters, and even though the majority of them thought that Trump’s man was effective, none stated that they had made up their minds.
Who Really Lost the Debate
The American voters were the true losers of the night. Chris Cillizza, a writer for The Washington Post wrote: “I am not big on declaring that this or that thing was bad for the electoral process and/or democracy.” In his opinion, the debate was super depressing and difficult to watch.
Cillizza wants to know what the general public thought about the constant interruptions by Kaine and Pence totally avoiding answering questions. The political writer says that he loves “this stuff more than anyone [he knows]” and he was bored.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Vice Presidential debate ratings have not been so low since 2000. The Neilson reports tally was only 37 million viewers tuned in to watch Pence and Kaine attempt to convince voters to choose their ticket on November 8. It was the least-watched veep debate since Dick Cheney and Joe Lieberman enticed only 29 million people to listen to their face off.
The low numbers were surprising since the debate between Trump and Clinton garnered 84 million viewers on Sept. 26, according to Neilson data. Perhaps the lower numbers for the only VP showdown is due to voters’ irritation with the campaign in general.
The Lesser of Two Evils
It is not uncommon for people to complain about political candidates, especially from far-right and far-left voters. Many people have complained in the past elections that they had to choose between the lesser of two evils. Yet this year, neither Clinton nor Trump have secured the trust of the American public.
Yard signs are typically used by candidates to get the word out. However, this year the signs read: “Everybody Sucks 2016; The U.S. is doomed. 16sucks.com,” and another that lists voting options; Hillary, Donald, or None with the last checked off are prominently displayed in yards.
Bored Panda posted photos of signs that bring groans and guffaws. The site has 33 of them. Not one is positive. One suggests that voting for a Muppet would be as effective as any vote, another says “Dump Trump; #dumpacrossanerica. Yet another touts Palin and Voldemort for 2016; “Why settle for the lesser of two evils?” Even a Lithuanian artist joined in with a painting on the side of a building depicting Trump and Vladimir Putin embracing in a passionate kiss.
Vice Presidential Candidates Failed
The moderator of the debate cited the statistics demonstrating voters’ dissatisfaction with each Presidential candidate. Quijano asked Kaine to defend Clinton after stating that 60 percent of those polled do not think she is trustworthy. She then asked Pence to defend Trump. She stated that 67 percent of voters feel Trump is a risky choice and 65 percent believe he does not have the right temperament for the presidency.
Yet neither man was able to clearly identify why voters should choose their running mate. The candidates had this one opportunity to convince America that they would be effective representatives for the United States. Both Kaine and Pence failed to impress during the Vice Presidential debate.
By Cathy Milne
The Washington Post: Winners and losers from the vice-presidential debate
The Washington Post: Hillary Clinton is WAY overcompensating for Tim Kaine’s poor debate performance
The Wall Street Journal: Donald Trump Says He’s Getting ‘A Lot of Credit’ for Mike Pence’s Debate Performance
The Wall Street Journal: Vice-Presidential Debate Ratings Lowest Since 2000
Bored Panda: 12+ Funny Voting Signs Express What People Really Think About These Elections
2016 Election Central: 2016 Presidential Debate Schedule
Featured Image Courtesy of Phil Roeder’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
First Inset Image Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Second Inset Image Courtesy of joelrivlin’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License