Veepmania 2016: Armageddon: Pence versus Kaine: The Battle For Air Force Two!

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Ordinary Times. Relapsed Lawyer, admitted to practice law (under his real name) in California and Oregon. On Twitter, to his frequent regret, at @burtlikko. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.

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43 Responses

  1. LeeEsq says:

    Mike Pence’s actual beliefs might not be to my taste or preference but they are certainly hotter and spicier than vanilla. I see him more as Mexican chili chocolate ice cream. Kain is a vanilla Democratic politician though.Report

  2. Kolohe says:

    The crosstalk is making me hate both of them.

    I mean, did Kaine look at how Trump interupted constantly and say ‘wow great idea!’Report

  3. Kolohe says:

    You know what would have been a good debate? Cheney v Biden.Report

  4. Kolohe says:

    The CBS split screen makes it look like Kaine has a nametag with the name ‘LIVE’Report

  5. Kolohe says:

    Kaine is finishing strong, this should have been his tone from the beginning.Report

  6. Saul Degraw says:

    So @kolohe does not feel like he is in a conversation with himself….

    I am not sure if Pence counts as a conservative-but-not crazy Republican. He seems to be on the vanguard of a lot of the current mass resistance to social change in the GOP but he is also a bit of a coward and ends up backing down:

    • Kolohe in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I like Tim Kaine a lot better than Mike Pence. I did not like Debate Tim Kaine better than Debate Mike Pence.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Kolohe says:

        Vox seems to think that if this were a debate for a Senate seat in Ohio, Pence would have won in a landslide.

        Vox (via someone else’s tweet) theorized that Kained is sincerely running for Veep and Pence is running for President in 2020.

        Kevin Drum and Slate think Kaine scored good points.Report

        • Mo in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          The Vox quote sounds about right. If you score the debate by who came out looking better, it was easily Pence. If you score it by who helped their campaign more, it’s easily Kaine. The story for the next 3 days will be:

          1. Video of Kaine saying something
          2. Video of Pence saying “Not true” or shaking his head
          3. Video of Trump or Pence doing what Kaine said

          Kaine comes off looking like an a-hole, but he helped his ticket.Report

        • Kolohe in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          I agree with (I think it was) Silver that Kaine will probably win the post debate spin, as the facts Pence did peddle were somewhat short on truthiness and Pence was too many times ask to defend indefensible (i.e Trump statements) for him to handle them all.Report

  7. Kazzy says:

    I like that one candidate saying to another candidate, “You are wrong to compare yourself to that other person,” was pushing the envelope. How quaint!Report

  8. Will Truman says:


  9. trizzlor says:

    Interesting to see all the National Review posts talking about how Pence won while admitting that he couldn’t defend Trump or the campaign’s vision. These things really are a beauty pageant. I especially liked this conclusion from Jim Geraghty:

    You could see it in the immediate post-debate commentary predicting that the fact-checkers will rip apart Pence for his seeming obliviousness to Trump’s more incendiary statements. Of course, those fact-checks have to dominate the post-debate discussion. We couldn’t have Kaine’s insufferable interjections and Pence’s confident performance dominate the news cycle for the rest of the week, now could we?

    Yes, it’s a real shame the MSM is going to focus on Pence’s lies and omissions instead of Kaine’s rudeness. Maybe a couple more years in the wilderness will be good thing for these guys after all.Report

  10. Damon says:


    I was a jujitsu class. My time was spent more wisely.

    Although the NPR summary and “selected voter” discussion of folks from AZ had an interesting point. Both seemed to agree on keeping Syrian refugees out. “If we can’t vet them, we won’t let them in”. Since we can’
    t, team HRC and team Trump agree not to let them in. Consensus, even in these troubled times. Woot democracy.Report

  11. Burt Likko says:

    I was wise to do other things, evidently.

    The NPR post-mortem this morning was an interesting editorial choice: a panel of Catholic voters in Arizona. They seemed equally divided on the proper role of faith guiding the actions of public officials. But it also seemed like one voter out of those four found enough solace in Pence’s positions to overcome her distaste for Trump.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to Burt Likko says:


      Slate and Vox believe Pence won the debate but only by lying and distancing himself from Trump. I believe that Vox said Pence threw Trump under the bus.

      Arizona was always likely red. 538 has Ohio back as more likely than not Democratic and Iowa is lightly red but now back to toss-up after a few weeks of likely being Trump but a safe margin. Florida is getting more solidly Democratic closer to election day.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Slate and Vox believe Pence won the debate but only by lying and distancing himself from Trump. I believe that Vox said Pence threw Trump under the bus.

        I didn’t watch the debate and haven’t read any reports of the “who won and why” variety, but I’ll throw this judgment out anyway: the only measure of who won the debate as it pertains to the general election is restricted to one thing: figuring out which way the vote-gathering needle moved. From that perspective, Pence’s lying and distancing might actually get more votes for Trump than doing the opposite (or anything else, perhaps), in which case his performance should be regarded as a success. And by that measure, he won if he did a better job of gaining votes than Kaine did.Report

  12. Kim says:

    Keeny Beany all the way.Report

  13. Jesse Ewiak says:

    I saw polling showing that people liked Pence more, but thought Kaine had a better command of the issues. Which I think shows both people had different goals – Pence was acting like he was unaware of this Donald Trump person that was running for President and acting like generic Republican while Kaine was on the job trying to make multiple ads for the Clinton team by contrasting Trump & Pence.Report

  14. dragonfrog says:

    You know, you all were wasting your time – you could have read the result of the debate over an hour before it started, and gotten on with your evening.

  15. DensityDuck says:

    The whole thing did provide some justification for the belief that a Trump Presidency would have him as a figurehead, with the actual policy work done by Pence and the Cabinet.Report

  16. Pinky says:

    Air Force Two should have been the sequel to Air Force One. Harrison Ford has to fight his way through terrorists to save his VP Glenn Close. Tell me that wouldn’t have worked.Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to Pinky says:

      I guess — if they were going to do it today, though, it’d be a new POTUS/VPOTUS. And the VP would fight her way out of the terrorism threat on her own, while no one knows what’s happening with the President. I’m thinking Michelle Rodriguez, maybe, or Julianne Moore.Report

    • Mo in reply to Pinky says:

      The plot of Air Force Two is that the Veep has to get to the funeral of a former British foreign secretary because if he doesn’t … the widow will be very disappointed.Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to Mo says:

        So along the way, does the Vice President:

        a) Learn a valuable lesson about life, honesty, and trust?
        b) Experience screwball hijinks?
        c) Rediscover his youthful idealism?
        d) Kick some inoffensively white terrorist’s ass?Report