Tonight is the vice presidential debate between Democratic nominee Senator Tim Kaine (VA) and Republican nominee Governor Mike Pence (IN). Most reporters are expecting this to be a boring affair rather than the one between the main contenders that elicited responses from the audience that had been instructed not too react. No one expects that tonight, despite the differences between them.
After 16 months of the political equivalent of Burning Man, voters will likely get a night at the bingo hall Tuesday when the two vice presidential candidates debate in what many expect to be a drowsy affair.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) represent perhaps the blandest pair of veep candidates in a generation. Neither is well-known to voters, and both men have folksy, ho-hum dispositions that make them easy to overlook in the current political climate. But their meeting in Farmville, Virginia, is still a matter of interest, and not just because their running mates aren’t exactly the picture of youth (one recently had a bout of pneumonia, and the other is an overweight 70-year-old man clearly suffering from sleep deprivation).
Vice presidential debates, by definition, are a second-string event. And they’re always scheduled between presidential debates, which tend to overshadow them. But they can affect an election just the same. [..]
For Pence, a man who has forsworn negative ads and built his reputation on Christian conservatism, playing the kind of pugilistic role that Biden assumed in 2012 might prove to be a challenge. But it’s the challenge he bears, with the Trump campaign still reeling from a disastrous first debate.
With Kaine, the objective ― beyond simply demonstrating his competence on the national stage ― is less clear. Democrats expect him to continue putting the spotlight on Donald Trump’s blemishes, defend Hillary Clinton from the inevitable attacks and leave the stage unscathed.
It will be tricky. It could produce drama. But it also could very well be forgettable.
Boring or not, you need to watch this. It’s an important debate