Vice Presidential Debate 2016

By Leo Charlebois

The 2016 presidential race has truly been an exciting one. Many people feel that both candidates are both unfit to serve as president of the United States. However, this has been said about many candidates of past elections. Mike Pence will be running as Trump’s Vice President and Hillary Clinton has selected Tim Kaine as her running mate.

In such a close race, each candidate’s choice of VP will play a crucial role in determining the next president of the United States. Many people form their voting opinions based upon how the the candidates present themselves in presidential debates. According to political analysts, Hillary’s performance in the presidential debate earned her a significant lead in the polls, therefore it was essential to Trump’s campaign that Mike Pence perform well against Tim Caine in the vice presidential debate.

During the debate, it was expected that Mike Pence will incorporate talking points such as the email scandal and Clinton’s trustworthiness in his responses. While Pence will likely have limited fodder for discussion, Tim Kaine will have a variety of topics to address. Kaine could discuss Trump’s reluctance to release his tax information, verbal abuse of women and minorities, or his intellectual jabs at the rest of the Republican party. Kaine could also bring up the possibility of Trump’s recklessness destroying the foreign relations of the United States.

However, after watching the vice presidential debate, I am surprised to admit that Mike Pence, with his composure and body language, gave a superior performance to Tim Kaine. This debate was unproductive, as both candidate performed at a lower than expected. In my opinion, debates among high schooler contain fewer interruptions and more insightful conversation than this VP debate. Throughout the entire debate, Pence was barely able to get through a sentence without an interruption from Kaine. This made the debate very difficult to follow. Unlike his opponent, Mike Pence respectfully waited his turn to speak by expressing his disagreement with Kaine’s statements through silent head shaking instead of audible interjections.

However, both candidates gave inappropriate responses to the majority of the questions. The mediator had to frequently remind the candidates of the question because their answers were so vague. At one point during the debate the moderator once said, “I’ll remind you that question was about North Korea,” after receiving responses that were completely irrelevant to the question.

Nevertheless, Kaine did have one triumph during the debate when he was successfully to get Pence to admit that he disagreed with many of Trump’s quotes and actions. Also, the majority of statements made by both candidates seemed overly planned. However, although both candidates had poor responses, I believe that most viewers would  consider Mike Pence the winner because of his composure and respectfulness throughout the debate.

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