Pence trumps Kaine in first and only VP debate

Hannah Layden, Contributing Writer

“The lesser of two evils” is a line often thrown around regarding which candidate to vote for in the upcoming election. Often, it has been taken as a joke when people talk about how our country is doomed. The reality is, this election, like those before it, will help shape the next four years of our great nation. Deciding to vote for the lesser of two evils is possibly the worst way to go about choosing the future leader of the free world, and yet a tactic both candidates used in the vice presidential debate on Oct. 4. Regardless of this flawed method, Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence was the clear winner of the debate as his poise, demeanor, and understated way of delivering effective messages to the audience came through.

The debate began in a calmer and more “presidential” manner than the debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump last month did. However, in the first few minutes, it became clear that Pence was more polished and well-spoken, and this continued throughout the majority of the debate.

Pence never directly attacked Kaine, but rather weaved and dodged his way through the 90 minutes. Kaine overtly tried to knock down Pence, but this never came to fruition. Kaine even tried to make an argument that Trump is running an “insult-driven campaign,” to which Pence swiftly turned back onto Clinton and said that in fact, it is her campaign that is driven by “deplorable” insults.

Throughout her campaign, Clinton has made comments not only about Trump himself, but also his supporters at large. You can even see this through the front pages of the two candidates’ campaign websites–Trump praises Pence for winning the debate, while Clinton bashes Pence for being unable to defend Trump.

Kaine spent most of his time condemning Pence for not being able to defend his running mate, to which Pence simply chuckled and shook his head. The truth of the matter is that Pence did defend much of what Trump has said in a more indirect way, including talk of nuclear weapons and Vladimir Putin. Kaine came off as a failed, scripted bully because regardless of what he threw at Pence, the Republican vice presidential nominee responded with a generally reasonable, thought-out answer. Pence continued to artfully deflect Kaine’s attacks.

In the grand scheme of things, this vice presidential debate will do little to sway voters one way or the other. Clinton and Trump supporters will continue to be just that. However, this debate may impact those who are undecided or independent.

This fact may be forgotten in the spectacle of this year’s election, but it’s important to remember that the future vice president of the United States does has a chance of becoming president. If any individuals were looking to this debate to help them solidify a decision about who they want to be the next president and vice president of the United States, they might be more comfortable with Mike Pence in office.

The vice presidential debate had a clear winner in my eyes, but the fate of the election is still up in the air. It is time for people to start thinking critically about who the best leader for this nation is. It is time to think about who will be the next commander-in-chief, appoint the newest Supreme Court justice, and decrease this country’s debt. The future of this country is too important to simply say, “I’m voting for this candidate because the other one is worse.”

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