Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Harmonica Boy Gets A Spanking

The rough-and-tumble of polarized politics was on full display last night during the Vice Presidential Debate.

Both major parties are more cemented in their ideologies than they were a generation ago and there are few signs of partisan swords being turned into plowshares.  Given the divide, I found it remarkable that MSNBC’s Chris Matthews declared Gov. Mike Pence the winner of last night’s debate.
Even CNN’s flash poll declared Pence the winner:
The Business Insider noted Sally Kohn, another liberal CNN commentator, tweeted there "is no question that, for viewers, Pence won this debate.”

Chris Cillizza deigned Kaine a loser in The Washington Post:
“Someone must have told the Virginia senator he needed to always be on his front foot in the debate, always be the aggressor.  It didn't work. Kaine started the debate talking so quickly and trying to load so many Trump attacks into every answer that it made it virtually impossible to grasp any one attack.  In the middle of the debate, Kaine seemed to relax into it—delivering an effective attack on Trump's comments on women. But that Kaine was the exception, not the rule. When he wasn't trying to stuff 10 pounds of attack in a five-pound bag in his answers, he was relentlessly interrupting Pence.  Every single time. [emphasis mine] Pence started to level an attack against Hillary Clinton, Kaine immediately began to talk over him.  I'm not sure if that was on purpose or not, but it didn't come across well—at all. One glaring example:  As Pence was recounting his personal experience on Sept. 11, 2001, Kaine interrupted to say, ‘I was in Virginia.’ Um, okay. Not a good look.”
Elaine Quijano, last night’s moderator chided, “Gentlemen, the people at home cannot understand either one of you when you speak over each other.”

CBS News went back through each section of the debate and counted every time a candidate interrupted his opponent during his two minutes to respond to a question. Here are the results:

Part 1 (Opening statements): 0 Kaine, 0 Pence
Part 2 (Trustworthiness): 6 Kaine, 4 Pence
Part 3 (National debt and Trump’s taxes): 7 Kaine, 5 Pence
Part 4 (Social Security): 2 Kaine, 0 Pence
Part 5 (Law enforcement): 4 Kaine, 2 Pence
Part 6 (Immigration): 5 Kaine, 2 Pence
Part 7 (Terrorism): 9 Kaine, 6 Pence
Part 8 (Syria): 3 Kaine, 4 Pence
Part 9 (Russia): 12 Kaine, 10 Pence
Part 10 (North Korea): 5 Kaine, 1 Pence
Part 11 (Abortion, social issues): 7 Kaine, 3 Pence
Part 12 (Closing statements): 0 Kaine, 0 Pence

Total: 60 Kaine, 37 Pence

Granny Clinton waited to congratulate her running mate until around 11:45 AM Wednesday according to her traveling press secretary Nick Merrill.  I suspect she was elated he didn’t perform a rendition of “Wagon Wheel” on his harmonica.  From the look on Granny’s face she ain’t happy with him one little bit.

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