October 5, 2016

Ripped From The Headlines: Kaine Interrupts To Obscure Clinton’s Failed Record

After the Vice Presidential debate, Senator Tim Kaine has been judged to be the clear loser. Unfortunately for his running mate Hillary Clinton, the reason Kaine was judged the loser of the only Vice Presidential debate reflects poorly on her own presidential candidacy.

Kaine couldn’t defend Hillary Clinton’s failed record at the State Department or her scandal-filled time after she left Foggy Bottom. When the subject turned to the Clinton Foundation or Clinton’s private email server, Kaine only had hot air and lies. The headlines coming out of the debate clearly reflect that fact:

Business Insider: “Tim Kaine Couldn’t Stop Interrupting Mike Pence During The Vice Presidential Debate”

McClatchy: “Kaine Interrupts And Attacks; Pence Holds Steady And Deflects”

Washington Post: “Arguments, Crosstalk And Zingers: Tim Kaine’s Night As Interrupter In Chief”

Washington Post: “Tim Kaine Seemed Like He Was Trying Too Hard At The VP Debate”

Kaine settled on a strategy of interrupting Governor Pence because of the many liabilities he had to defend. According to USA Today, Kaine could not defend Hillary Clinton’s scandals and failed record during the debate:

“If anything, time and again he was pushed onto defense over the Clinton email scandal, the entanglements of the Clinton Foundation, or the spread of ISIL under President Obama’s watch.”

Significantly, Kaine had poor moments because as a candidate of the status quo, he was on the defensive when it was pointed out how bad the status quo is:

“Kaine struggles with change election. Clinton and Kaine are favored to win. If they do, it will be in spite of their resumes. Both are long on government service and running in the year of the outsider. That dynamic was abundantly clear on Tuesday night as Kaine twisted to defend the status quo, often setting up Pence for some of his strongest moments.”

Ominously for his own future, Kaine’s poor performance not only damaged Clinton, but his own “authenticity”:

“At the vice-presidential debate here Tuesday, however, Kaine turned in a performance that threatened to undermine the image of authenticity that has been one of his greatest strengths.”

Finally, Kaine’s failed strategy of interrupting was exacerbated by the fact that when it was actually his own legitimate time to speak, he relied on corny one-liners that fell flat:

“Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine came to Tuesday’s vice presidential debate armed with an arsenal of prepared zingers. Hillary Clinton’s running mate levied a series of canned pithy attack lines against Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on everything from jobs to Trump’s Twitter wars to Vladimir Putin. It’s a well-worn strategy for these kinds of debates, though none of the lines landed with the kind of punch that past debate zingers have.”

Kaine’s poor performance means that Sunday’s presidential debate takes on added importance. Clinton will have troubles if she fails, like her running mate, to find ways to obfuscate on her real record.