There is no question that the calm, cool, collected and very presidential Gov. Mike Pence handily won his vice-presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, against the rude, insulting and frenetic Sen. Tim Kaine. It wasn’t even close.
You don’t have to take my word for it, even the New York Times agreed. In an article titled, Who Won the Debate? Commentators Give Edge to Mike Pence, the times quoted numerous commentators calling the debate for Pence. The Los Angeles Times reports its team of Mark Barabak, Cathleen Decker, and Doyle McManus unanimously gave Pence the win. Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post wrote that “from the very beginning, Pence was the more comfortable of the two men on the debate stage,” while Kaine “started the debate talking so quickly and trying to load so many attacks into every answer that it made it virtually impossible to grasp any one attack.” Bloomberg Politics, in its article, Pence Stays Cool With Kaine On Attack In Running Mate Debate, stated that Pence “deflected the attacks with the kind of discipline Republicans have been urging Donald Trump to display.” You get the idea.
But that was Yesterday, and even though the immediate analysis following Tuesday evening’s debate gave the win to Pence, today the biased media wing of the Democrats’ Party is more circumspect and working on their mulligan. They still give the debate win to Pence, sort of, but the Hillary supporting commentariat now insists that Kaine’s obnoxious and losing performance was actually a big win for Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
The Washington Post writes that though Kaine “may have awakened Wednesday to poor reviews,” his “acerbic performance…revealed that the Clinton campaign’s strategy for these debates extends far beyond the stage.” Both Kaine and Hillary “had a larger goal in mind than winning the debates themselves: to create a series of compelling sound bites that they planned to weaponize for the reminder of the campaign.” Who knew all those “impossible to grasp” attacks were actually planned sound bites?
John Heilemann of Bloomberg Politics said on the CBS Evening News, “I think the Clinton campaign did not see the debate last night as a debate between Tim Kaine and Mike Pence, they saw that debate as a debate between Tim Kaine and Donald Trump. And so, even though Kaine had some problems stylistically, especially in the early going, the Clinton campaign was happy with the degree to which he mercilessly savaged Donald Trump and got a lot of the negative information that they want out there in the ecosystem out on that stage last night.”
And according to today’s New York Times Kaine successfully trained his fire on Trump and exposed Mr. Pence as incapable of defending Mr. Trump on the merits.
NBC’s Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd laid out the main stream media’s mulligan is going to work on Wednesday’s NBC Today. You can watch Todd explain it on the following video clip from this Media Research Center article:
GUTHRIE: What’s the headline from this VP debate? What are we going to take away?
TODD: I think long-term we’ll take away about how Mike Pence did Mike Pence a lot of good. And I think the questions are gonna be, did he, while he gave the Trump campaign a positive headline after eight days of a debacle, did he do enough to defend Trump?
Pence won the 90 minutes and didn’t engage in the back and forth, but in the way the Clinton campaign is gonna be able to say, “Well, wait a minute, he said this, but you were wrong, Trump did say ‘X’ and Trump did say ‘Y.’
LAUER: But that’s all after the moment.
TODD: It’s all after the moment but who’s watching and who wins the post-spin on a VP debate actually could matter.