Tim Kaine and Mike Pence will be on the stage tonight, but Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will be looming large. How the debate goes depends largely on the moderator, CBS News correspondent, Elaine Quijano.
She’s not well known and therefore it is difficult to gauge where she’s going to go. But her questions will drive the debate. Therefore, it’s going to be interesting to see where she takes. Will she:
- Reference the policies of the presidential candidates and ask Pence and Kaine to defend those policies?
- Talk about emails, birtherism, abortion, FBI investigations, border walls, corrupt foundations, etc?
Chances are, there will be plenty of the latter. Instead of a policy debate, it will devolve into a back and forth over which presidential candidate is less corrupt and which one is less fit to be President. They will both be going after the top of the ticket, more than anything else.
One thing about Mike Pence is, he won’t be drawn into a trap the way Trump was with Hillary. Pence is smart and will be sure to turn every attack against Trump back on Hillary even if Quijano doesn’t ask direct questions about Hillary’s emails and the FBI investigation. If the discussion becomes about Trump’s taxes, Pence will be smart enough to bring up Hillary’s absurd speaking fees for which she made tens of millions and won’t let anybody see.
Pence however, will be on the defensive. Kaine no doubt bring up Trump’s idea about banning Muslims, the Mexican border wall and Trump’s birtherism.
Kaine on the other hand, will have to answer for some of Hillary’s dashes to the far left and how he has adopted those positions now that he is the vice presidential nominee.
The elephant in the room? Benghazi.
Will Mike Pence bring it up? We shall see.