By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
9:00PM EST at Longwood University, Farmville VA. (Man, I used to play Farmville, back in the day when I didn’t treat Facebook like the plague that it is.) That’s almost now!
Here are some “viewing options”. CBSN digital anchor Elaine Quijano is the moderator; she has not moderated a debate before. The structure is slightly different from the Presidential debates: The 90-minutes event will consist of nine 10-minute segments. Each segment will open with a question from Quijano, which both candidates have two minutes to answer. The remaining six minutes or so will be devoted to followup questions and to a back-and-forth between Mike Pence and Tim Kaine.
Both candidates are midwestern Irish Catholics; Pence converted to evangelical Christianity, and Kaine is said to have been influenced by liberation theology during his time in Honduras volunteering with the Jesuits. Both have, er, ethical challenges in their pasts (Pence; Kaine).
The conventional wisdom seems to be that Kaine and Pence might as well be Paine and Kence, they’re so interchangeable. Says the Wall Street Journal: “Voters and analysts in the home states of Republican Mike Pence and Democrat Tim Kaine expect Tuesday night’s vice-presidential debate to be a comparatively sedate affair, pitting two strait-laced candidates who lack the visibility and the volubility of their running mates.”
I’m not so sure; I remember the story of a Pence rally in Virginia where he gave an hour-long speech in the pouring rain, got soaked to the skin, and the crowd didn’t leave. Clearly, Pence has got game. And Kaine, despite his foxy grin and nice-guy demeanor, got in some pretty good digs at Trump on the stage at the Democrat National Convention. So there could be more fireworks than we expect.
Typically, vice-presidential debaters are expected to fight their corner and not lose. However, with the race so volatile, and both major candidates so… so… gobsmacking? we might see each campaign try out attack lines for the coming week and the upcoming Presidential debate. That could lead to fireworks as well.
Hard to imagine a drinking game for this one!