Drunkblogging the Veep Debate

At the turn of the century, some wags joked that both parties' presidential tickets were upside-down. That is, Cheney-Bush would have been a stronger ticket than Bush-Cheney, and Lieberman-Gore would have been a stronger ticket than Gore-Lieberman.

History repeats itself, perhaps the first time as farce.

Hillary Clinton is 68 and seems to be suffering from something, even if it's nothing more serious than a penchant for strong drink and head wounds. Donald Trump is a year older and, while robust and energetic, also isn't in the best shape.

So I'm not kidding at all when I say that tonight might be the most important Vice Presidential debate since Dick Cheney and Joe Lieberman both found themselves on the wrong ends of their tickets.

But enough not joking around -- let's get small.

I usually write a quick wrap after each debate, but I don't know how to do that for you tonight.

This wasn't a debate. This was a two-on-one contest in which Mike Pence held his own on the issues where he's strong, and deflected when he could when held to account for the many careless/thoughtless/stupid things Trump has said as a candidate and as a private citizen.

Pence had a yeoman's task, and I suppose he handled it as well or better as anyone could have hoped or expected.

But it's impossible to take anything away from tonight's "debate," because the "fairness" was kangaroo court judge and the "balance" was Chris Christie on the opposite side of a teeter totter from an underfed Pomeranian.

So if we learned anything tonight, it's that Elaine Quijano is unfit to moderate a debate, and that Tim Kaine is as much of an ass as Hillary Clinton is conniving and corrupt.

And the real shame of it (other than Pence being on the bottom of the ticket) is that I spent so much time in slack-jawed wonder at the awfulness of it all, that I still haven't finished my fourth cocktail.

So if you'll excuse me, there's work yet to be done tonight.

FINAL QUESTION!

To Kaine: Just how swell will you be as Veep to bring us all together?

To Pence: Same question.

So we finish just like we started, with Miss America questions to both candidates -- and thankfully no swimsuit portion.

Kaine brings up the "Mexican judge" thing again, and I feel so sorry for Pence having to defend yet another one of Trump's thoughtless utterances, for the jillionth time in just one short debate.

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Pence is heartfelt, too, staking out his pro-life position. This is a welcome change from the shouting matches of the '80s and '90s.

Kaine talking about his faith and the death penalty as governor is the first time I haven't had the overwhelming desire to put him in a burlap sack and beat him with reeds.

That thing I was saying earlier about Democrats speaking so well in talking points?

Yeah.

Pence just flubbed his attack on the Clinton Foundation, derailed by yet another #STFUKaine moment.

So #STFUKaine didn't take long to become a poplar hashtag.

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Pence hitting the Clinton Foundation hard for foreign donations while she was SecState.

Hell, Kaine isn't even interrupting.