Wednesday, October 05, 2016

The Warm Bucket of Piss Debate

John Nance Garner, FDR's first Vice-President, once described the office as "not worth a bucket of warm piss." If vice-presidential debates meant anything then Dan Quayle would have sunk the Republicans in 1988. So what, if anything, can we get from the Kaine-Pence snoozefest?
The Daily Show had the perfect event graphic.

Trump's Losing
One of the clearest signs a candidate is losing is when party loyalists start wishing the Veep candidate was on the top of the ticket. Remember when Republicans wanted to flip the ticket and put Sarah Palin over John McCain? Or those loyalists saying the Veep will make a great presidential nominee four years from now. Both things are happening now.

Is Trump Jealous?
The most delicious rumor out of the debate is that narcissist Trump is livid that Mike Pence upstaged him as a debate performer. Pence's defense of Trump was tepid and most commentators agree that Pence was more interested in promoting Pence than defending Trump. Trump's campaign is denying those reports, of course, they would have to. In the immediate aftermath of the debate Trump will go along with his handlers. But if Trump is losing bigly in late October, watch for Trump to throw Pence under the bus and blame his disloyalty for any defeat.

'That Mexican Thing'
The only memorable line was Pence dismissing Trump's hatred of Hispanics as "that Mexican thing." That line will have legs. It won't flip any votes but it will be remembered.

Pence in 2020?
Failed vice-presidential candidates rarely move up.
  • Bob Dole had to wait 20 years to take his lose as Gerald Ford's second to top a ticket and get creamed by Bill Clinton in 1996.
  • Walter Mondale was Jimmy Carter's Sancho Panza in 1980 only to get humiliated as a presidential nominee in 1984.
The only losing vice-presidential candidate to later win the presidency is Franklin Roosevelt. Mike Pence, you're no Franklin Roosevelt.

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