On October 4th Sen. Tim Kaine and Gov. Mike Pence faced off in a Vice Presidential Debate at the Longwood University in Farmville, VA. Each was supposed to answer the moderator’s (CBS’ Elaine Quijano) questions intended to provide viewers with insight into each Vice Presidential Candidate’s political views and personal convictions.
I don’t know if that’s just me, but barely minutes into the VP Debate I began wondering whether the Vice Presidential candidates were briefed on the definition of a debate, the ABC of the diplomatic protocol, or – at the very least – the diplomatic rules of conduct.
A very small percentage of the Debate’s time was spent on exploring actual issues and proposed policies; the majority of time I watched two grown men arguing not over issues or differences in their political views but over the Presidential Candidates themselves and who said what, raising their voices, talking over one another and ignoring the moderator’s questions.
Even lower level politicians – leave alone Vice Presidents! – are held to certain standards of behavior. It’s quite scary to imagine either one of the Vice Presidential candidates representing our Country. They don’t discuss issues, they make no attempts at getting along, they openly attack the interlocutor. A GOOD politician is expected to be diplomatic, able to appreciate differing points of view, able to negotiate and reach a compromise WITHOUT creating resentment.
The consensus seems to be that Gov. Mike Pence won the debate by being more composed, calmer and eloquent. I didn’t see a winner, even the Debate’s moderator, CBSN anchor and CBS News correspondent, Elaine Quijano didn’t get the respect she deserved. It was a sad “show” to watch. It didn’t ignite my enthusiasm for either Vice Presidential candidate.
Simply put, I didn’t see STATESMEN debating. Did YOU?