Pre-debate: Megan Kelly is unfortunately becoming more and more impressed with herself. In fact, she's been getting quite tiresome. Let's hope this does not continue but right now it does not look good. Maybe she rose too far too fast. Who knows?
Now, the debate has begun.
Again, we have the red and the blue. Kaine wears a red tie while Pence goes with a cool blue.
Remember: The first half hour is always critical in these debates. Kaine begins and instead of answering the question he lectures us about civil rights and proceeds to talk about Hillary Clinton and now he's rattling off her talking points. It's canned. He's talking all about Hillary and it's all just basically touchy-feely stuff. Kaine has a funny voice. We don't know quite how to describe it.
Now Pence has begun and his crisp mane of white hair is a distinguished contrast to Kaine receding hairline. Pence directly answers the question posed to him about the serious responsibilities of the vice presidential office and how it might handle the situation if it feel to him to have to assume the highest office in the land.
Now Kaine is asked about the fact that 60% of the American people don't trust Hillary and instead he starts talking about Trump. Kaine doesn't really want to take on the issue tonight. He wants to talk about Trump. And, here we go -- he brings up the birther issue.
Pence hits back: "Senator, you and Hillary Clinton would know a lot about an 'insult driven' campaign." And then Kaine jumps in and interrupts Pence. He obviously has no attention of following the rules.
And Pence says "Senator, I think I'm on my time." the moderator seems to be losing control. ALREADY!
And so Kaine has seized control and now he's talking over everybody and hitting hard.
Now, the moderator who can't seem to keep all this together just abruptly switches control to the economy. Now, Pence touts his record in Indiana. And so now Pence gets some licks in himself and hits that Clinton and Kaine just want more of the same: more regulation, more taxes, more Obamacare, more government. And Pence has some time now and he brings up Bill Clinton's remarks the other day that Obamacare "is just a crazy plan." Here, Pence is shining and he's in control. A great round for Pence.
Kaine: "Do you want a 'you're hired' president with Clinton or a 'you're fired!' president with Trump." Well, we're at nearly 20 minutes already and pence seems calmer, cooler and on target. But is he actually winning? Kaine is back to his talking points. But do the viewers KNOW these are talking points?
Now, the moderator goes after Trump and Pence with the Trump income tax question. Now, once again Kaine interrupts and goes on the attack. And the moderator cooperates with him. Again!
And Kaine continues to attack. He's controlling the debate insofar as he has no intention of following the rules and he continues to interrupt and talk over Pence. It's our feeling that Pence is being far, far too nice.
The moderator has allowed Kaine to control the debate and given Pence only 20 seconds AFTER he lost his time to Kaine. She has utterly failed!
And that's the end of the critical first half-hour. Kaine controls it. The moderator fails. She weak and totally unassertive.