The preferred narrative of the Trump campaign and Trump supporters is that the VP debate was won by Pence because Kaine interrupted Pence 72 times. 72
times. That's right 72 times. You better get used to "72 times" because that's a stat you're going to be hearing (or if you're a Trump supporter,
saying) about 72 million times in the next few days.
Why? Because there's finally something for Trump supporters to cling to and cling they will.
Never mind the fact that Trump interrupted Hillary Clinton nearly as many times (what was THAT number? 51-52?) and expunge from your minds the fact
that the presidential
candidate — who despite your immediate buyer's remorse — is Donald Trump who unlike
Kaine, couldn't manage to
come up with coherent answers between interruptions.
As much as Pence won the night, his win only underscores how bad a candidate Trump is. Why? Because Pence won by being the anti-Trump. Pence didn't
fall for the bait that Trump can't help but fall for every single time
. Pence didn't get caught up trying to apologize for Trump because he
knew that anything he said would sound ridiculous — because there are no real defenses for Trump. He tested the waters with the "he's not a polished
politician" bit but he knew it sounded weak and so he chose to ignore. That worked for Pence but does it really work for Trump?
To me the biggest deal was how little what Pence was saying resembled anything that Trump has said. It was like listening to somebody from an entirely
different campaign. I almost wonder if the two have ever really had a conversation? It's almost like McCain/Palin except in this case, the roles are
reversed and the presidential candidate is the feckless trainwreck whose only "quality" is saying stupid things into a microphone and the VP candidate
is the coherent, (mostly) rational part of the ticket.
So yes, I understand the giddiness with which Pence supporters — sorry I meant Trump supporters — are repeating "72 times" today. After all, it's
been a rough week for them with their candidate's terrible debate performance, his slipping poll numbers, the failure of the WikiLeaks+Russia team to
deliver the much anticipated Trump relief package and a candidate who is so triggered that he can't stop himself from having an embarassing Twitter
meltdown. Even his supporters are suffering from Trump fatigue now which is why Pence was able to lift their spirits.
But it's hard to escape the perverse irony in applauding Pence for not being Trump.
That's a fact that's not lost on the "other side" either which is why #ThatMexicanThing
is the only trending VP debate related hashtag on
Twitter. These folks haven't forgotten that Trump is the name at the top of the ticket even if his supporters have managed to do so temporarily.
Enjoy "72 times" if you want but it's ultimately a self-defeating meme that will be of little comfort in the next "big show" when Trump gets his ass
handed to him again by Clinton and it'll be all but forgotten when Donald Trump loses the GE and Pence starts planning his 2020 run.
2016-10-5 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)