As Donald Trump’s campaign for president continues to spiral downward with almost daily revelations that add to his reputation as a dishonest, defrauding, hate-filled, exploitive, and greedy waste of human flesh, his running mate Mike Pence has his work cut out as Mini-Me.
Tonight at 9 p.m. ET, Pence debates Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Virginia’s former governor and current Senator Tim Kaine, at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. This gives Kaine the home-court advantage of a Virginia audience, denying Pence the tactic Trump has been using here of lying to our faces that Kaine has been a mess and is a widely hated disaster.
I have nothing particularly against Pence, except that he shares Trump’s backward thinking on most issues and must have screws loose to play Trump’s wingman. It’s made him the second biggest joke in American politics.
No, wait. I forgot Sarah Palin. Let’s make Pence the third biggest joke.
Going into the debate, Pence has got precious little to work with in his task of making Trump’s misogyny, bigotry, ignorance, lack of financial transparency, and flat-out craziness look like assets. As Trump’s No. 2, Pence has to promise he’ll carry on likewise should Trump become incapacitated.
Kaine’s simply got to show chivalry toward his running mate, repeat her apology for using her own email server, and wipe away the tar and feathers Trump has heaped on her for so many things totally beyond her control.
Neither man has suffered a serious meltdown on the campaign trail, so the debate will probably lack drama — no sniffling, interrupting, empty boasting, groundless accusations, or complaints about faulty mics.
Can Kaine make reality triumph over fantasy? At some point, I expect Kaine to say to Pence, “Mike, you and Mr. Trump are entitled to your opinions, but you’re not entitled to your own set of facts.”
Pence hasn’t shown great enthusiasm or imagination in defending the indefensible because he must realize he doesn’t have truth, logic, or even common decency on his side. I predict Tim Kaine will win this one on substance and drive another small nail into Trump’s coffin.