Nobody expects Tuesday’s vice presidential debate to be watched by the 84 million who watched Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton at last Monday’s first 2016 presidential debate. But there are plenty of reasons to watch Tim Kaine and Mike Pence at the vice presidential debate this Tuesday. We found a few articles to tell you why.


Wall Street Journal points out that the debate will make news—for days.

Don’t believe anyone who says that the VP debate doesn’t matter. . . Their debate is likely to drive coverage for days. This is the first interaction between two candidates who have not run for national office before.

Both are former governors with records in Congress, but both also have to demonstrate their fitness to serve a heartbeat away from the highest office in the land. Mr. Pence has the opportunity to demonstrate his policy chops and provide reassurance to voters who may worry about Mr. Trump’s resume. In addition to his considerable experience as a governor and U.S. senator, Mr. Kaine knows Mrs. Clinton well and can serve as a character witness.

If nothing else, voters will be getting our first look at two potential future presidents as they compete on behalf of their running mates and strive to make a good first impression on the national stage.

The New York Daily News says Mike Pence’ main job will be to deflect attacks on Trump, and to hit Hillary, instead.

Mike Pence’s primary goal during Tuesday night’s vice presidential debate against Tim Kaine will be to “quickly dismiss attacks” against Donald Trump, one of the prospective No. 2’s advisers said Sunday.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who has been helping Pence prepare for the debate told John Catsimatidis on his “Cats Roundtable” radio program on AM 970 that he was getting his fellow Midwestern Republican ready for “shot after shot after shot at Donald Trump” from Kaine.

“I think Mike Pence will need to come in and quickly dismiss those attacks and pivot to the problem of Hillary Clinton,” Walker, who is reported to have been playing Kaine during Pence’s mock debates, said. “And there are many.”

Yes, the focus will be on Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Why?

According to a ABC News/Social Science Research Solutions survey out Sunday, more than 40% of voters said they couldn’t name either vice president nominee.

Seriously, it should be worth watching. For one thing, you’ll find their styles are very different from those at the top of the ticket.

If you’re tempted to skip this week’s vice presidential debate because Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump won’t be there, you might want to reconsider. Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia and Republican Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana are amiable fellows who rarely throw a first punch, but don’t hold that against them. Both have had experience in the debate ring and know how to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.

People vote for the top of the ticket, but whoever becomes vice president likely will do a lot more than attend the funerals of world leaders. Plus, one of the men onstage at Longwood University on Tuesday night might be president someday. Fourteen veeps have become president, eight after the death of the sitting president. . .

Pence, after losing one of the nastiest congressional races in Indiana history, once wrote an essay titled, “Confessions of a Negative Campaigner,” in which he stated, “Negative campaigning is wrong.”

Asked how he could square that view with Trump’s campaign style, Pence told Martha Raddatz on ABC’s “This Week”: “Things are a little different here in Indiana than they are in New York City. People talk a little different than they do sometimes about things.”

Raddatz then asked Kaine about Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” comment when she said some of Trump’s supporters are “irredeemable.” Was that word appropriate?

“That’s not a word I would use. I wouldn’t use it,” Kaine said, although he added, “I think we would be unrealistic to think that some people are going to fundamentally change their view.”

In fact, Bustle gives you seven reasons to watch.

The vice presidential debate will be on Tuesday, Oct. 4, and you’re going to need to watch it.. . .

1. Let’s Face It, We Don’t Know Much About Them. . .

2. They Have Their Own Positions, Too — Learn Them. . .

3. There’s A Chance They Could End Up As President. . .

4. There’s Only One VP Debate, So This Is Your Only Chance. . .

5. Elaine Quijano Is The First Asian-American Moderator Of A General Election Debate. . .

6. You’ll Get To See The Other Side Of The Trump Ticket. . .

7. … And The Other Side Of The Clinton Ticket

Newsmax says the debate will be important for the campaign, but also for the vice presidential candidate, personally.

“Representing the candidate in a debate as the vice-presidential pick is a pretty tough assignment,” [said Joel Goldstein, the country’s premier scholar on the office of the vice presidency at the University of St. Louis School of Law.] “You are not only talking about your views, but you really have to be conversational about the views and biographies of your candidate, defend them as well as yours and be able to effectively attack the views and biography of the other two.”

“It is a high-pressure kind of situation and a lot of information to not only store, but be able to use to your advantage. If you don’t do well you not only hurt the candidate, but also yourself,” he added. “But if you hit it out of the park, well, then, you are an invaluable asset.”. . .

Up until this point, both vice presidential candidates have been overshadowed by the uniqueness of both of the nominees — something that might change after Tuesday.

Bustle also says the debate will be important because the choice of running mate illustrates the presidential candidate’s true agenda, using LGBT issues as an example.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump had a whopper of a presidential debate last week, and they’ll soon meet again. . .While it probably won’t get nearly as much attention as any of the Clinton-Trump slugfests, the vice presidential debate is just as important as the presidential forums, albeit in very different ways. . .

Trump, for instance, has quietly positioned himself as an LGBT-friendly Republican. . .
However. . .Pence has a long history as an anti-gay crusader, but that doesn’t quite capture the extent of his views on the matter. It’s not just that he’s opposed marriage equality, anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people, and the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” . . .He also proposed eliminating funding for HIV treatment centers. . .Instead, Pence argued, this federal money should go to anti-gay conversion therapy groups. . .

And that’s why the VP debate matters. It’s the only time during the campaign that a spotlight is placed on the running mates’ positions, and this helps us contextualize the presidential candidates in new ways. Pence’s LGBT views are just one example; when the VP debate is over, we’ll have a better idea of where he and Kaine stand on any number of issues.

Pence may face questions about his support for NAFTA, according to Indianapolis Fox59. There should be a lot of issues the presidential candidates skipped.

One question that Gov. Mike Pence could face involves Trump’s position on NAFTA, after Trump blamed NAFTA for Carrier’s decision to leave Indianapolis for Mexico. While in Congress, Pence supported an expansion of NAFTA, a trade agreement that Trump has railed against on the campaign trail.

Pence denounced NAFTA conspiracy theorists in the 90s.

In a 1995 interview, Mike Pence echoed then President Bill Clinton’s call in denouncing the “promoters of paranoia” on the radio and singled out one radio host for promoting “one world government” conspiracies about the North America Free Trade Agreement. . .

Pence, who is now Donald Trump’s running mate, blasted one host by name, Stan Solomon, who he said promoted conspiracy theories about free trade.

“Stan Solomon is a talk radio host who trades in conspiracy theories, who trades in the idea that the North American Free Trade Agreement, or the general agreement on tariffs, are both part of a one world government conspiracy. While I don’t believe that is true, we just don’t want to fuel paranoid delusions.”

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Goethe Behr is a Contributing Editor and Moderator at Election Central. He started out posting during the 2008 election, became more active during 2012, and very active in 2016. He has been a political junkie since the 1950s and enjoys adding a historical perspective.

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