With all the talk about the first presidential debate featuring Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, from its lead up to its aftermath, people seem to be forgetting the vice presidential debate between Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. Even though the main event between Trump and Clinton gets all the glory, the undercard fighters have a role to play too.
It’s important to keep in mind that if Trump or Clinton – as President – resigns, gets impeached or departs this vale of tears, their second-in-command gets to run the country. So it might be a good idea to know their qualifications and positions on the issues as well.
The Vice Presidential Debate Details
There are three presidential debates between Trump and Clinton this election year, but as usual, the vice presidential candidates get fewer – in this case only one. This means that Kaine and Pence will have just one shot at convincing the American people that they are not only vice presidential material, but reliable potential presidents as well.
The one and only vice presidential debate will take place on October 4 at 9 p.m. EST on the campus of Longwood University in Virginia. If a home-field advantage means anything in a debate, then the advantage would go to Virginian Tim Kaine. In addition to being broadcast by all the major networks and the cable news channels, the vice presidential debate will be live streamed on YouTube, Twitter, and many other sites.
Who Are These Guys?
Tim Kaine is the Democratic Party’s current nominee for vice president and serves as the junior Senator from Virginia. Kaine has held that office since 2012. With a law degree from Harvard, Kaine worked as an attorney and a lecturer at Richmond University before going into politics. Politically, the fact that he speaks Spanish is a bonus.
Kaine has also been mayor of Richmond and Lieut. Gov. of Virginia, so he definitely has insider status. Politically, Kaine is considered fairly moderate to conservative – by the standards of the Democratic Party. He and Hillary Clinton are not exactly the darlings of the Democratic Party’s liberal wing. Kaine tends to focus on knots and bolts issues like health care reform, infrastructure, and the economy.
Mike Pence as the Republican Party nominee for vice president is a noticeable contrast to Tim Kaine. Pence earned a law degree in 1986 and went into private practice. During the 80s, he tried his hand at politics and failed. But he later served Indiana in the United States Congress for 12 years, before running for and winning the office of governor of Indiana.
Pence is an archconservative with close ties to the Tea Party movement in the Republican Party. He is a big believer in laissez-faire economics and hates government programs in general. Pence supports free trade pacts like NAFTA and advocates privatizing Social Security. He opposes homosexuality and sex education.
How are They Preparing for the Debate?
Both candidates are currently preparing – naturally enough – for their own upcoming vice presidential debate, but at the same time, they will be closely reviewing the outcome of the first Trump/Clinton clash. The Hill reports that Washington lawyer Robert Barnett will be playing the role of Mike Pence during Tim Kaine’s practice for the debate.
According to the Associated Press, the surprising choice to play Tim Kaine for Mike Pence’s debate practice sessions was Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin. Whether Walker was able to convincingly portray a Democratic candidate is unknown, but it seems unlikely.
Many people overlook the vice presidential debate, considering it unimportant and even dull. But as interesting as the first presidential debate buildup has been, the vice presidential debate has the potential to be equally important. Especially in the event – and it’s happened several times – that the vice president has to assume the office and responsibilities of commander-in-chief.
[Featured Image by Alex Wong/Getty Images (L) and AP Photo/Dennis Cook (R)]