Little has gone as expected in this extraordinary presidential cycle, so we should have known Tuesday’s vice presidential debate would have a twist or two in it, too.
Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence each represented three clients in their 90 minute debate from Farmville, Va. The two former attorneys pled the case for their respective principals (Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump), to be sure, but also for their respective parties and for themselves.
It may be said that both succeeded in all three pursuits, with perhaps the clearest success on behalf of their own cases. One of the two will soon be vice president, placing him the proverbial heartbeat away. The other will automatically enter the conversation the next time his party needs a presidential nominee.
It is not entirely clear which of these prospects might be the most desirable at this moment in history.
In this regard, Pence, whose job of defending Trump on Tuesday night was both complex and thankless, may have benefited most. He was unable to defend much of what Trump has done or said, but he was earnest and artful in turning the multiple challenges aside.