Watching Tuesday night’s vice-presidential debate, I tried to think of any great moments or lines from any vice-presidential debate, ever, in America.
I thought for 10 minutes. I came up with two: Lloyd Bentsen, in 1988, telling Dan Quayle “Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.”
And the other one I remembered was Admiral James Stockdale, Ross Perot’s running mate in 1992, seeming strange when asking “Who am I? Why am I here?”
But that’s about it. VP debates get a lot of attention but nothing really too interesting tends to happen in them.
Still, this VP debate seemed like it might be interesting strictly because Mike Pence would, theoretically, have to defend at least some of the 9,323 batshit crazy things GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump has said in the past 15 months.
I mean that’s what a VP candidate does, right, defend the person at the top of the ticket and explain why criticisms of them are all wrong, and why their candidate is the best answer for America?
Except, that’s not what happened Tuesday night. Pence, bless his anti-abortion, anti-gay heart, pretty much ignored or lied about all the Trump statements he was confronted with. He just smiled and laughed and pivoted every single Trump statement into an attack on Hillary Clinton. It was almost as if Trump wasn’t his running mate.
Truly, it was dizzying. Josh Barro of MSNBC and Business Insider summed it up best in this Tweet: “I’m not sure it works when Pence acts incredulous at actual things his running mate said. These things got lots of news coverage.”
Not in Mike Pence’s world! Other thoughts from a debate that seemed to me like a draw.
— Kaine interrupted too much. I understand why he did, because Pence was lying through his teeth, but he still came off badly when he constantly cut in.
— Always fun when the phrase “whipped out that Mexican thing again” comes up in a political debate. Oh, sometimes the “South Park” and “SNL” episodes write themselves.
— The candidates were asked about religion. It’s 2016. I long for the day, and I hope I’m alive for it, when it matters not a whit what the religious beliefs of politicians are. I mean, unless they’re bringing church and state back together (as if they’re not already in many states) or banning people of a certain religion, who cares? (Looks back at what Trump said, starts to reconsider). Oh, wait…
**Next up today, my super-smart friend Catherine, a mother of two, put this French IKEA commercial about a Mom and her son on her Facebook page last week and I just about started crying at the end.
Watched it a few more times, and yeah, it got dusty in my apartment. Crazy to think my little 2-year-old munchkin will grow up to be so big one day. Love, love, love this ad.
**And finally today, some people you meet on the Internet scare you terribly, and you’re thrilled you never have to actually meet them. Others, you find you have a great kinship with, and are totally sure you’d be pals in real life if you lived anywhere near each other.
Luke Martin is a Southerner, a fellow Dad, and a bit of a baseball nut (OK, so except for the fatherhood thing, we don’t have much in common). He’s also hilarious and smart on Twitter, and he wrote something Tuesday on his blog that just about blew me away.
It’s on an emotional subject for millions of people: The day you realize you have to put your beloved family dog to sleep. I was there the day my Dad put his beloved golden retriever to sleep (I was already an adult), and it was brutal. That day happened recently for Luke and his dog, Wrigley (that’s her, above). His piece is human, and touching. A brief excerpt here:
After we went in to say our goodbyes in the exam room, the vet asked if I wanted to be in there with her when they performed the procedure. I’d gone back and forth on that and at the time, didn’t want to be there. Now, however, I wonder if I made a mistake in not being there. As we were leaving, she looked so nervous, but I don’t know if that’s because she always is at the vet’s office or if she knew what was about to happen.
But I’ll choose to remember her not like that, but as the enthusiastic dog who wanted to go for a walk every afternoon around the lake. That’s the fun, loving, affectionate dog I want to keep in my memory.
I highly, highly encourage you to read the whole piece here. I’m not a dog lover and dammit, even I was getting choked up.