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Wake Up To Politics - October 5, 2016

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

4 Days until the Second Presidential Debate (Oct. 9)

42 Days until Election Day 2016 + my 15th birthday (Nov. 8)I'm Gabe Fleisher for Wake Up To Politics, and reporting from WUTP world HQ in my bedroom - Good morning: THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!

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Election Central

  • Stay Calm and Ignore Your Running Mate: Pence Wins VP Debate Just over one week after Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump was criticized for interrupting too much at the first presidential debate and coming off unhinged, Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine tried the strategy at his debate with GOP running mate Mike Pence. Once again, the cooler head prevailed, as viewers believed Pence's consistency was better than Kaine's aggressive performance.
  • The debate was between the nominees for Vice President, but overwhelmingly focused on the man and woman atop the major-party tickets. Kaine and Pence both attempted to get as many shots in at Trump and Clinton, respectively, sometimes resulting in several minutes of unintelligible crosstalk - despite moderator Elaine Quijano's best attempts.
  • Mentioning that he and his wife have a son in the Marines, Kaine opened the debate by saying that "the thought of Donald Trump as commander-in-chief scares us to death." Pence, meanwhile, also took shots at Clinton that Trump failed to mention at the first presidential debate, going after her for the Clinton Foundation, her private email server, and her "basket of deplorable" comment. Pointing out that his son was also a Marine, Pence criticized Clinton for her State Department email use. "If your son or my son handled classified information the way Hillary Clinton did, they'd be court-martialed."
  • Kaine, however, continued to steer the conversation back to Trump's missteps. "I just want to talk about the tone that's set from the top," Kaine said, aggressively interrupting Pence to demand he answer for his running mate. The Democrat referred to Trump's campaign as "insult-driven," pointing out Trump's comments on the former Miss Universe, his plan for ISIS, Sen. John McCain's military service, among others. Pence mostly just shook his head, or critizced Kaine's attacks as too rehearsed.
  • However, he charged that Clinton's was the campaign of insults. "If Donald Trump had said all of the things that you've said he said in the way you said he said them," Pence said," he still wouldn't have a fraction of the insulsts that Hillary Clinton leveled when she said that half of our supporters were a basked of deplorables."
  • Kaine responded that, unlike Trump, Clinton had apologized for that remark. Again and again, the Democrat tried to steer the conversation back to Pence's denial of statements made by Trump. "He is asking everybody to vote for somebody that he cannot defend," Kaine said.
  • Pence's strategy of staying calm in light of Kaine's interruptions proved effective, with 48% of voters who watched the debate saying the Republican won the VP debate, compared to 42% who thought the Democrat won, according to a CNN/ORC instant poll.
  • However, when he did talk about Donald Trump, Pence often denied comments that Trump really has made, and even took positions counter to Trump's. Pence denied that he or Trump had praised Russian president Vladimir Putin, who he called "small and bullying" Tuesday night, despite past comments by both members of the GOP ticket that Putin is a better leader than President Barack Obama.
  • Pence also called for the use of the U.S. military to protect civilians in Syria by attacking the Assad regime and establishing safe zones, a position supported by Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump has repeatedly called for the U.S. to put the safety of American citizens first, and avoid invasions of foreign countries like Syria.
  • The debate was much more contentious than expected, as America saw the angrier sides of both mild-mannered VP nominees. Pence, however, manged to focus on a lighter side of the Republican nominee, even if he was mischaracterizing Trump's record.
  • But the vice-presidential debate is unlikely to stem the tide of Hillary Clinton's momentum in the race - especially if the Trump campaign will have to spend time in the coming days explaining the policy differences between Trump and Pence.
  • As Trump prepares for his next debate with Hillary Clinton, the GOP nominee would be wise to take notes from his running mate's temperament. Especially since Sunday's debate will have a town-hall format, with questions to the candidates coming from voters and not a moderator, it is essential that Trump keeps his anger in check and doesn't lash out at an ordinary citizen.
  • At the first presidential debate, Trump responded to everything Clinton said, often while she was saying it. Tuesday night, Pence didn't take the bait from Kaine, betting that voters would overlook his denial of Trump's positions if he did so with a calm face. However, Pence's responses brought up questions that the Trump campaign will have to answer in the coming days, and sets the bar higher for his running mate.
  • And then, of course, there's the frequent question: do debates (especially between the No. 2 candidates) even matter? Coming after a week which many called Trump's worse, can Pence's performance make a difference, and stop the race from sliding away from him and Trump?
  • Today on the Trail Presidential candidates and their surrogates fan out across the swing states:
  • Republican nominee Donald Trump holds two rallies in the battleground state of Nevada today, speaking at 11:30am at Henderson Pavilion in Henderson and at 3:30pm at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno.
  • Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, has no public events today, although she will attend a "Women for Hillary" fundraiser in Washington, D.C. The event, which will begin at 2pm, will also be attended by actresses Julianna Marguiles and Eva Longoria, and will include a performance by singer/songwriter Estelle. Tickets range from $250 to $25,000.
  • Meanwhile, after one of the biggest nights of each of their political lives, vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence and Tim Kaine will also return to the campaign trail today. Pence and Kaine hold dueling speeches in Pennsylvania tonight, with the former speaking in Grantville at 7pm and the latter in Philadelphia at 6pm. Pence also holds an 11:30am rally at the Tockingham County Fair Association in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
  • While Trump and Pence are the only representatives of the GOP campaign with scheduled events today, the Democratic ticket again has a number of surrogates campaigning today. Former President Bill Clinton campaigns in Ohio, Chelsea Clinton campaigns in Iowa, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders campaigns in Iowa and Wisconsin, and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren raises money for Clinton in San Francisco.
  • Finally, Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein addresses a rally in Los Angeles at 6pm today, joined by activist YahNé Ndgo, a former supporter of Bernie Sanders, and hip hop artist Kor Element. Libertarian vice-presidential nominee Bill Weld will hold an event in Atlanta, Georgia at 7:30pm.
  • Green party

White House Watch

  • The President's Schedule President Obama was scheduled to travel to Tampa, Florida today for remarks about the Affordable Care Act at the University of South Florida. However, the region is currently being hit by Hurricane Matthew - instead, the only event on Obama's public schedule is an 11:15am briefing on the hurricane at FEMA headquarters in Washington, D.C.
  • Following the First Lady At 4pm, First Lady Michelle Obama will deliver remarks on "the impact and progress that has been achieved, as well as the work still to be done, through lasting policies, programs, and public-private partnerships over the last six years through her Let’s Move! initiative."
  • Obama's speech will be delivered next to the White House Kitchen Garden, which she planted on the South Lawn at the outset of her White House tenure, before an audience of 200+ champions of "healthier eating and active living." In her address, the First Lady will also "make an announcement regarding the future preservation of the garden and will unveil updates that have been made to the White House Kitchen Garden in an effort to make it even more accessible to young students and world leaders alike," according to the White House.

Daily Data

  • Kaine Interruption Count Yes, Tim Kaine really interrupted Mike Pence as many times as it seemed like he did. According to FiveThirtyEight, Kaine spoke while Pence was speaking over 70 times during Tuesday night's debate; Pence spoke over Kaine just about 35 times, allowing him to project a calmer demeanor.

Today's Trivia

  • Tuesday's Answer Yesterday, the trivia question asked for the participants in the first vice-presidential debate, which was held in 1976.
  • The answer...Sens. Bob Dole (R-KS) and Walter Mondale (D-MN), who faced off in the first-ever VP debate. Mondale, and presidential nominee Jimmy Carter, would go on to win the election that year. Both Dole and Mondale would later become presidential nominees of their party: the former two decades later, in 1996, and the latter eight years later, in 1984.
  • GREAT JOB...Joe Bookman, Marlee Millman, Kent Williams, Scott Bennett, Matt Neufeld, and Rick Isserman!
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