DEBATE REPORT CARD: Mike Pence Mumbles Pleasingly, But Jake Tapper’s Face Ruins Another Night

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The knights of House Blue and House Red rode out onto the battlefield of Longwood University last night, lances drawn, ready to fight and die for their maiden fair.  White, Christian, male, and round, swing state champions Mike Pence and Tim Kaine came to brawl for Sir Trump and Lady Hillary.

Only one winner can emerge from this epic clash of alpha males who intuitively know the most masculine move is to purse your lips and object in snippy sub-30 decibel tones. These warriors must live or die by the decision of exalted wise pundits.

Without further ado, here are my VP debate report cards:

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Life Begins At: HIV Management War With Russia Wait, Which One Is He? Ok, The White Haired One Is The Trump Guy Ok, Cool, I Forget Sometimes FINAL GRADE
First Kiss F F C- B+ A B-

Mike Pence did a yeoman’s job tonight. A lunch pail-type governor with a flare for forcing women to have funerals for their miscarried zygotes, Pence was reminiscent of a husband in a Lifetime drama who ineptly lies about his affairs in his defense of running mate Donald Trump. When pressed to answer for Trump’s recent outbursts, Pence would put on a poker face and mumble “he built a business a buhh buhhh duhhh did nothing wrong,” much as how a philandering husband may tell his wife, “I have lipstick on my collar because I tripped in a Macy’s, and I was gone for three days because of jury duty. They made me sleep in a bunk bed in the courthouse.”

It’s clear now why Pence was plucked from the Indiana governor’s mansion to be VP: he is outwardly dull enough that he fully believes Trump’s outlandish claims and nonsensical justifications. Voters hate being lied to, but they will accept a man as smooth-brained as they saying what he believes to be the truth simply because he knows no better. With a little over a month before Voting Day, Pence’s straightforward justifications of Trump’s actions may come in handy when the billionaire populist declares that motorized wheelchairs “reward people whose legs are failures.”

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Life Begins At: Optimism Happy-Go-Luckiness Smiles Donald Trump Clinton Foundation Donations From Foreign Dictators FINAL GRADE
Second Base A+ B- A+ Not A Fan Aw Shucks A-

The Senator from Virginia injected a much-needed dose of sunny positivity to what has been a dour campaign so far. He excused Hillary’s treason-level email crimes with a wink and a smile, noting that Hillary is a Methodist and Donald Trump is a bad person. He explained how the Clinton Foundation has donated literally thousands of dollars to marketing consultants for pharmaceutical companies to raise brand awareness for HIV drugs in the continent of Africa, and also that Donald Trump is a bad person. And he made us all feel a little more comfortable about exercising the nuclear option in a small-scale regional war with Russia over the territorial integrity of uninhabited woodland areas of Eastern Estonia. As a pundit, I have to say that Tim Kaine’s gentle lilt and frequent head-shaking “uhhh actually you’re wrong”‘s made me feel a level of warmth and contentment I haven’t felt since before ex-Mrs. The Dig learned the words “divorce attorney.”

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Respect For Print Journalists Where Is She? Oh, Saving The Best For Last, Huh Wow, 3 Entire Seconds Of Her. Great Homewrecker Tapper Is There, Though! FINAL GRADE
F F F F F- F

“The most trusted name in news?” Last I checked, trustworthy people don’t lure viewers in with the sultry voice of moderator Elaine Quijano, then not show a single glimpse until the conclusion of a mostly dull affair. It was bad enough that both candidates mansplained over her moderation, but not offering people a lingering shot of her even at the end? To add insult to injury, Jake Tapper was given his usual fanfare to blather incoherently about the events that just transpired. Not that he has any understanding of policy, debates, or anything but destroying happy marriages of thirty-year news veterans with beautiful round sons.

Carl “The Dig” Diggler has covered national politics for 30 years and is the host of the Digcast, a weekly podcast on iTunes and Soundcloud. Got a question for the Dig? E-mail himat carl@cafe.com or Tweet to @carl_diggler.