What you Need to Know about Tonight’s Vice Presidential Debate

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Tonight, Senator Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s running mate, and Governor Mike Pence, Donald Trump’s running mate, will face off at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia at 9 PM EST. Here are the answers to the pressing questions you might have before tonight’s vice presidential debate:

So…Who are These Guys?

Republican VP nominee Governor Mike Pence was elected as Indiana’s governor in 2012. He served as a congressman for 12 years, and before that he worked as a political radio pundit. He’s a strong social conservative and a supporter of the Tea Party movement.

Democratic VP nominee Tim Kaine has served as Richmond, Virginia’s mayor, Governor of Virginia, and now a senator from his home state. He also served as the DNC chair for part of Obama’s presidency. Kaine is Catholic, speaks fluent Spanish, and has a lot of experience working with the military and in foreign policy.

Why Haven’t I Heard a Lot About Either of Them?

Pence and Kaine both have impressive resumes, but when surveyed, 41 percent of Americans couldn’t name Mike Pence, and 46 percent couldn’t name Tim Kaine. Both Pence and Kaine were chosen, in part, to balance out their more attention-grabbing running mates.

Often VPs are put in a position to be a little more fiery than their running mates and to take shots at the other side not befitting a presidential candidate. Pence and Kaine are almost the opposite this year–they are supposed to be the calmer ones, and to soften their controversial presidential counterparts.

What Are They Talking About Tonight?

Both candidates are going to come in ready to defend their candidate’s platforms, and they’ll likely have to defend their candidates as well. From questions about missing tax returns to missing emails, you’re probably going to hear “Hillary” and “Donald” a lot tonight.

But that doesn’t mean that Pence and Kaine won’t get any personal jabs in on each other. Pence has been criticized for his extremely social conservative positions in the past, like his support of Indiana’s “religious freedom” law, which led to anti-LGBT discrimination. Kaine may have to defend the fact that throughout his career, he’s been viewed as a flip-flopper on the issues of abortion and the death penalty.

Will Tim Kaine do His Donald Trump Impression Again?

We can only hope.

Will Mike Pence’s Daughter Show up on Camera?

Mike Pence’s daughter didn’t show up in a mirror during a campaign stop earlier this summer. Will anyone ask Pence about his possibly vampiric daughter? We’ll have to see on that one.

Who is Moderating the Debate?

Tonight’s VP debate moderator is Elaine Quijano, of CBS News. She’s the child of Filipino immigrants, and she’s the first Asian-American individual to moderate a presidential or vice presidential debate. While Pence and Kaine will likely be slightly easier to reign in than Trump or Clinton, Quijano, as the debate’s sole moderator, certainly has a hefty task in front of her.

Anneliese Mahoney
Anneliese Mahoney is Managing Editor at Law Street and a Connecticut transplant to Washington D.C. She has a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from the George Washington University, and a passion for law, politics, and social issues. Contact Anneliese at amahoney@LawStreetMedia.com.



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