When Mike Pence takes the stage Tuesday night in Farmville, Virginia, the Republican vice presidential nominee will have the opportunity to do something Donald Trump didn’t really do during last week’s presidential debate: prosecute a case against the return of the Clintons to the White House.
It’s possible that the debate between Pence, the Indiana GOP governor, and Tim Kaine, the Virginia Democratic senator, will just be one big, mild-mannered snoozefest. Neither Pence nor Kaine draw attention like Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton usually do — and the ratings on television will reflect that.
But if he goes on offense, Pence, a former conservative radio and television host who sticks to talking points, has plenty of material to work with: Hillary Clinton’s emails and the FBI were only briefly covered in the first presidential debate; there was hardly, if any, discussion of the Clinton Foundation, the Benghazi attacks, her foreign policy stances while serving as secretary of state or her move to the left on a variety of political issues.
The question is whether Pence will get the opportunity. Trump may have planned to go after Clinton harder during their debate, but he ended up spending a lot of the 90 minute showdown playing defense. The moderator, Lester Holt, didn’t bring up many of Clinton’s vulnerabilities — a reminder that Pence might have to be proactive and bring up those issues himself.