US Opinion and Commentary

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Why Does the Vice Presidential Debate Matter?

Posted October 4th, 2016 at 4:16 pm (UTC-4)
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Attack and parry — that’s what most experts expect in the vice presidential debate between Republican Mike Pence and Democrat Tim Kaine.

The duo have multiple responsibilities as they face off: vigorously exploit their opponents’ vulnerabilities on policy and character; deftly defend their presidential candidate from those attacks; and demonstrate that they are suitably qualified to become president if the circumstances demand.

That last responsibility may be the best reason to watch the debate. At age 70, Donald Trump would be the oldest person elected president. The 68-year old Hillary Clinton would be the second oldest, if elected. What we know about their medical histories is limited to what they want us to know.

As well, the debate may give us a glimpse into the possible political futures of Kaine, a U.S. senator from Virginia and Pence, the governor of Indiana.

If nothing else, we will see how they do for 90 minutes in the spotlight before they fade back into the shadows of the campaign.

Accepting Trump’s Acceptance Speech

Posted July 23rd, 2016 at 11:11 am (UTC-4)
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Donald Trump used his acceptance speech to reinforce the themes that catapulted him to the Republican presidential nomination. Anyone who hoped to see a softer, more introspective side of Trump were disappointed.

Speaking for more than an hour, Trump seized on the themes that dominate the much of the news cycle: law and order, safety and terrorism. He reinforced his vision of securing America’s borders with a wall between the U.S. and Mexico. And he tried to tie these problems to policies pursued by his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

Trump had an enthusiastic audience inside the arena at the Republican National Convention. But with divisions still apparent within the Republican Party over the nomination battle, Trump’s message was aimed at the large number of undecided voters who disapprove of both major candidates.