In the 1954 movie The Caine Mutiny based on the novel by Herman Wouk, actor Humphrey Bogart gave a masterful performance in the role of the mentally unhinged Lieutenant Commander Phillip F. Queeg, skipper of the fictitious U.S.S. Caine during World War II. Queeg’s actions while in command became so questionable that eventually the ship’s executive officer and others of the crew mutinied against his command.
Clearly a work of fiction since the only ‘mutiny’ against the commander of a ship of the United States Navy occurred on the U.S.S. Somers in 1842. And even then no real mutiny occurred, only the planning for a mutiny which was prevented before the mutiny could actually take place.
While the antics of Virginia’s Democrat Senator Tim Kaine during the recent debate between the two Number Two’s of their respective parties may have brought to mind Lieutenant Commander Queeg from that classic film about life on a naval vessel during World War II, it didn’t result in a ‘mutiny’. But it may have caused some voters to take another look at both the candidates on the Democratic ticket, and perhaps some voters to even abandon the Clinton-Kaine campaign.
While Indiana’s Republican Governor Mike Pence looked intelligent and even-keeled, exuding the qualities of leadership and level-headedness Americans are looking for, much like Lieutenant Commander Queeg, Tim Kaine came across as somewhat ‘intense’, and even unhinged in both appearance and words.
He just looked creepy. And an argument could be made that no one has ever said so much that meant so little to so many people, as Tim Kaine did during the vice presidential debate.
Tim Kaine was petulant and an even boorish participant in the “discussion”, as the debate format had been billed. Interrupting and talking over the Republican Vice Presidential nominee Mike Pence at least seventy times, even the moderator Elaine Quijano became frustrated on occasion by Kaine’s incessant interruptions.
It’s obvious that the Democrat nominee for president Hillary Clinton was careful in selecting her running mate. Not because she wanted a capable individual who could contribute something positive to her administration and even assume the office of the president in the event of a tragedy, but only in the sense that she didn’t want anyone who might overshadow her. Tim Kaine definitely isn’t a threat to do that.
During the debate Mike Pence held his own against and rose above the withering attacks directed not at him and his record or suitability for the office, but at the record of Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for president. While voters were left with little useful information to be able to judge if Kaine would be capable of stepping up and assuming the presidency should it become necessary, there was little doubt that Pence is up to the task.
There was no mistaking the subtle hand of the Clinton Attack Machine being involved in Kaine’s rehearsing in the days leading up to the debate. Close your eyes and you can almost hear Hillary’s screeching voice in the background, goading on Kaine to butt in, interrupt, and be as obnoxious as possible. He certainly succeeded, even excelled at it.
Senator Kaine also succeeded in turning off many voters who viewed his near constant stepping all over Mike Pence’s comments not as being a strong and aggressive debater, but just plain being rude.
Often times during campaigns we will hear that politicians resort to character assassination and personal attacks “because they work”. The only reason they work is because politicians will give us nothing else to use to make our decision on who to vote for !
American voters don’t like rudeness or personal attacks. In fact they’re fed up with it in our political process. They simply want to know what a politician is going to do to fix the mess that politicians themselves have created.
The day a politician actually tells Americans the truth and provides specifics about how they are going to solve a problem, is the day that politician wins election in a landslide.
The Republican nominee Donald Trump would do well to understand that in his next debate with his Democrat opponent Hillary Clinton.