For those who are asking: yes, I did watch the vice presidential debate last night.
I thought both candidates did what they needed to do: look competent, show that they agree with and follow the lead of their presidential candidate, and not do anything too egregiously stupid. They were both there to re-assure those who have already decided which way they’re voting that that decision was the correct one.
Both candidates, it seems, let pass several opportunities to attack the other. Again, I think that’s because they weren’t there to look terribly combative (well, more combative than they have been on the campaign trail). That wasn’t the goal of the debate.
I don’t think either candidate swayed any votes, but that doesn’t really matter, and wasn’t their goal. Glancing at several post-debate analyses, it seems one thing they all had in common was a difficult time finding enough undecided voters to put together a meaningful panel.
Actually, the most surprising part of the debate, to me, is the universal agreement that “my” candidate did great, totally won the debate, and wiped the floor with the other. I haven’t seen/heard anyone say anything positive about the other candidate, or anything negative about their own. So, like our reliance on social media for news for the past decade, we continue to live in echo chambers in which differing points of view, if they’re noticed at all, are immediately dismissed as “fringe”.