Mike Pence and Tim Kane face off in VP debate

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Vice presidential candidates Sen.

"I can't imagine how Governor Pence can defend the insult-driven, me-first style of Donald Trump", said Kaine, the Virginia senator and Hillary Clinton's No. 2.

"I think the question was always going to be, how far would Mike Pence go to defend Donald Trump, or would he be more concerned about his own 2020 aspirations?"

Historically, 14 vice presidents have become United States presidents, and eight times that happened because the sitting president died. At one point Quijano, later than she should have, admonished both of them: "Gentlemen, the people at home can not understand you when you speak over each other".

Hillary Clinton and her surrogates have always insisted a major of advantage running against Donald Trump instead of a more polished candidate is it requires putting nearly no spin on anything.

With the focus now on Sunday's second presidential debate, Trump is signaling an aggressive approach that might involve resurrecting the Bill Clinton impeachment saga in the second term of his presidency.

A CNN/ORC snap poll declared Pence the victor with 48 percent support, compared with Kaine's 42 percent. After all, this year's rollicking presidential campaign has been all about the passionate emotions - positive and negative - that both candidates of the top of the ticket stir up for many American voters.

Despite his efforts to underscore his small town IN raising, Pence came off as arrogant and dodgy.

Both candidates stuck heavily to script, as did moderator Elaine Quijano, who frequently cut candidates off after their allotted time - often when the debate threatened to veer into something substantive - to pursue her list of questions, which seemed to lack any logical order.

Yet for the most part, Kaine was determined to make the showdown a referendum on Trump's character. "For me, it was uncomfortable to watch". An aide said she spoke by phone with Kaine and congratulated him on his debate performance. It was as if he was defending the running mate he wished he had.

Watching this debate was painful.

Instead, he successfully hit Clinton for controversies surrounding her family foundation and Kaine for helping her to run a campaign that amounted to an "an avalanche of insults". For Trump, it could be a final opportunity to demonstrate the race isn't slipping out of his grasp. Because Kaine. Would. Not.

"Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine want more of the same", Pence said. "It's the exact opposite of what Donald Trump has been saying", said Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook.

"Well, because it's not Donald Trump's position now", replied Pence.

In Tuesday's vice-presidential debate, Pence called Putin "a small, bullying leader", a departure from the warmer rhetoric Trump has used to describe the Russian leader in the past. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, over him. "His strategy for deflecting criticism of Trump's most controversial comments was just to flat-out deny that they'd ever come out of Trump's mouth in the first place".

By common consent, pundits do not believe that any debate of the USA vice presidential candidates matters at all. Tim Kaine appeared on the national stage for the vice presidential debate, the lunch crowd at his favorite diner weighed in on his "brash" performance.