23 Thoughts Elaine Quijano Probably (Definitely) Had During The Shouting Match To End All Shouting Matches
It's no easy job to moderate a general election debate, and especially not one of the long-anticipated presidential and vice presidential debates. Elaine Quijano, moderator of the first and only vice presidential debate of the 2016 election, had a big job on her hands. And as Tim Kaine and Mike Pence went at each other's throats for 90 minutes, Quijano had to attempt to impose some order on the situation so that America could learn something about the men who could be next in line for the biggest job in the land.
For perhaps the first time in this election, both sides of the aisle seem to agree on something: Quijano could have done a better job making sure the candidates stayed on track. The right thought she was biased. The left thought she lost control. In the end, her dedication to the questions got in the way.
Let's look at the situation, though, and give Quijano a break. Lester Holt, moderator of the first presidential debate, knew full well that there were going to be two more debates after his. Meanwhile, Pence and Kaine were both absolutely intent on fitting a whole election season's worth of lines into this one 90-minute set. What could Quijano possibly have been thinking as the candidates jousted back and forth? I can't be sure, but I do think that this is a good guess.
1. "I Totally Got Shafted"
"Lester got the interesting candidates. These dudes are so dull."
2. "I Totally Got Lucky"
"Lester got the interesting candidates. My job's going to be so much easier."
3. "How Can I Make These Guys Interesting?"
"Kaine and Pence have literally not said one memorable comment in this election cycle. They are literally the two whitest old men on the planet. Why should we expect anything to change during the next 90 minutes?"
4. "Will You Please Just Answer The Question?"
"That's... that's... that's not what I asked about. Talk about what I asked you about."
5. "Is This Kindergarten? Will You Stop Yelling?"
"Don't talk when someone else is talking. Don't talk when someone else is talking!"
6. "Will You Be Patient?"
"It's not your turn, children. Wait for your turn to speak."
7. "Will You Hurry Up?"
"You get very little time. 20 seconds. You don't get more than 20 seconds. Use it wisely."
8. "Will You Stop Lying?"
"What you're saying doesn't strictly fall under the umbrella of truth. But it's cool. Go on, I'll wait."
9. "Kinda Getting Sick Of These Lines"
"'Insult-driven campaign'? 'You're hired, you're fired presidents'? Where have I heard this before? Oh that's right, from you, three minutes ago."
10. "Kaine's Eyebrows Are Kind Of Amazing"
"So amazing that they might as well have their own line of merchandise."
11. "Where Are Pence's Eyebrows?"
"Does Pence even have eyebrows?"
12. "You Gonna Defend That, Governor?"
"Pence, do you even hear him repeating the offensive stuff your running mate has come out with? You wanna try speaking up for him? I mean, it's cool if you don't. I won't say anything."
13. "Clever Line, Governor"
"Nice tactic, staying low-key and calling out his pre-prepared lines. You did a much better job coming across more naturally."
14. "Is This Over Yet?"
"They won't stop interrupting each other. Can we stop yet?"
15. "You're Lying Again, But I'll Just Chill"
"You're lying again. The Paris attackers weren't Syrian refugees, but it's fine if you just use that to back up your plan of blocking Syrian refugees from settling in Indiana. I'll leave it to Kaine to push you on that one, too."
16. "So The Tax Return Stuff Must Be True"
"Pence, if you're just going to keep asking Kaine about his deductions, it sounds like Trump really hasn't paid much in income taxes since the Clinton administration (first Clinton administration?)."
17. "Why Do We Keep Talking About Georgia?"
"Pretty sure Russia invaded Georgia in 2008, which is before Obama took office, so Hillary Clinton didn't have anything to do with it."
18. "Saying 'The Ukraine' Makes You Sound Old, Dude"
"Speaking of former Soviet Republics, it's sooooo 1991 to refer to it as 'the Ukraine.' Lose the 'the,' Senator Kaine."
19. "Bringing Up Religion Is Definitely A Good Idea"
20. "Is This An Election Debate Or Sunday School?"
"Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you both just quoted the Bible in my vice presidential debate."
21. "We Get It With The 'Mexican' Comments"
"Senator, we get it. Trump said nasty things about Mexican immigrants."
22. "I Don't Know Why I'm Even Asking This"
"A question about unity sounds nice, but they're really both just going to make empty campaign promises, struggle not to interrupt each other, and use the same pre-prepared closing speeches that they've been working on for the last month."
23. "Is This Over Yet?"