5 Lessons We Learned -- but Maybe Already Knew -- From the 2016 VP Debate

It's pretty much understood that a debate without Trump could never and will never be as entertaining as a debate with Trump. So, to be totally honest, we didn't expect much wow-factor from the first (and only) vice presidential debate of 2016. If you missed it, Tim Kaine and Mike Pence gave us about what we expected in terms of entertainment value, but -- and this is a big but -- it actually taught us a lot about this election.


Surprised? Same. But in between the policy platforms and pontificating, these gentlemen reminded us of some important lessons that we really need to keep in mind until November 8.

Here's what we mean:

Lesson 1: Women's bodies are still on the table for debate.

Yeah, listening to a bunch of dudes talk about our bodies (like we're not sitting right here) and debate about how much agency we should or should not be allowed to have over them is not so fun. We do feel like Tim Kaine is mostly in our corner here and is repping Hillary Clinton's pro-women ticket, but yo. We do not love feeling like pawns or feeling like we don't get a say in this conversation.

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Lesson 2: No matter who wins this election, we're going to get a new dad in the White House.

If Joe Biden was our dopey but lovable uncle, the VP debate basically confirmed that both Pence and Kaine would be a dad in the White House. At this point, it's essentially just a vote for which dad you want more. (Just kidding! Let's not forget about all the other stuff on the table.) 

Give us the "Talk to me" dad any day.

Lesson #3: If you know who you're voting for, you know who you're voting for.

The Clinton and Trump campaigns are so polarized, there's not much room for waffling among them. We know this, but when the GOP accidentally published an article dubbing Pence the night's winner BEFORE THE DEBATE EVEN STARTED, it was still a nice reminder.

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Lesson #4: No one is comfortable standing behind Trump 100 percent. 

Nope, not even his running mate, who spent a bunch of debate time dodging Kaine's attacks toward Trump and, you know, not really defending his candidate. The closest he got was to backing Trump's relationship with Putin, but he only got so far as to say, "Well, look, I can defend -- I -- I ..." before launching into an attack on Obama's America.

You miiiight be able to categorize Pence's saying "You whipped out that Mexican thing again" as a defense of Trump's terrible statements about immigrants, but it doesn't matter because it totally backfired anyway: Twitter took #ThatMexicanThing and turned it into a place for the Latino community to share their family stories about the American dream. It was great.

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Lesson #5: No matter how many women are running, political elections are still going to be mostly men yelling over each other.

At this last debate, at least there was a woman there to participate in the chaos. Listening to two grown men squabble for an hour and a half is honestly draining -- give us Hillary back, pleeeeease. 


Image via Mark Wilson/Getty

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