I’m hoping there are some policy details this go-around. This is the least anticipated debate I can remember. The debate “no one is waiting for.” In this discussion, unfortunately, they’ll likely focus on the presidential candidates. The Vice Presidential debate could end up sounding like a more official punditry session. But, they might bring up some policy details and jargon in relation to defense.
In this, Sen. Kaine has the upper hand. Pence rarely comments in great detail about security challenges except to say the standard party rhetoric of the election year. Pence, himself, doesn’t have a lot of foreign policy experience. Kaine, on the other hand, has spent some of his time in the Senate amid increasingly complex and challenging global security concerns. Here’s a quick rundown of his committee assignments in the Senate:
“In the 113th Congress (2013–15), Kaine was on the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on the Budget, and the Committee on Foreign Relations. In the current (114th) Congress, Kaine serves on the same three committees, plus the Special Committee on Aging. In July 2013, Kaine was named the chairman of theUnited States Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism.
Within the Senate Armed Services Committee, Kaine serves on the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, the Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support (for which he is the ranking member), and the Subcommittee on Seapower.
Within the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Kaine serves on the Subcommittee on State Department and USAID Management, International Operations, and Bilateral International Development (for which he is the ranking member), the Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, the Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism, and the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights and Global Women’s Issues.“
Senator Kaine’s exposure to foreign policy has Governor Pence outgunned and more current. His information and body of knowledge is fresh. Pence should avoid the topic and cite the experts and professionals who will ultimately join the White House. Not to mention the league of academics and subject matter experts who will step forward when called upon in the face an international crisis and decision making.
However, one loose end possible to come up is NATO. In an interview with PBS Pence seemed to contradict Trump’s stance on NATO, a position that pundits are still unsure of. It’s unfortunate the debate might be more about assigning blame and prosecuting the presidential candidates and not a review of their vice presidential hopefuls.
Featured image courtesy of www.inquisitr.com.