Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

10:34 PM: “Senator, you’ve whipped out that Mexican thing again."

10:29 PM: "He's not a polished politician like you and Hillary Clinton."

10:23 PM: Kaine's getting these pretty thorough oppos runs on Trump all but un-rebutted. It's not so much that Pence is failing to rebut Kaine. He's not even really trying that hard.

10:08 PM: A lot of this is very messy. But I think Kaine is landing bigger blows on Trump. When it comes to talking about standard conservative policy talk, Pence is holding his own, maybe even better than that. But Kaine is getting the key hits on Trump out in front of the audience more or less unrebutted. Not sure whether it's intentional or not, but Pence seems to be angling more for 2020 than 2016.

10:04 PM: Being Russia hawks has worked with the GOP base and some wing voters in the past. But I'm not sure Pence's argument here can really survive contact with all that Trump has said about Russia. These things just don't fit together.

9:58 PM: "Broad shouldered American leadership."

9:57 PM: Some serious moderator verbal slapping around here.

9:55 PM: I'm sure the intelligence "surge" is much awesomer than whatever nonsense Trump is proposing. But God, can we stop with everything being a "surge."

9:53 PM: Pence just said it was "false" that Trump proposed a Muslim ban.

9:51 PM: Moderator doesn't mention that Trump has actually not renounced his ban on all Muslims. That would be appropriate to mention.

9:50 PM: This would be a good time for Kaine to note that ISIS has been losing ground steadily for months.

9:49 PM: Pence doesn't respond on nuclear weapons.

9:47 PM: The secret plan combined with the general's plan!

9:46 PM: Kaine hits him on Curiel, as a native Indianan, and Pence doesn't even respond. "When Donald Trump said Mexicans are rapists and criminals, when Donald Trump said about your judge, a Hoosier judge, he said that judge Curiel was unqualified to hear a case because his parents were Mexican American, I can't believe you can defend that." Silence from Pence.

9:42 PM: Like he did on taxes, Kaine puts Trump on the ropes on immigration. Whenever Pence has to defend Trump's big vulnerabilities head on he can't manage it.

9:41 PM: Kaine's third mention of Trump as chief birther.

9:37 PM: Kaine: Apropos of policing, let's discuss how Donald Trump is horrible.

9:36 PM: Get a feeling that Pence is feeling 2020 here.

9:29 PM: Kaine's steadied and gotten stronger after the first 15 or 20 minutes.

9:27 PM: "You have a voting record, senator ... I can't believe you won't defend your own voting record."

9:26 PM: Note that moderator chooses right-leaning group's numbers to frame Social Security question. Sad!

9:25 PM: Kaine's really got him on the ropes here.

9:24 PM: "He used the tax code just the way it's supposed to be used and he did it brilliantly."

9:22 PM: "You can roll out the numbers."

9:20 PM: Not sure this Hired, Fired thing is amazingly catchy. In general, I think both are doing fairly well in the eyes of the groups they're trying to appeal to. Would say some edge to Kaine. But pretty even.

9:15 PM: Ding, ding, ding: Great Work, Bill!

9:14 PM: Gotta say, I did not expect this. I think it's a little choppy for both candidates. But this is pretty intense as any presidential or vice presidential debates go.

9:13 PM: Feisty.

9:11 PM: Looks like Chris Matthews had this wrong.

9:10 PM: I laugh at Trump mic truthers. But Pence's mic actually sounds a bit off, echoey.

9:08 PM: Kaine brought a knife I guess.

9:06 PM: Tim Kaine is pretty prepped.

9:02 PM: Chris Matthews is saying that he expects Kaine won't attack Trump and will focus on playing defense. I really hope that's not true.

8:46 PM: Debate commentary wisdom will soon be here.

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You may think that tonight's historic face off between Tim Kaine and Mike Pence, two of the more boring politicians in American history, is going to be a snooze. But please, do not be so naive! It will be much cooler than you think. It is true that every Veep debate in this century has included someone who is either crazy (Palin), evil (Cheney) or at least entertaining (Biden). Indeed, in addition to Biden-ness the 2012 Veep debate had significant drama because Democrats were rather desperate for Biden to get them up on their feet after Obama's deflating showing in 2012's first presidential debate.

But here's why Veep debates are still a big deal.

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