Dad Jokes About Tim Kaine & Mike Pence At The Debate Are Surprisingly Spot-On
The vice presidential debate yielded a major response on Twitter, but one kind of post stole the spotlight. Dad jokes about Mike Pence and Tim Kaine seemed to run rampant during the debate, and considering how everyone was talking about how "boring" this particular debate was going to be, you can't blame the viewers for keeping themselves entertained.
On Tuesday night, Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine and Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence sat down for a 90-minute conversation at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia; according to CNN, it's the only chance the candidates have to participate in a debate. Both Kaine and Pence had a lot to prove: a CNN/ORC poll revealed that "12% of likely voters" didn't recognize either one of them. Though vice presidential debates do not generally play a critical role in a campaign's strategy, Kaine and Pence were tasked with cementing their own credibility while defending their running mates' records and ideas. Some debate viewers took to social media to dissect the candidates' comments and offer an informed take on their platforms. Others went straight for the dad jokes, and the tweets could not have been more delightful to read:
interesting new format for #VPDebate: podiums have been traded in for grills to have a friendly barbecue; candidate with best dad jokes wins— Haley Byrd (@byrdinator) October 4, 2016
KAINE: This #VPDebate is like a broken pencil.— Natalie Heineman (@nataliemac17) October 5, 2016
KAINE: It's pointless.
(the two high-five and the dad joke-off begins)
It turns out Twitter has a seriously detailed vision of Kaine and Pence as fathers.
Pence is like the dad at the parent teacher conference making excuses for his son being a little trouble maker. #VPDebate— NolaChick (@TheNolaChick) October 5, 2016
Tim Kaine will surprise you with a trip to Six Flags, Mike Pence will surprise take you to Gettysburg and mandate that you remain silent— Erin Gloria Ryan (@morninggloria) October 5, 2016
Tim Kaine is going to bring the jokes of a 1950s dad. And Mike Pence will bring the social views of one. #VPDebate— Ken Schultz (@kenthinguy) October 4, 2016
Really enjoying the debate between the personification of a dad joke and the evil CEO in every children's film#VPDebate— Benjamin Austin (@thebaustin) October 5, 2016
Mike Pence is every persons dad when you break curfew. #VPDebate— Ashley (@ashleycrem) October 5, 2016
"Did you work on that one a long time?" jerky dad says to jokey dad. #VPdebate— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) October 5, 2016
You know that one dad that yells uncontrollably at the umpires at the 7 year-old little league game? Pretty sure that's Tim Kaine. #VPDebate— Oscar Silva (@TheOscarSilva) October 5, 2016
Tim Kaine is going to let you have a little extra scoop of ice cream tonight, just don't tell your mother. #VPDebate— Aly Semigran (@AlySemigran) October 5, 2016
Tonight the dad who extends curfew during summer vacation squares off against the small town pastor who wants to outlaw dancing. #vpdebate— Maggie Serota (@maggieserota) October 4, 2016
Kaine is def the step dad. Pence is the biological father that shows up drunk at midnight like, "You enjoying the house I PAID FOR?"— Colin Jost (@ColinJost) October 5, 2016
Kaine is the dad that gives you his old records and says, "This is some rocking stuff." #VPDebate— SEAN O'CONNOR (@seanoconnz) October 5, 2016
The way Kaine tries to smile at Pence is like a loving dad trying REAL HARD not to judge his kid dropping out of college to be a juggler -H— Heather & Jessica (@fuggirls) October 5, 2016
MODERATOR: Closing statements, please— Sam Grittner (@SamGrittner) October 5, 2016
PENCE: The Eye of Sauron is watching you
KAINE: Who wants ice cream? My treat!
[backstage at VP debate]— Jordan Rudner (@jrud) October 4, 2016
SOME KID: I'm hungry
KAINE and PENCE, in UNISON: Hi, Hungry, I'm...
[they lock eyes]
KAINE and PENCE: ...Dad.
Shortly after 11:30 p.m. Eastern Time, CNN reported the results of a CNN/ORC poll revealing that a group of debate viewers that skewed Democratic called the vice presidential debate for Pence. While 48 percent of those polled said Pence won, only 42 percent said Kaine won. The debate was certainly tense; there were plenty of interruptions and demands for each candidate to defend their running mate regarding the most prominent controversies surrounding each campaign. It wasn't exactly the laid-back conversation many expected from two politicians often referred to as boring.
Regardless of who actually won the debate, the real winners were probably the people sitting at home making seriously stellar dad jokes on social media. Because long after people forget what was said at the debate table tonight, they'll remember the joy of seeing two of dads go head-to-head in a conversation that was much more lighthearted in the American imagination.