Tuesday's vice presidential debate wasn't supposed to be as wild of a ride as the first presidential debate last week, but the transcript of Sen. Tim Kaine's opening statement shows that he came prepared and ready to battle. The debates move quickly, and Kaine kept his opening short, sweet, and to the point. Riding on the wave of his running mate, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's, Kaine was all smiles and fist bumps as usual, and was ready to take Gov. Mike Pence head on.
In fact, Kaine was warming up all day on Tuesday. Hours before the debate began, he tweeted a link to "a sample of the hateful, incoherent, and divisive things Donald Trump and Mike Pence have said" that led to a page his campaign had created, compiled of quotes from the Trump-Pence ticket. Later, in both English and Spanish, he followed up with his "message" to his opponents, tweeting "we're going forward, not backward." It was apparent that Kaine, like Clinton before him, had streamlined his message and was planning to stick to his campaign's main messages (and throw in a little Spanish here and there).
There wasn't too much pressure on Kaine leading up to the debate, since the campaign has been cruising along since the Clinton-Trump debate last week. Pence had a little more to prove and to make he stepped up to defend some of the hits the Republican ticket took this week following the debate, like Trump's late night tweet rant about Alicia Machado, the release of past tax documents, and a misguided (if not completely offensive) statement on veterans dealing with PTSD. Pence had reportedly been preparing much more than his running mate had for his first debate, so Kaine had to stay on his toes and not get too far ahead of himself.
Kaine's opening statement was short, sweet, and stuck to the point. But it really is a shame he didn't break it down, blues style.