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Mitch Perry Report for 10.5.16 — Whipping out that thing. Again.

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Well, that was unpleasant.

Before last night’s vice-presidential debate from Farmville, Virginia, the conventional wisdom amongst the pundit class was that Donald Trump would “sink” Mike Pence, as he’d have to contend with all of the many, many provocative comments made by the GOP nominee, both during this year-and-half-long campaign, but also going back decades.

It didn’t exactly turn out that way, did it? True, Pence dealt with the recitation of some of Trump’s greatest hits as recounted by Tim Kaine by not dealing with them, instead simply brushing them aside, shaking his head as if they were being made up on the spot by the Democratic VP nominee.

It was Kaine who came out way, way too hot. If you’ll recall four years ago, Vice President Joe Biden came out similarly hot and began interrupting Paul Ryan from the get-go. It was aggressive, but somehow it wore better than what Kaine did. Obviously he was directed by operatives in the Clinton camp to do that, but that strategy looks faulty a day later.

Pence is a former talk show host, and he handled “the optics” better. It’s a TV show above all else, after all.

Unfortunately, moderator Elaine Quijano lost control early on, and never got it back.

The upshot? If the Clinton/Kaine team thinks they can coast for the next 34 days by just running on how bad Donald Trump is, I believe they’re mistaken.

Line of the night was Pence’s reaction to Kaine again reciting Trump’s calling Mexicans “rapists.” Obviously irritated, the Indiana governor responded by saying, “You whipped out that Mexican thing again.”

In other news…

Tampa House Republican Dana Young hopes to advance her career to the state Senate next month.

AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka came to Tampa Tuesday to bash Marco Rubio‘s record on Social Security.

Hey, what a surprise here. A surfeit of progressive groups is backing Ben Diamond for the House District 68 seat.

‘Tis the season for campaign ads. Locally, HD 59 Republican Ross Spano and Hillsborough County State Attorney hopeful Andrew Warren released their new productions Tuesday.

And the House Majority PAC is using some of their millions to support Charlie Crist and rap on David Jolly. The new ad somehow blames Jolly for the whole nuclear cost recovery fee, a state issue passed during the year that Crist was running for governor a decade ago.

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Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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