You might be feeling debate overload after last week's raucous and tweet-worthy presidential debate. But if you were planning on taking a breather this week because it's "only" the vice-presidential hopefuls taking the stage — well, maybe you should reconsider. The debate likely won't be as explosive as the Hillary Clinton-Donald Trump showdown, but that doesn't mean you should plan to pass. Here are four reasons why you should double-check those TV listings, brush up on the veep contenders, and tune in.
The vice-presidential candidates are only a heartbeat away from the actual presidency.With the large personalities of the two main contenders, it’s almost easy to forget that we’re actually voting for two candidates at the top of the ticket, not one. The vice-president is the one who steps in should anything happen to the president — an emergency plan that could be activated by illness, incapacitation, or even (in the worst-case scenario) death. With the health and age of each candidate emerging as an issue in the 2016 election, it may be a more serious concern than it has been in elections past: At 68 and 70 years old respectively, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are some of the oldest candidates to run for the presidency.
The candidates hold strong — and opposing— views on key issues like marriage equality and immigration.Mike Pence and Tim Kaine aren’t leading their respective tickets, but that doesn’t mean that their political views aren't worth considering. Pence has drawn attention for his anti-abortion and anti-LGBT stances, including opposition to marriage equality and reproductive rights (which prompted a hilariously ironic protest). He’s also in favor of no-amnesty immigration reform. Kaine, on the other hand, supports access to abortion (despite his personal religious beliefs), and once delivered a speech on immigration to the Senate entirely in Spanish, to show respect for Spanish-speaking immigrants. Both issues are playing significant roles in the 2016 election, making the debate the perfect opportunity for them to go head-to-head.
It’s the only one!If you missed last week’s presidential throwdown, you have two more opportunities to see the commander-in-chief candidates debate. Not so much for the veep contenders.
Tuesday night’s debate will be your only chance to watch the two vice-presidential candidates duke it out. After the exciting first presidential debate, it’s your opportunity to see how closely the second-in-commands hew to their running mates' platforms, and how fit they are in their own right to be president. Reruns won’t do it justice.