Pence could give lessons to Trump

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence faced off with Sen. Tim Kaine earlier this week in the vice presidential debate. Pence, who is Donald Trump’s running mate, put on a powerhouse performance, one that Trump should study before his next debate with Hillary Clinton.

Pence was calm and collected. He focused his attention and the attention of the public on Hillary Clinton and her weaknesses. He didn’t talk about her looks or her “stamina,” he talked about her record and the policies she is espousing. When Kaine tried turn the debate to Trump and his many unfortunate slips of the lip, Pence did not rise to the bait. He simply kept talking about Clinton.

Pence may have done his job a little too well. He made Trump’s performance in the first debate look even worse than it was. He looked more presidential than Trump.

If Trump is as smart as he says he is, he will take a good look at Pence’s performance and incorporate what worked into his next debate. He has to remain calm, and not be drawn into long defenses of his own indefensible statements. He has to focus not on himself, but on his opponent and her indefensible moments. He has to wait his turn to speak, then deliver, rather than interrupting with a petulant “Wrong!” when Clinton is making a point he doesn’t like, and not slip in impetuous quips like, “That makes me smart!” when talking about the possibility he hasn’t paid much income tax.

And when it is his turn to speak, he should not worry so much about what Clinton just said about him and focus on what he should say about her.

He might just score a few points that way.