I share the consensus one is finding around the Internet this morning. Pence maintained the upper hand. Regarding Kaine, I have already seen the word "jerk" appear a couple of times, as I have the adjective "unflappable" being applied to Pence.
When Russia came up, Pence spoke for an actual grown-up foreign policy - that is to say, he deviated somewhat from his running mate's spewings to date.
He deftly injected assertions that were clearly generalizations on matters such as the economy in such a way that kept the proceedings from getting in the weeds.
The head-nod and quick taking of a pass on something lobbed his way are among Pence's best-honed politician chops.
Kaine's goofily aggressive demeanor and his obsession with getting in as many Trump attacks between flecks of spittle have been noticed even at the Washington Post.
Is there anything to these rumblings that Pence comported himself with an eye toward 2020? I suppose so, but the fact that he put all his career eggs in the 2016 basket, abandoning a bid for being reelected Indiana governor in mid-campaign, must be considered.
He's kind of stiff and obviously square, but Pence did let the world know last night that conservatism has not completely died.