The vice presidential debate will be forgotten by the time Donald Trump launches his next tweetstorm. Tuesday night’s encounter between Tim Kaine and Mike Pence was, as Glenn Thrush puts it at Politico, “less a game-changer than a channel-changer.”

To the extent that it matters, though, post-debate media commentary focused on two developments that over the next five weeks may prove more problematic for Trump than for Hillary Clinton.

1. Pence really didn’t bother to defend Trump. And when he did, he either spoke falsely, as in his deeply disingenuous attack on the Clinton Foundation (see PolitiFact’s analysis), or by shaking his head and not very vigorously denying Kaine’s entirely accurate recitation of Trump’s attacks on immigrants, women, Muslims, John McCain, and a Mexican-American judge.

“In the face of Kaine’s incessant grilling,” writes liberal New York Times columnist Frank Bruni, “Pence blithely denied that Trump had made statements that he inarguably had, changed the subject to Hillary Clinton’s failings, mocked Kaine for being scripted and dismissed Kaine and Clinton as career politicians—ignoring the fact that he fits that description, too.”

As the Huffington Post reports, on multiple occasions Pence denied that Trump had said things that he obviously had, on issues ranging from Trump’s tax returns and abortion rights to his admiration for Vladimir Putin.

The result was that Kaine came across as yippy and annoying, whereas Pence—though sneering and contemptuous—projected calm authority. Given that the vice president’s only real job is to step in as president, Pence by that measure won the debate. But it was an odd sort of victory. Which brings me to my second point.

2. Pence made a better case for himself than for Trump. Much of the conservative movement has been apoplectic over the rise of Trump. And so it’s not surprising to see commentary from the right to the effect that the debate showed Pence would be a far better Republican nominee than Trump—and that Tuesday night marked the beginning of Pence’s 2020 presidential campaign.

Paul Mirengoff, a blogger at the conservative site Powerline, writes that Pence won the “the policy-oriented debate,” but that Kaine won the “second debate,” which was fought over “the merits of Donald Trump.”

The Wall Street Journal’s conservative editorial page puts it this way: “If Donald Trump could make the case for Donald Trump half as well as Mike Pence makes the case for Donald Trump, the New York businessman would be well on his way to the White House.” The problem is that Pence accomplished that not by championing Trump’s positions but by ignoring them and substituting his own.

Thus it’s not surprising that though a CNN/ORC snap poll found that respondents thought Pence had won the debate by a margin of 48 percent to 42 percent, viewers also believed—by the substantial spread of 58 percent to 35 percent—that Kaine did a better job of defending Clinton than Pence did of standing up for Trump.

As Democratic political operative Ronald Klain tweeted:

I worked for two VPs. Let me tell you who won the #VPDebate tonight on a VP's prime political mandate.— Ronald Klain (@RonaldKlain) October 5, 2016

Indeed, the Orange Menace himself may have taken notice, as John Harwood of CNBC and the New York Times and John King of CNN both report that Trump himself was none too happy with Pence’s Pence-centric performance. Could Trump’s next tweetstorm be aimed at his own running mate?

Beyond those two overarching takeaways, there’s not a lot to say. Like many observers, I was unimpressed with moderator Elaine Quijano, especially after Lester Holt’s expert handling of the first Clinton-Trump debate. Quijano constantly interrupted the contentious candidates, not to push for them to elucidate a point or to underscore a falsehood, but to move on robotically to her next prepared question.

I was especially put off by Quijano’s failure to raise Pence’s truly awful record on LGBT rights—and by Kaine’s failure to raise it on his own. As Lucas Grindley writes in the Advocate, “It’s still sinking in: Mike Pence’s discrimination against LGBT people as governor of Indiana wasn’t deemed important enough to discuss during the vice-presidential debate Tuesday.”

Politico’s Thrush reports that Clinton’s advisers wanted Kaine to aim his fire at Trump rather than Pence because they consider Pence to be “a political bit player who will vanish into obscurity after the election.” Given that Trump’s stance on LGBT rights is more progressive than Pence’s, Kaine may have decided to let it go. But the optics, to invoke a Washington cliché, were not good.

So now it’s on to St. Louis (or, in my case, back to the couch), where we’ll find out on Sunday whether Trump can recover from his disastrous first debate or if Clinton will continue to dominate. After a shaky few weeks, Clinton appears to be back in control of the race. Unless Trump finds a way to gain control of himself, that seems unlikely to change.