By: John Stracco
Last week, vice presidential candidates Mike Pence and Kamala Harris met for their one and only debate for a last ditch effort to convince Americans why their candidate is better, even though plenty of voters have already made up their minds. When asked who won last week’s contest it is quite arguable that it was a tie. Both candidates were well put and articulate, and unlike the in presidential debates, were equally respectful of each other. They both also equally dodged as many questions as possible on issues that would make them look bad. With that said, Kamala Harris probably won last night purely because her opponent, current Vice President Mike Pence, is associated with the cataclysmic presidency of Donald Trump and was left to defend actions that cost 200 thousand and counting American lives.
Both candidates had their moments though. Senator Harris came off particularly strong on issues such as the coronavirus and racial or social issues. It seemed given however, considering Pence’s running mate, Donald Trump, is known to have immense disapproval on those issues. Pence did equally well on issues like the economy, taxes, and the supreme court, most notably calling out Harris on her refusal to answer the question asking if she and Biden would pack the supreme court following the nomination and anticipated confirmation of Amy Coney Barret.
Candidates also consistently changed topics and used their time to answer questions from previous sessions. Questions about the environment were quickly turned to taxes and questions about healthcare, which Senator Harris seemed to win at, were intertwined with the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Both also took to the habit of straight up not answering the questions. One of the most glaring examples of this was when each candidate was asked about the ages of Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Kamala Harris simply explained her entire life story when she was asked about the possibility of a vacancy in office during the next term, and Mike Pence gave little to none evidence of an answer either. This also happened on many other occasions where candidates danced around questions because they knew the answers would make them look bad. Mike Pence struggled to give straight answers about the pandemic because of the failure his administration took during it, and Kamala Harris seemed to use Trump as a scapegoat on the issues of taxes. Instead of talking about her and Biden’s tax plan she took fire at the President for his own tax records, and Mike Pence noted she refused to answer because her plan would raise taxes.
While there were a plethora of issues last week, it was overall a good night for American Politics. For the first time in forever, it seemed that two political rivals were able to have civil discourse and respect each other while also providing a decent amount of policy and substance for the American people, though the bar for this was set incredibly low. Not only that but the candidates towards the latter end of last night provided hope for American unity in one of the most decisive, and important times in our nation's history. They each told Americans of the beauty that can come from disagreement, which was shown through their debate all night; a sign of hope for the Americans of the future. And we cannot forget about the fly on Mike Pence’s head.