While neither performance was particularly illuminating, the performance of both candidates was exactly what their party members expected. Harris focused on following up the case against Donald Trump, and Democrats are likely to praise her performance as heavily. Harris ‘performance, however, was similar to Biden’s in last week’s debate – meaning that both Biden and Harris’ performances did no harm, but were inconsequential in the sense that they were nothing to project management undertook. Similarly, Republicans are likely to praise Pence’s performance as being strong and authoritative and a clear show of leadership. However, on several occasions, Pence raised the issue and interrupted Harris and presenter Susan Page, telling Page to pause at one point and remind the Vice President that his campaign had approved a set of speaking rules for the debate. Along with Pence’s waffles about abortion rights and Roe v. calfThe night probably didn’t bode well for the Trump pence ticket among suburban female voters, a block the campaign is struggling to get a foothold on.
- 1 The Biden-Harris Court-Packing bond
- 2 “Pence was a lower version of Donald Trump last week”
- 3 “If this had been the Harris who came to the 2020 Democratic primary, she would have been a far more effective challenger to the nomination.”
- 4 “We’re getting a vice president on the verge of abortion”
- 5 “Thank you, Mr. Vice President …”
The Biden-Harris Court-Packing bond
Timothy P. Carney is a comment editor at Washington Examiner and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
We learned the most when Kamala Harris spent allotments more than twice and refused to answer the simple question of whether she and Joe Biden would try to grab the dish. That rejection highlighted the bond the ticket is in for fear of offending either its activist base or swing voters. Suppose you pack the field and feed the GOP to attack you as an extremist. Refuse to grab the court and drain the base necessary to win and rule effectively.
“Pence was a lower version of Donald Trump last week”
Atima Omara is the founder and main strategist of the Omara Strategy Group. She has been an elected Virginia representative on the Democratic National Committee since 2016.
Mike Pence was a lower version of Donald Trump last week. Pence still managed to interrupt Senator Harris at every turn, not to let her finish, to overrun his time when he could, and to interrupt the presenter. While he sounded more pleasant, he wasn’t much more decent than Trump. If he tried to get more women back, especially suburban women, he failed.
It’s also clear that as in 2016, Pence will also lie about the obvious. More than 200,000 people have died of Covid-19 and more than 7 million have been infected since March. He claimed that President Trump put the health and wellbeing of the American people at the forefront if one had only to look around and see the mismanagement of this pandemic.
“If this had been the Harris who came to the 2020 Democratic primary, she would have been a far more effective challenger to the nomination.”
Tom Nichols is a professor at US Naval War College and author of The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters.
Kamala Harris did better than I expected and Mike Pence did worse than I expected, and the difference said a lot about the state of the two campaigns. Harris found her stride as a runner-up, defending Biden, slapping Trump, and generally staying out of areas where she could be in a quotable situation (e.g., packing in court). She was well prepared and stuck with the evening’s preferred Democratic message: the incompetence and scandals of the Trump administration. In fact, I think if this had been the Harris who came to the 2020 Democratic primary, she would have been a far more effective challenger to the nomination. Wednesday night she seemed ready for the job if needed. In contrast, pence appeared to be depleted compared to four years ago. He was rude to presenter Susan Page, seemed generally tired and angry compared to the lucky warrior he was against Tim Kaine four years ago, and generally adhered to low-energy recitations of the President’s speeches. It was as close to a normal debate as we’ve seen in four years, and it summed up the race where the energy and optimism is with the Democrats and the Republicans have sat down and worn themselves out. Mike Pence even looked like he wasn’t feeling well and something was wrong with his eye, which in itself seemed to be a symbolic addition to the evening.
“We’re getting a vice president on the verge of abortion”
Liz Mair is a Republican campaign communications consultant.
The most revealing moment was when both candidates refused to be honest about their positions on abortion, which underscored how far each position actually differs from most Americans. In any case, we get a vice-president who is marginal in this area.
“Thank you, Mr. Vice President …”
Robert M. Shrum is a former political strategist and director of the Center for the Political Future at the University of Southern California.
The most revealing moments apart from the fly: The frequency with which Susan Page kept saying “Thank you, Mr. Vice President” as Mike Pence plowed ahead, exceeded his time, and repeatedly interrupted Kamala Harris. He wasn’t Donald Trump, but he was disgusting with the two women on this stage. Trump is already in big trouble with suburban women who will pull away from Pence’s condescension and sense of superiority.