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The vice-presidential debate was more courteous than last week’s horror show but still showed two contrasting faces of America.
One: white, male, midwestern, evangelical Christian. The other: Black, female, coastal, progressive.
Striking was Kamala Harris’s ability to weaponise facial expressions. The California senator’s fusillade of raised eyebrows, pursed lips and withering stares at her opponent will live in Democrats’ memory long after the words are forgotten (and probably be viewed by Republicans as sneering elitism).
It was also notable that both candidates did a better job than their bosses in last week’s debate apocalypse. Both were adept at sidestepping questions – such as whether they had discussed “the issue of presidential disability” with their septuagenarian running mates – in favour of talking points. At times, it almost felt like a brief holiday in political normality.
This may also have been a sneak preview of the 2024 election. Harris was on her game and looked ready to take over from Trump’s Democratic presidential challenger, Joe Biden. Pence, the current vice-president, used attack lines on taxes, the Green New Deal and the supreme court that Trump failed to land against Biden last week.
It was hardly a surprise that Pence reeked of white male privilege; it was less anticipated that the target was the moderator, Susan Page of USA Today, as much as Harris. Showing no respect for her questions, rules or timekeeping, he just kept talking and often called her “Susan”.
Struggling to gain control, she pleaded: “I did not create the rules for tonight … I’m here to enforce them.”
So with that, Republicans may have lost more suburban women voters, if that is even possible. But the bottom line is that this VP debate won’t change the race.
Read more here: Looks speak louder than words as Harris makes quotable case against Pence
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Kamala Harris and Mike Pence debate reaction, Trump calls Covid diagnosis ‘blessing’ – live updates | US news