In normal times, vice presidential debates don’t matter much. But in an election year as wild as 2020, everything is magnified.
Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday faced considerable pressure to boost coronavirus-stricken President Donald Trump’s flagging reelection hopes as he trails in national and battleground state polls.
California Sen. Kamala Harris stepped on stage having to balance her role as Joe Biden’s validator with her own historic presence as the first Black woman on a major party national ticket.
The candidates were separated by plexiglass out of concern for spread of the coronavirus from cases emanating from the White House.
Here are key early takeaways from the only vice presidential debate ahead of the Nov. 3 Election Day.
Debate, uninterrupted… Mostly
Millions of Americans were aghast when Trump derailed the first presidential debate with incessant interruptions and a cascade of falsehoods, while Biden answered by calling the Republican incumbent a “clown” who needed to “shut up.”
The opening of Wednesday’s undercard matchup made clear that Pence and Harris were set for a much different encounter — an actual debate.
To be sure, there were sharp moments, some modest interruptions and violations of the debate clock.