The first US presidential debate was loaded with personal attacks and misinformation as it trampled the decorum of the tradition. It also ended with President Trump catching the virus infection. The nation has emerged from the chaos to set itself ready for the vice presidential debate in Salt Lake City.
Incumbent vice president Michael Pence and Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris are well prepared to prove their point and paint their vision of the current situation in the United States before the limited audience.
Taking lessons from the first presidential debate this year, officials have stepped up safety protocols. After some initial spat over safety standards, Pence and Harris have decided to attend the debate to prove their point to American people.
Pence and Harris spat over safety
The Commission for Presidential Debate has set the distance between the two participants at 12.25 feet. It is more than double the distance between Biden and Trump in the presidential debate. Masks are mandated for the limited audience. The commission has also arranged for a thin plexiglass wall between Pence and Harris.
Mike Pence and his aides created a ruckus over the plexiglass protocol. The denied any need for such a demarcation. But the commission has already agreed to it.
After the initial controversy, both Pence and Harris confirmed their participation. Pence said that he will be present to show the truth to American people. Kamala Harris also placed her trust in safety arrangements made by Cleveland Clinics, the advisor of the Commission for Presidential Debate.
Pence and Harris: A brief intro
Mike Pence is a 61-year-old conservative Christian, whose loyalty towards Trump is unshakable. In past, he has served as the governor of Indiana. Pence is as outspoken and charming as Trump. He has the ability to connect with common people and move them to action. He has persistently defended Trump all through his term by repackaging his chaotic remarks. Pence is equally defiant in following COVID-19 safety protocols. He continues to be spotted without mask even in groups.
Kamala Harris on other hand is a 55-year-old Democrat from North California. Her father was Jamaican and mother an Indian. She is the first black woman candidate to fight on presidency ticket. She is seen to represent blacks on racial lines, a gamble well played by Biden. Harris is also a fierce critic of Donald Trump. Her stand against Trump has made her widely popular among Democrats. Voters are, however, sceptical towards her on her role as a former prosecutor.
Pence is eager to take on Biden and Harris
Unlike Trump, Pence will not fire relentless personal attacks on her rival. He will target the very root of Biden, his liberal policies. It is said that Pence’s main target will be Joe Biden. He has also hinted that will target Kamala Harris for her leftist orientation and her previous stand on some issues in the Senate.
It will be interesting to see if Pence is able to turn the debate from Trump administration’s failure in handling pandemic and racial discrimination to fallouts of Biden’s liberal policies. The nation must be more eager to hear from Pence, where they failed?
Harris has kept the bar low for herself
Kamala Harris is duly prepared for the debate. She is assisted by Karren Dunn, who prepared Clinton for her 2016 presidential debate. Taking from the past experience, Clinton has also extended some words of advice and caution to Harris. She cautioned her that she can be attacked for being a weak woman candidate by Pence. She must be ready to handle that.
Harris has kept the bar low for her. She already proclaimed Pence to be a better debater and hinting in a laughing tone that she could be disappointing. Some Democrats also fear that her liberal thoughts will prevent her from shining before the glitter of Pence.
Both the participants are crucial entries to the presidency as their running mates are very aged. Expectations are high from both. It remains to be seen who delivers what and to what extent!