The Vice-presidential debate took place on Wednesday, October 7, and it was very interesting to see how these candidates stood on some issues and how they would answer these tough questions. Overall, there was a lot that was discussed at these debates and a lot to unpack from what we all witnessed that night.
To start, the moderator. I feel bad for her. After she asked each question, it seemed that she was being talked over by both Senator Harris and Vice President Pence. It was obvious both candidates just wanted to listen to themselves talk. As a woman, I get talked over all the time, which irritates me to no end, so from the get-go I was angry with her. Otherwise, she asked some very insightful questions and she must have really thought these out. I thought it was nice to see that the writer of the questions was the same person to present them. The final question she did not write herself, but it is important so I will get to that in a minute.
In terms of Sen. Kamala Harris, I think her overall tone was aggressive and angry. She veered from answering the questions a lot and it was frustrating to watch as she would be asked about one thing and then answered, what seemed like, a very different question. Pence even called her out on this numerous times, which was very refreshing, even though he did the same thing a few times throughout the night. One thing that stood out to me about one of Harris’ answers was on the Supreme Court. Essentially, Harris decided that in 1864 Lincoln refused to replace Judge Taney’s spot until the election was over. As a history enthusiast myself, as I study history here at Keene State, I felt that her statement seemed a little accusatory to just pin that on “Honest Abe‘’ like that. So, after reading a few articles myself, I can say that that did not happen. The senate was out of session in October of 1864 and would not be back again until December of 1864, after the Election. Even if that was intentional, which it clearly was not, he was running against George McClellan, who was relatively unpopular in the North, as he ran as a Democrat. Seeing that the Southern states did not vote in this election, for obvious reasons, Lincoln would have been safe to assume he would continue to serve as president.
As for Vice President Mike Pence, I thought overall he did well. He, like Harris, interrupted and talked over the moderator which was aggravating, and also avoided certain questions but I think his overall performance was well done. He also had a fly land on his head which I have not stopped hearing about either. I think his answers were quite satisfactory and what I expected from Pence.
However, I think the last question of the night is what really set Pence apart from Harris and really made him the true victor of the night. This question was submitted by an eighth grade girl and it essentially states that everywhere on TV she sees people fighting about politics and that it is upsetting to see something like that almost every day and she wanted to know how they felt about this problem when it comes to extremely partisan actions. Pence stated that people fight a lot and that it is human nature to have disagreements, and that America was founded on disagreements but that at the end of the day people can respect others who feel differently than they do. He continued with that, at the end of the day, even though himself and Senator Harris disagree, they are still in it for the good of America and bitter rivals can still be kind and respectful to each other. On the other hand, Kamala Harris used her platform to talk more about policy and Joe Biden then really answering the girl’s question. Personally, I think Mike Pence won the debate because of that answer alone.
Lydia Mardin can be contacted at: