Who won the VP debate? Commentary from CNN commentators

Ah, it was good to be again in 2012…if just for an evening. The vice presidential debate was substantive on points ranging from China to fracking to tax coverage. It was unquestionably a face-off between two polished, lengthy serving politicians buying and selling barbs in the cadence of Washington. And it was boring. Perhaps we have forgotten how pretty boring may actually be.

Sen. Kamala Harris got here in on sky-high expectations however had a a lot harder needle to string. She and former Vice President Joe Biden are main in the polls, so her marketing campaign did not want or wish to change the trajectory of the race. Her deliberative tone was necessary. But there could be no upside at this level, for the Biden marketing campaign to have her get into the weeds on insurance policies—whether or not they assist limits on abortion or whether or not they would add seats to the Supreme Court—that might solely flip off uncommitted voters. She averted these.

Vice President Mike Pence, as the underdog, had no such draw back and tried to maneuver the needle by specializing in the particulars.

Did it matter? Nope. Has the race modified as of tonight as a result of Pence stored speaking over his time and Harris would not reply whether or not she supported including justices to the Supreme Court? Definitely not. Because this is not 2012. And all anybody will care about from tonight is the fly on Pence’s head.

Sarah Isgur is a CNN political analyst. She is a employees author at The Dispatch and an adjunct professor at George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs. She beforehand labored on three Republican presidential campaigns and graduated from Harvard Law School.

Julian Zelizer: Democrats, be extra direct about menace posed by Trump

There is a basic asymmetry between Democrats and Republicans: As Trump’s former advisor Steve Bannon once said, Republicans go for the head wound, Democrats for the pillow combat.
Tonight, this was on show. Given her immense talent as an orator and in debating, Harris was extremely restrained — even sticking to her time when Pence stored going over. Facing the Vice President of an administration whose file can solely be in comparison with James Buchanan, Herbert Hoover, and Richard Nixon, the Senator nonetheless did not go for the jugular. The two candidates had been actually separated by plexiglass limitations as a result of Pence might be one of the people who has caught Covid-19 in the reckless insurance policies inside the White House—a logo for his or her complete response to the pandemic.

There are so many moments on this debate – -and normally conversations about the marketing campaign — the place the fundamental unreality of the second is one thing left unsaid. Sometimes evidently the handful of disaffected Republicans in the Lincoln Project are extra prepared to only say the apparent.

In the finish, the limitations of tonight’s debate may not matter. Harris is a talented debater and conveyed the key factors. It is straightforward to think about her being president in the future. She can also be working with a candidate, Joe Biden, who enjoys a a lot stronger standing in the polls. As lengthy as she just isn’t making errors, then, proper now, she is successful. The objective of a vice presidential debate is do no hurt. She did not do any hurt.

But nonetheless, there may be a lot extra that Democrats can say about all the things that has occurred since 2017. This is not a debate about variations in coverage — it is a debate about what the state of our nation and democracy shall be in a long time to come back. Our well being, our politics, our financial system, our public life is sick. It’s time for Democrats to be extra direct about the threats that the nation faces below a Trump presidency.

Julian Zelizer, a CNN political analyst, is a professor of historical past and public affairs at Princeton University and creator of the ebook, “Burning Down the House: Newt Gingrich, the Fall of a Speaker, and the Rise of the New Republican Party.” Follow him on Twitter @julianzelizer.

Frida Ghitis: Pence releases his internal Trump

Frida Ghitis

California Sen. Kamala Harris simply won the debate, as Vice President Mike Pence confirmed an unexpectedly impolite facet of his character. Pence got here throughout as Donald Trump-light, telling falsehoods, interrupting others and ignoring the guidelines, nearly as a lot as the boss he praised along with his traditional unctuousness. But as a result of (in contrast to his boss) he can put collectively full sentences, Pence was in a position to pack in additional whoppers per second than Trump did in final week’s deranged presidential debate.

Pence spoke over the two girls in entrance of him, condescendingly ignoring moderator Susan Page’s repeated entreaties to cease speaking when his time was up, and ceaselessly interrupting his rival, who tried to maintain her cool, as girls usually really feel they need to, saying “I’d like equal time.”

Harris won as a result of she had a lot extra materials to work with. All she needed to do was cite the info about the Trump administration’s catastrophic dealing with of the coronavirus. Incidentally, the failures had been evident in Pence’s very presence there, when he ought to have been in quarantine, in keeping with the US Centers for Disease Control’s tips.

Harris pointed to Trump’s failuress in paying his taxes, his efforts to do away with Obamacare in the midst of a pandemic, the dismal state of the financial system, Trump’s reluctance to obviously condemn white supremacists, and on and on. Pence responded with the acquainted lies and evasions we now have been listening to from Trump for months, together with just a few new doozies.

It was laborious to comprise amusing when he claimed Trump has been excellent on the atmosphere and is listening to the scientists, when he mentioned Trump has all the time advised the reality and when he repeatedly misrepresented Biden’s international coverage record.

Frida Ghitis, a former CNN producer and correspondent, is a world affairs columnist. She is a frequent opinion contributor to CNN, a contributing columnist to the Washington Post and a columnist for World Politics Review. Follow her on Twitter @fridaghitis.

Scott Jennings: Is Harris any good at this?

Scott Jennings

Debate moderator Susan Page was fabulous, though it is already clear she shall be assailed by the left to elucidate Sen. Kamala Harris’s failure. Pro tip for the left: complaining about the moderator means you misplaced.

Kamala Harris flopped in epic trend tonight, whereas Vice President Mike Pence adopted in the footsteps of Joe Biden (2012) and Dick Cheney (2004), former vice presidents for incumbents presidents who had tanked of their opening debate, after which noticed their quantity two’s step up and proper the ship.

Pence carried out a masterclass in the best way to put together for and execute a transparent, successful debate technique. He sliced and diced his method via taxes, fracking, the Green New Deal, and which ticket is greatest to deal with America’s future restoration, successful each trade on these matters. Pence did what Trump didn’t do in his debate in opposition to Biden—acknowledge his opponent’s errors after which clearly drive dwelling the successful level. The trade over packing the Supreme Court was an epic failure by Harris (and Biden final week), and Pence performed it completely. Pence flawlessly weaved in folks and tales he introduced alongside to Salt Lake City to attain a number of factors.

Harris’s file, mixed with a relative lack of expertise and success at this degree on the nationwide stage was an actual downside for the Democratic ticket tonight. Biden clearly desires to run a average marketing campaign, however he picked a working mate who has said she would repeal Trump tax cuts, was a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal, had said she would ban fracking, and voted against the USMCA commerce deal (though it had vast bipartisan support).

Biden was so wanting to verify identification politics packing containers in selecting Harris that he by no means stopped to ask: Is she any good at this, and does her file match my wishes?

Tonight, we came upon the reply (once more): No.

Scott Jennings, a CNN contributor, is a former particular assistant to President George W. Bush and a former marketing campaign adviser to Sen. Mitch McConnell. He is a companion at RunSwitch Public Relations in Louisville, Kentucky. Follow him on Twitter @ScottJenningsKY.

Van Jones: Kamala Harris made historical past tonight

Van Jones

We would not have vice presidential debates so we will hear the similar speaking factors from totally different folks. The level is to determine if the folks on the stage can function commander in chief.

Sen. Kamala Harris made historical past tonight as a Black lady. After 90 minutes of debate, nobody is saying she couldn’t function President of the United States. People will quibble together with her solutions, or disagree together with her insurance policies. That is regular. But nobody is saying this lady couldn’t do the job. She cleared the bar.

Harris knocked the tar out of Vice President Mike Pence on the Covid-19 pandemic in the starting and ended sturdy, speaking about justice for all Americans. In the center, she needed to stroll that tightrope that each one girls, particularly Black girls, know too properly. Strong, however not too sturdy, empathetic however not too emotional. It was not an ideal efficiency, however she did what she needed to do.

Vice President Pence was masterful at one factor: normalizing conservatism. He can take right-wing conspiracy theories and President Donald Trump’s grievances and make them sound mellow and unthreatening. But he additionally did it by being Mike the Mansplainer in Chief, continually speaking over Harris and the moderator.

CNN host Van Jones is the CEO of the REFORM Alliance, a legal justice group.

SE Cupp: Pence’s efficiency won’t play properly with the folks whose votes he wants

SE Cupp

As all the time, I watched and listened to the vice presidential debate via the eyes and ears of white suburban girls — not simply because I’m one, however as a result of these voters might very properly decide the destiny of the election.

And what I noticed was a person who talked over not simply his feminine opponent but in addition the feminine moderator. He mansplained and condescended. He ignored the guidelines, the format, the questions, and moderator Susan Page’s makes an attempt to chop him off. It wasn’t as buffoonish as President Donald Trump’s efficiency final week—Vice President Mike Pence remained calm, averted petty insults and caught principally to speaking factors — however that was, in a method, worse.

Trump would not have the dexterity, self-discipline or data base to remain on subject, reply questions instantly, observe the guidelines and keep away from advert hominem. Pence does, and as an alternative selected to disrespect the two girls on that stage.

For the white suburban girls who’ve fled the Republican Party and Trump in droves, it was an echo of the previous few years, the place they’ve felt disrespected and turned off by this administration’s divisiveness, fear-mongering, incompetence, corruption, bigotry and politics of revenge. It wasn’t only a dangerous search for the Trump-Pence ticket, it was an insult to the very girls they should keep in workplace.

SE Cupp is a CNN political commentator and the host of “SE Cupp Unfiltered.”

Lanhee Chen: Pence’s greatest accomplishment of the night time

Lanhee J. Chen

The American folks noticed a way more regular debate tonight. And it allowed them to grasp that there are stark variations in coverage between what 4 extra years of Donald Trump would appear to be, as in comparison with a Biden-Harris administration. The variations throughout points as vast ranging as vitality coverage, legal justice coverage and taxation had been significantly hanging.

Vice President Pence’s potential to characterize Kamala Harris and the Democratic ticket extra broadly as overly progressive was his greatest accomplishment of the night time. For instance, Pence’s assertion that Biden’s curiosity in repealing the Trump tax cuts will imply tax hikes for all voters on day one in every of a brand new administration was an efficient assault that was largely left unanswered by Harris.

Also impactful was his declare that each Biden and Harris have, at occasions, embraced vitality insurance policies that might have actual financial impacts in battleground states like Ohio and Pennsylvania. These are the financial points on which the Trump-Pence ticket ought to focus their hearth in the closing weeks of the marketing campaign.

It’s unlikely that the VP debate will in the end have any actual influence on the election except Trump can execute these substantive assaults in opposition to Joe Biden in the similar disciplined method that Pence did on Wednesday. He’ll have the first actual probability to take action when he meets Biden at the second presidential debate subsequent week.

Lanhee J. Chen is the David and Diane Steffy Fellow in American Public Policy Studies at the Hoover Institution and Director of Domestic Policy Studies in the Public Policy Program at Stanford University. He served as coverage director of Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential marketing campaign and senior adviser to Marco Rubio’s marketing campaign in 2016.

Keith Boykin: The insect omen at Wednesday’s debate

Keith Boykin

If there was one omen about Wednesday night time’s debate, it got here from the fly that landed on Mike Pence’s hair and stayed there. Its sudden look distracted from Pence’s message and indicated that the night time was going lower than completely for the Vice President.

Going into Wednesday night time’s debate, I believed the expectations for Kamala Harris had been unreasonably excessive. By the finish of the night time, nevertheless, she met them. She prosecuted the case in opposition to Donald Trump. She defended Joe Biden and her personal file. And she managed to do all of it whereas strolling a racist, sexist tightrope that holds skilled Black girls to unfair requirements of decorum.

Trailing badly in the polls, Pence wanted to attain a knockout to vary the momentum of the marketing campaign. Instead, he repeated empty platitudes and speaking factors that contradicted the reality about the coronavirus and the financial system. And after months of struggling below the weight of the pandemic and an financial system in freefall, Americans knew Pence was defending the indefensible.

In the finish, nothing that occurred in the debate did something to maneuver the needle. And that is dangerous information for the Trump-Pence 2020 ticket.

Keith Boykin is a CNN political commentator and a former White House aide to President Bill Clinton.

Jessica Anderson: Harris just isn’t a superb search for Biden

Jessica Anderson

The vice presidential debate was the one America wanted.

Before this debate, the American folks puzzled which Kamala Harris would present up — the loyal working mate or the liberal warrior? Now we all know. She confirmed that progressives try to be Joe Biden’s boss. And that price her the debate.

Last yr, Harris was rated extra liberal than some other US Senator by GovTrack.us, and her efficiency on Wednesday proved nothing has modified. She promised a repeal of Trump’s tax cuts, which a Heritage Foundation study shows assist the center class, refused to disavow the Green New Deal she co-sponsored, and dodged the court-packing query.

Wednesday’s efficiency confirmed progressives like Harris nonetheless have the similar objectives as ever — however now they’re utilizing Biden to realize these objectives.

Mike Pence, in distinction, supplied a transparent imaginative and prescient for America. An America of regulation and order, one that gives financial alternative for all Americans, and one which takes on China. Most importantly, Pence has the similar imaginative and prescient for America as President Donald Trump. There isn’t any house between them. Trump and Pence are a group, enjoying for the similar objective — the similar can’t be mentioned of Biden and Harris.

Jessica Anderson is Executive Director of Heritage Action, a nationwide grassroots group. She can also be the Founder and President of Moms for Safe Neighborhoods, a PAC advocating on security and safety points and supporting President Trump. Anderson previously served as an Associate Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget from 2017 to 2018. Follow her on Twitter at @JessAnderson2.

Paul Begala: The night time belonged to Kamala Harris

Paul Begala

It wasn’t a lot a debate as a time machine. For roughly 90 minutes, the nation was transported to a post-Donald Trump period of politics. Mike Pence and Kamala Harris gave us a preview of the place every may lead their events after their septuagenarian ticket-toppers retire.

If the VP debate was any indication, the Democrats’ future is sensible, sturdy and highly effective. The GOP’s future is, apparently, shameless obeisance to Trump and all he stands for.

Harris confirmed the world why Joe Biden’s first presidential choice was a masterstroke. She indicted the Trump regime with a relentless, remorseless command of the info. She was chopping but charming; righteously indignant but likeable.

A former discuss radio host who billed himself as “Rush Limbaugh on decaf,” Pence was uncharacteristically impolite. Pro tip: for those who’re 31 points behind amongst girls, do not discuss over your feminine opponent and the feminine moderator.

When he wasn’t interrupting, Pence was fawning over Trump’s supposed accomplishments. One day Trump will exit the stage, and Pence will wish to take over. If, as I believe, Trump is main his social gathering off a cliff, few will thank Pence for cheering, “Keep going, boss!”

Both in fashion and on substance, the night time belonged to Harris. Her case that the Trump administration has been a depressing failure is self-evident in the deaths of over 210,000 Americans from Covid-19. What may very well be a extra apt metaphor than the indisputable fact that debate organizers required a plexiglass barrier to guard Harris and others from being contaminated — from the head of the White House Coronavirus Task Force?

One piece of breaking information: we lastly discovered a wall the Trump group doesn’t like.
Paul Begala, a Democratic strategist and CNN political commentator, was a political marketing consultant for Bill Clinton’s presidential marketing campaign in 1992 and served as a counselor to Clinton in the White House. He is the creator of the new ebook, “You’re Fired: The Perfect Guide to Beating Donald Trump.”

Nayyera Haq: Harris goes after Trump’s veracity

Nayyera Haq
Senator Kamala Harris won the debate the second she said, “You respect the American people when you tell them the truth.” When talking in protection of the Trump Administration’s file, no surrogate ought to ever utter the phrases info, reality, and honesty. Pence made this error early in the debate by praising the “transparency” of Trump’s Covid-19 response and was rapidly known as to the mat by Harris, who used the phrase to pivot to Trump’s obfuscation on his taxes, private well being, and myriad different points.
Four years into the Trump administration, Pence attempting to say the ethical excessive floor of truthiness is a clear lie. By distinction, Harris’ statement that “Donald Trump does not know what it means to be honest” rang clear and true.

In the absence of having the ability to defend Trump’s veracity, Pence used his soothing voice to sound cheap as an intentional distinction to the belligerent strategy of the man at the high of his ticket. Where Trump scared off voters along with his aggressive debate efficiency, Pence went overboard when he counseled VP Biden’s public service and Senator Harris’ historic nomination. Trump has dug such a deep gap on notion that Pence actually resorted to praising his opposition, simply to realize some wanted good factors.

What Pence did obtain was reminding voters about the coverage positions adopted by the complete Republican Party. Pence’s calm strategy belied the excessive positions supported by the present GOP — assist for dictators, tax cuts for the rich, ending reproductive freedoms, and repealing well being care protections. Senator Harris made it clear to viewers what is at stake with the Trump-Pence ticket: “They’re coming for you.”
Nayyera Haq is a number on SiriusXM Progress and CEO of a global communications agency. She served in the Obama administration as a senior adviser in the State Department and a senior director in the White House.

Aaron David Miller: The most necessary vice presidential debate in historical past that won’t change a factor

Aaron David Miller

Yes, this will have been the most necessary vice-presidential debate in American historical past. But even with two of the oldest presidential candidates in historical past, it is laborious to think about {that a} vice-presidential choose goes to instantly affect voters’ choice for president.

It most likely won’t. But earlier than dismissing Wednesday night time’s encounter as a Seinfeld present about nothing, think about a few takeaways.

First, had Sen. Kamala Harris melted down, dedicated some galactic stumble, bumble or tumble, and didn’t successfully defend former Vice President Joe Biden and assault Vice President Mike Pence, she might need harm Biden badly, elevating public concern that will have mirrored badly on his judgment on a vice-presidential choose. Instead Harris carried out very properly (actually higher on the debate stage than her putative boss) demonstrating competency, compassion on the points and humor and toughness in standing as much as Pence.

Second, the not so invisible pressure hanging over the debate was the coronavirus. From the plexiglass dividers to President Donald Trump’s an infection and the Covid-19 cluster in the White House to the Administration’s dealing with of the pandemic, this — and well being care normally –is maybe a defining subject in influencing voter perceptions and the space wherein the Administration is most weak. Harris did properly in taking aside the administration’s file, helped by Pence’s speaking factors untethered from actuality that made it unmistakably clear that Democrats take significantly the gravest menace to America’s public well being in a century and Republicans do not.

The backside line is: Harris held her personal after which some. So did Pence. The debate won’t change the numbers or many of us’ minds.

Aaron David Miller is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and creator of “The End of Greatness: Why America Can’t Have (and Doesn’t Want) Another Great President.” He was a Middle East negotiator in Democratic and Republican administrations.

Tara Setmayer: Pence peddled propaganda. Harris introduced info.

Tara Setmayer
Coming into tonight’s debate, the Trump marketing campaign was already behind in the polls and dealing with an enormous gender hole with suburban girls. With Election Day solely weeks away, President Donald Trump’s re-election marketing campaign needed to cease its downward trajectory if they’ve any probability of turning issues round. Pence’s debate efficiency didn’t try this. At greatest, polls stay unchanged. At worst, the gender hole widens in favor of Biden-Harris.

Why? Mike Pence pandered. Kamala Harris prosecuted. While Pence was condescending and canned, Harris was in command and assured. Unlike Pence, who appeared to suppose Americans would not discover his feeble makes an attempt to gaslight them on Trump’s failed Covid-19 response, Kamala Harris talked on to thousands and thousands of American impacted by Trump’s ineptitude. Harris’ potential to tick off Trump’s failures on not solely Covid-19 and well being care, however on Trump’s his feckless international coverage favoring dictators over allies, sample of dishonesty and insults in opposition to US service members, was a devastating indictment of the period of Trump.

Pence peddled propaganda. Harris introduced info. Harris did her job presenting the voters with a transparent selection between vastly totally different visions for America’s future. Winner, Harris.

Tara Setmayer is a former GOP communications director, host of the “Honestly Speaking with Tara” podcast and a CNN political contributor. She is a senior adviser to the Lincoln Project.

David Gergen: Not even the VP debate can rescue Trump’s marketing campaign

David Gergen

This vice presidential debate was considerably extra civil and extra watchable than that shambolic occasion of final week. Even so, I doubt it rescued Donald Trump from the crumbling of his presidency. Mike Pence gave the greatest protection any Republican has product of the Trump file, however he was dealt a foul deck of playing cards. Meanwhile, Kamala Harris carried out steadily throughout the night time, avoiding gaffes and defending the Democrats’ lead.

That the debate most likely modified few minds doesn’t make it insignificant, nevertheless. The Trump White House is falling aside at an astonishing tempo. With time working out, they desperately wanted a victory tonight. According to CNN’s post-debate poll, although, the Trump teamed failed to take action — with 59% of voters saying Harris won the debate and solely 38% saying Pence won.

This debate was additionally necessary in advancing the political stature of Harris. She missed just a few alternatives to attain factors, together with when she didn’t assault the Trump’s administration dealing with of a Covid outbreak in the White House itself. But, general, her capability to assemble sturdy arguments and ship them with an infectious smile confirmed she is an actual professional. Harris has come a good distance in demonstrating that we might be in sound palms if destiny calls her to the presidency.

Final level: the debate fee wants to vary the construction of those debates. Moderators ask about so many matters so rapidly that there isn’t any time left for in-depth dialog. Nine matters in 90 minutes are about 5 too many.

David Gergen has been a White House adviser to 4 presidents and is a senior political analyst at CNN. A graduate of Harvard Law School, he’s a professor of public service at the Harvard Kennedy School, the place he based the Center for Public Leadership.

Danielle Pletka: VP debate reminds Americans of pending hazard

Danielle Pletka

Wednesday’s debate between Vice President Mike Pence and would-be vice chairman California Sen. Kamala Harris was a pleasing reminder of a extra genteel period of well mannered droning, when marketing campaign speeches masqueraded as precept. This is maybe why a actuality present host won the final bout.

Scoring the spherical, it appeared that Pence edged Harris barely, if solely as a result of he spoke to extra than simply his base. Harris successfully reminded her viewers of the many Covid-related failures of this administration, however in any other case failed to maneuver a lot past the commonplace Democratic Party speaking factors.

Pence, on the different hand, successfully underscored what to many is one in every of the extra scary likelihoods of a Biden-Harris administration: A packed Supreme Court. The indisputable fact that Harris refused, like former Vice President Joe Biden earlier than her, to reply the query of whether or not a Biden administration would assist upending the court docket so as to safe a liberal majority solely additional implies that that is certainly doubtless their plan.

There is way — so very a lot — to abhor in what has already come and should but come from a second Trump time period. Yet, with all its failings, Trump’s presidency has solely accentuated the energy of American establishments (usually to his chagrin). A Biden administration, coupled with a Democratic Senate and House, would probably upend these establishments so as to safe outcomes congenial to their base. On Wednesday night time, Americans had been reminded of that hazard.

Danielle Pletka is a senior fellow in international and protection coverage research at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the place she focuses on US international coverage typically and the Middle East particularly. Until January 2020, Pletka was the senior vice chairman of international and protection coverage research at AEI.

Peter Bergen: Mike Pence’s unimaginable process

Peter Bergen
Vice President Mike Pence had an unimaginable process Wednesday night time. As the head of the Trump administration’s coronavirus process pressure, Pence needed to defend the administration’s file when more than 210,000 Americans are already lifeless from Covid-19.
Pence flunked that take a look at, not least as a result of his boss has Covid and is working in the Oval Office with out quarantining himself, in defiance of his personal administration’s tips about what to do when you’ve got the illness.

The Trump administration all the time focuses on the visuals. The pictures from the debate advised one story as each vice presidential candidates had been separated by plexiglass and sat greater than 12 ft away from one another — whereas Pence resorted to his traditional set of bromides about the greatness of the Trump presidency,

At one level, Pence was requested why the US had fared worse than an identical industrialized democracy — Canada — with its response to the pandemic. Pence actually had no good reply to that query, as an alternative blaming China.

The Chinese actually deserve some blame for his or her early missteps in Wuhan, the place the virus originated, however that was again in late 2019 and early 2020. Nine months later and Pence articulated no actual plan about how a second Trump administration may try to lastly lick this virus.

Peter Bergen is CNN’s nationwide safety analyst, a vice chairman at New America and a professor of observe at Arizona State University. He is senior editor of the Coronavirus Daily Brief and creator of the new ebook “Trump and His Generals: The Cost of Chaos.”

Alice Stewart: Pence won over the undecided voters

Alice Stewart

What a distinction per week makes. The vice presidential debate had much less sizzle, however much more civility than final week’s fiery presidential debate. Vice President Mike Pence and California Sen. Kamala Harris did meet rule #1 of vice presidential debates: Do no hurt.

Vice presidential debates do not typically change the trajectory of a marketing campaign, however the undercard debate is a chance to win over voters who’re nonetheless on the fence.

Undecided voters usually determine on fashion and substance over coverage. With that in thoughts, Pence won the night time. Hands down. He was calm and in command as he outlined the distinction between the Trump ticket versus the Biden-Harris ticket.

Harris’ smirks and laughs got here throughout as abrasive and never likeable. Persona usually outweighs coverage with the swing voters.

While there may be room for debate about the present administration’s dealing with of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Vice President did properly to stipulate what has labored, together with restricting travel from China, offering sources to medical doctors and nurses and prioritizing the improvement of a vaccine.

Harris did little to dispel the notion of a progressive Biden agenda, together with elevating taxes, following the Green New Deal framework and exhibiting potential leniency towards China. She refused to reply the query of packing the courts, and this is a crucial query that must be answered by Biden or Harris in the subsequent few weeks of the marketing campaign.

Rule #2 of VP debates: Support the high of the ticket. Both candidates did try this with out query and with out hesitation. We can solely hope the subsequent presidential debate comes off with out interruptions and insults.

Alice Stewart is a CNN political commentator, fellow at the Kennedy Institute of Politics at Harvard University, and former communications director for Ted Cruz for President.

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