Hey, HBCU family! Many commentators feel as if the first debate between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee for the top spot of office in the country, left us out to dry, having a complete lack of substance. With any bias taken out of the equation, we still don’t know who actually won the debate since it was a total fiasco, not to mention Donald and his wife, Melania Trump’s recent diagnosis of the new coronavirus (we wish them both a speedy recovery).
But the first and only debate tonight at 9 p.m. between Vice President Mike Pence and Howard University graduate Kamala Harris at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City should be more interesting and worthwhile to us viewers. Time magazine recently covered a story about this particular debate called “Mike Pence and Kamala Harris Face-Off Tonight. Here’s What To Expect From The Vice Presidential Debate”. Some highlights from the story is below.
Of what to expect from VP Mike Pence:
“Pence’s presence on the debate stage has already been a source of controversy. The Vice President recently attended at least two events with people who were later diagnosed with COVID-19, then worked from home for a few days as more than a dozen White House associates tested positive. Pence has since tested negative at least twice, but even some members of his own party have argued that attending campaign events is an unnecessary risk, given Trump’s uncertain health and the VP’s status as next-in-command.”
“The Biden and Trump campaigns were reportedly arguing over stricter protocols as of Tuesday, the Washington Post reported. The two candidates are expected to stand several feet farther away from one another on the stage than originally planned, and were reportedly set to be separated by a wall of Plexiglass. But the Trump campaign was reportedly eschewing the need for such a screen. “We don’t have enough details on who is ill and who is not,” says Colleen Kraft, associate chief medical officer at Emory University Hospital, in an email to TIME, “but as long as the attendees are screened, or tested, and there is risk mitigation by spacing, this can proceed.””
“Coronavirus is also likely to be a source of political conflict on stage. The Trump Administration’s response to the pandemic has already been a political weak spot for the President’s reelection effort. For months, a majority of Americans have disapproved of his Administration’s handling of the pandemic, which Pence has played a major role in as head of the White House’s coronavirus task force. A series of recent scandals in the wake of the President’s COVID-19 diagnosis — including the White House’s apparent lack of contact tracing and its dissembling over the President’s heath — have kept the Administration’s pandemic-related missteps in the news.”
Of what to expect from HU grad Kamala Harris:
“Meanwhile, the expectations are high for Harris, too. A former prosecutor, Harris has in the past excelled in high-pressure public-speaking settings. Perhaps her most memorable moment during the primary was in attacking former Vice President Joe Biden over his record on busing — questions that she later struggled to answer herself. In the Senate, her deft questioning of people like Attorney General Bill Barr and now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on the Senate Judiciary Committee burnished her reputation in the chamber.”
“After Biden tapped her as his running mate in August, Harris has largely stayed out of the spotlight except for her speech at the Democratic National Convention. If the bar is for a running mate to do no harm, Harris just has to continue doing what she has been doing.”
“As a result of these realities, experts suggest that Harris will have to perform more of a rhetorical balancing act than a white, male counterpart might. She is expected, for example, to have to maneuver more nimbly around the fact that Biden has cast himself as a transitional candidate, and may have to be careful in discussing the topic of the President’s ongoing illness. “It might make [Trump] a more sympathetic figure, but I think regardless of whether he had a COVID-19 diagnosis or not, there was likely to be some spin of her being too aggressive or that her questioning was problematic,” said LaFleur Stephens-Dougan, assistant professor of politics at Princeton University. “Damned if she does, damned if she doesn’t.””
Head over to Time magazine to read more.