The one and only vice presidential debate


Photo from Flickr

Lily Wichert, Copy Editor

Regardless of the political dividance that lies in our nation, America can agree on one thing: the Presidential Debate this year was a disaster. Between interruptions and unprofessional arguing, the millions of viewers that watched the first debate between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump can agree that little proper debating took place. With one of the most polarized and impactful elections just a few days away, America tuned into the debate to hear details about both of these candidate’s thoughts and policies. 

On Tuesday, October 7, Americans tuned to the Vice Presidential Debate for more answers, rather than turning off the TV with even more questions. This was the first time that Kamala Harris, Joe Biden’s running mate, debated current Vice President Mike Pence to discuss their views on various topics, including the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, economics, and other hot topics. The session was moderated by Emily Page, who is Chief Bureau of Washington for USA Today, as well as a DC press corp.

 Page began the conversation clearly stating that each candidate was to respect the other and avoid interruptions, unlike the first debate between the presidential candidates.

“I am here to enforce [the rules] on behalf of the millions of Americans that are watching,” Page said. 

 The role of the moderator in a debate is to ensure that the topics of debate remain in focus during the short period of time each candidate has to discuss their views. Page proved to do this throughout the session through reminding both Harris and Pence of their interruptions, and the importance of conveying information clearly to the American people.

The first agenda that was discussed between Harris and Pence was the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, and the plans each administration has to deal with the pandemic. The first question was directed towards Harris, asking what the Biden team will do that the current administration has failed to. This year’s Democratic candidates hold plans to mandate masks and social distancing, and do all necessary steps to return back to life before the pandemic. Harris claimed that the Trump Administration’s actions regarding the pandemic has been the “greatest failure” of the presidential administration. Pence quickly rebutted this statement, claiming that the Trump Administration has been “saving lives all along the way.” A greater problem was presented to each candidate, which is how they plan to deal with vaccinations and their distribution. 

Throughout the 90-minute session, Harris and Pence debated 9 topics, each for about 10 minutes. Overall, the tone of the debate was less dramatic and confusing than the first debate between Biden and Trump. Both Harris and Pence interrupted one another, but not nearly to the extent that Americans witnessed on the first round of debates. While this debate marked the first and only ice presidential debate, the discussion was kept lively and civil. 

After the announcement of President Trump’s positive COVID-19 test on October 2, many people on social media expressed concerns for the safety of candidates during debates. For the one and only vice presidential debate, Harris and Pence were seated over 12 feet away from each other and separated by plexiglass. The second presidential debate was scheduled for October 15, with the hopes of the Presidential Debate Committee to hold the event virtually. After this news was announced, President Trump quickly refused to attend any online event. 

“I’m not going to waste my time on a virtual debate,” President Trump said in an interview with Fox.

The commission was left with no option but to cancel the second scheduled debate. The final debate between Biden and Trump occured on October 22 at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. 

With just one week until the election, each presidential candidate is watched closely by millions of people across the country. As the candidates face the last few days of their campaign for presidency, Americans will decide who shall represent the nation on November 3.