It was an excellent scene of mutual respect and intellectual engagement on Wednesday, October 7 when US vice-president Mike Pence took on his Democratic challenger, Senator Kamala Harris, in a crucial match-up ahead of the country's much-anticipated election.
The debate, which was held on the campus of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah, was a clear deviation from the overwhelmingly embarrassing match-up between Donald Trump and Joe Biden on Wednesday, September 29.
Rather, Pence and Harris took every discussion with a sharp political instinct that may determine the outcome of the election scheduled to hold on November 3, with Trump putting his presidency on the line for another second term in the Oval office.
Meanwhile, Briefly.co.za highlights three major standouts from the mutually intelligible match-up between the two respected politicians.
1. Dispute over election
Of course, President Trump will have to test his popularity again, and this time it will be against the experienced former vice president and senator Biden.
The election will hold amid "troubled" United States characterised by controversial policies and polarising political statements that have pitched the government against the people — with Black Lives Matter campaign heightening towards the election.
President Trump had vowed repeatedly not to accept the outcome of the election if he lost. So, when the question popped up on Trump's position, both Pence and Harris danced around what would happen in the event of a disputed election.
While Harris urged the supporters to use their "voices and votes to win", Pence played a wit script, accusing Democrats of denying the legitimacy of Trump’s 2016 victory through investigations and impeachment threats.
2. Question on the age of the presidential candidates
The age of Donald Trump and Joe Biden has always been a concern with conversation openly shifted to how a septuagenarian can tackle the challenges of the US in the debate.
It would be noted that Trump is 74 while Biden is 77. Should Biden win the election in November, he would become the oldest president U.S ever produced in its history.
So when asked about the health of their elderly running mates, Harris (55) and Pence (61) ducked the question.
Harris, instead, talked about her life as a child of immigrants who later became California attorney general.
Pence directed the attention to vaccines for coronavirus. Another highlight is how Harris criticised Trump for not paying his tax.
3. Nothing but mutual respect from both sides
Contrary to the violent utterances that characterised Trump vs Biden matchup, Pence and Harris maintained a relatively low-key strategy.
Both challengers did much service to the image of American democracy by respecting each other's views, though there were instances things heated up, but only to a simmer, not a boil.
Unlike Trump and Biden who interrupted each other with words like "Shut up Mr Man," Harris and Pence showed mutual tolerance.
In fact, Pence said:
“In America, we can disagree. We can debate vigorously as Senator Harris and I have on this stage tonight. But when the debate is over, we come together as Americans."
Meanwhile, former president Barack Obama called for massive support for Joe Biden, the opposition party's presidential hopeful.
Speaking on Wednesday, August 19, on the third day of the 2020 Democratic National Convention which featured "a must-see line-up of former and presidential hopeful", Obama berated the administration of Trump for taking numerous unconscious approaches that pitched government against the people.
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