Vice Presidential Debates

With mere weeks left until the next President of the United States is elected, the 2020 Vice Presidential Debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris went underway to determine the worthiness of each candidate. The debate was moderated by Susan Page of USA Today and took place at Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake City, Utah. As political tensions continue to climb to unprecedented highs, the importance and significance of a Vice-Presidential Debate have become more apparent than ever.

When asked about their expectations for the Vice Presidential debate, the teachers and student body of FHS had quite a bit to say. “I can’t wait to see Kamala grill Pence.” One person said.”I hope Pence makes sure to represent (the Trump administration) well.” Another said, “despite deviations in political views, one thing stayed consistent: a desire for more civilized debate.” “I feel bad for all the young voters who are experiencing their first Presidential debate.” Diana Mays-Nielson, coach of Speech and Debate said in regards to the first Presidential Debate. “That’s just not how a debate is supposed to be held.” Another student, Lauren Obenauer, a senior, had this to say: “They were so focused on steamrolling the other that neither of them made any good points…”. Thankfully, the wishes for a more civilized series of dialogue were answered, and the Vice Presidential Debate followed the traditional guidelines of a discussion much more than its Presidential counterpart.

The debate began with Susan Page and representatives from the University of Utah speaking for about twenty minutes, with another ten minutes of silence leading up to the debate. When the debate did start, it didn’t skip a beat in heading toward the heavy-hitting topics first. The initial question went to Harris, inquiring about what the Biden administration would do that the Trump administration has not regarding covid. Kamala went on to call the COVID-19 debacle the “worst failure of any presidential administration in our country.” Despite the occasional jabs at one another, the debate seemed more civil than its predecessor. Both Senator Harris and Vice President Pence had respectful things to say to one another during the debate, with Pence even thanking the senator and her campaign team for sending their best regards to President Trump and the First Lady. This does not mean the debate was completely orthodox, however, with Kamala interrupting Pence three times and Pence interrupting Kamala over ten times. In response, Harris occasionally chimed in over Pence’s interjection with the phrase “Mr. President, I’m speaking. I’m speaking.”

The debate went on to discuss hot-topic issues in our country, such as the climate, economic, and pandemic crises that plague Americans. While the Vice Presidential Debate may not have been the perfect depiction of a traditional discussion, there’s no arguing it was a breath of fresh air for viewers after the catastrophe that was the Presidential Debate.