Opinion: Sen. Kamala Harris won the VP debate

Columnist Kyle Footman. Photo by Footman

Senator Kamala Harris held her own against Vice President Mike Pence. With an appearance and body language that said a lot more than her words, Harris’ grace and empathy for American citizens showed that true leadership means more to her than anything.

Wednesday night, at the only vice presidential debate ahead of the election, viewers gained the opportunity to learn how Vice President Pence and Senator Harris feel about our nation’s current issues and their views. However, only Harris seemed to have logical and effective plans for our country’s future.

Recently, President Trump and several members of his administration contracted coronavirus and had a blatant disregard for it. Their carelessness made it form-fitting for the moderator to start the first segment about the pandemic.

“The American people have witnessed what is the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country,” stated Senator Harris, calmly, as she answered the first question in the vice presidential debate. She replied with facts and sincere empathy for American citizens while highlighting the negligence of the Trump administration.

Similar to Pence’s running mate, he dodged many questions and spoke over the moderator and his opponent.

Tyianna White, a graduate of Aveda Institute Tallahassee took note of Pence’s constant interruptions.

“Kamala Harris was a real class act throughout the debate,” White said. “Harris and the moderator were frequently interrupted by Pence. However, Harris remained assertive and held her ground by letting him know it is her turn to speak. Yet, again it was a reminder of the disrespect that President Trump’s campaign has for minorities and women.”

When Susan Page, the moderator, asked Vice President Pence, “How can you expect Americans to follow the administration’s safety guidelines to protect themselves from COVID when you at the White House have not been doing so?” Pence did not answer the question. He went on an irrelevant tangent.

Many don’t feel moved by Vice President Pence’s words, including Florida International University alumna, Kira Dean.

“Vice President Pence said a lot as he regularly spoke over Sen. Harris and the moderator,” Dean said. “However, it felt like a rumble of words. I felt no connection to Vice President Pence. Most of what he said felt unauthentic. When Sen. Harris spoke, she used eye contact, hand gestures and made it about the people, not herself.”

“If you have a preexisting condition—heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer, they’re coming for you,” Harris said. “If you love someone who has a preexisting condition, they’re coming for you. If you are under the age of 26 on your parents’ coverage, they’re coming for you.”

Harris attacked the failure of the Trump Administration on healthcare policies.

In response, Pence gave a dry statement, “President Trump and I plan to improve healthcare.” He didn’t explain how or when their administration will improve healthcare.

I believe Harris’s performance was effective and will change this race’s trajectory in favor of Biden’s campaign.