Thoughts on tonights VP debate, all of which came to me while on a bicycle ride this afternoon, so if they are jumbled you can blame the warm October weather.
1. With all the virus coming out of Washington, maybe I need a plexiglass screen between my television and me.
2. Vice President Pence is, by all accounts, a decent and nice man. I wonder if he will attempt the belligerent and bombastic strategy his boss used last week? If not (and I hope not), will he go the opposite direction and be syrupy sweet?
3. Okay, now here is the catch, if Vice President Pence goes syrupy sweet, it could look like he is patronizing Senator Harris and that will not be a good thing because the President is already hemorrhaging the female vote.
4. Will Senator Harris attack the Vice President on the coronavirus, since he is the head of the task force, or will she keep her target on the President? Smart money says go after POTUS, but the virus is such a soft target she may find it hard to resist. My feeling is she should stay away from it, because the disastrous political response to COVID-19 speaks for itself.
5. Senator Harris was not popular with the left-wing of the Democratic Party during the primaries because of her strong prosecutorial record. If the Vice President goes after that record, he may inadvertently give her more credibility with some Republican voters.
6. Two issues seem like wins for the President’s team. One, the ridiculous plan some Democrats have put forth to add extra Supreme Court Justices was not rejected last week by Vice President Biden. Vice President Pence should pin her down on that. Two, Senator Harris’ policies are further left than Vice President Biden’s. If Pence can get her into that kind of an exchange, it could provide lots of fodder for President Trump’s base.
7. Senator Harris is much better at this kind of a thing than the Vice President. She regularly eviscerates people in Senate hearings and her background in the courtroom makes her nimble on her feet. If she can leverage some of that Gen-X smart-mouth with just the right amount of her winning smile it could make her look very much like a fresh new vision for the future of our country.
8. Regardless, I expect this debate to be much more ‘normal’ and policy minded. This is what a good Veep debate can be. I remember when Dick Cheney and Joe Lieberman debated around a table like gentlemen with Bernard Shaw guiding a polite conversation about policy and ideas. It could happen again. I’m rooting for you, Vice President Pence and Senator Harris. You can do this. Make us proud again.