Mike Pence could surprise in Kamala Harris debate

Preparations for the Mike Pence-Kamala Harris debate outside the University of Utah on October 6 in Salt Lake City.

The US Vice President, Mike Pence, will arrive, Wednesday evening October 7, at the first debate against his Democratic rival Kamala Harris, on the strength of his good past performances. The US vice presidential candidate is set to launch scathing attacks on the Trump administration for its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. Especially since Mike Pence heads the Coronavirus Crisis Staff.

During the debate, the American vice-president and his rival will be separated by a Plexiglas wall, an official of the Democrat’s campaign team explained on Monday, a decision taken after the announcement that Donald Trump was suffering from Covid-19 . The running mate of Democratic White House candidate Joe Biden and the Republican will be placed almost four meters apart, rather than the roughly two meters originally planned. They both tested negative for the novel coronavirus.

  • Mike Pence, anti-abortion, anti-marriage for all

Vice President Mike Pence, in Maryland on October 5.

Devout Christian, carefully combed white hair, the style of Mike Pence, 61, is in every way opposed to the more controversial and colorful one of Donald Trump. But behind his effaced, almost gray image, hides a disciplined speaker whose past performances both Democrats and Republicans point to. And who had already been able to surprise in 2016 during the vice-presidential debate against Tim Kaine.

Read also US presidential election: Mike Pence and Tim Kaine, the shock of the seconds

A lawyer by training, a former radio host, he is familiar with the mysteries of Washington and is appreciated by Republicans there after having been a member of the House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013, and number three in his parliamentary group from 2009 to 2011. Appointed by the president at the head of the crisis unit in February, he stuck to the subject with measured words, far from the slippages, approximations and provocations of the tenant of the White House. While always taking care never to contradict the latter head-on.

The two were not initially particularly close until the Republican billionaire named him as his running mate in 2016. But the president rewarded Mike Pence’s loyalty, and his close ties to the older Christian white people, who played a key role in his victory in the White House four years ago. “He’s solid as a rock. He was a fantastic vice president ”, had launched the Republican billionaire in August. “He is respected by all religious groups. Whether it is evangelicals or others. “

Very active in the countryside, especially in the Midwest, the former governor of Indiana describes himself as “A Christian, a Conservative and a Republican, in that order”. As governor, he has distinguished himself as a fervent defender of traditional family values, anti-abortion, anti-marriage for all, and hostile to the settlement of Syrian refugees in his state. Mike Pence notably signed laws making abortion more difficult in Indiana. And he had been widely criticized for having defended, in 2015, a law on “Religious freedom”, seen by its detractors as a way of discriminating against the LGBT community (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender).

Positions that may have helped Donald Trump in 2016 with traditional conservatives and in particular evangelicals, who were initially reluctant to face the personality of the unpredictable billionaire. The support of this religious electorate could once again prove decisive for the November 3 election.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also The torments of Mike Pence, Trump’s evangelical running mate
  • Kamala Harris, a youth asset

Democratic U.S. Vice Presidential Candidate Senator Kamala Harris on October 2 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Democrat Kamala Harris hopes to deploy her former prosecutor’s repertoire against Republican Mike Pence Wednesday night. She’s going to have to show that she can bring vitality and pugnacity to the Democratic White House candidate’s campaign. At 55, the California senator offers Joe Biden, 77, a youth asset. The daughter of a Jamaican father and Indian mother, this first-generation American may also better attract the part of a more diverse electorate who crave greater representation at the top of power.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Kamala Harris, the revenge of black women on the American political scene

In Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada or Florida, key states that will play a decisive role in the presidential election on November 3, she has offered in recent weeks a more dynamic image than her running mate. Masked against the coronavirus and respecting the precautionary distances like Joe Biden, she danced in the streets to the rhythm of the bands. And it was with her Converse sneakers on her feet that she met the family of Jacob Blake, a black man seriously injured by police, in the midst of historic anger against racism in the United States.

With a brilliant career worthy of the best American dream despite controversial chapters, the senator, who dreamed of becoming the first black president of the United States, ultimately hopes to become the first female vice president. But with still, no doubt, an eye on the presidential election of 2024 and the hope of breaking, then, the ultimate glass ceiling.

A candidate for the Democratic primary, she had promised to “Conduct the indictment” against Trump. The senator will finally be able to fire her arrows live on her right arm Wednesday night in Salt Lake City. During the Democratic primary, she had made sparks by attacking… Joe Biden. Surprising the audience, and her rival, she had vehemently criticized her past positions regarding the policies of racial desegregation in the 1970s. Recounting how, as a little girl, she was on one of the buses bringing black schoolchildren to the neighborhoods. white, she had moved, and jumped in the polls. But Kamala Harris quickly fell back, struggling to clearly define her candidacy. Before throwing in the towel in December 2019.

Her experiences in the legislative, judicial and executive branches of power, her modern image as a woman presenting herself in “Momala”, proud of her blended family, have nevertheless convinced her ex-rival Biden to choose her as his running mate. Still, she could only have this one good performance on her record in the Democratic debates. And that nothing is played against Mike Pence.

“Let me tell you one thing. He is good at debate ”, she said in an online meeting with donors at the end of September. And added, laughing, as if to better temper expectations about his performance: “So I’m really worried because I can only disappoint. “

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Democratic Convention: Kamala Harris facing the weight of history

Our selection of articles on the presidential election in the United States

The World with AFP

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