WASHINGTON – The debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris will be another in a long line of political events that are not perceived as they used to be due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In any normal presidential election cycle, the debate of vice presidential candidates is considered secondary to presidential candidates, which usually create the most memorable moments for voters.
But after 74-year-old US President Donald Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19 last week, and given the very cautious campaign style of his Democratic rival, 77-year-old former Vice President Joe Biden, voters may want to take a closer look. on their younger partners, who, if necessary, will replace them.
Former member of Congress and ex-Indiana Governor Pence, 61, will take the stage in Salt Lake City, Utah, in a unique debate position as Trump recovers from the deadly virus in the White House.
At the same time, Harris, 55, a former California attorney general who is aiming to become the first woman and first African American to take over as vice president, will be in the spotlight amid concerns over Biden’s age.
“This year differs from others not only because of the coronavirus, not only because we may not have another presidential debate, but also because the two main candidates are people over seventy,” said Todd Belt, director of the political management program at George Washington University.
“We know that every fourth president does not complete his term of office before the end of his term,” he added. “And that makes Vice President Pence and Senator Kamala Harris very important to watch over them as they can become the successors of these candidates.”
The appearance of Pence on the stage at the University of Utah will mark the end of a week during which he took on the bulk of the campaigning work, while Trump was in hospital due to the coronavirus.
Moreover, he intends to intensify his speeches after the debate, despite the risks of campaigning amid a pandemic.
“Suddenly, there is a COVID outbreak in the White House that affects the president and puts him in the hospital, and this prompts the American public to think more deeply about the role of vice president,” said Capri Cafaro of the School of Public Affairs at the American University.
This sets new expectations for the debate of the vice presidential candidates following the recent presidential debate between Trump and Biden, which was widely criticized for its constant wrangling and lack of content.