The VP debate felt, in some ways, like a relic of another era. And VP Pence won it on those terms, by being gentlemanly, civil, articulate, and high-minded.
There was a biased moderator, whose questions were tilted toward bashing President Trump and pushing lefty agendas, but whose aggressiveness was constrained toward arguing over time. Kamala Harris ended up with more speaking time, but Pence was repeatedly able to bypass Page, returning to topics, reframing questions, and pushing forward. It was a bravura old school performance that might not have been possible with a truly aggressive cable news media moderator.
This was a 90s debate or perhaps an oughts debate, which is not such a bad thing at all, a time when things were broken, yet still worked on some level.
And what that meant was that Pence and Harris debated on some level, instead of Pence having to spend the debate, debating the moderator.
The questions may have been rigged for Kamala, but the format favored Pence, allowing him to speak naturally and smoothly, to articulate ideas, while Kamala condescended, smirked, argued, and filibustered her way to the same miserable showing that she achieved in the Democrat debates.
Kamala isn’t ready for prime time and the debate showed it. Again.
Pence is good in front of an audience. He can interact naturally. Kamala isn’t and can’t. The media is spinning this as Pence deflecting, but the closing question, the one by an eight grader that so many conservatives hated, highlighted the difference. Pence gave an adult response about the paradoxical nature of politics and relationships, while Kamala veered erratically from gushing over the unseen teenager, hailing her as a leader, and bashing Trump, without ever addressing her point.
While Pence argued that conflict in politics can be healthy, without being fatal, that you can maintain relationships with people while disagreeing with them, Kamala doubled down on hating those who disagree with you at all costs. To the Democrats, there’s no room for any relationships outside politics.