Both Pence and Harris Dodged the Only Important Question at the Vice Presidential Debate
“The vice president has two duties,” then-Sen. John McCain quipped in 2000 to explain why he wasn’t interested in the second-in-command spot on George W. Bush’s ticket. “One is to inquire daily as to the health of the president, and the other is to attend the funerals of Third World dictators.”
It’s pretty obvious that neither Vice President Mike Pence nor Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.) are competing for the chance to attend dictators’ funerals.
That means that there was really only one important question asked at Wednesday night’s vice presidential debate—a question that moderator Susan Page put to both would-be veeps within the first 20 minutes of the contest: “Have you had a conversation or reached an agreement…about safeguards or procedures when it comes to the issue of presidential disability?”
It’s a question that looms ever larger in the middle of a deadly pandemic—and larger still after President Donald Trump was hospitalized last week for COVID-19. It matters more than it normally would because no matter wins this year’s presidential election, he will be the oldest man ever inaugurated into the office in January: Trump will be 74 years old, and Biden will be 78.
Both candidates completely ignored it.
Pence dodged by going back to a previous topic, scolding Harris for comments she’d made previously about a potential COVID-19 vaccine. He pivoted away to the Trump administration’s tired talking points about the swine flu that hit during President Ba
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