Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris will stand at least 12 feet apart from one another on the debate stage Wednesday.
Last week’s presidential debate was filled with so many insults and interruptions, voters yearning for a debate that is more about policy than verbal punches will be watching closely.
“There’s a lot at stake here,” said Niki Solis, San Francisco Deputy Public Defender.
At the request of the Harris campaign, there will also be plexiglass barriers between the two.
“What we’re going to see tomorrow is what we typically see in a television debate,” said Professor Chris Lamb of Indiana University Indianapolis.
The Pence-Harris VP debate is expected to be less reality-tv and more about the realities that Americans face.
Solis knows what it’s like to face then-prosecutor Harris in a courtroom.
“She’s extremely intimidating, she’s aggressive and she’s assertive,” said Solis, adding that if you look back at the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings when Harris grilled then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Attorney General Bill Barr – you’ll see that Harris can deliver hard-hitting questions while maintaining a respectful tone.
“She knows how to control the pace, she knows how to interrupt politely and get her point across. She knows when to cut off or be cut off,” Solis said.
But Vice President Mike Pence knows his way around a debate stage too. Back in 2016, the former governor of Indiana took on Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, see-sawing between defending President Trump and praising his own conservative and Midwestern values.
“Pence is going to portray Harris as a left-wing socialist,” Lamb said.
Back in the 90s Pence found his voice as a conservative talk-radio show host in Indiana. It’s a skillset that historian and journalism Professor Lamb believes Pence will rely on Wednesday.
“I would tell Pence just to keep calm. He knows how to do that. This is where his talk radio training came in,” Lamb said.
Two different styles, one shot for Pence and Harris to persuade America.