I watched, tweeted and took notes. Under, my ideas on the perfect and the worst from the evening that was.
* Mike Pence, on offense: The vice chairman is a really stable (and underrated) debater. His greatest moments on Wednesday evening got here when he was prosecuting the previous statements of each Biden and Harris — on taxes, on fracking, on the Inexperienced New Deal, on China. It is tougher than you would possibly assume to weave opposition analysis dumps into a solution in a debate with out it wanting completely compelled. Pence is superb at it. And looking out on the debate solely via the lens of Pence’s political future being tied to defending, with no quarter given, the document of Donald Trump, he acquitted himself properly.
* Susan Web page’s questions: Sure, the moderator took a number of warmth for her lack of ability to rein in Pence when he stored speaking past the time restrict. (Extra on that under.) However when you return and hearken to (or learn) her questions, they have been excellent. Pointed, considerate and, sadly, largely unanswered.
* Twitter: I’ve a love/hate relationship with the social media platform, nevertheless it actually is at its greatest on huge political nights like this. Humorous and insightful, with snark sprinkled on high and simply the correct amount of imply baked in there, too.
* Mike Pence, on protection: It’s a herculean process to attempt to defend Trump’s actions (and inactions) on the coronavirus pandemic. That was the job earlier than Pence on Wednesday evening and, not surprisingly, he got here up quick. Pence glossed over Trump’s repeated skepticism of confirmed mitigation methods — mask-wearing, social distancing, avoiding massive crowds — and as an alternative tried to make your complete dialog about particular person freedom. The factor about particular person freedom is that you’re not free to do issues that impinge on others’ well being and security. Mitigating Covid-19 is not about people’ freedom, it is about collective motion. Trump’s lack of ability to know that’s indefensible — and Pence was not in a position to defend it.
* Donald Trump/Joe Biden: Each Pence and Harris have been extra substantive and simpler than both of the lads who’re main their respective tickets. Sure, Trump made it unattainable to have a debate with any form of guidelines or decorum, however when Biden bought his probabilities in final week’s debate, he was decidedly mediocre. Like them or hate them, Pence and Harris proved they’re each higher debaters than their ticket mates on Wednesday evening.