Vice President Mike Pence validated rival Sen. Kamala Harris on Wednesday night.
That should be alarming to Pence’s boss, President Donald Trump. The president is running out of time, lines of attack and high-profile venues for altering the trajectory of a race that he is currently on course to lose. And Pence, who is a good bet to run for president in 2024, mostly kept his powder dry at the lone vice presidential debate of the 2020 election.
It’s hard to know whether that’s simply because Pence is naturally more civil than Trump; because he didn’t see an advantage in attacking Harris; or because he is willing to take a loss and move on to the next race. A student of American history, Pence surely knows that it is actually uncommon for a sitting vice president to ascend to the presidency by way of election.
Whatever his reasoning, Pence tacitly corroborated Harris’ credentials. In doing so, he also demonstrated approval of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s judgment in picking her.
“Well, look, I respect the fact that Joe Biden spent 47 years in public life,” Pence said at one point, echoing the GOP ticket’s effort to portray Biden as old and ineffective. Then, speaking to Harris and without qualification, he added, “I respect your public service, as well.”
On Thursday, Trump quickly brought the focus back to himself by telling Fox Business Network that he’ll be a no-show for the second presidential debate next week, which the Commission on Presidential Debates announced would be held virtually