In most election years, discussing the vice president in America that takes place every four years – the only match between two politicians vying to spend the next four years as the world’s most famous banana – was an afterthought. But this year? not much.

In 2008, 72-year-old Senator John McCain’s selection of the little-known and largely unknown Alaska governor, Sarah Palin, focused the nation’s eyes on its rival with then Delaware Senator Joe Biden. Surprisingly, large numbers of people witnessed the confrontation. Biden’s selection of California Senator Kamala Harris as the first African-American woman to appear on a major party’s general election card has the ability to raise the ratings of Wednesday night’s debate against Vice President Mike Pence to more than 70 million viewers who watched the film. Biden Palin happened.

Another factor that could raise the juice ratings and raise the stakes for Wednesday’s match? The fact that the two major party cards are headed by Donald Trump – the oldest president of the United States ever – and Biden, the man who would replace him as the oldest if he wins the November election. Trump’s recent match with Covid-19 may further focus voters’ attention on the match between Harris and Pence, the 74-year-old man with a Covid-19 heartbeat away from the presidency.

Unlike the last time a man and a woman competed in the vice-president debate, both candidates enter this very experienced candidate in such contests. Harris is a seasoned politician who has participated in multiple debates during her campaigns for a local office, two different statewide offices in California, and her year-long drive to place her name at the top of the 2020 Democrats list. Pence is a veteran of his only debate against the 2016 Democratic vice presidential candidate. , Tim Kane, as well as many debates during previous campaigns of Congress and governors in his home state, Indiana.

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The incumbent vice president was widely seen as the winner in his rivalry with Kane, particularly because the younger senator from Virginia was seen as extremely reluctant to launch the attack on Pence’s record as Governor of Indiana – and because Pence could use Trump’s alleged experience in business. The theoretical strength of a candidate who has never held public office.

No representative of the Biden Harris campaign responded to inquiries about the campaign’s expectations for Senator Harris’ performance. But the man who took on the role of Pence during the debate preparations at Keane, Robert Barnett, Washington Uber’s attorney, expects the vice president’s new opponent to have a variety of rhetorical goals to choose from in crafting her attack plan.

“It’s a very different situation than in 2016, because there won’t be a single moment of discussion about his record in Indiana – the discussion will be about the president’s record and record over the four years of in office,” Barnett told me, adding that it was unlikely there would be a quarter Inches of daylight in between [Pence] And the President “regardless of lines of investigation that Harris uses to try to isolate the Trump-Pence record.

Barnett opined that the Pence and Harris match could be “much more difficult” for him “because he has to defend someone else’s largely amassed record” this year. In 2016, he had to defend the then-nominated Trump as host of a reality show and real estate developer. Now he has to defend the top of the ticket as the incumbent for four years, which is a completely different burden, ”he explained.

“He is the most disciplined debate and speaker I have ever seen, and I’ve dealt with Indiana politics for 40 years,” said Greg, who debated Pence when he ran against him for Governor in 2012.

Gregg said Pence’s strengths as an interviewer are his ability to speak in “short and short passages” and “short readings” ready to be printed as quotes, bundles in ads or videos on social media. It also takes advantage of an almost supernatural ability to maintain message discipline no matter what.

“It would be a bastard to keep in touch with the message,” Gregg explained. “Whatever message the people of Trump want him to deliver that night, or come to Hell or High Water, you won’t get him out of it.”

Gregg added that Pence’s discipline means he is unlikely to lose his balance due to pre-written attack lines, no matter how cleverly crafted. That could be a problem for Harris, who rose briefly in the Democratic primary polls after unveiling one of those lines against former Vice President Biden during the first Democratic primary debate.

Former Los Angeles County District Attorney Stephen Cooley, who confronted Harris during his failed 2010 campaign to be a California attorney general, said using such prepared lines was one of her debate tactics.

He explained, “It will have some written niggles that you have memorized, which you will use if you can find a suitable moment, just as you did with Biden.” “It’s not always true, but it’s very exciting, and it gets a lot of coverage.”

He said, “It’s a habit she has when trying to formulate her thoughts – she’ll kind of laugh, and a lot of the time it’s inappropriate but it gives her a few moments to analyze the question.” “If Pence was smart, he’d figure it out and grab the audience’s attention.”

Cole believes that Harris is unlikely to have changed such old habits, but nevertheless she arrives ready to say what she wants to say and should not be underestimated.

When she moves to the debate stage on Wednesday, Harris will become the third woman to appear in the Vice Presidential debate and the first African American of either sex to appear in the general presidential or vice presidential debate.

Barnett, who helped prepare Geraldine Ferraro for her debate against George HW Bush in 1984 and helped Hillary Clinton prepare for multiple discussions about her primary and public campaigns for the Senate and the Presidency, said that Harris’ gender will undoubtedly become a factor in Wednesday’s contest, especially given Pence’s known attitudes toward Women.

If Pence made any missteps that would grant Harris the kind of opening Ferraro used to scold Bush for “lecturing” her about foreign policy in 1984, Barnett expected American women to pay attention.

“By his own admission, he has certain ways in which he deals with women. These will undoubtedly affect his attitude towards discussing women,” he said. “The male and female dynamics always become relevant to these things. As for how it works, time will tell, but this will be something that women will especially witness.”