Wednesday night’s vice presidential debate was far more civil than the first presidential tilt, but no easier to control for moderator Susan Page.
The USA Today journalist repeatedly struggled to keep incumbent Mike Pence and Democratic challenger Kamala Harris on track and within the constraints of their agreed-upon time limits.
“Thank you, Vice President Pence” and “Thank you, Senator Harris” were frequent refrains from Page throughout the evening, more often than not unheeded by the candidates who talked right over her.
It was only about an hour into the 90-minute debate that the overmatched Page chided the candidates after a particularly long-winded response from Pence.
“Your campaigns agreed to the rules for tonight,” she said. “I’m here to enforce them, which involves moving from one topic to another, giving roughly equal time to both of you, which I’m trying very hard to do right here.”
Page fought to keep hold of the reins despite the debate being far more sedate than last week’s first presidential contest between President Trump and Democratic opponent Joe Biden.
In that contest, moderator and Fox News anchor Chris Wallace repeatedly chastised the candidates for interrupting him and each other.
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