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During most campaigns, the job of the vice-presidential candidates focuses on boosting the person heading the ticket. Proving their suitability for the top job is secondary.
But this year is different. The president is 74 and spent much of the past week in the hospital, and his Democratic rival is 77. So it was vital for their running mates, Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris, to show in Wednesday night’s debate that they would be capable of stepping up if necessary.
We speak to Alexander Burns, a Times national political correspondent, about the candidates’ strategies and whether anything new emerged four weeks before the election.
On today’s episode
Alexander Burns, a national political correspondent for The New York Times.
The back-and-forth between Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris was more civil than the unruly presidential event, but featured sharp exchanges over the coronavirus, China policy, job creation and health care.
Here are six takeaways from the night.
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Alexander Burns contributed reporting.
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