The third Democratic debate provided the standard fare associated with a bunch of candidates trying to maneuver their ways to the top of the polls with reliable talking points about their presidential plans. But there was one aspect of the debate that stood out in particular: moderator Linsey Davis.
The ABC News correspondent asked a number of key questions to all the candidates, but it was her questions to Kamala Harris and Joe Biden that stood out. Davis’ line of questioning helped shine a light on two very key issues that Black voters, in particular, have been wanting to hear more about. And being that the setting of the debate was at the historically Black college of texas Southern University in Houston, Davis’ questions were beyond appropriate and asked in the most professional of manners.
The first key question Davis asked was of Harris and centered on the California senator’s controversial record as a prosecutor. Davis, noting that Harris has recently appeared to reverse her stances on criminal justice that resulted in a disproportionate number of nonviolent Black offenders being locked up, asked the senator why she didn’t try to affect the same criminal justice changes that she says she would seek as president.
“You used to oppose the legalization of marijuana; now you don’t. You used to oppose outside investigations of police shootings; now you don’t,” Davis said matter of factly. “You’ve said that you changed on these and other things because ‘You were swimming against the current and thankfully, the currents have changed.’”
Harris went on to respond to what she called “distortions of my record” without actually addressing the key component of the question: the reversal of her stances.
Later in the debate, Davis would similarly confront former Vice President Joe Biden about his decades-old comments appearing to dismiss the topic of reparations.
“I don’t feel responsible for the sins of my father and grandfather,” Biden said to a Delaware newspaper in 1975. “I feel responsible for what the situation is today, for the sins of my own generation. And I’ll be damned if I feel responsible to pay for what happened 300 years ago.”
Biden looked like he was caught off guard despite reports of his lengthy history of making questionable comments on race dogging his campaign.
It was a moment for Davis whether intentional or not, and people across social media noticed her star shining bright during the debate.
According to the Grio, Davis “has put all of her focus on preparing” for Thursday’s debate “studying each of the 10 candidates and their past, present, and future plans on issues that are most important to Americans.”
Suffice to say, her preparedness showed, and then some.