While the overwhelming narrative surrounding the second Democratic debate was that it was Joe Biden‘s to lose, Kamala Harris had some other things in mind. Despite the impressive collective political experience that she was facing on that debate stage in Miami, it was the California senator who came across as the most presidential Thursday night.
She was consistently the one with clear answers and sound policy proposals, all while displaying a remarkable sense of calm that seemed to escape many of her nine opponents on stage with her.
Harris will be remembered for many things during the debate, perhaps most of all her amazingly timed one-liners that were perfectly delivered and seemed more genuine than politically contrived.
The 54-year-old waxed poetic on everything from immigration to taxes to healthcare, and then some. But her biggest moment came when politics were not at play. Instead, the former prosecutor put on her presidential hat and called for order as her debate opponents were all yelling at each other so that no one could hear anything other than loud voices clashing with one another.
In addition to the brilliant “food fight” line, Harris came across as having a practical approach and view that was sympathetic to the middle class. At one point she said she had been “meeting people who are working two and three jobs” and that she would work to make sure that no one had to work more than one job to put food on their family’s table.
She also mentioned how it was implausible for the average American to own stocks, something that many people might be able to relate to.
Harris also demanded to be heard “on the issue of race” since she was the only Black person on stage.
She recounted how most Black men she knew had been victims of “profiling or discrimination” before she called out Biden for his recent comments citing the “civility” of pro-segregation senators.
“I do not believe you are a racist,” Harris said directly to the former vice president. But she called out his “hurtful” words, especially his praise of working with segregationists like the late Mississippi Sen. James O. Eastland and Georgia Sen. Herman Talmadge. In addition, Harris masterfully reminded him how he was opposed to bussing.
Scroll down to see a sample of what Twitter was saying about Harris’ debut presidential debate performance.