Harris responded to these points by being overly defensive. Were she debating Trump, her cries of ‘excuse me, I’m speaking’ and constant eye rolls and smirks might have been excused as sassy and bold. Instead, they merely underscored the fact that Pence carried himself with respect and grace the entire evening. Certainly this will not be how the mainstream media covers the debate; they will quickly fashion Harris into a girl boss who resisted Pence’s efforts to mansplain to her.
Harris’s petulance was especially obvious in her refusal to answer Pence when he repeatedly pressed her on whether or not she and Joe Biden would pack the Supreme Court. The Biden campaign has managed to wiggle out of the question repeatedly; Harris did so again by trying to reverse the situation on to the Trump administration’s ‘packing’ of lower courts with judges that she considers ‘unqualified’ and not diverse enough. Pence helpfully noted at the end of her answer that she still had not actually addressed the issue of court packing. She struggled again when Pence pointed out that she attacked a judicial nominee for his membership in the Knights of Columbus, guffawing that Pence’s attack was offensive, but failing to defend what she actually said. She bragged about working as a prosecutor but declined to mention her work locking up people for minor offenses.