My Kingdom for a “Kill” Switch

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So, what happened to the microphone kill switch? I thought the Commission on Presidential debates was going to give the moderator a means of silencing verbosity. VP Mike Pence kept talking for whole minutes after his time expired, with moderator Susan Page of USA Today doing nothing more than saying “Thank you, Mr. Vice President,” about a dozen times before he shut up. Page could have done more, sooner, to apportion fair time allotments.

Pence had the unenviable task of defending Trump’s abysmal failure to contain the Covid-19 pandemic and managed to do little more than proclaim success in not having a US death toll in the millions.

Neither Pence nor Sen. Kamala Harris answered the question of whether they’d had the conversation with Trump or former VP Joe Biden about what circumstances might lead to a transfer of power in the event the septuagenarian president is incapacitated.

Harris scored some points on the issue of transparency in Biden’s disclosure of personal finances and health, most notably Trump’s opaque condition five days after being hospitalized for what appears to be a severe Covid infection.
Most disturbing was the end when Pence dodged the question of what he would do if Trump loses the election and refuses to submit to a peaceful transition of power. Like Trump, his position is that they aren’t going to lose. Not very reassuring in view of the double-digit deficit of the Trump-Pence ticket in the latest polls.

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Carol J. Williams is a retired foreign correspondent with 30 years' reporting abroad for the Los Angeles Times and Associated Press. She has reported from more than 80 countries, with a focus on USSR/Russia and Eastern Europe.

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