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Kamala Harris said the next president would be a woman — I believe her

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Thursday’s was a much more spirited debate than Wednesday’s, and a much more confrontational one. In the middle of ten candidates stood the three who made a lasting impression: Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris. The first two were always predicted to come out on top (albeit on different ends of the ideological spectrum) while Harris was a bit more of a wild card. Along with Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke and Elizabeth Warren, she had a healthy presence in the polls and in the papers in the weeks preceding the debate, but sometimes for underwhelming reasons. The most widely circulated news items concerned speculations that she might be a useful VP to boost a Bernie Sanders ticket.

Harris came onto the stage tonight fully intending to shatter that illusion. Her biggest cheer of the night came after she said that “the mic that the president holds in her hand” should be used to further humanitarian causes rather than to increase divisiveness. Loud female cheers were heard from the audience in response to the unexpected pronoun. The message was clear: if an old white man wants to share a ticket with me, then he’s not going to be at the top of it.

Harris, whose background as a court prosecutor no doubt helped prepare her for that moment, peppered her policy-led speeches with personal anecdotes. She spoke movingly of how she benefited from the policy of busing, and told Joe Biden directly that she found it “hurtful” how he’d spoken of working with segregationists and unacceptable that he’d opposed busing while in government (“There was a little girl in California who was bussed to school every day, and that little girl was me.”) Minutes later, photographs of Harris as a child standing at a bus stop started circulating on social media. Biden kept his mouth shut rather than interrupt her, which was wise. He then gave an unclear response where he made half-truths........

© Independent