- The second Democratic debate gave Sen. Kamala Harris the boost she needed.
- She went after Joe Biden for his past stance on busing.
- Harris is now favored to become the Democratic nominee on some odds boards.
Kamala Harris, Joe Biden, And Busing
If a single moment defined the entire second debate, it would be this one. In recent weeks, Biden spoke about civility when he worked with segregationist politicians. He said although he didn’t agree with them, Biden was willing to work with them. Sen. Kamala Harris took that personally.
"It was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations and careers on the segregation of race in this country. And it was not only that, but you also worked with them to oppose busing. And there was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools and she was bused to schools every day. And that little girl was me," said Kamala Harris.
This moment was clearly planned by the Kamala Harris team. When she finished her speech about busing, her team tweeted an image of a young Harris. But the move worked.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) June 28, 2019
Joe Biden immediately went on the defensive. Although he did not oppose busing itself, Biden opposed busing ordered by the Department of Education. This means he wanted to leave it to the states and courts to handle busing. This was the position of the segregationist politicians he worked with.
“There was a failure of states to integrate public schools in America. That’s where the federal government must step in. There are moments in history where states fail to preserve the civil rights of all people,” said Harris.
Joe was rattled in the moments after Harris spoke. While defending his position on civil rights, he stopped his speech mid-sentence when his time was up. Usually, it takes a moderator to make someone on the debate stage to stop speaking. Biden wanted to move on from that discussion.
The Odds Have Shifted
After the debate, Biden said that Harris mischaracterized his position on busing. But the damage is already done. On BetOnline, Kamala Harris has +250 odds of becoming the Democratic nominee. Joe Biden now has +325 odds of becoming the Democratic nominee.
ElectionOdds.com believes this is the first time that a sportsbook has favored anyone other than Biden to win the Democratic nomination. Joe Biden was far ahead of anyone else on all the sportsbooks, and he no longer is. Depending on the sportsbook, the other nominees are either right behind Biden, or ahead of him now. This debate did Biden no favors. Time will tell if this will remain, or if it's just a reaction to Biden’s debate performance.