On stage right here at Longwood College 4 years in the past, Gov. Mike Pence and Sen. Tim Kaine ended their debate as that they had begun it—with a heat handshake. It was a prosaic political ritual, passing with out discover. However now, beneath menace from Covid-19 and political coarseness unseen in my lifetime, I’m wondering if it is going to return.
The handshake between Messrs. Pence and Kaine, following a civil debate, looks like one of many final regular moments in American politics. The talk had adopted the primary presidential debate, held on Sept. 26, 2016, by which Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump had stiffly exchanged handshakes. Days after the Pence-Kaine debate got here the “Entry Hollywood” story, consigning an already bitter marketing campaign right into a state of polarizing mistrust that has trapped America since.