Sen. Kamala Harris let her facial expressions do all the talking during Wednesday night’s debate — and social media took notice.
The 90-minute showdown with Vice President Mike Pence featured a host of visible emotions from the Democratic vice presidential nominee, spurring a flood of attention on Twitter.
“Kamala’s face when Pence is talking is the same face my mother made whenever I was explaining why I didn’t make curfew, wrote @cmonstah, with a screenshot of Harris’s icy glare.
“SNL” star Chris Redd tweeted, “Kamala Harris has the best ‘I can’t believe this bulls–t right HERE’ face I have ever seen.”
Vox reporter Alex Abad-Santos’ meme of Harris alongside Thor, Dakota Johnson and “Game of Thrones’” Daenerys Targaryen — with the caption “same energy” — went viral.
But viewers across the aisle weren’t as amused.
Conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly noted, “At this point the debate is a draw. Vice President Pence is being too nice. Senator Harris is articulate but comes across as arrogant and the facial expressions are hurting her.”
David Dudenhoefer, the Republican who is seeking Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s seat in Michigan’s 13th Congressional district, wrote, “Kamala Harris is unlikable with her smug facial expressions.”
Experts were split on Harris’ performance.
Nadia E. Brown, an associate professor of political science and African American studies at Purdue University, told the New York Times that Harris’ lack of poker face shouldn’t be the key takeaway from the debate.
“Her facial expressions and the eye rolls and neck movements were quintessential Black woman — she was signaling, ‘Don’t start,’” Brown told the newspaper. “However, what came out of her mouth was what people tuned in to the debate to hear. She gave clear policy contrasts, and that’s really what the debate should be about.”