What Joe Biden and Kamala Harris' sparring means for 2020

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The debate on the separation of buses continues to reverberate in the Democratic presidential race of 2020 a week after the first debate.
The issue was first placed at the forefront of Democratic competition last week, when Sen. Kamala Harris invoked her own experience with transportation to attack former Vice President Joe Biden's opposition to federal mandatory transportation to separate schools decades ago.
"That girl was me," Harris said at a defining moment in the debate.
Harris' performance catapulted her firmly among the four best candidates competing for the Democratic nomination, with an increase in poll numbers after the debate, while Biden's advantage over the field was reduced.

But in the days following his breakthrough, Harris and his campaign have struggled to explain their own position on transportation to today's segregated schools. And the animosity between the two campaigns has been extended to the public, with the main aides of Biden and Harris participating in a heated advance in social networks on where their respective candidates are located on the subject.
What you need to know about transportation
What you need to know about transportation
The public dispute has also revived the bus debate, which was one of the most controversial aspects of the effort to address segregation in schools. Supporters of school transportation argued that the harmful legacy of school segregation needed to be corrected, while opponents, many of whom were against efforts to integrate schools more widely, argued that the policy was ineffective and harmful to communities. Public polls at the time showed that most Americans opposed transportation.
On Wednesday, when asked to clarify his position on bus transportation, Harris said: "Let me be very clear: bus transportation is one of the many tools that should be taken into account when addressing the problem, which is a very current theme, as well as a past, theme, of the segregation in the schools of the United States ".
When asked more specifically if she supported mandatory federal transportation to separate schools in areas where segregation was not the result of discriminatory laws, Harris replied: "I believe that any tool that is in the toolbox should be considered by a school District".
His response, that bus transportation should be a tool to be considered and not mandatory, seemed to be at odds with the position he took at the discussion stage, when, in response to Biden, he said he opposed the Department of Education that intervenes to send the transport, he said, "that's where the federal government should intervene."
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