California can play a very important role by showing leadership -- in two key ways. One is to demonstrate a commitment to meaningful reductions in GHG emissions. In this regard, California has more than met the bar, with policies that are as aggressive as -- if not more aggressive than -- those of most countries.
This will be shorter than usual, because vice presidential debates don't matter nearly so much, witness Senator Lloyd Bentsen's annihilation of Senator Dan Quayle in 1988 with his "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy" reference to Quayle, yet George H.W. Bush still beat Michael Dukakis.
My aunt used to tell me, "You're going to move to Mexico and fall and love with a beautiful Mexican woman and never come back." Well, part of that is true. I did fall in love, but it wasn't with a beautiful Mexican woman.
Ayotzinapa is still being treated as an isolated incident. It is not regarded critically, and the conversation is therefore often heated and shortsighted. The debate does not tackle the event's legacy, but rather its immediate consequences.
China is a great nation with extraordinary potential. But it faces equally significant challenges. It will fare better in the future with a more transparent political system. Ultimately the PRC's leaders will find it ever harder to hide the most important decisions from public view.