2020 Presidential Debate #1

Last night the long awaited 1st presidential debate was given to the country……and it is now in the can as they say in showbiz…..

This debate was as I thought a war of interruptions and antics…..and political silliness.

The actors in this passion play are President Trump and Joe Biden……and the scenes went something like this…..Trump spend most of his time insulting someone……

With just 35 days until the election, President Trump and Joe Biden took the stage in Cleveland for their first face-off but declined to shake hands due to the coronavirus—one of six topics moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News plans to question the candidates about tonight. The others: the candidates’ records, the Supreme Court, the economy, race and violence in our cities, and the integrity of the election. Up first was SCOTUS, but within minutes the debate had taken on a life of its own, with Trump sparring with Wallace and Trump, Biden, and Wallace talking over each other in a heated and insult-studded early exchange on health care.

  • Wallace began by asking why each candidate’s opinion on the timing of filling Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat is correct. Trump expressed that “we won the election. Elections have consequences.” Biden responded that “we should wait and see what the outcome of the election is, because that’s the only way the people can express their view.” Trump’s retort: “I’m not elected for three years, I’m elected for four years.”
  • Biden brought up Amy Coney Barrett’s past writings on the Affordable Care Act, which opened the door on a discussion of pre-existing conditions. When Wallace pushed Trump about what his healthcare plan is, Trump said, “I guess I’m debating you, not him. But that’s OK, I’m not surprised.”
  • Trump then went after Biden on the topic, saying that what he has said about health care would turn off progressives. Biden called him a “liar” and a “clown.” After another interruption, Biden said, “Will you shut up, man?”
  • Up next: COVID. Trump vowed a vaccine would be ready “soon” and said he was speaking “sarcastically” when Biden brought up Trump’s previous comments about Americans consuming bleach. When asked about masks, Trump said “I think masks are OK. I put a mask on when I think I need it.” He then mocked Biden for wearing one all the time. Biden then expressed that experts have said 100,000 lives could be saved by January if mask wearing and social distancing recommendations are adhered to. Trump responded that many health experts have said “the opposite” on the subject of masks. Biden: “No serious person has said the opposite.”
  • Wallace asked Trump directly if reports he paid just $750 a year in federal income tax was true. After pushing him to directly answer the question on how much he paid in 2016 and 2017, Trump said, “Millions of dollars. Like every other private person, unless they’re stupid, they go through the laws and that’s what it is.” Biden kept pushing Trump to releasing his tax returns, finally saying, “You are the worst president America has ever had.”
  • Trump went after Biden’s son Hunter, asking after his business dealings in Ukraine. It was an expected topic, and Biden had a response ready: “This is not about my family or his family, this is about your family—the American people. He doesn’t want to talk about what you need.”
  • Things devolved to the point that when Wallace began the segment on race, he told Trump he was going to ask about race but Trump could use his two minutes to say whatever he wanted. Trump quickly referenced the 1994 crime bill Biden helped pass, accusing Biden of treating the Black community “about as bad as anybody in this country.” Said Trump, “You called them superpredators and you’ve called them worse than that.”
  • On the subject of law and order, Trump called out Democratic-led cities like New York and Chicago and said Biden would destroy the suburbs. “He wouldn’t recognize a suburb unless he took a wrong turn,” quipped Biden.
  • Wallace asks Biden about “reimagining policing,” which is stated in the Biden-Sanders document, and whether he backs Black Lives Matter’s call for community control of policing. Biden said he is not in favor of defunding the police. Trump said Biden “has no law enforcement support” and pushes him to name a law enforcement group that is backing him; Biden doesn’t answer.
  • Wallace then asked the candidates, “Why should voters elect you president?” Trump was up first: “Because there has never been an administration or president that has done more than I’ve done in a period of three and a half years,” even with “the impeachment hoax.” From Biden: “Under this president we’ve become weaker, sicker, poor, more divided, and more violent.”
  • On the topic of climate change, Trump said, “I believe that we have to do everything we can to have immaculate air, immaculate water.” When asked about greenhouse gas emissions as a contributor he said yes, they’re a factor. But he said we need better forest management, citing the fires in California. “That’s burning down because of a lack of management.”
  • The last topic was about mail-in ballots and the integrity of the election. “We might not know who wins for months,” said Trump. “He’s just afraid of counting the votes,” said Biden at one point. As for the ballots, Trump said solicited ballots are just fine but that unsolicited ones sent automatically to voters aren’t, and said there are examples of fraud already. “This is going to be a fraud like you’ve never seen,” he said.

This debate was the worst and best thing I watched all day.  He sounded like a 4 year old and a total amateur….and this person wants 4 more years…..sadly I think Nero would have been a better candidate.

I have a few words from those that analyzed the debate…..

  • RedState: “This is a hard one, folks. Time and again, this debate proved to me that this is a terrifying time to be alive,” writes senior editor Joe Cunningham. “Two old men shouting at each other while a third old man tries to get them to stop shouting at each other? Watching this debate was a type of self-destructive behavior that I’ll be recovering from for a while, I think.” He declares Trump the winner, “but barely.” Full piece here.
  • Vox: A number of writers at the site list three winners (none of them Trump or Biden) and four losers of the night. One of the winners? China. “No government can feasibly end American global hegemony—except for the American one,” argues Zack Beauchamp. “Nobody benefits more from this kind of internal discord in the world’s most powerful state than China.” Full piece here.
  • Washington Post: Aaron Blake is one of many naming Wallace a clear loser of the night. “What struck me most was Wallace’s attempts to almost placate Trump,” Blake writes. “‘Mr. President you’re going to be very happy, because we’re going to talk about law and order,’ Wallace said at one point while trying to move past Trump talking over Biden. ‘Let me ask—sir, you’ll be happy, I’m about to pick up on one of your points to ask the vice president,’ Wallace said at another point.” Full piece, which is one of multiple to use the word “unwatchable,” here.
  • More from the right: Hot Air’s livestream combines tweets from a number of Townhall Media editors; see it here. A number of the tweets slam Wallace, most seem happy with Trump’s performance, and at least one points out that Biden refused to answer a question about Democrats potentially packing the Supreme Court.
  • Axios: Mike Allen, who calls the debate “a hot mess,” was apparently so disheartened by the whole thing the site’s own format sort of fell apart. In the “Why it matters” section after one point, Allen writes simply, “Honestly, who the hell knows?” Full piece here.
  • Politico: David Siders says the “mayhem” of the night didn’t throw Biden off, and writes that if the talking points around the election itself are any indication, the aftermath is going to be “war.” The president said at one point that he is “counting on” the Supreme Court to “look at the ballots.” Full piece here.
  • Wall Street Journal: Rebecca Ballhaus writes that amid the “messy” debate, Biden “gave a more forceful performance than the low expectations set for him by the president and his allies.” That said, Trump did appear to “rattle” him several times. Full piece here.
  • Fact checking: ABC News fact-checks the debate, and finds multiple falsehoods. Full piece here. CNN’s version is here. The Federalist has a piece about Biden making a false claim about Dr. Fauci; see that here.

All in all the night did one thing…..let people know that Joe Biden is by far a better candidate….it was the most nonsensical evening I have ever spent.

Debate #2 will be 15 October 2020 and I will be watching (if my stomach can hold up)…..but my thought is that we do not need another debate for we have seen and heard everything we need to know about the people running…..

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26 thoughts on “2020 Presidential Debate #1

  1. I got an hour in and had to turn it off…. Trump’s ridiculous responses, interruptions, and disrespect aside it wasn’t possible for Biden to give a serious answer to much of anything. There’s going to be two more of these things in different formats?? Last night’s performance by Trump just underlines in bright blinking lights that he definitely does NOT deserve another four years. Is this what our democracy has devolved to?

  2. It’s interesting to see people claim that Trump rattled Biden. What I saw was Biden rattling Trump quite a bit … he reacts a bit differently when he is rattled, but still, that’s what all the interruptions and personal attacks from Trump were about. He was rattled. He can’t stand to be criticized and challenged and questioned and whenever he was, he sunk to the depths.

    1. I agree….he also had agreed to the rules and decided that they do not pertain to him as he has with the laws of the land…..he proved that he is nothing but an amateur playing at the presidency. chuq

  3. Great summation. That wasn’t a debate. That was a debacle. Or as CNN’s Dana Bash colorfully put it, “a s—show.” Trump performed a live version of his Twitter feed, and for the most part Biden equated himself well under almost constant assault. Two moments stood out to me. 1. Trump attacking Hunter Biden as a drug addict who was kicked out of the military, as Joe was talking about Beau. I thought Biden’s response was perfect. 2. Trump’s call out to the Proud Boys after being asked to denounce white supremacy.

  4. While struggling to watch it, I recalled a game show where a contestant was put in an isolation booth where they couldn’t interact with the other contestant or hear what he or she had to say. After the contestant outside the booth was through, the sound was turned on in the isolation booth and the contestant got to test his or her answers against those of the other contestant. Or something like that. In this side thought, I had Trump in that isolation booth, microphone turned off, but Biden’s answers piped in. We could see him ranting and gesticulating, but not hear him till Biden finished his answer. Then, and only then, Trump’s microphone was turned on and he got to spew his answer. His behavior was off-putting. It was nearly impossible to hear his answers, lies, whatever, but anything would have been better than the performance he gave last night. He either was trying to burn all his bridges so he could leave the presidency (for Moscow or some other warm spot…) or he was trying to show he holds total contempt for the electoral process, or maybe something else I can’t discern. Whatever it was, it was a disgraceful, contemptuous, unAmerican, unpresidential, nasty, mendacious performance, one I hope never to see again. I’m sure Biden will go to the two remaining “debates”, but I should hope the moderator has a mute button for that buffoon with the dead animal on his head.

    p.s. I got my mail-in ballot in the mail yesterday, and filled it in just before the “debate”. The “debate” proved to me I voted for the right candidate for President, though I confess I knew that I would without the “debate”. I don’t know how anyone could use the “debate” to help make a decision based on what they said since most of what the said was over-spoken, but, on decorum, the decision should be obvious to those who hadn’t made up their minds yet. If the two remaining “debates” are anything like this first one, I recommend switching to reruns of The Golden Girls”. It’ll leave you in a better mood and save your heart!

    1. I fear that if there is a switch Trump will use it to generate sympathy on Twitter….I agree that his performance was in no way presidential….Biden did well not to bite on his attacks by Trump. chuq

      1. Well, he is the perpetual “victim”, you know…! Poor Richie Rich, everyone is making fun of him, making him made! If we aren’t careful, he’ll call in the flying monkeys!

  5. What I can’t understand is when you have a candidate up there that’ believes if his mouth isn’t moving he’s dead, who is walking verbal diarrhea every day, why wouldn’t you have a mic cut-off setup? I could barely hear anything in the few minutes partway through when I turned it on and tried to watch. Trevor Noah watched the whole thing and said it sounded like that middle point between two radio stations where you get a lot of noise and some of each talking point.

    I’d hate to be the folks who had to try and write the transcript for closed captioning folks. I’m sure they went out and got hammered to stop the ringing in their heads afterward.

    Seriously, why did nobody think to have a mic cut-off switch or something for the podiums? Sure, Dump could shout, but it would be obvious and make him look more childish. And what’s the point of a debate if the rules aren’t gonna be adhered to in 5 minutes? That mic cut-off switch would’ve been freaking useful as all hell. As soon as Dump ran over time, you shut the mic and move on. Should they even bother with more debates at this point? Dump needs to learn to abide by rules at some point in his life, so why not a baby step like a simple formal debate setup?

    1. That switch idea is a great…but it would work to Trump’s advantage….he would have more ammo to feed his supporters of how the news hates him…..just make their resolve stronger. chuq

      1. Unfortunately, I think you’re right. But it would say something to the nonchalant and shrugging supporters, that “hey, this is what rules look like and this is what our system is supposed to be about: a fair chance.” If Dump wants to waste his time making crap up instead of promoting policy, then I guess Biden will do better because he’ll focus on what needs to be said and done instead of having to shut up the other guy. At least some of the folks TRYING to listen would learn something.

        Mostly, though, if they’re not gonna enforce their own rules, then what’s the point? Dump has enough free publicity because it’s the press’ job to cover what he does and says for the nation. He didn’t need to take over and make a 90 minute tweet.

      2. You know my canine friend can do a better job than Trump…..they are talking about the kill switch for the next two…I still do not think that is a good idea……I say let him rattle on and let people see what a d.bag he is….chuq

      3. the sucky part is, that’s a debate I would have wanted to watch initially. I was hoping the whole damned audience would just roar “shut the hell up!” I don’t know much about Biden’s policies or what he wanted to do, haven’t heard him speak much, and I tried to listen, but that blowhard wouldn’t stop interrupting, so definitely nobody learned anything.

        Granted, the debate stage has been mostly posturing and self-congratulation time in my lifetime, but I hoped that I could learn something new. And I can definitely see why Dump didn’t want any fact-checkers around during it–I’d have run out of booze if I took a shot for every time Dump lied or interrupted.

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