Last night was the second and final presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Biden. Overall, it was far more measured in tone and richer in substance than the first debate, and it accomplished what President Trump needed to do: reassure squishy independents and critical undecided voters that he’s not just a loose cannon, but can actually govern, and govern well.
I also found the moderator to be surprisingly fair. The questions obviously were slanted in favor of the Democrats, as these questions always are (again, who cares about climate change anymore?), but she gave President Trump the opportunity to respond to criticisms, and also had some tough questions for Biden.
President Trump did what he should have done in the first debate: he gave Biden the rope with which to hang himself. It was Biden who brought up China and Ukraine, which opened the door for Trump to attack Hunter Biden’s lucrative salaries from foreign companies and governments—the result of Biden’s influence peddling.
Joe Biden was also sloppy, and his alleged senility and dementia began to show as the debate wore on. He oddly compared President Trump to Abraham Lincoln—and intended it as an attack! Considering Lincoln is widely one of the most beloved presidents in American history, that’s a strange attack. Additionally, Biden referred to the Proud Boys as the “Poor Boys,” which instantly spawned a thousand memes.
Not to make a mountain out of a gaffe hill, but isn’t that the most elderly slip-up imaginable? Biden is ancient enough that he probably remembers some street-corner gang/doo-wop group called the “Poor Boys.” In his addled mind, “Poor Boys” probably does sound like an intimidating gang of Italians or the like.
While the major network flash polls are showing a Biden win, this focus group with Frank Luntz—himself a critic of Trump—indicates that Trump wooed undecided voters big time (H/T to my brother for this video). These are undecided voters from swing States, so their overwhelming decision to vote for Trump speaks volumes. The fact so many of them were willing to state that support publicly is also huge. I strongly suspect there are massive numbers of Trump voters the polls aren’t picking up, because stating public support for Trump will get you punched.
All in all, it was a clean win for Trump, and one he needed with just a little over a week to Election Day. I’m cautiously optimistic that his performance and his demeanor put to rest fears about his “decorum” and such.
To my conservative friends who don’t like Trump because he’s mean or bullish, I don’t think you can convincingly make that argument anymore. Regardless of the President’s personal character, he has gotten results. If he were Mitt Romney with the same outcomes (and, of course, Mitt Romney would never have accomplished what Trump has), we’d be lauding him as the greatest president in American history (and, seriously, Trump is clearly the best president in the modern era).
Put aside your hang-ups. The future of the country depends on it.
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