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.
Last night was the first presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Biden. It was a grudge match; “hard to watch” and similar sentiments are the main comments I’m seeing on social media.
As a Trump supporter, I enjoyed the debate for GEOTUS’s zingers and no-nonsense combativeness. He was aggressive and feisty, and clearly understood the Leftist slanting of the questioning (as Milo Telegramed, “Why are we still talking about climate change?” Chris Wallace was clearly in Biden’s corner in terms of the tack of his questions, and he didn’t interrupt Biden the way he interrupted Trump.
To be fair to Wallace, Trump was talking over Biden and Wallace frequently, and as the role of a moderator is to moderate the debate, Wallace’s job was to try to keep the candidates to the two-minute rule. That said, Trump was responding to a number of inaccurate and false accusations against him, including the widely debunked but oft-repeated Charlottesville myth.
I do think on the substance of the issues, Trump hammered Biden. Trump has facts, history, accomplishments, and morality on his side. His first term has been wildly successful by any metric. The irony of Trump’s presidency is that if it were anyone else in his position, they’d be lauded as the greatest president in a generation, but anyone else wouldn’t have had the cajones to accomplish what Trump has.
Unfortunately, for all that I loved Trump’s aggressive attempt to rattle the ailing Biden, I’m afraid it came across as bullying and unprofessional to squishy swing voters. Trump’s base is with him no matter what (especially after he refused to be maneuvered into denouncing the Proud Boys, a completely benign organization unfairly slandered as “white supremacists”). He’s got to win over those undecided folks in key swing States who probably love the president’s policies, but find the president personally distasteful.