I changed my entire schedule from last week to make sure that l was available to watch the first United States Presidential debate that was aired on Tuesday night….and sitting there from the first minute to 90 minutes later l kept saying to myself …I’m so fortunate that l don’t have to vote for either of these two candidates.
The First presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden kicked off Tuesday (29) night from Cleveland with under 40 days until Election Day, it’s the first chance to see the two nominees square off on a range of issues.
And to use a Joe Biden cliché… man was l disappointed with what l saw and heard.
For most of the debate Donald Trump refused to let Joe Biden so much as complete a sentence without an interruption or insult. Trump undoubtedly did show himself as the more domineering candidate, for whatever that was worth, though he succeeded mainly in reducing the debate to chaos rather than making a coherent case for his presidency.
It seemed that Trump’s strategy from the start was clear to steam-roll Biden and debate moderator Chris Wallace, hoping to catch his opponent in a bad moment- perhaps reinforcing arguments about Biden’s mental faculties and steaminess as a leader. It was the strategy of a challenger, more than an incumbent, and seemed to reflect that Trump needs to change the race more than Biden does. Biden’s strategy was clear to stick to his talking points, try not to engage much, and not give Trump what he wanted.
From my estimation Joe Biden didn’t allow himself to be pulled off his game. And he notably avoided some of the senior and uneasy moments that marked some of his Democratic debate performances. It was not an enlightening debate from a policy standpoint, but that was in large part because Trump wanted a food fight. Joe Biden mostly did not give it to him, which much like Trump’s approach reinforced the reality of who’s winning and who’s not.
Trump’s biggest liability in the 2020 election is COVID-19, on which polls regularly show even some of his supporters do not think he’s done a good job. Donald Trump offered little to change that. Instead, he reinforced his skepticism of masks and the health officials whose advice he’s so often ignored or sought to change through a pressure campaign. Biden had some of his strongest moments on the subject of the coronavirus. Biden noted that Trump once floated injecting disinfection into people to stop the virus.
The President was also asked about his mask skepticism, at which point he argued that masks are fine and that he wears them when he thinks he needs them. Biden repeatedly noted that Trump continues to hold rallies in which masks have often been scarce. Joe Biden summed up his case on COVID-19 this way by saying that Trump’s been totally irresponsible in the way in which he has handled the social distancing and people wearing masks, basically encouraging people not to wear masks. Seems like Trump gambled that voters would be more turned off by Biden saying he would shut down the economy if health officials advise it, baselessly accusing Democrats of using current mitigation methods for electoral benefit.
The economy and its recovery was a front and centre issue during the debate in which Trump had taken all the credit for the recovery prior to COVID-19 hitting the US economy.
The President often claimed that the US is quickly rebounding from the virus crisis, which forced tens of millions of people out of their jobs. Trump called it a “V” – shape recovery – sometimes upgrading it to a super V – suggesting a steep decline followed by a fast ascent.
However, l must say that sitting through the entire debate, Joe Biden had no clear vision for the economy and how he would handle it differently than Trump…. All Biden kept saying is that he handed trump an economy that was in great shape.
President Trump repeated his law and order appeal to white, suburban voters and tried to force Biden to repeat the words. But Biden didn’t take the bait and pivoted, calling for law and order with justice where people are treated fairly. The former vice president had some stumbles and some moments that weren’t great for him, like not answering if he would add justices to the Supreme court – “pack the court” if judge Amy Coney Barret, Trump’s nominee to succeed Ruth Bader Ginsburg, is confirmed.
There was a slew of other topics touched on like China and its issues related to COVID-19 and how it was dealt with… the riots were an issue that sparked a Huge flurry of comments back and forth between the two candidates. Personal attacks about Hunter Biden and the money he accepted from both China and most recently the news that he had accepted money from a Russian operative who was married to the mayor of Moscow.
The entire debate was as l have stated to be on the topics of the Supreme Court, COVID-19 and the effects of the pandemic, the economy, the issue of race and violence in cities, and the integrity of the election. And on all of these topics there was no clear path or solutions given to how either candidate would handle these issues, instead a lot of school yard bullying and name calling.
A tie in baseball usually goes to the runner and in this case because Biden is leading in the polls, l would have to give sleepy Joe the edge on winning this first debate. They were both awful and maybe both should just stay home for the next two debates.
What an embarrassment that the world had to live through this debate between Trump and Biden and the world was watching…. chance is that l won’t be tuning in on the next debate.