Re that debate

Anyone actually watch it? Willing to give a real report rather than The Guardian’s – or other similar media – impression of it?

35 thoughts on “Re that debate”

  1. The Spectator was the best one last time on the debates that can be read for free. I think they’ve done the same this year but I haven’t actually read it.

  2. A couple of Conservative American friends have told me that it wasn’t Trumps finest hour but certainly not the disaster for him that most of the media (Including the bbc – quel surprise) will report.

    They thought he should have spoken less and let Biden ramble his own way into trouble. The moderator gave Biden free rein to largely ignore subjects and interrupted Trump far more frequently. At one point he appeared almost pally with Biden “sometimes I don’t understand him Chris, neither do I”.

    As this was supposedly Trumps home fixture the next two will be even harder for him. On the plus side they thought this was probably the limit of Biden’s coherency and even with more sympathetic handling he was unlikely to come over any better in rounds 2 & 3.

    They also thought Biden had been coached to the minute for this and would know the questions in advance next time quoting the fact that CNN’s Donna Brazile apparently admitted to doing the same thing for Hilary in 2016.

    One final thought. I haven’t noticed any significant shifting either by UK bookmakers or betting exchanges. I’m sure market-watchers can raise their own similar inferences.

  3. I’ve only seen a couple of clips cherry-picked by the media, but you have to admit Biden is right, Trump didn’t come across as presidential. The outsider act was fine in 2016, but he’s had four years in the job, he can’t keep playing the rebel upstart card.

  4. So Much For Subtlety

    Andrew M September 30, 2020 at 9:48 am – “but you have to admit Biden is right, Trump didn’t come across as presidential”

    No I don’t. I don’t give a shit. Trump is doing just what I want a President to do. He is kicking the shit out of corrupt swamp scum like Biden.

    The last thing I want is for him to be “Presidential”. Mitt Romney was Presidential. See where it got him.

  5. Yes- Donald made it a battle of the alphas. He did a lot of interupting, talking over, this works but this time around it was more defensive, tetchy so felt less winning and Joe a few mispeaks aside, didn’t fall apart. Basically you can’t say Joe is totally demented but not super impressive from either.

  6. “I’ve only seen a couple of clips cherry-picked by the media, but you have to admit Biden is right, Trump didn’t come across as presidential.”

    What does that even mean? He was elected president, therefore what he does is presidential.

    OK, I know what it means. It means generally being polite, well-mannered, gracious. And you know what, who fucking cares? Do you want a guy to fix your plumbing who swears, tells you we should repatriate all the brown people, or a useless plumber who seems like a nice chap?

  7. Dennis, Political Savant

    For good or bad, Trump is nothing if not authentic to himself. The point is that those who are turned off my Trump’s demeanor were turned off 4 years ago. How he acted last night won’t change a single mind.

    Biden managed to get through it without a meltdown or major gaffe, but he did himself no favors. He repudiated AOC’s Green New Deal in no uncertain terms which, along with is continued flip-flopping on banning fracking (he’s against it when he’s in PA, and for it when he’s anywhere else) will alienate a number of progressives. He’s viewed with suspicion by that crowd, and now he’s given them proof positive that he’ll happily sell them out the moment he’s got their vote.

    But the biggest takeaway from last night’s debate was on law and order. If anyone is swayed from on candidate to another by last night’s debate, it will be the suburban liberal who was looking for Biden to guarantee their safety from the BLM/Antifa riot squads. Biden’s refusal to condemn Antifa – or even admit its existence – coupled with his equivocation on Chris Wallace’s questions regarding the rioting in Portland will hurt him.

    This debate probably went Trump’s way… In that he gave his supporters exactly what they wanted, while Biden gave the Bernie Bros and the suburban soccer moms several reasons to worry.

  8. Dennis, Political Savant September 30, 2020 at 12:18 pm – “the suburban liberal who was looking for Biden to guarantee their safety from the BLM/Antifa riot squads.”

    The key to this election is likely to be suburban soccer mothers. The Democrats used MeToo to anger them in 2018. Although quite why the Democrats picking on some leftist Jews should lead women to punish the GOP is a mystery. Probably because suburban wives look at Trump and imagine themselves as the discarded first wife.

    But whatever. BLM may well go down in history as the greatest own goal in US politics. I do not see suburban mothers feeling happy about riots

  9. I haven’t seen it yet, but have recorded and may watch it in small bites over a period.

    However, what I know is that with my colleagues it’s exactly like Brexit, trannie rights, statue toppling etc. If you’re not for the cause du jour (anti-Brexit, pro trannies, anti-statues, pro Biden) you’re regarded as a being from another planet and agreement with the woke view is absolutely assumed. It would be inconceivable that anyone who worked with them could could a valid opposite view and anyone who did is literally Hitler.

  10. Presidential?
    Was Bill Clinton presidential when he was getting his d*ck sucked by the interns in the White House.
    Inquiring minds want to know.

  11. It was a tie between Trump and Chris Wallace with Biden bringing up the rear.
    Biden obligingly went on the record that Hunter hadn’t been drummed out the Navy for failing a drug test, had done no wrong in Ukraine or China and that he, Joe, had not signed up to the Green New Deal. Great material for future ads!

  12. I wondered beforehand what Trump’s best tactics would be. I thought he should feign a bad headache, or some other minor malady, and have the debate delayed by a couple of hours. The networks would have hated it but they’d probably have put up with it. By that time the effect of Joe’s drugs would have worn off and then Trump could mainly just keep his trap shut and let Joe reveal himself fully.

  13. ‘The last thing I want is for him to be “Presidential”.’

    Exactly. That’s how we got in this clown show in the first place.

    As the media tore into George W Bush for years, Bush was “presidential.” He thought being president meant he should stay above politics. He didn’t fight back. The American psyche turned against him after years of attacks and him offering no defense whatsoever.

    With Trump, we finally have someone who will fight back against the Leftist scourge.

  14. Tim Worstall: “Watch it? How masochistic do you think I am?”

    Welll… you do read the Guardian and other blogs, so we don’t have to… 😛

  15. Trump’s getting too used to hours-long talks at his rallies, and seems to have lost the discipline of the one-minute targeted response. He needs to talk concisely in his next debate.

    But no voters’ minds were changed, except for people who were undecided when the debate started, and you’d have to be a mindless idiot to be undecided between these two candidates.

  16. Trump had one job–convince suburban women it was okay to vote for him.

    Like every other time he had one job, he failed.

  17. Got the feeling that it may have ticked some of the ‘deterrence’ boxes for Biden’s as a arguing shit show doesn’t make anyone look good and may stop some people voting, on the other hand Trump may have hit a few ‘deterrence’ boxes as well with the leftist as Biden swayed away from the Bernie Bros crowd. The only issue there being after 4 years of hating Trump I think the leftists will hold their nose and vote for anyone not Trump

  18. Bloke in North Dorset

    I don’t watch TV political debates there or here, far too much heat and no light, so I rely on others and even then I prefer to wait a couple of day to let the hyperbole die down and the grown ups get chance to speak. That said I listened to the Speccie podcast ….

    The USA editor described it as not a debate but a cage fight in an old people’s home. There was also a comment from Kate Andrews of the Speccie that Trump’s constant interruptions didn’t give Biden a chance to dig a hole. Overall they weren’t impressed.

  19. Dennis, Heavily Armed and Itchin' For Trouble

    From Fox News:

    A tidal wave from the mainstream media is speculating whether the two remaining debates between President Trump and Joe Biden should even be held after their brutal first showdown Tuesday night in Cleveland.

    There appears to be a wide consensus about the messy and ugly nature of the first debate — which was filled with interruptions and insults. Two more debated are scheduled for Oct. 15 and Oct. 22, with a vice presidential debate set for Oct. 7.

    During MSNBC’s post-debate coverage, “ReidOut” host Joy Reid questioned her colleague Nicolle Wallace, who has worked on presidential campaigns in the past, if Biden should bother showing up to the next debate.

    “If you were Joe Biden’s team, would you do another one?” Reid asked.

    Wallace quickly answered that Biden needs to fulfill his commitment.

    “Joe Biden has to go because you don’t stand up to a bully, who is trying to do whatever he’s doing, lift his leg and pee on our democracy, by not showing up and standing up to the bully,” Wallace said. “You stand there because you made a deal and you hold up your end of the deal.”

    CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer kicked off the network’s post-debate coverage by pondering about the future of the Trump-Biden face-offs.

    “It will certainly raise a lot of questions … about the future of presidential debate between these two candidates. I wouldn’t be surprised, by the way, if this is the last presidential debate between the president of the United States and the former vice president of the United States,” Blitzer said.

    Several other CNN personalities flirted with the idea of scrapping the scheduled debates.

    “Should there be other debates?” CNN anchor Anderson Cooper asked. “The vice-presidential debate is next and there’s supposed to be two more debates.”

    “I have to say I don’t think the country is going to be yearning for another one of these,” CNN analyst David Axelrod responded. “I think Biden has a decision to make.”

    The liberal magazine The Atlantic ran an op-ed with the headline “Cancel the debates.”

    “Tonight was the first presidential debate of the 2020 election, and if there is any sense or mercy left in this nation, it will be the last, too,” Atlantic staff writer David Graham wrote.

    Slate ran a similar piece with the headline “Cancel the Rest of the Debates.”

    Others took to Twitter to express such a sentiment.

    “This is a disgrace, a low point in American debate history. There is no reason, not one, that Joe Biden should participate in another debate,” MSNBC host Joe Scarborough tweeted.

    “No more debates. No more debates,” journalist Jose Antonio Vargas repeated.

    “Cancel the remaining debates,” former MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry said. “The debates are now a danger to public safety and a direct threat to Black life. Cancel the debates.”

    “Cancel the rest of the presidential debates. No need to continue legitimizing Nazism, white supremacy, violence and lies,” Huffington Post senior reporter Emma Gray said.

    Note that this is coming from all the Usual Suspects. Also note that if any of them thought Joe Biden had won the debate, simple logic strongly suggests that the last thing they’d want is for a cancellation of the last two debates.

    Unfortunately for this idea, Biden backing out of the last two debates would open him up to accusations of being too weak to stand up to Trump (Trump would lead the charge on that one), as well as open up having the first debate being reinterpreted by many as a clear victory for Trump (and Trump would lead the charge on that one, as well).

  20. @Dennis
    Does make one wonder if there’s a Team Trump game plan here. Biden goes into the next one prepared for another mauling & the Donald switches to playing the pussycat. The important thing in any contest is to retain the initiative, keep your opponent off balance. Could Biden cope with a change of tactics? And what would be the game plan for round 3?

  21. “You stand there because you made a deal and you hold up your end of the deal.”

    Biden has to stand. Not as easy as it sounds.

  22. I haven’t seen the debate yet.
    It sounds like Trump stole the lefts thunder and they don’t like their own tactics used against them.
    Be interesting to see if Biden needs time off to recover afterwards.
    In the meantime, the leader of the free world has a country to run.

  23. “Note that this is coming from all the Usual Suspects. Also note that if any of them thought Joe Biden had won the debate, simple logic strongly suggests that the last thing they’d want is for a cancellation of the last two debates.”

    When the best the Leftist media can say is that it was a score draw, you know that their candidate came 2nd. If it was a real score draw they’d be claiming Biden won, and if he’d actually come out on top they’d have an outpouring of orgasmic intensity at the magnificence of his victory.

  24. Dennis, Political Savant

    BiS –

    Pussycat? Nope. He’s going to pound Biden into pemmican. He’s going to show everyone he’s the alpha male and Joe’s not.

    Pussycat isn’t what got him where he is, and it isn’t what endears him to his base. He’s a street fighter, and he’s not going to change what he does just to try to please some people who won’t vote for him anyway.

  25. Unherd article titled “Joe Biden brought a sponge to a knife fight” is well worth a read for an amusing view

  26. Also Scott Adams’ view should be interesting.

    It was, but only in that it shows how a personal, emotional reaction can cloud thinking to such an extent that it takes the emotee out of the reasoning game. Loserthink, indeed.

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