Your Reactions #4

Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

From TPM Reader SD

I will admit to feeling a little panicked when President Biden came out the gates at the debate as slowly (maybe even decrepitly) as he did. To my surprise, however, I am feeling far less down about this than I would have expected. It reminds me too much of the way we trial lawyers tend to react when something goes badly wrong in a jury trial. This can range from having an important cross-examination turn sour on you to having your client say something seemingly disastrous while testifying. At the end of days like that the level of despondency you feel can be overwhelming. We’ve all been there. You go back to the office and announce, “It’s over. We’re going to get killed.”

Then a week, or month, or rarely a year later (depending on the type of trial) the jury comes back and decides in your favor. When you talk with jurors after they’re released from service, in the court’s that allow it, you find out that the great disaster that caused you so much trauma was barely a factor at all. Jury’s decide cases based upon the entirety of the trial and to a significant degree their life experiences and underlying beliefs. Voters, I believe, generally do the same.

There is no denying that this was a bad night for Biden — a really bad one. But there will be mouths of days and evenings yet to come in this campaign, not to mention an opponent who was anything but a stud in his performance (unless you’re someone who really admires someone who is talented in telling patently obvious lies nonstop for ninety minutes).

Democrats need to calm down before they turn this into a true disaster. This is a 12 round boxing match. There’s been no knockout and 11 rounds remain to be fought.

Latest Editors' Blog
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: