I worried what this momentous night would bring. In the event I think it was somewhere between bad and disastrous for President Trump.
The most important fact about this debate is that going into it President Trump was clearly behind. He needed to shift the dynamic of the race, force some major error, introduce some new factor. That didn’t happen. I saw nothing tonight that seems at all likely to improve things for President Trump. Nothing.
Biden did fine. Not great. But fine. I’d say he had a B performance with some B+ or even A- minus moments. But for him that’s fine. He’s ahead. He’s not running as best debater. He’s not running as most dynamic figure. He’s not competing for most unstable affect. He’s running as the guy who will end the nightmare. If that’s the goal he turned in just the right performance.
We’re recording a quick podcast of reactions. I’ll share my thoughts on the debate momentarily.
9:47 PM: One critical thing to remember here is that President Trump is behind. He needs to shift the dynamic. Even at its best for Trump this is not changing any dynamic.
9:32 PM: That part from a few moments with Biden saying can you believe him after all his lies, how he hasn’t leveled with you about how he blew it at the beginning. That was the clearest part of the whole debate.
9:25 PM: I’m seeing a lot of people complaining about Chris Wallace, saying Trump is dominating the debate. That’s not what I’m seeing. Trump is taking up more time. But I don’t think he’s helping himself.
9:05 PM: And here we go … Trump hard mad mugging from the start.
9:03 PM: He’s been decent in debates. But can’t forget that this first off debate is hosted by the top host from Fox News.
Our whole team will be bringing you full coverage of tonight’s debate. And I will too. I confess though I find it a funny thing to cover. Biden is a policy-knowledgable, well-meaning guy who’s been in elected office most of his adult life. Trump is a compulsive liar with little interest in or knowledge about any policy question currently working to delegitimize the election itself.
Both will play to form because neither are capable of doing otherwise.
This means that what we are watching, what we are all collectively evaluating are the possibilities of unpredictable events and the general optics and how those impact the very small number of voters who are not strongly committed to either candidate. It’s almost impossible that any of these ‘events’ will have any substantive bearing on how either man would serve as President.
And yet, as we know they can have a big impact.
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