Much has been said about the first presidential debate—which was anything but presidential. Here’s my two cents.
This was not the debate people were hoping to see. It didn’t make history. Neither candidate came off well. All the same, I’ll wager that most Trump supporters, myself included, remain steadfast in our loyalty to our President, whom we recognize stands between us and an infernal brand of fascistic, totalitarian Communism—the Left’s longed-for dystopian New World Order.
Similarly, I doubt Progressives will abandon Biden just because he spat on their beloved Green New Deal. After all, everyone knows that Kamala is the real candidate for the top office, and she’s gung-ho on sending us back to the dark ages to “save the planet,” so the Green New Deal would be sure to re-emerge should the Dems prevail.
Biden’s desperate handlers, likely through the miracle of modern science, were able to keep Sleepy Joe awake with his eyes mostly open for 90 minutes straight. No doubt much to their relief, his gaffes were few and easily overlooked in the heat of the moment. Also overlooked during the debate, but pointed out afterwards by observant citizen journalists, were a couple of oddities: a wire Biden was wearing that emerged from his jacket at one point, and a metal device that peeked out of his cuff a time or two. These things, coupled with his staff’s refusal to allow the candidates to be checked for electronic cheating devices, raise questions—or perhaps, provide answers. But even if Biden cheated, he still only rated a C-plus at best.
In fact, Biden’s strategy—no doubt crafted by his handlers—was largely to imitate Trump! However, in their zeal, they mistook Trump’s appeal, which is based on his relying on facts, speaking the truth, genuineness, and a love of America and American citizens—none of which Biden seems capable of. But he did seem to relish calling Trump names. I can just imagine his coaches telling him that Trump wins by being nasty and giving people derogatory nicknames and insulting them, so that’s what he, Biden, should do.
Ahem, Joe, it was beyond unseemly, it was downright grotesque for a presidential candidate in a debate with our incumbent President that millions of Americans were watching, to refer to the President of the United States as a “clown.” Nor do you tell the President to “shut up, man!” This did not make you seem strong, Joe—it made you seem like a weakling devoid of sense who was trying to look tough. Biggest misfire of the night. On second thought, let’s give you a C-minus.
But trying to outdo Trump in hurling insults was only one way that Sleepy Joe sought to copy the master. He also used Trump’s line about being a president “for all Americans.” Of course when Trump said that, he meant it—and has demonstrated it time and again by taking an active role to help overlooked groups such as blue collar workers, veterans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, etc.. And let’s not forget his First Step Act—the antidote to the Democrat’s overzealous policies that resulted in nonviolent offenders, many of whom are African Americans, being incarcerated for years, even decades, in a punishment grossly disproportionate to their crime.
The one thing I think Biden did well was to look the audience in the eye, thereby addressing the American people directly. He feigned compassion fairly well, as many career politicians learn to do, and if you didn’t know better, you might have believed him to be the more caring candidate of the two. That is, if you get your news from CNN and MSNBC, don’t know how to use the Internet to do your own research, aren’t aware of the Biden family’s outrageous corruption, and haven’t been paying attention to all the amazing things President Trump has accomplished in just three and a half years while the Left tried unceasingly to tie his hands behind his back.
Now what about Trump’s performance? I can’t give him high marks for this one. His rally speeches are phenomenal, and he was magnificent in his debates with Hillary. But in this debate, he was off his game. I’ve since read that Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie were his coaches. Well, gentlemen, you blew it. Trump walked onto that stage with a scowl on his face, which never disappeared. The game plan seemed to be: pummel Biden. Far better to just tell the American people what you’ve accomplished and what you’re planning to accomplish, while pointing out a few choice examples of Biden’s corruption. And just let Biden immolate himself. Let him talk. Let him reveal his sadly diminished mental capacity to the nation.
But that obviously wasn’t the advice of Giuliani or Christie. Instead, Trump put on his boxing gloves and acted as if this was a new version of the nomination debates where he had to shoot down 15 rivals, one by one. Oops. Attacking Joe, talking over him, depriving him of the opportunity of digging himself into hole after hole, jumping on turncoat Chris Wallace—wrong optics. The whole point of the presidential debates is to win over new voters. Does anyone think Trump did that on Tuesday night? Now, I don’t think he lost any voters, but he certainly did nothing to win over vacillating Dems or Independents.
Here’s a missed opportunity that might have swayed some voters. Since Biden announced he is the Democrat Party, why not hold him accountable for the onerous treatment of nonviolent drug offenders such as Catherine Toney—a black woman given a 20-year sentence for a first-time drug offense. Catherine languished in prison for 16 years until March of 2019, when Trump’s First Step Act provided the means for her long overdue release, upon which she thanked God and President Trump. So, Joe, would you explain to the American people why your Party incarcerates nonviolent minorities with 20-year sentences, while releasing violent felons, including illegal aliens, into our communities?
Trump had other excellent opportunities to educate voters, many of which he missed by over-generalizing. Take, for example, the issue of the Supreme Court vacancy. The Democrats are pulling the wool over the eyes of the public by comparing the Senate’s refusal to confirm Merrick Garland during Obama’s lame-duck term, with Trump and McConnell’s insistence on confirming Amy Coney Barrett with the election in sight. Trump’s response was “Elections have consequences.” This fails to address the issue of fairness and precedents, which are on Trump’s side and should have been spelled out right away for the audience. The glaring difference between Obama’s situation and Trump’s has nothing to do with proximity to an election—that’s a red herring. It has everything to do with which party holds the Senate. Obama was faced with a Republican Senate that had the Constitutional power to refuse to confirm his Supreme Court nominee. Today, however, the Republicans have the Senate, and have both the right and the duty to confirm Trump’s nominee, provided they believe she’s fit for the High Court.
That’s the sort of thing we need to see from our President. Giving us clear and concise statements of facts is not only reassuring and likely to win over new voters, it’s also as presidential as you can get.
Of course we also want some spot-on Trumpian zingers to liven things up. My pick? “I’ve done more in 47 months than you have in 47 years, Joe!” That’s the debate in a nutshell. Game set match. That’s the clincher.© Cherie Zaslawsky
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