If I don’t force the issue from time to time there will be nothing new on this blog for months at a time. Most of my energy at the moment goes into preparing to teach, teaching, recuperating from teaching, grading and tech support as we adapt again to our new online environment. Now I’m relearning stuff I had figured out back in May.
But I’d set the precedent of live blogging the debates and this one seems important enough that it’s worth a later night than usual. I probably won’t have the chance to make this one look pretty for a few days. So far I know that the debate was going to be at Notre Dame but it isn’t because COVID. Now it’s in Cleveland. Moderated by Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday.
Leading into the debate, it seems to me that things aren’t going too well for President Trump. The NYT released his taxes over the weekend and it does not look good. That followed revelations about the President making some unfortunate comments about the military and the comments about possibly refusing to respect the results of the election are not a good look.
At this moment, the election looks like it’s Vice President Biden’s to lose. But I think he’s lost a step or two in the last few years. I think he needs to perform the way he did in the debate against Paul Ryan in 2012, but I wonder if he still has that in him. In any event it’s a mistake to underestimate Donald Trump. He did nothing but exceed expectations in the 2016 election.
Hillary Clinton is on MSNBC giving advice. I’m having second thoughts already.
We start with SCOTUS, the elephant in the room. This is more reserved than I’m used to. Trump’s arguments here are already disingenuous.
Biden is sedate this evening, but the argument he’s making about the SCOTUS nomination is the right one.
This is an interesting exchange.
Trump is fighting with the moderator which is an interesting strategy. He rails against the individual mandate which is the thing that makes the ACA work.
Biden calls out Trump’s lies. Good line about getting lucky.
Trump is repeating things he said in 2016 that never played out. Biden: “Will you shut up man” and “This is so unpresidential.”
Trump is claiming that he saved thousands lives and is blaming the “Fake News.”
H1N1 was a disaster??
Trump is claiming that Biden isn’t smart.
Trump seems to be especially transparent tonight. I think Biden’s hitting the right tone by just laughing at the President.
“I brought back football.” Hilarious.
Trump claims he paid millions in taxes in 2016.
Biden: “You’re the worst president this country has ever had.” My money’s still on Bush, but that made me laugh really hard.
I think the only way we could have a real debate between these two is to put them in separate rooms.
Decency. Yes. More of that please.
Right at the racism. Nice. And the puzzled look on Biden’s face is priceless.
I need to train for these. One hour in and I’m fried.
“There has never been a president who has done more than I’ve done.” It’s because of the number of Judges? That ignores the obstruction under McConnell.
“Stand back and stand by” is easily the most chilling moment of this debate.
Biden’s been good on election security. But “We’ve caught them all?” Trump is incoherent on election security.
Trump refuses to ask his supporters to stay calm during an extended count. That’s troubling. Biden is strong here again.
I don’t think this will change anyone’s mind. It was a mess. Just watching it was exhausting. At best I think Trump was playing to his base which isn’t going to be enough.
I was going to say that this was a draw, but now I think the more we unpack what Trump said here the better Biden is going to look.