President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden at the first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday, September 29, 2020. (Morry Gash, Pool/Associated Press)

Only hyper-partisan supporters of Donald Trump or Joe Biden think that their candidate won the first presidential debate.

There were no winners, only losers, and America was the biggest loser of all. After watching last night’s debate, I wonder why we should have a second or a third. Do I hate myself that much to watch a second or third debate?

Chris Wallace lost control. It was as if there wasn’t a moderator during much of the debate (except for when he appeared to be debating Trump). I can’t really blame him for losing control. I blame the format. It was too free-flowing; it needed more structure. I blame whoever thought it was a good idea not to give Wallace the ability to turn mics on and off.

Most of all, I blame the candidates, mostly Trump, who interrupted at every turn. Biden mostly kept his cool, but it was utterly ineffectual when he didn’t.

“You don’t know the suburbs!” Biden argued.

What?

“Can you just shut up man?” Biden asked.

Then you have the president’s *pithy* retorts.

“Don’t you talk about smart…. there’s nothing about you that’s smart,” Trump claimed.

It was like watching Jr. High boys debate.

Biden had the opportunity to deflate the Republican argument that he wants to pack the court; instead he refused to answer the question and told Trump to shut up.

Neither man had much to offer when discussing the pandemic; Trump has been all over the place. Biden criticizing Trump for the loss of jobs is nuts when it is due to an economic shutdown called for by the medical community and primarily led by the states. Biden then says you can’t repair the economy before dealing with the pandemic, which means what? A longer shutdown?

It’s hard to pick apart the debate on substance because it mostly lacked it. We know Biden wants to raise the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent. He also believes Antifa is an idea, not an organization. While they don’t have a top-down, centralized organizational structure to say they are just an idea is ludicrous. So, condemn the idea.

Trump has a winning argument on taxes, criminal justice reform, and the riots, but he short-circuited it with his constant interruptions. Also, the attacks on Hunter Biden were forced and, I think, fell flat. His comments about mail-in ballots sounded like information he received from Gateway Pundit or InfoWars.

Also, Trump had the opportunity to condemn white supremacy. It’s such a low bar, and he couldn’t do it.

When asked, “Will you tell your supporters to remain calm and wait for all the votes to be counted and the election to be independently certified?”

Trump should have said yes but didn’t do it. Wallace didn’t ask him if he would accept the results and not file a legal challenge. It was another missed opportunity.

Tonight’s debate was just noise, and we are worse off for having watched.

8 comments
  1. What is fascinating are the flash poll results:

    From a Tweet by Kayleigh McEnany:

    CSPAN: ✅ Trump (53% Trump; 29% Biden)

    Telemundo: ✅ Trump (66% Trump; 34% Biden)

    From Political Wire.com:

    A CBS News instant poll finds 48% think Joe Biden won tonight’s debate, 41% think Donald Trump won and 10% think it was a tie.

    A CNN instant poll finds Biden won, 60% to 28%

      1. Actually, that’s not quite true. I don’t pay attention to national polls, but in 2016, battleground state polls showed a shift toward Trump. I also look to see if they are polling likely voters or registered voters. That makes a difference.

  2. Sadly, you are mostly correct. I say mostly because it’s my opinion and I pretty much agree with you. Wallace didn’t really lose control. He got contentious with Trump and destroyed any credibility he would have as a moderator. He became a participant rather than a moderator and tended to take Biden’s side.

    Flash polls are interesting in one aspect, however, they give the emotional take on the debate and I’m not surprised at the results, including CNN’s. I would expect nothing more out of CNN as they are, as Instapundit puts it, simply Democrat operatives pretending to be journalists.

  3. One thing that disappointed me in Chris Wallace is that referred to Biden’s characterization of Trump’s remarks at Charlottesville without noting that Biden’s characterizations were false and giving him a chance to retract them. Instead, Biden reiterated that Trump stated that the neo-nazis and white supremacists were “fine people”. Trump should have corrected it, but didn’t.

    Here is what President Trump actually said:

    TRUMP: “Excuse me, they didn’t put themselves down as neo-Nazis, and you had some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides. . . . I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally – but you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, okay? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly. Now, in the other group also, you had some fine people, but you also had troublemakers and you see them come with the black outfits and with the helmets and with the baseball bats – you had a lot of bad people in the other group too.” Trump went on to cite people peacefully protesting the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue as part of the “very fine people”.

    Trump also stated, ““Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.” And, “The riots in Charlottesville a year ago resulted in senseless death and division. We must come together as a nation. I condemn all types of racism and acts of violence. Peace to ALL Americans!”

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