The 'Not as Good', the 'Not as Bad', and the 'Not So In-Control'
Last night was a night where the whole universe was staring at the United States, and tuning into their world. After much speculation about whether or not the debates would happen, we arrived at the evening everyone was looking forward to - especially President Trump. Yet we got something surprising.
What we saw in Cleveland was a debate with playground rules. We saw a game of insults, where instead of talking about each others mommas (although families did arise in the conversations) they were yelling about their vision of what America should have been/should be. And the outcome was... America... well... I don't know.
I personally thought this would be a night where we could start to see a separation of the two candidates, where we could see Joe Biden live up to his nickname 'Sleepy Joe' given to him by President Trump, but instead we saw a Biden with a bit more spunk than we thought, and that was gifted to him by the President.
It was very clear from the outset that Biden was in the Lion's Den, but surprisingly, he was not the easy prey that we all thought President Trump could pounce on and devour. Biden came with a message and a strategy. He was going to address the people of America, by staring into the camera and pulling facial expressions like Jim from 'The Office', and trying to convince citizens that President Trump wasn't capable of another 4 years, rather than blowing his own horn. Which, in my opinion, was a smart strategy for him. I think a lot of Democrat supporters and fence sitters would have appreciated and accepted that to a certain degree.
However, throughout the evening Biden answered the questions the way I expected him to; slowly, safely and with no real clarity. This was his problem, he didn't have any killer blows. He couldn't decide whether he meant equity or equality, whether he was or wasn't a supporter of the Green New Deal, and if he was meant to condemn AntiFa or not.
Surprisingly, he did at times try and go toe to toe with President Trump. Claiming he was the "Worst president America has ever had", calling him names like 'racist' and 'a clown'. Biden came with a bit more Trump-esque attitude than I thought he had, however even with this, he couldn't take command. So in saying all of this how did the President not win this debate?
President Trump, dressed in a fantastic suit with a tie that screamed a beat down was coming, did come with some blows that had more of a sting than Biden's forgettable one liners. Trump had a very strong message when it came to the economy and Law and Order, where he was able to pick apart Biden who only wanted Law and some Order. Trump came with some fire towards the end with possibly a below the belt blow comment towards Hunter Biden, which seemed to get the Vice President riled up and defensive. Disappointingly, Trump's stirring of the pot was all spoiled by his never-ending shouting over Biden.
I think I can speak for everyone by saying we were sick of the countless times Trump interrupted Biden. It was Trump's biggest downfall of the evening, where it played nicely into Biden's innocent, friendly, compassionate attitude, where he could sit back, take offence and play the 'he's a bully' card.
Trump had brief opportunities to talk about America prior to Covid, the booming economy and the fantastic companies he brought back to America. Unfortunately, the majority of the night, the questions were pointing towards conspiracies against the President. I very well believe myself, people are out to get Trump and these conspiracies and allegations are 'fake news', but this is not what the American people needed to hear in the first debate. Sadly, it was all directed this way by the real embarrassment of the night. Chris Wallace.
Wallace, given a messy task in the first place, filled the debate with topics that lead to dumpster fire discussions and rows, and when the conversation started pointing towards things that mattered, he was able to steer it back towards the $750 of taxes that Trump supposedly only paid in 2016 & 2017. Furthermore, he had no control over both the President and the Vice President in their times of outburst and going over the 2 minutes on numerous occasions. Unfortunately he wanted to get involved with the debate a bit too much. I hope Steve Scully has taken some notes on how to steer the next debate in the correct direction.
So, who was the winner in this debate? In my opinion no one. It will be known as the debate that was a huge mess. I'm hoping moving forward that the next debate can be a more productive one, overflowing with discussions that showcases the two parties' visions for America's future more clearly. I think Biden needs to stop being so senile (if that's possible) and Trump should consider borrowing Kayleigh McEnany's famous folder for Round 2 of this Pay Per View Bout.