Thoughts On The Debate

 

I wasn’t planning on watching the debate. Nothing could happen that would make me change my vote, but I tuned in out of curiosity… Wow. I expected Biden to be a little more sentient and coherent than he was. “He started out a little slow,” in the words of Vice President Harris, and things went downhill from there.

I did not hold out much hope for Trump to rein himself in, but he did an excellent job. His facial expressions during Biden’s ramblings were priceless. The debate format—the one everyone beforehand was saying would work against Trump— truly worked for him. It kept him from interrupting Biden; he let Biden hang himself. The meme-errific line was definitely, “I really don’t know what he said at the end of that sentence. I don’t think he knows what he said either.”

And was it my imagination, or did Trump refer to Biden as “Brandon” at one point? I thought I heard him do that, and it cracked me up.

The most memorable line of Biden’s was, “We beat Medicare!”

Another surprise was how well Jake Tapper and Dana Bash moderated the debate. They kept both men to the agreed-upon timetable, and they never inserted themselves in a Candy Crowley moment. I could have done without the silly “climate change” question, but you can’t have everything, especially when it comes to CNN.

I’m wondering why Biden’s handlers agreed to this. I’m sure it was obvious to them that he was in no condition to stand up for 90 minutes and give coherent responses to reasonable questions, let alone parry Trump’s attacks. Did they think Trump would never agree to their conditions (and when he did they were trapped)? Now, instead of people wondering if Biden can last four more years, they’re wondering if he can last the rest of his term. The final image of Dr. Jill Biden carefully helping her husband down the steps is a perfect metaphor for his presidency.

It’s a sad indicator of how far our country has fallen that both men showed the most energy when they started arguing about their golf handicaps. Unfortunately, elections are no longer about persuading the majority of Americans to support your policies. It’s now all about harvesting the most votes, no matter the source. In that regard, the Republicans have their work cut out for them.

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  1. Dotorimuk Coolidge
    Dotorimuk
    @Dotorimuk

    I thought I heard him say “Brandon” once too.

    • #1
  2. Fractad Coolidge
    Fractad
    @TWert

    Dotorimuk (View Comment):

    I thought I heard him say “Brandon” once too.

    Thanks for the confirmation! Trump is a genius when it comes to marketing.

    • #2
  3. Postmodern Hoplite Coolidge
    Postmodern Hoplite
    @PostmodernHoplite

    Fractad: Unfortunately, elections are no longer about persuading the majority of Americans to support your policies. It’s now all about harvesting the most votes, no matter the source. In that regard, the Republicans have their work cut out for them.

    Amen! I think this is the most important aspect of this election, that the Democrats have had two election cycles (’20 and ’22) to refine their ballot harvesting and counting processes and they always “play for keeps.” As the “Party of Government,” Democrat constituencies overwhelmingly make up the full-time and permanent staff of the government agencies tasked with collecting and counting ballots. Expecting these all-to-human employees to make tough calls regarding which ballots get accepted and counted (D) versus those that don’t (R) is unrealistic and naive. 

    I have yet to see the GOP get serious about challenging the Dem’s stranglehold on the vote-counting processes, or on adopting the necessary ground game to harvest ballots the way Democrats do.

    • #3
  4. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    Fractad: The final image of Dr. Jill Biden carefully helping her husband down the steps is a perfect metaphor for his presidency.

    And her remarks afterwards…I’m surprised she didn’t put a gold star sticker on his forehead.

    • #4
  5. Painter Jean Moderator
    Painter Jean
    @PainterJean

    I wasn’t happy at all with Trump’s performance, but by Trump standards, he did very well. All he had to do was not act completely crazy, and I think he succeeded. 

    • #5
  6. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    Painter Jean (View Comment):

    I wasn’t happy at all with Trump’s performance, but by Trump standards, he did very well. All he had to do was not act completely crazy, and I think he succeeded.

    I agree.  I wished many a time, as I did during his entire presidency, that he had better rhetorical skills so he could have gone for the kill shot.  But he doesn’t, so within that context, he did very well:  He was restrained, coherent and, more importantly, had actual facial expressions indicating that he was a living human being with a working brain.

    • #6
  7. Freeven Member
    Freeven
    @Freeven

    Fractad: I think the debate format, that everyone beforehand was saying would work against Trump…

    Not everyone was saying that. Quite a number of people were pointing out that the “restrictions” would moderate Trump in exactly the ways needed for him to do well.

     

     

    • #7
  8. Steve Fast Member
    Steve Fast
    @SteveFast

    Fractad: It’s a sad indicator of how far our country has fallen that both men showed the most energy when they started  arguing about their golf handicaps.

    The argument about golf handicap was hilarious. For Trump, it was business when Joe lied about him and his record. But it was something personal when Joe lied about his golf handicap.

    • #8
  9. Cosmik Phred Member
    Cosmik Phred
    @CosmikPhred

    Painter Jean (View Comment):

    I wasn’t happy at all with Trump’s performance, but by Trump standards, he did very well. All he had to do was not act completely crazy, and I think he succeeded.

    The answer to the climate change question should’ve been:  “We’re gonna be energy independent again, go with an all of the above strategy and lean hard into nuclear.”

    • #9
  10. Lunchbox Gerald Coolidge
    Lunchbox Gerald
    @Jose

    The left is freaking out.  I have enjoyed a morning of glorious schadenfreude.  It is 2:30pm and I haven’t eaten lunch yet – I’m having too much fun.

    • #10
  11. Fractad Coolidge
    Fractad
    @TWert

    Freeven (View Comment):
    Not everyone was saying that. Quite a number of people were pointing out that the “restrictions” would moderate Trump in exactly the ways needed for him to do well.

    Good point. I’ve edited my post to reflect that.

    • #11
  12. Fractad Coolidge
    Fractad
    @TWert

    Cosmik Phred (View Comment):
    The answer to the climate change question should’ve been:  “We’re gonna be energy independent again, go with an all of the above strategy and lean hard into nuclear.”

    Exactly! 

    • #12
  13. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Fractad (View Comment):

    Cosmik Phred (View Comment):
    The answer to the climate change question should’ve been: “We’re gonna be energy independent again, go with an all of the above strategy and lean hard into nuclear.”

    Exactly!

    Just “all of the above” without mentioning nuclear might avoid putting off some greenies.

    • #13
  14. Jim Kearney Member
    Jim Kearney
    @JimKearney

    Steve Fast (View Comment):

    Fractad: It’s a sad indicator of how far our country has fallen that both men showed the most energy when they started arguing about their golf handicaps.

    The argument about golf handicap was hilarious. For Trump, it was business when Joe lied about him and his record. But it was something personal when Joe lied about his golf handicap.

    If there had been a live audience you would have heard a huge laugh when Trump improvised “That’s the biggest lie, that he’s a six handicap, of all.”

    • #14
  15. GlennAmurgis Coolidge
    GlennAmurgis
    @GlennAmurgis

    I think Biden ignoring the 13 soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan was the worst thing he did – as did the gold star parents of those men

    https://twitchy.com/grateful-calvin/2024/06/29/gold-star-families-rip-joe-biden-a-new-you-know-what-for-saying-no-soldiers-died-on-his-watch-n2397784

     

    Also, he claims that the border guards support FJB was a joke. He was the same man who said they used whips on Haitian Illegals (and never apologized for it)

    • #15
  16. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    I’m wondering why Biden’s handlers agreed to this. 

    You ask ?  They had the earliest election ever and the next isn’t for 11 weeks? That gives enough time for them to insert another candidate like Newsom, who was there by the way.  I think they used Biden to continue Obama’s policies (since they did not expect a Trump in 2016) until he ran out of steam. A crisis is another check box since Trump’s popularity has not diminished with all the court stuff.  So look for the next one soon. I hate to sound so “conspiracy theory” but nothing would surprise me.

    The “surprise” expressions by Democrats has to be fake, because Biden has been like this for quite some time.  I was not shocked at all.  I feel sorry for him.  He was very scripted and spouted what he could recall.

    Trump evaded too many questions and has a tendency to repeat himself too much. Also his frown is not TV ready. He needs to portray better ideas with a positive look and answer the questions, not attacking Biden so much. The moderators were ok = their questions were predictable.

    • #16
  17. Terence Smith Coolidge
    Terence Smith
    @TerrySmith

    With a full week of rest and debate prep, I expected Biden would do better. All he had to do was coherently repeat 10 or so memorized answers with a moderate amount of alertness and he just couldn’t do it. 

     

    • #17
  18. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    Jim Kearney (View Comment):

    Steve Fast (View Comment):

    Fractad: It’s a sad indicator of how far our country has fallen that both men showed the most energy when they started arguing about their golf handicaps.

    The argument about golf handicap was hilarious. For Trump, it was business when Joe lied about him and his record. But it was something personal when Joe lied about his golf handicap.

    If there had been a live audience you would have heard a huge laugh when Trump improvised “That’s the biggest lie, that he’s a six handicap, of all.”

    But the best part about that exchange came at the end when Trump said to Biden, “Let’s not act like children.”  He said it twice, the second time after Dana tried to step in for a rescue.  Then Biden retorted, in a rather child-like way, “You are a child.”  That was also, perhaps, the only time during the night where both mics were open for the back and forth.

    • #18
  19. GlennAmurgis Coolidge
    GlennAmurgis
    @GlennAmurgis

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    I’m wondering why Biden’s handlers agreed to this.

    You ask ? They had the earliest election ever and the next isn’t for 11 weeks? That gives enough time for them to insert another candidate like Newsom, who was there by the way. I think they used Biden to continue Obama’s policies (since they did not expect a Trump in 2016) until he ran out of steam. A crisis is another check box since Trump’s popularity has not diminished with all the court stuff. So look for the next one soon. I hate to sound so “conspiracy theory” but nothing would surprise me.

    The “surprise” expressions by Democrats has to be fake, because Biden has been like this for quite some time. I was not shocked at all. I feel sorry for him. He was very scripted and spouted what he could recall.

    Trump evaded too many questions and has a tendency to repeat himself too much. Also his frown is not TV ready. He needs to portray better ideas with a positive look and answer the questions, not attacking Biden so much. The moderators were ok = their questions were predictable.

    they bet Trump would balk at the rules and would have an out – they lost

    • #19
  20. GlennAmurgis Coolidge
    GlennAmurgis
    @GlennAmurgis

    Cosmik Phred (View Comment):

    Painter Jean (View Comment):

    I wasn’t happy at all with Trump’s performance, but by Trump standards, he did very well. All he had to do was not act completely crazy, and I think he succeeded.

    The answer to the climate change question should’ve been: “We’re gonna be energy independent again, go with an all of the above strategy and lean hard into nuclear.”

    I wish Trump would explain that what Biden is proposing will not work – he can point to Germany (which is now burning wood for energy) has failed. For our economy to work, energy must be reliable and cheap. FJP’s policy will be neither

    • #20
  21. Online Park Member
    Online Park
    @OnlinePark

    He did say Brandon and I laughed too.

    I haven’t seen anyone comment on the fact that he didn’t blink in the second half. I think they glued his eyelids open so that they wouldn’t droop.  Poor guy. It’s all a form of elder abuse.

    • #21
  22. Steve Fast Member
    Steve Fast
    @SteveFast

    Terence Smith (View Comment):

    With a full week of rest and debate prep, I expected Biden would do better. All he had to do was coherently repeat 10 or so memorized answers with a moderate amount of alertness and he just couldn’t do it.

    Me too. I expected something more like the State of the Union. I thought he would be shouty and belligerent at times and lose energy at the end. And make some mistakes but get through it in decent shape. But he was a disaster from the beginning, and all the ground rules were stacked in his favor. He has really declined in four months.

    Now I’m worried he may not make it to the seven months to the end of his term.

    • #22
  23. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    GlennAmurgis (View Comment):

    I think Biden ignoring the 13 soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan was the worst thing he did – as did the gold star parents of those men

    https://twitchy.com/grateful-calvin/2024/06/29/gold-star-families-rip-joe-biden-a-new-you-know-what-for-saying-no-soldiers-died-on-his-watch-n2397784

     

    Also, he claims that the border guards support FJB was a joke. He was the same man who said they used whips on Haitian Illegals (and never apologized for it)

    Seems like the Border Patrol Association (or whatever) had repudiated that claim while the “debate” was still going.

    • #23
  24. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    Yea, I kinda understood Trump’s strategy here. Let Biden talk – the more trouble he’ll get in…

    The smirk and nod when Biden was talking about having sex with a porn star was great. I am not sure that Biden understood that he was on screen when he wasn’t talking … That’s maybe why he was looking away and not really emoting to anything Trump said.

    It was a brilliant strategy. Agree to everything almost anything to get him into the ring – and watch him punch himself in the face for 90 minutes…

    One thing that I noticed only seeing clips – it seems that the few sentences he managed to coherently articulated were all lies. The Russia thing, Fine people, 51 spies, Losers and suckers … All lies that he just keeps going on…

    Trudeau is the same way – years after his talking point has been debunked he still says it every time it comes up.

    • #24
  25. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    Yea, I kinda understood Trump’s strategy here. Let Biden talk – the more trouble he’ll get in…

    The smirk and nod when Biden was talking about having sex with a porn star was great. I am not sure that Biden understood that he was on screen when he wasn’t talking … That’s maybe why he was looking away and not really emoting to anything Trump said.

    It was a brilliant strategy. Agree to everything almost anything to get him into the ring – and watch him punch himself in the face for 90 minutes…

    One thing that I noticed only seeing clips – it seems that the few sentences he managed to coherently articulated were all lies. The Russia thing, Fine people, 51 spies, Losers and suckers … All lies that he just keeps going on…

    Trudeau is the same way – years after his talking point has been debunked he still says it every time it comes up.

    And Newsom.

    • #25
  26. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    AP – June 26. Adam Kinzinger just can’t catch a break. He endorses Biden just days before the debate:

    Kinzinger, a military pilot who emerged as a fierce critic of former President Donald Trump after the U.S. Capitol was attacked by Trump’s supporters, described Trump as “a direct threat to every fundamental American value” in a video announcing the Biden endorsement.

    “While I certainly don’t agree with President Biden on everything, and I never thought I’d be endorsing a Democrat for president, I know that he will always protect the very thing that makes America the best country in the world: our democracy,” said Kinzinger, who voted for Trump in 2020.

    The former Illinois congressman also issued an ominous warning. Trump, he said, will “hurt anyone or anything in pursuit of power.”

    Kinzinger’s announcement comes on the eve of the opening presidential debate and gives Biden an example he can raise Thursday night of a well-known Republican supporting him over Trump. Biden’s camp is prioritizing outreach to moderate Republicans and independents alienated by Trump’s tumultuous White House tenure.

     

    • #26
  27. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    AP – June 26. Adam Kinzinger just can’t catch a break. He endorses Biden just days before the debate:

    Kinzinger, a military pilot who emerged as a fierce critic of former President Donald Trump after the U.S. Capitol was attacked by Trump’s supporters, described Trump as “a direct threat to every fundamental American value” in a video announcing the Biden endorsement.

    “While I certainly don’t agree with President Biden on everything, and I never thought I’d be endorsing a Democrat for president, I know that he will always protect the very thing that makes America the best country in the world: our democracy,” said Kinzinger, who voted for Trump in 2020.

    The former Illinois congressman also issued an ominous warning. Trump, he said, will “hurt anyone or anything in pursuit of power.”

    Kinzinger’s announcement comes on the eve of the opening presidential debate and gives Biden an example he can raise Thursday night of a well-known Republican supporting him over Trump. Biden’s camp is prioritizing outreach to moderate Republicans and independents alienated by Trump’s tumultuous White House tenure.

     

    Kinzinger is a CO₂-fearing, abortion applauding, gun-grabber who is only a Republican because the district which that elected him (since gerrymandered out of existence by the Democrats) was Republican. He is relevance in Illinois politics approaches the relevance of the CFO in the WNBA.

    • #27
  28. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    Percival (View Comment):
    Kinzinger is a CO₂-fearing, abortion applauding, gun-grabber who is only a Republican because the district which that elected him (since gerrymandered out of existence by the Democrats) was Republican. He is relevance in Illinois politics approaches the relevance of the CFO in the WNBA.

    All true. I just think its funny that any wagon he ties his hopes on, instantly turns to an anchor.

    • #28
  29. ToryWarWriter 🏴 Suspended
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    I think the rules of the debate shutting off the mic etc helped Trump come off much more focussed and disciplined than he normally would have been.  The Dems trapped themselves by agreeing to rules they thought would crush Trump.  

    • #29
  30. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):

    I think the rules of the debate shutting off the mic etc helped Trump come off much more focussed and disciplined than he normally would have been. The Dems trapped themselves by agreeing to rules they thought would crush Trump.

    I thought they should also have turned off the moderators microphones. The candidate has the floor free from all interruptions – I thought the moderators would have interrupted “Fact Checked” and argued with Trump more…

    • #30
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