Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Trump Wins Second Debate. Will It Be Enough?

 

The second debate was a completely different animal from the first. President Trump and former Vice President Biden were able to present their answers, arguments, and attacks without constant interruptions from each other or the moderator.

The new muted mics rule worked quite well and we should expect to see it in future debates. When one candidate answered a question, the other’s mic was muted. After both provided their statements, the mics were left open for that lively partisan bickering we’ve come to expect.

This worked greatly to Donald Trump’s favor.

The President vastly improved his performance, holding Joe Biden’s feet to the fire while maintaining his cool. Biden turned in the journeyman performance one would expect from a frontrunner. His job was to remain upright and not commit some outlandish gaffe, a feat he achieved. And yet…

That tricky Trump fellow laid several traps and Joe eagerly jumped right into them.

To start the debate, Trump hit Biden hard on the growing “laptop from hell” controversy. Biden’s answers were either unsatisfactory or downright deceptive; that will come back to bite him. Since about 20 minutes were dedicated to the issue, the press will have a hard time maintaining their embargo.

Impressively, Trump focused on the Biden family’s lucrative arrangements with China, Russia, and Ukraine in a relaxed manner. His “more in sadness than in anger” tone raised question after question without the need to bang the table. Trump concern-trolled the hell out of Biden and it worked like a charm.

He also got Joe to deny that he ever wanted ban fracking, although we saw him say just that in the Democratic primary debates. Trump has the video and promised to release it yet again to our ever-incurious press.

When Biden blasted Trump over putting children in cages, POTUS kept reminding him that Obama created them. “Who built the cages, Joe?” Trump kept asking. Biden had no response.

Biden’s worst moment was when Trump actually got him to admit that he will end the US oil industry. Later, Joe tried to massage that promise but Trump highlighted it repeatedly, calling out voters in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, and Oklahoma to pay close attention to what that will mean for their jobs. Let a thousand ads bloom.

In addition to creating headaches for himself, Biden was remarkably inconsistent. Angry one moment, fake laughing the next, marble-mouthing convoluted answers. His energy level waxed and waned over the 90-minute affair, while Trump always appeared in command.

Moderator Kristen Welker of NBC wasn’t as dreadful as Chris Wallace or Savannah Guthrie, but she was faster to interrupt Trump than Biden, especially when the President was on a roll. According to the numbers, there were 24 interTrumps to two for Biden. And, of course, all the questions came from the left.

By the end of Thursday’s debate, the former vice president was looking at his watch, a move that doomed George H.W. Bush’s re-election (at least according to the press at the time). It was a visual reminder that Biden is playing a Prevent Defense and hoping to run out the clock.

A lot can happen in the second half of the fourth quarter. Tonight, Trump was moving down the field.

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  1. tigerlily Member

    Good hot take Jon.

    • #1
    • October 22, 2020, at 8:43 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  2. Goldwaterwoman Thatcher

    This was a much more satisfying debate than the first one. The moderator was excellent and gave each the opportunity to answer the other’s objections up to a reasonable amount of time thereby reducing rancor. Whether or not it made a difference I have no idea only because the people who watched this tonight were probably political junkies who have already made up their minds.I was particularly proud of Trump’s demeanor compared to the other debate. I do wish he could smile more. By the way, this moderator was particularly good in making the debate about substantive issues and the candidates rather than herself.

    • #2
    • October 22, 2020, at 8:49 PM PDT
    • 18 likes
  3. Manny Member

    Thanks for the summary. I don’t watch these things but remain infinitely curious as to how they turned out. There are signs out there that Biden is not really in the lead and that it’s a mirage. I’m hoping for a Trump blow out.

    • #3
    • October 22, 2020, at 8:51 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  4. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHillJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Chris Wallace hardest hit.

    • #4
    • October 22, 2020, at 8:52 PM PDT
    • 34 likes
  5. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    Thank goodness. I hope it is enough to save us from Democrat hell.

    • #5
    • October 22, 2020, at 8:56 PM PDT
    • 18 likes
  6. Doug Watt Moderator

    Best Biden line of the night was a couple rolling around in bed at night worrying about their health care. Who knew that worrying about health care was a form of foreplay.

    • #6
    • October 22, 2020, at 8:57 PM PDT
    • 42 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  7. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: Moderator Kristen Welker of NBC wasn’t as dreadful as Chris Wallace or Savannah Guthrie

    Baron Sasha Cohen in full Borat wouldn’t have been as dreadful as Chris Wallace. Wallace didn’t ask questions. He gave speeches.

    • #7
    • October 22, 2020, at 9:03 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  8. Dotorimuk Coolidge

    Wuhan Virus, white supremacy, climate change. Rinse and repeat. Get some new topics.

    • #8
    • October 22, 2020, at 9:06 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
  9. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    The Ricochet live chat was a barrel of fun.

    • #9
    • October 22, 2020, at 9:13 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  10. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member

    Dotorimuk (View Comment):

    Wuhan Virus, white supremacy, climate change. Rinse and repeat. Get some new topics.

    Needed more Space Force. 

    • #10
    • October 22, 2020, at 9:20 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  11. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    Dotorimuk (View Comment):

    Wuhan Virus, white supremacy, climate change. Rinse and repeat. Get some new topics.

    I have to agree. I disagree that the moderator was excellent. Whenever they got on a roll, she would interrupt and say they needed to get onto the next topic. No they didn’t. We all could have written the questions. These topics have been covered ad nauseum. What she needed to do was let them finish their debate.

    It should have been about foreign policy like it was supposed to be. 

    • #11
    • October 22, 2020, at 9:20 PM PDT
    • 17 likes
  12. Jeff Hawkins Coolidge

    Can’t wait for Commentary and Dispatch podcasts to tell us Biden was the real winner

    • #12
    • October 22, 2020, at 9:33 PM PDT
    • 23 likes
  13. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Best Biden line of the night was a couple rolling around in bed at night worrying about their health care. Who knew that worrying about health care was a form of foreplay.

    To each their own, said the old lady as she kissed the cow.

    • #13
    • October 22, 2020, at 9:33 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  14. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: He also got Joe to deny that he ever wanted ban fracking, although we saw him say just that in the Democratic primary debates. Trump has the video and promised to release it yet again to our ever-incurious press.

    This was especially stupid on Team DNC’s part, as President Trump had already rolled the video in a Pennsylvania rally. Since Joe opened the door, President Trump walked right through:

    When President Trump approvingly retweets Megyn Kelly, you know the evening was a blowout:

     

    • #14
    • October 22, 2020, at 9:37 PM PDT
    • 24 likes
  15. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Biden’s supposed to have a double-digit lead over Trump in New Mexico, but it will be interesting to see how the debate comments play out there, because N.M. has more federal lands producing oil right now than any other state, and funding from that oil and gas drilling accounted for over a third of the state’s budget revenues in 2019. In an effort to mollify voters in private oil drilling areas of Pennsylvania and Ohio, Biden basically threw the Land of Enchantment under the bus (probably based on those poll numbers, and the idea that the enviros in the northern part of the state won’t care about a federal land fracking ban, until the state revenues dry up in 2022).

    • #15
    • October 22, 2020, at 9:40 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  16. JamesSalerno Coolidge

    Trump outclassed Biden, easily.

    Though I find it discerning that “foreign policy” was labeled off-limits by the debate commission, instead it’s folded into “national security.” The entire debate format reminds me that the majority of Americans are very, very uneducated and dangerously ignorant.

    Trump’s taxes were brought up again, despite being discussed in the first debate. Why are we talking about this again? Has anything changed on Trump’s tax returns in the last three weeks? No.

    Coronavirus was brought up again, despite being discussed in the first debate. Why are we talking about this again? Has anything changed on Coronavirus in the last three weeks? No.

    Race was brought up again, despite being discussed in the first debate. Why are we taking about this again? Has anything on race changed in the last three weeks? No.

    These topics are not just pointless, they’re pointless retreads. The legit constitutional functions of the executive were discussed for maybe 5% of the alloted time.

    • #16
    • October 22, 2020, at 9:51 PM PDT
    • 24 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  17. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: He also got Joe to deny that he ever wanted ban fracking, although we saw him say just that in the Democratic primary debates. Trump has the video and promised to release it yet again to our ever-incurious press.

    This was especially stupid on Team DNC’s part, as President Trump had already rolled the video in a Pennsylvania rally. Since Joe opened the door, President Trump walked right through:

    When President Trump approvingly retweets Megyn Kelly, you know the evening was a blowout:

     

    Put the two on one after the other, then Biden’s statement to go ahead and play the tape. Close up with “Joe Biden approves this message, whether he remembers or not.”

    • #17
    • October 22, 2020, at 9:56 PM PDT
    • 17 likes
  18. kedavis Member

    Jeff Hawkins (View Comment):

    Can’t wait for Commentary and Dispatch podcasts to tell us Biden was the real winner

    Comm-what? Dis-what?

    Never heard of them.

    • #18
    • October 22, 2020, at 10:19 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  19. genferei Member
    genfereiJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: The new muted mics rule worked quite well and we should expect to see it in future debates.

    I do hope this is the last of these televised monstrosities, ever. Why the democratic process should be debased for the sake of TV ratings and cheap journo-list-ic fodder is beyond me. (And those pining for muh Lincoln-Douglas should read a book.) If reporters had to engage with the substance of policies rather than whether a fly landed on someone’s head, which tone of voice was used by whom and ‘what candidate X must do in the debate’ their pretty little heads would explode. This would be a good thing. 

    • #19
    • October 22, 2020, at 11:23 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  20. kedavis Member

    genferei (View Comment):

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: The new muted mics rule worked quite well and we should expect to see it in future debates.

    I do hope this is the last of these televised monstrosities, ever. Why the democratic process should be debased for the sake of TV ratings and cheap journo-list-ic fodder is beyond me. (And those pining for muh Lincoln-Douglas should read a book.) If reporters had to engage with the substance of policies rather than whether a fly landed on someone’s head, which tone of voice was used by whom and ‘what candidate X must do in the debate’ their pretty little heads would explode. This would be a good thing.

    David Cronenberg never realized how prescient he was in so many areas, with “Scanners.”

    • #20
    • October 22, 2020, at 11:33 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  21. Dotorimuk Coolidge

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Jeff Hawkins (View Comment):

    Can’t wait for Commentary and Dispatch podcasts to tell us Biden was the real winner

    Comm-what? Dis-what?

    Never heard of them.

    Can I paraphrase the old Woody Allen line and say the Dispatch and Commentary have merged to form Dysentery?

    • #21
    • October 22, 2020, at 11:50 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  22. Gary Robbins Reagan

    Jeff Hawkins (View Comment):

    Can’t wait for Commentary and Dispatch podcasts to tell us Biden was the real winner

    Don’t forget The Bulwark, The Lincoln Project, and 538. I checked in with them.

    The consensus there was that because Biden didn’t lose, given Biden’s lead and only 12 days left, Biden won. I would agree, but I could see Trump aiming for a paper-thin victory, winning in Florida, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, while losing in Arizona, Michigan and Wisconsin, where the whole race comes down to ME-2 and NE-2!

    I think that if the so-called “Hunter Biden laptop” does not break into the national consciousness, Biden wins. People I have spoken to already believe that the so-called “Hunter Biden laptop” is a Russian plant, and thus a Trump hoax. Unless the story breaks into the MSM, or at least the WSJ, I agree. It is too convenient, like the Wikileaks releases of Hillary’s emails. I predict that the laptop will not be seen as being credible. I would suggest that the Russians jumped the shark by planting child porn, making the laptop appear as a Q-Anon invention, as part of the cabal of pedophiles. Rudy touching his Toobin has further harmed the laptop story.

    The “laptop from Hell” was pretty easily dismissed by Biden.

    Trump had no answer to our country creating 500+ orphans. Trump had no good answer to the issue of his China taxes, or his U.S. taxes.

    Trump did not have a ready answer to the 220,000 COVID deaths. I predict that that will be the fulcrum point in 2020. (I suggest that you check the steady impact on Trump from both the Economist’s forecast and 538.) I think that Trump’s chances of winning are between the 7-8% of the former and the 12-13% of the latter.

    Trump’s closing was a disaster. He complained endlessly about how he had been mistreated. Biden’s closing was quite good, given his promise that he would be the President of all Americans; given the stories of Trump telling staffers to cut off aid to California, and the stories that Trump was less concerned about COVID-19 in blue states.

    My prediction is that Biden wins 319-351 Electoral College votes, by carrying the six swing states of Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, leading to a 1980 landslide where there were some 9 Democratic Senators who were wiped out by the Reagan landslide, including Dem “giants” like Frank Church, Birch Bayh, and George McGovern. The Dems could run the table in the Senate, winning not only AZ, CO, IA, ME, and NC, but also some of the AK. GA, GA*, KS, MI, KY, SC, and even TX races. Only AL, AR, LA, NE, OK, TN, WV and WY are safe.

    Finally, the odds of Republicans winning back the House are only 4%. When someone suggests that he can win theHouse,I conclude that they are mindless partisans or flacks.

    In 1946, Republicans won Congress with the phrase “Had Enough?” I think that Americans have had their fill of Trump, and will vote out not only Trump, but also many Trump Enablers in the Senate because unlike retiring Tennessee Senator, Lamar Alexander, they could not admit that the House Managers had made their case, but it just didn’t rise to the level of removal.

    • #22
    • October 22, 2020, at 11:51 PM PDT
    • Like
    • This comment has been edited.
  23. kedavis Member

    Wow Gary has really outdone himself on the obtuse-ness front.

    • #23
    • October 22, 2020, at 11:54 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
  24. Gary Robbins Reagan

    Dotorimuk (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Jeff Hawkins (View Comment):

    Can’t wait for Commentary and Dispatch podcasts to tell us Biden was the real winner

    Comm-what? Dis-what?

    Never heard of them.

    Can I paraphrase the old Woody Allen line and say the Dispatch and Commentary have merged to form Dysentery?

    The Woody Allen line was the combination of “Dissent” and “Commentary.”

    • #24
    • October 22, 2020, at 11:57 PM PDT
    • Like
  25. Gary Robbins Reagan

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Wow Gary has really outdone himself on the obtuse-ness front.

    So what is your response on the substantive level, instead of name calling?

    • #25
    • October 22, 2020, at 11:59 PM PDT
    • Like
  26. kedavis Member

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Dotorimuk (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Jeff Hawkins (View Comment):

    Can’t wait for Commentary and Dispatch podcasts to tell us Biden was the real winner

    Comm-what? Dis-what?

    Never heard of them.

    Can I paraphrase the old Woody Allen line and say the Dispatch and Commentary have merged to form Dysentery?

    The Woody Allen line was the combination of “Dissent” and “Commentary.”

    Obtuse…

    • #26
    • October 23, 2020, at 12:12 AM PDT
    • Like
  27. kedavis Member

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Wow Gary has really outdone himself on the obtuse-ness front.

    So what is your response on the substantive level, instead of name calling?

    Obtuse…

    • #27
    • October 23, 2020, at 12:12 AM PDT
    • Like
  28. Gary Robbins Reagan

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Wow Gary has really outdone himself on the obtuse-ness front.

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Dotorimuk (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Jeff Hawkins (View Comment):

    Can’t wait for Commentary and Dispatch podcasts to tell us Biden was the real winner

    Comm-what? Dis-what?

    Never heard of them.

    Can I paraphrase the old Woody Allen line and say the Dispatch and Commentary have merged to form Dysentery?

    The Woody Allen line was the combination of “Dissent” and “Commentary.”

    Obtuse…

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Wow Gary has really outdone himself on the obtuse-ness front.

    So what is your response on the substantive level, instead of name calling?

    Obtuse…

    Thank you for your kind and generous words.

    • #28
    • October 23, 2020, at 12:15 AM PDT
    • Like
  29. kedavis Member

    Maybe someone else has the patience to explain it to you, AGAIN. But I don’t.

    • #29
    • October 23, 2020, at 12:15 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  30. Ontheleftcoast Member

    Here’s a blast from the past: Claire Berlinski 10 years ago, from City Journal. She’s asking why Communism and Communists get a pass when Nazis don’t.

    She discusses Pavel Stroilov, who fled Russia with thousands of pages of top secret purloined Kremlin documents.

    There are reports, dating from the 1960s, by Vadim Zagladin, deputy chief of the Central Committee’s International Department until 1987 and then Gorbachev’s advisor until 1991. Zagladin was both envoy and spy, charged with gathering secrets, spreading disinformation, and advancing Soviet influence.

    . . .

    And what of Zagladin’s description of his dealings with our own [former] vice president in 1979?

    Unofficially, [Senator Joseph] Biden and [Senator Richard] Lugar said that, in the end of the day, they were not so much concerned with having a problem of this or that citizen solved as with showing to the American public that they do care for “human rights.” . . . In other words, the collocutors directly admitted that what is happening is a kind of a show, that they absolutely do not care for the fate of most so-called dissidents.

    Berlinski goes on to note:

    Indeed, many still subscribe to the essential tenets of Communist ideology. Politicians, academics, students, even the occasional autodidact taxi driver still stand opposed to private property. Many remain enthralled by schemes for central economic planning. Stalin, according to polls, is one of Russia’s most popular historical figures. No small number of young people in Istanbul, where I live, proudly describe themselves as Communists; I have met such people around the world, from Seattle to Calcutta.

    Stalin isn’t so popular in the US right now, but agitprop, “community organizing” and a modified theology of oppression and multiple intersecting areas of victimhood provide multiple reasons to overthrow the government and not just economic ones.

    • #30
    • October 23, 2020, at 12:39 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
    • This comment has been edited.