” First Presidential Debate – Trump vs Biden – A Debate that is Best to Forget ” – September 29, 2020.
Two candidates with limitless credentials, potential, and promise – one with immense Government experience and the other with immense business experience plus a four year Government experience as President ; one, a measured official with earnest preparations on weighty political issues and the other with reliance on logic, intuition, and commonsense combining spontaneity.
The debate took place at a positive and befitting period globally in the history of this millennium (COVID scare) requiring strong American Leadership for not just the Americans but the entire world.
There has been an air of expectation and great curiosity despite the COVID-19 pandemic restraining the freedom of people as never before.
The two candidates are the incumbent President, Donald Trump (Republican) and former VP, Joe Biden (Democrat).
In the background : (1) Convention bounces in voter support for both Trump and Biden were not quite significant and sustaining ; (2) Base support for both remain strong and firm with undecided voters forming just 4% ; and (3) Donald Trump trailing in the polls by atleast 6 to 8% since July.
The debate was held at the Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio tonight (September 29, 2020).
Chris Wallace of Fox News moderated the debate.
There were six segments of 15 minutes each for a total of 90 minutes with topics covering : Supreme Court ; COVID-19 ; Race and violence in cities ; Economy ; Climate Change ; and the Integrity of Election.
Key highlights :
1. Figure below represents the debate performance of Donald Trump in terms of the triad constituting Introduction, Issues, and Conclusion :
Donald Trump had his usual style of aggressiveness with name calling cramped considerably remaining staid for the most part except for his repeated interruptions. With a clear and firm voice sans gestures he looked entirely different in the debate stage from what I expected at least. He must have surely lost some points on this score. His switch to show himself to be different in tenor and style may have been responsible for the lost opportunities in defending or countering, be it ACA, recent Protests, or tackling violence in cities. No negative effects ; held outside ; still commanded big audience in rallies ; are how he portrayed his popularity even while Joe Biden described it as being irresponsible. We are opening ; we are recovering ; jobs picking up ; despite everything happening due to CHINA ; people want to have schools reopened ; have done more to the economy in 3 and 1/2 years despite impeachment hoax and COVID-19 ; 300 federal judges and hopefully 3 great Supreme Court Justices ; have done more in 47 months compared to Joe Biden’s 47 years ; avoided training military with bad/sick ideas costing thousands of dollars ; doing what is possible to have crystal clear water, pure air, less polluting transportation without destroying businesses ; gearing up forest management strategies for control of forest fires ; are how he highlighted his achievements. To raise Cain on the issue of mail-in-voting when the evidence is still debated in the nature of an explanation may not be viewed favourably but only will serve to induce more stress to the individual. Donald Trump, knowingly or unknowingly, taking this route proving effective or otherwise will be known only in the weeks ahead.
His policy points were impeccable and his body language transmitted decent confidence. In most of his answers and explanations he must have left something for the audience to ponder over. It may or may not make an impact with the voters, but could help him get some points at least.
2. Figure below represents Joe Biden’s debate performance in terms of Introduction, Issues, and Conclusion :
Biden sounded confident and well prepared. He was able to demonstrate his unmatched legislative experience emphasising his efforts at Healthcare, climate change and racial sensitivity. He painted Donald Trump as a weaker, sicker, divided and more violent leader.
He chose to describe Trump’s economic strategies as leading to only a K shaped recovery. He emphasized that the advantage about the tax code that Trump had taken advantage of will be eliminated when he comes to power. For the repeated charges against his son, Hunter Biden getting all benefits when he was VP, he said : ” We don’t want to talk about families here, we want to talk about all American families “. One in 500 Africans will be killed if nothing is done to control COVID-19 now. On peaceful protest he said : ” We will change the way what happens to Americans in a more transparent manner “. I will rejoin the Paris Accord ; I support the Biden Plan not necessarily the GND. Two Trillion jobs will be created due to Biden Plan was his answer when seriously (and justifiably) questioned for the huge amount needed to activate and implement the plan. I am not sure if people would have been convinced really!
Moment of the Debate : ” I am the Democratic Party Approver “, by Joe Biden to the charges made against him for his tilt towards the ‘radical left’.
On at least five occasions Joe Biden fumbled : (a) when the question of Supreme Court Justice opened, Joe Biden during his time of 2 minutes had this – ” 20 .. 200 million … 200 … people died on his watch “. (b) On healthcare Donald Trump said: ObamaCare will end public option and enhance Government take-over “. In his reply Joe Biden started – ” Medicare .. Medicare. .. Medi …”. (c) During the point on Donald Trump’s tax returns Joe Biden fumbled ” because of property tax . . tax .. tax ” (d) When Donald Trump charged him with calling Africans as ‘super predators’ Biden responded saying ” Systemic .. systemic .. justice .. separate but unequal .. for African Americans “. (e) while raising the issue of forest fires, ” stop .. stop .. tearing down forests, significant .. significant .. significant .. “.
Coming into this debate with a good lead over Donald Trump, Joe Biden would have sustained his rating and retained the morale of people. His composure on stage may place him well on performance. His ability to overcome anxiety and his address on issues in positive light to the audience will find good support. Doubts and fear expressed prior to the debate were unfounded.
3. A balancing act needs to be done by the moderator as he will be watched by the people, the two candidates, and his own employer. His moment came at the 55th minute of the debate when he reminded Donald Trump about the conditions accepted for the debate and the need to play fair referring to his “repeated interruptions”. Overall, it was a tough task that put the greatest challenge to him, perhaps. He needs to be praised.
My Conclusion : I had the unmistakable feeling that former VP, Joe Biden, had negotiated the past master, President Donald Trump well tonight. Whether this debate will have any impact on the result, however, is not definite.
The debate failed to excite and fulfill the expectations in general.
” Dieu avec nous “
Wednesday, September 30, 2020 – 10.37 a.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” He has no plan for Healthcare ; this man does not know what he is talking about ” – Joe Biden about Donald Trump.
” 47 years you did nothing ; people understand that well ” – Donald Trump about Joe Biden.