About last night. . .
Last night was one time where everyone got exactly what they were expecting. Like, quite literally, everyone assumed a Trump-Biden debate would be complete and utter chaos.
Well, it was complete and utter chaos.
It was much less a debate as it was your two uncles fighting during Thanksgiving. It was certainly entertaining, but it wasn't very illuminating as to where the candidates stand on the issues and I don't think it changed anyone's mind with respect to November.
So lets quickly run down a few key moments from last night.
So Chris Wallace was not good:
Wallace had a near impossible job last night, but even then - he was a mess. Prior to the debate, Wallace said he wanted to be "invisible". Well, he wasn't invisible - he was as much of the "show" as either candidate. It felt like he was stepping in to help Biden out of jams. It felt like he got rattled by Trump's aggressiveness and the became frustrated and combative with the President:
Trump probably DID interrupt too much, but Biden did his own share of interrupting and Wallace shouldn't have singled out either candidate for a lecture. I don't recall Chris Wallace chastising Joe Biden when Biden literally told the President to "shut up". Wallace was over-matched by the chaos and should've just let them go at eachother and truly become invisible. He didn't and it was a bad look.
Biden wouldn't answer if he supported packing the courts / killing the filibuster:
The one question I wanted answer last night was whether or not Biden supported killing the filibuster and/or packing the courts. During the primaries, Biden was against packing the courts. Then, RBG died and Democrats have started running on a "pack the courts" platform (essentially, passing a law, allowing them to appoint MORE judges to the Supreme Court). When asked last week if he supported packing the courts, Biden has refused to answer because it would distract from the issues, or something. As President, Biden could veto such a law - so it's important to know whether or not he'd nuke the Supreme Court.
Biden was asked again last night and here was his response:
Here is the transcript for part of that exchange:
That is NOT an acceptable. If Democrats win the Senate and the Presidency and then make good on their threat to pack the courts it could change the court into a pseudo liberal super-legislature, stacked with politicians-turned-judges. All with lifetime appointments, rewriting the law and Constitution. Whether or not Biden supports this decision is CRITICAL - yet - Chris Wallace didn't press him on the subject. That's bunk.
Joe Biden doesn't support the Green New Deal, but also does:
So last night, Wallace asked Biden if he supported the Green New Deal. This was a good question, because the Green New Deal is a pretty radical country shaping, economy destroying, piece of legislation. In response to the question, Biden said "No, I don't support the Green New Deal." The problem is that Biden said the "Green New Deal would pay for itself as we move forward" literally like seconds later:
Moreover, Biden's statement last night conflicts with two important details.
1) Biden's own website, contradicts him. In fact his platform specifically states:
2) Biden's running mate, Kamala Harris, co-sponsored the Green New Deal and said she would NUKE THE FILIBUSTER to ensure the Green New Deal passed:
Hmph. This seems kind of newsy to me. I wonder if the Media will report on this, but they probably will not.
I don't think Trump did enough to help himself last night:
I know people reading this blog are probably pro-Trump and love when he goes after people. I know I do, sometimes. I do think, however, we should be mindful that we don't give too much credence to our own echo chamber. I think Trump's strategy last night was to try and rattle Joe Biden. I think it worked to a degree, but I don't think it was as effective as it needed to be. I don't think any moderate came away from last night thinking that Joe Biden was literally senile, probably just old. More likely, people probably came away last night thinking that both candidates were a little crazy:
I laughed at a lot of the things Trump said and did last night, but I'm not sure he got across much of an argument as to why he should be re-elected. Most of the debate last night was spent talking over Biden and defending himself against attacks. I wish Trump had spent MORE time reminding Americans about peace in the middle east (wasn't mentioned at all), more time about defeating ISIS (wasn't mentioned, I don't think), more time about getting our allies to pay more for NATO (wasn't mentioned), more time about how he negotiated immigration agreements with South American countries to help curb illegal migration (wasn't mentioned). I wish Trump would've PRESSED Biden on the court packing / filibuster question. I wish he would have highlighted to the American people how Biden won't do interviews. I wish he would've delivered a clearer answer on this question:
There was a lot of ammunition for President Trump to use last night and much of it remained left in the chamber. Trump does not have a huge margin of error if he wants to win re-election and he can't afford to waste opportunities to convince voters that he is the man to lead the country for the next four years.
Last night felt like kind of a wasted opportunity in that regard. But what do I know? People on Telemundo seemed to really dig his performance:
So who knows?!
Enjoy your Wednesday.