It was billed as “the most important presidential debate in history”, which is quite a lot when you consider events like the Lincoln/Douglas Debates back in August of 1858. They debated over three hours in searing Indiana heat. In the end, it was the worst performance I’ve seen from a candidate, topping that of Dan Quayle in his Vice Presidential Debate with Lloyd Benson in 1988. And believe it or not, I’m not talking about Joe Biden.
Donald Trump was atrocious last night.
Trump’s performance started in the most important part…the first five minutes. He repeatedly interrupted both Biden, and moderator Chris Wallace, talking over both, raising his voice, and acting like a bully looking for lunch money. It didn’t help, and it didn’t stop there. Continuously throughout the 90 minute long harrang, Trump would repeatedly belittle, name call, and interrupt. It got to the point where the points he was making, some of which were actually pretty good, were overshadowed by his bellicose attitude.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the stage, Joe Biden attacked, parried, and danced around the raging bull. He smiled, he was calm, and yes, he was lucid. The bar had been set by Trump, and others (including me) so low that all Biden had to do was walk off the stage under his own power and he’d be declared the winner.
I think in the end, he didn’t need to worry.
I will say, Trump wasn’t the only loser on that debate last night. Prior to the debate, Chris Wallace, who had been called “the best moderator ever” gave his instructions to the 75 or so people in attendance. He asked them to not applaud, not boo, not laugh, not do anything but observe. They dutifully obeyed him. Unfortunately, Wallace couldn’t control either of the two participants. That IS the job of a moderator, and he failed in a monumental fashion. I doubt Chris Wallace is going to be asked to do another debate anytime in his career.
Donald Trump was a buffoon last night. Where Joe Biden had spent the last four days prepping for his performance, Trump campaigned. Where Biden came across as cool and presidential, Trump came across as arrogant, frustrated and argumentative. There was a way to combat Biden last night, and we’ll delve into that tomorrow in detail. But in this, the first of three presidential debates, had my good friend, former boxing referee, and Las Vegas judge, Mills Lane been refereeing this fight, he would have given Trump a bear hug and waved off the rest of the debate in the first five minutes. I’d be surprised if Biden doesn’t pick up five or even ten points nationally in the next poll, it was that bad.
Let’s just hope Mike Pence can do better next week!
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!