So here we are. Tuesday night in Cleveland we will see the first head to head match-up between the president and Joe Biden. It should be quite a show.
Debates, and every facet of elections, are like sports for political junkies. Tonight is no different. This will be a lot like a tennis game. Lines will be served, volleyed back, and returned. Somewhere in that process someone will miss a swing and a point will be scored. The man who scores the best points, not necessarily the most, wins.
Attention will be paid to line judge Chris Wallace. Though he is an opponent of the president, as his breeding and job mandate, he will make a pretense at objectivity. But when the calls are close expect him to play cuddlebunny with Biden. He may need to, given this news.
Fox News reports that Team Biden requested a break every 30 minutes in the debate. Team Trump rejected it.
Team Trump wants inspection for ear pieces.
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) September 29, 2020
Biden is said to have prepped very seriously for this event, which no doubt includes stimulants in pill form. But for a candidate as generally confused as Biden, overprepping can invite disaster. If he’s crammed with too much it could further befuddle him and anything could come out of his festering moongob. As for the pills, will Trump call him at it and ask why Biden refused the drug test that Trump demanded? Will Trump do that when Biden obviously stumbles on a point, thus driving Biden further into froth and confusion? It will be interesting to monitor.
Biden’s message will be Covid-19, the economy, and Barrett. He will say Trump was late in reacting to COVID and then botched it. Trump will hit back with Biden’s “xenophobe” line. Biden will say Trump’s bungling of Covid-19 led to the crippling of the economy. Trump will refer to the economy prior to Covid-19. Biden will say Barrett is a dangerous extremist. Trump will rightly defend her as a working mom, model individual, accomplished legal scholar, and exemplary judge. Biden will also try to turn the riots around on Trump and say his invective set the stage for them. That won’t work and Trump will score big when Biden dares to try that. Biden may try the standard left wing charge of racism. Not smart. Trump is waiting for it and will hit it back with a vengeance. Biden will also go for Trump on his taxes.
The biggest dramatic moment of the night, it may come early, will be the first time Biden chokes on a question. Trump must not pounce. He must let Biden go on and hang himself. A good rule in politics is that you don’t get in the way of someone destroying themself. Republicans have ignored that rule in the past, in the Clinton impeachment, to unfortunate consequences. The president, when Biden chokes, must just look down and say nothing. Any classic Trump gotcha lines will look needlessly cruel and will play very badly with women. Though, if Biden holds his own then he is a fair target for the Trump treatment.
Trump’s message will be law and order and how the Democrats are communist goat mutants. That’s true, but he must use facts, and there are many, not just hyperbole, to make his case. He needs to use facts on most of his points to counter the left wing general description of him as a bellowing blowhard.
If Trump can paint Biden and the Democrats as way out of the mainstream, Trump wins. If Biden seems coherent and can portray Trump as a petty bully who screwed up Covid-19, he wins. Stay tuned.