Here it is, the first Presidential debate of the 2020 election season! After this, there will be a VP debate in a little over a week (Oct. 7), then a second Presidential debate a week after that (Oct. 15) and the final debate one week later (Oct. 22). But for now, all eyes are on President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden as they challenge each other.
There are other candidates, but they are far below the ever-increasing cutoff for participation that is set by the Republican and Democrat parties and have been disallowed from inclusion. It is to be held at 9 PM Eastern time, in Cleveland. There will be a small audience of about 75-80 people.
President Trump comes into the debate with a tendency toward vague statements, a seeming inability to speak in complete sentences and a lack of acquaintance with the truth. He will be presenting traditional conservative slogans but is unlikely to be able to explain any of them. If the 2016 election and all subsequent public appearances are any guide, he will likely attack his opponent’s family, level unsubstantiated and previously disproven charges, proclaim innocence when his failings and potential crimes are discussed, insist (in contradiction of both math and history) that he has done an exemplary job, and mug for the camera.
Former Vice President Biden enters with a history of gaffes and slipshod debate performances, most of which have been associated with him going “off script” with ad-libbed lines or with recitation of strings of facts and figures. As he is presenting himself as a sane, stable alternative to Trump, he will be expected to project a bit of the “policy wonk” persona, which will mean the aforementioned strings of facts and figures. Aside from any such errors, Biden is likely to put in a fairly strong performance; while on the campaign trail he has shown an impressive willingness to avoid the casual ad-libbing which has long been a part of his political persona.
Biden’s greatest challenge will be to present moderate policy in a way that alienates neither “peeling” conservatives nor the pro-socialist wing of the Democrat party. Trump’s efforts are likely to be aimed at pinning Biden down on those topics where he might dishearten some parts of his support base.
The night is likely to start strong for Biden, due to the topics and their presentation. The topic where Trump is viewed most favorably – the economy – will wrap the night, and gives him the chance to score late points with voters, provided that neither juvenile antics nor boredom discourage viewers from watching through to the end.
The moderator will be Chris Wallace of Fox News. The topics are sixfold, and are to be given fifteen minutes apiece. 1. The candidates’ records 2. The Supreme Court 3. The coronavirus pandemic 4. Racial violence 5. Election integrity 6. The economy.
For those of you who might want a drinking game for this one… my family’s been watching Alton Brown and his wife host a weekly cooking show from their home for a few months. It’s very much NOT “Good Eats”; AB is laid back, drinks casually, makes some basic cooking mistakes because he’s running around the kitchen and limited to the ingredients they happen to have around, and basically just hangs out on camera with his wife and viewers. He’s admitted that he’s a lifelong conservative-to-moderate Republican who hates Trump, and his wife is a staunch Democrat. They’re hosting a pre-debate show, and they’ve suggested that a drinking game will be in order. He’ll be tired following a long day of shooting, and it’s her birthday. It might be funny. There will likely be some obscene language. No guarantees.
Obviously, we hope that everyone jumps in with their comments on the actual debate. But the only way to encourage that is to have links to the event itself… and here are some:
That’s all I’ve got… other than a thank-you to Lenny for providing the image at the top of the article. Enjoy! I’m going to go see a man about a drinking game….