My first reaction to tonight’s debate was somewhat underwhelming in terms of substance. Biden made it to the end with only a handful of stammers. He was mostly clear and stayed mostly on message. President Trump exhibited an almost non-stop onslaught. It likely didn’t sway many nor lose current supporters. President Trump was more interruptive, but didn’t make any personal attacks. However, Biden, who interrupted less, made several personal attacks.
The two best punches for Trump were about all of the openings on judicial benches left for him to fill and how no law enforcement agencies seem to support Joe Biden. His other notable hits were on the number of vets who died prior to his administration and the massive turnaround he’s pushed in the VA and he also scores on the economy, law and order and the cost of the Green New Deal.
Joe Biden never really had a massive score, other than not falling down at all. But he parried and sparred the entire debate and seemed to keep his wits about him. Joe was forced to say he wants law and order and he said he does not support the Green New Deal. Biden also doubled down on the proven falsehoods that Trump praised white supremacists and called military members suckers and losers. We will see how that plays out.
Ultimately, though full of bombast and lots of jabs, there wasn’t really anything fatalistic in round one for either candidate. I’m hoping that in round two, The president will allow Biden to talk more rather than interrupt, because we will never know if Biden would’ve fumbled on the 1 yard line had he been left to speak. On the flipside, Biden needs more specificity and more surety in his facts, rather than speaking in general platitudes.