Tuesday’s presidential debate should be one for the books.
The candidates from each party head to Ohio Tuesday night for a debate stage meeting. This has been months in the making. It’s the first time President Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden will go head to head. Both sides say their candidate is eager to take on their opponent.
Fox News anchor Chris Wallace will moderate the debate. It will take place at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, OH. Wallace’s selection of topics for the debate includes the candidates’ records, the Supreme Court, COVID-19, the economy, race and violence in cities, and election integrity. The debate kicks off at 9 p.m. EST and will run for 90 minutes, commercial-free.
Tuesday’s debate will mark one of Biden’s first non-scripted public appearances since he won the nomination. The former vice president has spent most of his time holed up in his Wilmington, DE basement for the past few months. Also, his campaign has made an enormous effort to keep him away from the media.
Some political pundits believe the campaign is keeping Biden sequestered in order to avoid any possibility that he’ll make a mistake that could cost him the election. However, the media has been extremely accommodating to Biden’s efforts to avoid unscripted public statements.
Biden’s Public Appearances
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Biden’s recent public appearances have led some voters to question his mental fitness. A quick YouTube search for ‘Biden gaffes’ produces a long series of fumbled words and awkward statements. However, the unapologetically Biden-friendly media has mostly played down these instances.
Biden’s mental malfunctions have led some, including President Trump, to insist on a cognitive exam for the Vice President, and the calls have gotten louder since President Trump took and aced a similar test several weeks ago. However, the media buried this story too.
The media treatment of the two candidates couldn’t be more disparaging. The media regularly goes on the attack against President Trump and does its best to undermine everything he says. Trump’s campaign Communications Director Tim Murtaugh says this hostile media attitude will end up helping the president on Tuesday night. “The president prepares [for the debate] by being president,” Murtaugh reportedly said. “And by regularly facing hostile news media. That’s pretty good practice by any measure.”
Expectations for the Debate
Trump made a name for himself as a sharp debater on the 2016 campaign trail against Hillary Clinton, and many conservatives expect another strong showing from the commander-in-chief. However, it’s worth noting that Biden isn’t a pushover. The former Obama VP is a career politician with over 40 years of experience. He was sworn into the Senate before his thirtieth birthday and he’s been participating in debates regularly since then. He held his own in the vice presidential debate against Sarah Palin in 2008, and he decimated Paul Ryan in the 2012 VP showdown.
However, Biden’s mental acuity seems to have slipped drastically since then. Also, it’s unclear which one of his personalities will show up in Cleveland on Tuesday. We could see a smooth, appropriately aggressive political operator with three decades of debate expertise, or we could see a fumbling, mistake-prone old man struggle to keep up.
Whatever the case is, most voters probably need to watch the contest for themselves in order to get the facts because the hard-left national media will almost certainly declare Biden the winner.
Lara Trump, the president’s campaign adviser and daughter-in-law, summed up the event neatly. “Joe Biden spent a lot of time in his basement to study up. He’s been in this game for 47 years. I assume he’ll do OK,” she said. “Quite frankly, the bar has been lowered so much for Joe Biden that if he stays awake for the whole thing it’s like maybe he won.”