We made it. Tonight In Cleveland, Ohio the Republican and Democratic nominees will step onto the debate stage and converse for 90 minutes about a variety of topics moderated by Fox News’ Chris Wallace. I think he is one of the best people in media right now to fairly conduct a debate and this will be a truly interesting spectacle to see how these 2 men handle themselves in the heat of arguments and attacks as they look to persuade the voters for November.
I am upset that the debate will begin and it has already been announced that Donald Trump and Joe Biden won’t be shaking each other’s hands because of the pandemic. Considering both of them will most likely be tested before the show, it’s too bad they won’t shake hands. I think that in a time of such divisiveness like now a symbol of solidarity like the 2 of them at center stage greeting each other civilly could potentially ease some tensions.
I guess the media and political parties don’t have it in their interest to truly unite the country so I can’t say I’m surprised. Either way, let’s look into some of the topics that will be discussed during this 90 minute session and how the candidates may attack and respond. Wallace announced his subjects that he will moderate last week. They are subject to change but overall all these things should be touched on.
The Trump and Biden Records
This will be substantively the most interesting part of the debate. That is because Trump will want to come out swinging and this time in the debates he has his own record to run on. He feels he has a lot of accomplishments in his 3+ years in office and will do his best to create that dichotomy between himself and Joe. He will mention all things from criminal justice reform, opportunity zones, low unemployment, trade deals, and foreign policy achievements.
Joe will obviously respond framing everything as a failure because of the pandemic and Trump’s response to it. He will play to those who have greatly struggled during the pandemic and talk about how if he were in office he would fix it all.
I hope Biden doesn’t take the Hillary Clinton approach to the debate and start every response to Trump with something along the lines of “Well that’s just a lie” and then ramble on in response with nothing based in evidence or fact either. Although it may be more effective this time because Trump has been in office, it still is seen as pretentious and an unwillingness to comb through actual issues and solutions.
This ~15 minute block most will view as most important for Biden because of his stamina and endurance that is in question. At the beginning he will be most fresh. Trump will try to expose his mental acuity throughout the show and has even asked for a drug test prior to the event. The Biden team has declined that request.
With that denial, The Trump team has responded by denying the request of Biden for breaks throughout the debate and this will ensure that both candidates need to stand throughout its entirety and really be on their toes. The Trump team has also requested checks for ear pieces.
As for their records, it is a 47-3 year “advantage” for Joe Biden in government. A very effective approach that Trump took in 2016 was calling out Hillary for not fixing any of the problems while she was in office that she campaigned on back in that race. The same approach can easily be done for Joe. If everything is so broken, why didn’t Joe do anything about it?
The only issue with that is Joe can still swing it about the pandemic and how he will fix that and get us to “build back better”. I’m not sure if it will work but at least it’s an angle that gives Joe a new option about what governing means.
I’m also sure that Russia and China will be mentioned quite a few times throughout the night. Trump will attack Biden from multiple fronts in cozying up to China and Hunter Biden’s dealings in the foreign countries.
Oh, and I can’t forget how Trump will try to frame Joe as a Trojan Horse for the far left. That will be mentioned definitely more than once.
The Supreme Court
I’m not entirely sure how effective this segment will be for either candidate. I think it’s another front that leaves Trump vulnerable, however, in terms of policy. This is because Biden will attack Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s nominee, with the fact that there is a chance she swings the court in favor of overruling Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act.
Trump will argue that he will always protect pre-existing conditions and recently signed an executive order about health care. However, during a pandemic people are worried, obviously, about their healthcare and the possibility that more Americans can lose it if this nominee goes through will be a tough battle for the President.
Biden should not go after the fact that it is an abuse of power if ACB is confirmed into the seat. There is no constitutional basis in calling for an abuse of power and it’s safe to say if the Democrats were in the same position they would do the same.
Trump will for sure use this as an attack to press Biden on stacking the supreme court and releasing his list of justices that he would nominate. This will be Biden’s first time having to answer to those speculations.
I have a feeling that COVID19 will be talked about more than in just this block but once Wallace zeroes in on this issue it will be where Biden will try to connect with the American people the strongest. He will have to show compassion and empathy for all that people have lost and he can use it as clear difference that is shown between him and Trump. He will mention Woodward’s book and Trump not taking the virus seriously. He’ll accuse Trump of not following science and simply making the matters worse.
Trump has tried to defend his response to the pandemic throughout this issue and I’m sure his talking points won’t change too much. He’ll talk about how he shut down travel from China and Europe and then how we are coming back strong. He’ll mention the stock market and how we are on the path towards a “great American comeback”.
The President will also talk about the initiative he announced yesterday with the rapid tests that the federal government is deploying across the country.
It will also be important for the President to push Biden on what he actually would do differently. Biden hasn’t been asked specifically about what he would do differently but he mentioned things about locking down the country again and a national mask mandate. Biden will have to answer for that.
I think overall the framing of this issue will be that Biden will paint it as doom and gloom right now and that he is the person who will fix it all. Trump will have to prove that he is already leading us through the problem and we’ll be back to normal sooner than we think.
The economy will be talked about throughout this session, as it is the most important issue for voters. This is where Trump has the most firepower and will boast about his record unemployment numbers and renegotiated trade deals. He will attack Biden with his support of NAFTA and TPP and leaving the American people behind.
Biden will obviously refute those concretely proven points and discuss how the economy doesn’t work for the working class. As this is true, I’m sure he’ll also go heavy on Trump’s tax returns story that broke this weekend. The Scranton vs. Wall St. approach will be Biden’s main talking point there.
But, this is also where Trump has the best chance to prove Biden’s “radical” agenda. He will look to get a clear answer on Biden’s commitment to the Green New Deal and his opposition to fracking and other forms of energy. This is where Trump can look to fracture Biden between the progressive base of the left and the moderates.
It will also be important for Trump to further push Biden on China in this segment because we relatively don’t know how Biden will continue our relationship with China. Trump can expose Biden for how he underestimates and gives too much slack to China with their shady practices in terms of devaluing their currency and inhumane labor practices.
Trump should be able to handle this issue pretty handily.
Race and Violence in our Cities
This part of the debate can get extremely testy. Obviously these are tense issues that are going on and I’m sure that Biden will use this segment to go after Trump for his inflammatory language and “fanning the flames” of violence. Biden will talk about the need for police reform and other things that go hand in hand with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Trump will talk about how he defends the police and wants to implement law and order. He will again talk about the radical left and ANTIFA and how poorly run democratic cities are leading to many of these problems.
I don’t think either of these guys will do anything in this topic to necessarily help any of the issues that are going on. It will be on the people to view this segment and think about which approach could lead to a better solution for our country.
The Integrity of the Election
If this is still planned to be the final topic of the debate, it again will just be a lot of claims that are largely talking points and attacks.
The biggest theme around this integrity will be the peaceful transition of power. Now I’m not saying that both are going to commit to a peaceful transition but it will be interesting to see how Joe plans on moving forward if he believes that he has won the vote. We will want to know how each candidate will react to the incoming issues with mail in ballots and what a potential dragged on race can do to the country.
As we are in what could easily be the early stages of a civil war, I hope that these guys have the awareness to preach civility and calmness in these crazy, uncertain times.
I’m sure that there will be moments and takes that come after the debate but I think it’s important to realize that there is an absurd number of already decided voters for this race. People who are for Trump will stay for Trump and vice versa. There’s a small fraction of undecided voters who both these guys need to go for and we are unsure how that will play out.
There are also a ton of people who choose not to vote and I’m not entirely sure if this type of debate format will be sufficient enough to convince these people to go out and cast a ballot, but hopefully I’m wrong. I want as many votes as possible.
Overall, the bar has been set very low for Joe Biden. This has been done by Trump himself. So, with little expectation it will take a lot for Biden to truly ruin his chances come November. Yet, this will be the longest amount of time that the Democrat nominee will be subject to real questions throughout this entire campaign. He has had his many gaffes and said things that are pretty unbelievable coming from a Presidential candidate.
Trump has been taking debate like questions from the media since he started his Coronavirus daily briefings. There isn’t much Biden will go after Trump for that he hasn’t heard already from the White House press briefing room. That’s just the fact of the matter and will further expose the clear dichotomy between the candidates.
I’m sure I’ll have a few thoughts about tonight on this page tomorrow. Be sure to tune in.
Maybe I’ll even spring off a few tweets tonight. Be aware.
See you at 9pm.