Diary

After that debate I need a glass of wine...and I don't even drink.

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

I really hope Mrs. Wallace kissed Chris and gave him a big hug after the debate this evening because he surely needed it. I needed a glass of wine and I don’t even drink. Regardless of who you support, that was a total mess, and that’s about the nicest thing I can say.

It was quite a demolition derby. Wallace was practically reduced to being a referee at a hockey game as he tried to keep each team captain from biting and whacking the other one with their stick. My hubby got up halfway through after commenting that he’d seen more mature fights on an elementary school playground.

However, there is still much to be gleaned. Let’s start with Biden. He did a decent job of looking directly into the camera and making an effort to address the public in a face to face manner. He didn’t make any major gaffes, but did a little bit of stumbling repetitiveness and at one point admitted he forgot what the question was. To be fair, it was due to multiple interruptions on the part of Trump and if Wallace hadn’t had notes in front of him he would have likely forgot the question as well. Biden got emotional about his son who served in Iraq but sluffed off mentions of Hunter, claiming that everything he’s been accused of concerning Burisma, Ukraine, and Russia had all been disproved. He did say he supported police but added that they needed social workers and psychologists with them to help de-escalate possibly dangerous situations before they turned violent and cops had to use deadly force. He also said he did not support the Green New Deal (Did anyone inform AOC?) but did say the “Biden Plan” would create millions of jobs and achieve zero carbon emissions energy. How that would be paid for was lost in the hubbub. He made significant claims about Trump’s inability to deal with COVID and how it would be dangerous and more people would die if the economy was opened too soon. He also consistently called Trump a liar and discounted job growth, something that I’m sure fact checkers will be all over with various interpretations based on their views.

For his part, Trump is clearly a businessman and not a politician. He frequently interrupted Biden and Wallace and rarely looked directly into the camera. Many times he wanted to directly rebut Biden’s claims but had already used his time and ended up talking over him or Wallace. He managed to get in his two cents worth about how the Dems had tried everything to impeach him while steeped in their own corruption, including that of Hunter Biden. He also managed to focus at least a little bit on accomplishments he thought were elemental in his first three years, including not only the economic growth but its recovery after COVID.

These are just a few of my observations as I watched poor Wallace’s head snap back and forth as he tried to monitor a very dominant, argumentative President who seemed determined to control the narrative and a presidential candidate who at times vacillated between high emotion and simply repeating the same talking points as he tried to stare into the camera persuasively. As for whether or not any undecided voters got enough information out of it to make an intelligent decision on who to vote for to be the next President of the United States remains to be seen.

Now I’ll ask you what I’ll be asking my history students. Do you think there was a clear winner or loser? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comments.