Friday, February 21, 2020


I wrote a post in December titled "No, Trump Won't Skip the Debates," and I stand by every word of it. Trump will debate his Democratic opponent this fall -- I'm certain of it. This New York Times story about Trump's rally last night in Colorado includes several indications of his intent to debate.
“I don’t know if anybody watched last night’s debate,” Mr. Trump said shortly after he took the stage. “It got very big ratings, and you know what? Mini Mike didn’t do very well last night. I was going to send him a note saying, ‘It’s not easy doing what I do, is it?’”
It’s not easy doing what I do -- Bloomberg debated poorly, and that was Trump's comment. This tells me that Trump will debate for the most obvious reason: He thinks he's really good at it.
Mr. Trump spent a substantial amount of time regaling the crowd with stories of his 2016 campaign, calling Dan Scavino — his social media manager and “the most powerful man in politics,” the president said — up to the stage to hand him a stack of news clippings. The president read aloud from them individually, insulting journalists who had declared he had done poorly on the debate stage against Hillary Clinton, his Democratic opponent that year....

“I did great in the debates,” Mr. Trump said. “I became president because of the debates.”
That's not the reason Trump became president, but why would a guy who believes he won as a result of his debate performances refuse to debate this year?
Donald Trump Jr., Mr. Trump’s eldest son and a campaign surrogate who watched the debate aboard Air Force One with his father, said that Mr. Bloomberg’s performance amounted to a “great night” for his father.

“Bloomberg was the victim of a political homicide and was clearly not prepared for the onslaught coming his way at the debate,” Donald Trump Jr. said in remarks relayed through a spokesman. “If he can’t handle Grandpa Joe or Pocahontas on the debate stage, what makes anyone think he can handle Trump?”
If the president doesn't intend to debate, why is a spokesman for his namesake son -- who's the most politically attuned of the Trump children -- asserting that Bloomberg would lose to Trump in a debate?

And there's this:

REINCE PRIEBUS: I went back and looked at that second debate, the second general debate against Hillary Clinton, the one that turned around the entire 2016 candidacy for Donald Trump. Almost every one of the best lines from that debate President Trump came up with on his own. They weren't actually prepped, even though he was ready for the debate. So debates matter. You have to have natural talent, and Bloomberg doesn't. He doesn't have the talent to stand up against President Trump on a debate stage.
Why would a former Trump staffer, speaking to the most important pro-Trump propaganda organization, say this if Trump is planning to evade debates in the fall?

I know what you'll say. Adderall. Dementia. Scared to debate against [pick your favorite Democratic candidate].

Meanwhile, Trump is now doing lengthy impromptu rallies back-to-back -- last night's rally in Colorado will be followed by another one in Las Vegas tonight. If Trump is afraid to appear in a public forum where he has to speak off the cuff, he's doing a hell of a job of concealing that fear.

Yes, he'll debate. Take that to the bank.

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