Thursday, October 01, 2020


You might believe that President Trump's faceplant in Tuesday's debate was obvious to everyone -- but apparently it wasn't. It wasn't obvious to Trump himself:
President Trump on Wednesday told a large campaign rally in Duluth, Minnesota, that he defeated Joe Biden during the first presidential debate.

“Joe Biden is too weak to lead this country. You know Biden lost badly when his supporters are saying he should cancel the rest of the debates,” Trump said about Tuesday night’s battle.
Miranda Devine of the New York Post insists that Trump is right.
... if Democrats are so certain their man won, why are they so anxious for him not to participate in more debates, and why do they want a kill switch to control the debaters?

... Trump’s goading succeeded in ripping off Biden’s “nice guy” mask and forcing him to fight in the gutter.

Instinctively, or deliberately, the president engaged in a winning fighting strategy deployed by the best national rugby team in the world, New Zealand’s All Blacks. They come out hard in the first phase of the game, using sheer brute violence to probe their opponents’ weaknesses. It’s not pretty but it’s effective if your goal is to win.

... Sure, the debate was a chaotic mess. But the emotional takeaway was this: In a turbulent world with circling predators like Chinese President Xi Jinping, whom do you want defending America? An aggressive pit bull who will do anything to win, or a smirking milquetoast hurling schoolyard insults.
As does Robert Stacy McCain of The American Spectator, writing under the headline "When Trump Won the Debate":
The crucial moment in Tuesday night’s debate was near the end when Joe Biden invited President Trump to throw the Proud Boys under the bus, and the president refused to do it.

... I was pleased by that response. The idea that the Proud Boys are a dangerous “white supremacist” organization is a myth created by the left-wing media, and it took courage for the president of the United States to stand tough in that moment.

The liberal media, of course, was scandalized, but who is rioting in Portland? Who attacked police and set up an “autonomous zone” in Seattle? Who has engaged in looting and arson in New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, and other major cities in the past several weeks? Hint: not the Proud Boys.

... Trump had a clear strategy: Show dominance, and force Biden to disavow the left-wing policies most popular with the Democratic Party’s radical wing. In both of these objectives, Trump was successful. Amid the rough-and-tumble exchanges, Trump was constantly the aggressor, and he repeatedly compelled Biden to distance himself from such policies as defunding police, single-payer health care, and the “Green New Deal.”

... many Democratic voters were probably demoralized after watching their guy get pushed around for an hour and a half.
As does Gateway Pundit's Jim Hoft:
Democrats left the debate thoroughly defeated. They know they lost.

How do we know that? Because top Democrats are now all calling for Joe Biden to cancel any future debates....

Democrats and especially RINOs know who won the debate last night. It wasn’t even close.
Do they believe this? I have no idea. But I'm reminded of the last time a Democrat clearly lost a presidential debate with a Republican. It was Barack Obama, in his first appearance with Mitt Romney, on October 3, 2012.

Did "liberal media" commentators insist that Obama had done a brilliant job and Republicans were running scared? No. They said Romney was dishonest about his positions, but they acknowledged Obama's weak performance.

Paul Krugman, for instance, wrote:
... the fact is that everything Obama said was basically true, while much of what Romney said was either outright false or so misleading as to be the moral equivalent of a lie.
But he also wrote:
OK, so Obama did a terrible job in the debate, and Romney did well.
Matthew Yglesias wrote:
Barack Obama’s timid approach to debating—I saw a lot of analogies to a prevent defense in football, but I think it was more like the four corners basketball offense that’s so deadly boring it’s now against the rules—was the most striking element of tonight’s debate, but the most important one is probably that Mitt Romney finally shook the Etch a Sketch tonight and moved to the center....

Romney’s been caught on video angrily ranting to financial backers about 47 percent of Americans being moochers and looters, and staged his entire nominating convention as a paen to business owners rather than ordinary people.

Obama wasn’t very good at pointing this out tonight.
Imani Gandy wrote:
Yes, Romney outperformed [Obama], but it’s easy to appear confident when you’re lying through your teeth.
Chris Matthews -- who, admittedly, isn't everyone's idea of a liberal or a Democrat -- was apoplectic:
"I don't know what he was doing out there. He had his head down, he was enduring the debate rather than fighting it. Romney, on the other hand, came in with a campaign. He had a plan, he was going to dominate the time, he was going to be aggressive, he was going to push the moderator around, which he did effectively, he was going to relish the evening, enjoying it," Matthews said.

"Here's my question for Obama: I know he likes saying he doesn't watch cable television but maybe he should start. Maybe he should start. I don't know how he let Romney get away with the crap he throughout tonight about Social Security," Matthews complained.

"... What was he doing tonight? He went in there disarmed."

... "What was Romney doing?" Matthews asked. "He was winning."
Andrew Sullivan -- who isn't a liberal or a Democrat, but was an Obama supporter -- was even more apoplectic.
Look: you know how much I love the guy, and you know how much of a high-information viewer I am, and I can see the logic of some of Obama's meandering, weak, professorial arguments. But this was a disaster for the president for the key people he needs to reach, and his effete, wonkish lectures may have jolted a lot of independents into giving Romney a second look.

Obama looked tired, even bored; he kept looking down; he had no crisp statements of passion or argument; he wasn't there. He was entirely defensive, which may have been the strategy. But it was the wrong strategy. At the wrong moment.

The person with authority on that stage was Romney—offered it by one of the lamest moderators ever, and seized with relish. This was Romney the salesman. And my gut tells me he sold a few voters on a change tonight. It's beyond depressing. But it's true.
If there was someone who insisted that Obama's performance was awesome and he kicked Romney's ass that night, I'm not aware of it. And that includes Obama himself, who admitted a few days later that he hadn't done well:
President Barack Obama chided himself on Sunday for his weak debate performance against Republican Mitt Romney and reminded supporters at a California fundraiser that even his successful 2008 campaign had “bumps” in the road.

Speaking to a crowd of some 6,000 at a concert in Los Angeles, Obama complimented the slew of performers - including Jon Bon Jovi and Jennifer Hudson - who had performed earlier for the audience.

“They just perform flawlessly night after night. I can’t always say the same,” Obama said to laughter and then applause....

Obama['s] campaign has said it would make adjustments as a result of the debate....
There are right-wingers who have acknowledged that Trump's performance was a disaster. But Trump had an awesome debate according to many people in the right-wing bubble -- including Trump himself.

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