* Trump aimed his performance at the low-information, low-IQ, working-class voter. He went after the truck driver sitting in a bar drinking beer with his buddies. He tried to come across as an alpha male, tried to show his vigor. (If nothing else, he looked and acted a lot younger than his age. No one can accuse him of behaving like a doddering old man.) He was as feisty as ever.
And he was completely unapologetic. “Never apologize for anything; your enemies will take it as a sign of weakness.”
This entire debate was The Donald Trump Show. Whether you liked it or not – and I’m fairly ambivalent myself – Trump was the man in the driver’s seat. At times, he swerved all over the road, even crossing the median into the opposite lanes. But he was the one setting the (erratic) course.
Biden was just along for the ride. He was on the defensive the entire time. And he didn’t fight back. He also stammered quite a bit toward the end.
One amusing fact: Biden rarely, if ever, mentioned Obama’s name tonight. “I did this; I did that.”
Trump knew going in that the media wouldn’t approve of anything he said or did tonight. He figured that he might as well go for broke and flash a huge middle finger at the media and the entire political establishment. He didn’t “lose control”; it was a calculated strategy. Was it the correct one? Hard to say, but I suspect that, in his own mind, he accomplished what he set out to do.
He’ll tone it down next time, to be sure.
* Very good start to the debates. One huge point for Trump was when Biden began ramping himself up for his, “my son was in the military and he’s not a loser…” and Trump just shut it down before Biden could get going with “you mean the one who accepted $3.5 million for some guy’s wife?” Also, when he demanded Biden name a police union that supported him. Cue the crickets.
Well played, sir.
Towards the end, Biden was clearly exhausted, trying not to blow his stack was clearly draining him. By the end, he looked ashen, and very very tired. Trump looked like he could dance for another two hours. Maybe Biden should play more golf.
Trump was a Boss as usual, and didn’t let us down.
* I thought it was very considerate and genteel of the President to refrain from mentioning how Hunter Biden reacted to his brother’s death by fucking Beau’s widow.