Trump accomplished what he needed in the first debate
Debate number one is in the history books with a new debate emerging about “who won?” Debates are not scored like boxing matches but instead like figure skating at the Olympics, judges deciding the score and who won, often inserting their own prejudices and biases.
In the case of presidential debates, big media and blue check marks on Twitter are the self-proclaimed judges. The morning after the debate has led to a new debate as to which candidate was the most “presidential” and whether the few remaining undecided voters will be swayed.
It was obvious that moderator Chris Wallace was anything but, instead he was a participant on Team Biden. He lost control after the opening bell when President Trump came out swinging and despite attempting to play the role of Candy Crowley eight years ago, floundered badly trying to help Biden.
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The “fact checkers” will have a field day, but from big media expect few fact checks of anything Joe Biden said. For example, in the debate he ran away from any support of the Green New Deal. Yet his campaign website declares the opposite, “Biden believes the Green New Deal is a crucial framework for meeting the climate challenges we face.”
Trump’s goal was to shore up his base, to make sure they vote. Previous milquetoast candidates like John McCain and Mitt Romney failed to rally the GOP base and both lost potentially winnable elections. Trump will not make that mistake.
With daily stories of lost and found ballots, Trump needs his voters to show up and vote in order to prevent Democrats from stealing the election. As Hugh Hewitt wrote, “If it’s not close they can’t cheat.”
Republican voters want a fighter, someone who goes on offense. Hand it to the Democrats but they are always on offense, even when they are dead wrong. Schumer, Pelosi, Schiff, Waters and the like are on perpetual offense. Compare to Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and other Republicans who are always on defense, trying to explain why they are not racists, sexists, bigots and every other label heaped on Republicans.
Trump was righteously angry at both Biden, representing the Democrat party, and the media, meaning Chris Wallace over his treatment for the past five years. Shortly before the debate, DNI John Ratcliffe declassified and released what many of us already knew, that the Russia hoax was cooked up by Hillary Clinton and her campaign, and the Obama-Biden administration knew about it and pushed it by weaponizing the CIA, FBI, and DOJ.
Trump was steamed and beyond all the bluster of the debate, laid down a big marker toward the end of the evening, “We've caught 'em, we caught them all, we got it all on tape." October, the month of electoral surprises, is here and this may be a big one. Whether Durham and Barr indict anyone before the election is unknown, despite what people are hearing from supposed insider sources. Perhaps there are plea deals in the works, explaining the lack of indictments.
Biden, by not falling flat on his face, earned points during the debate, despite lapsing into his “c’mon man” schtick and tripping over words and numbers. But Joe has been largely absent from the campaign trail for most of September, likely preparing for the debate. Will he keep a lid on his campaign for the next week, preparing for the next debate, or will he tap out based on encouragement from fellow Democrats and the media?
Biden needed much prep for this debate. For Trump it was just another day, whether at a debate, a Trump rally or a press conference facing a hostile media. Trump could repeat this performance every day, Biden cannot.
Those offended by Trump’s “style” probably never liked Trump in the first place. This includes the NeverTrumpers, largely irrelevant as Trump has no use for them and the Democrats only use them as useful idiots to bash Trump.
The President’s style is no different than four years ago. Remember how his crude but effective punching style quickly dispatched 16 other talented and experienced GOP primary candidates. Trump followed this by pummeling “the smartest woman in the world,” winning the election much to the surprise of the entire Washington, DC and media establishment.
Why would he change a winning formula? Trump is a businessman and knows well what happens to businesses who stray from their core mission. This was a debate, not a speech. Trump can be presidential when he needs to be, as he was in his State of the Union addresses or his Mount Rushmore speech.
But a debate is a cage fight, a far different venue. Playing rope-a-dope against two political opponents, Biden and Wallace, is a risky strategy compared to coming out swinging from the opening bell, which is what Trump did.
So, who won? Does it matter? Trump reassured his base that he is a fighter, that he hasn’t gone wobbly after the unending assault on his presidency and character. Biden showed his base that he is actually alive, and not simply a corpse, reassuring to worried Democrats.
Rasmussen Reports noted, “Voters say the debates are less important than they were four years ago.” Which means this week’s debate probably changed few opinions. The pollsters will continue to predict a Biden landslide, reminiscent of four years ago. The silent majority is out there but unseen by most pollsters.
Trump voters can be reassured that their guy continues to fight, something Republicans have not seen in any of their leaders. In that respect, the debate was a success for him. Ignore the media spin and fake news. Trump is a winner and knows what is at stake for the country and his family. Expect him to keep throwing punches through election day.
Brian C Joondeph, MD, is a Denver based physician and freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in American Thinker, Daily Caller, Rasmussen Reports, and other publications. Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Parler, and QuodVerum.