Donald Trump debates

US President Donald Trump attacks during the first presidential debate at the Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio on September 29, 2020. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP)

We just watched Donald Trump throw away any lingering chance he had of winning this election.

His bullying, ranting, hectoring, dismissive, frequently untruthful, and completely over-the-top attempt at debate left most of America and all of the rest of the world agape with shock. Even his debate prep man Chris Christie called the display “too hot“. How he must have longed to say what he really thought.

This was a man clearly not in control of his own emotions, clearly not on top of his brief, and clearly departing from from any attempt to stick to the script.

The CNN post-debate poll of Debate watchers broke 60% in favour of Biden and only 28% Trump. There were many self-described Independents in the research group, and more self-described Republicans than the 28% that ending up plumping for Trump in the washup. Even though CNN favours Biden, the reportage was confirmed right across the political landscape.

A disaster for the Trump campaign. Disaster.

If that poll – or anything remotely near it – is repeated on election day then Biden will win every crucial swing state (like Florda), and have a fighting chance of taking some other ‘purple’ States that had previously looked just out of reach, like Texas.

In their droves, Independents and moderate Republicans will now vote for Biden, and some Conservatives who feel unable to do that will simply stay home.

Respected Republican insiders are already leaking they are now expecting a massive loss on Nov 3. They think it could be as bad as Goldwater’s loss to Johnson in 1964.

We have always said this debate would seal Trump’s fate, and it has. This is why he leaves press conferences In a humph, why he restricts himself to talking to ironed-on supporters, and why he hides in his bunker.

This was the moment Biden put to bed forever all claims of “Sleepy Joe“ and suffering from dementia. He was sharp, concise, and in a word, Presidential.

Better still he contained his anger. He was dignified and honest. If someone had gone after my children the way Trump went after Biden’s there would frankly have been a much more trenchant reponse. Biden must have the patience of Job.

Trump is now forever revealed not just as a loose cannon,  not as charmingly unusual or merely refreshingly plain speaking, instead he’s revealed for the world to see as a stupid, nasty, lying maniac. And I’m being polite.

One can only imagine how this unpleasant little interlude played in the hosting state of Ohio, the state, remember, where Trump wants Americans to dump products created by one of the State’s largest employers, Goodyear, which would cost 6,000 jobs at least.

And there was one specific “zinger“ moment.

When asked directly to condemn white supremacist/Nazi groups he instead urged a far-right group known for street brawling to “stand back and stand by”.

Addressing the Proud Boys, a far-right group whose members have been sentenced to prison for attacking leftwing protesters in political street fights, Trump said: “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by! But I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about antifa and the left.”

Remember, the FBI classifies the far-right Proud Boys as an “extremist group with ties to white nationalism”, according to a document produced by Washington State law enforcement. Critically, the FBI and others have described Antifa as a movement and not a group or organisation. There’s a massive difference which Trump does not seem to understand.

The Proud Boys were, of course, delighted.

Make no mistake “Stand Back and Stand By” will be one of those phrases used in presidential debates that are recycled for years and years as the moment everything changed.

Today we saw Trump in his full nastiness and rampant stupidity.

Back it in. This debate was the moment Donald Trump threw away the election. And Joe Biden won it.

Comments
  1. James Mahoney says:

    One hopes you are right (as you often are in your political prognostications), but I’m not ready to declare victory just yet.

    Despite polls and post-debate indications, I suspect there are many more Trump voters; they just won’t come out of the shadows because they don’t want to endure the vilification that non-Trumpers heap on them. And for many of them, he could grab someone by the nuts and shoot him on Fifth Avenue, and they’d be unswayed because he’s doing a spectacular job of Making American Great Again (even though he’s Making Americans Grate Again and Again).

    So though I’m hopeful, I’ll rejoice in a Biden victory only after it actually happens. Until then, we who long for an ex-President Trump will stand back and stand by.

    Like

What do YOU think? That's what matters. Please comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s