The first 2020 presidential debate is now history, and there has been much detailed analysis reported from all political spectrums on what happened and who won, etc … The Right Wire Report was no different. See our detailed analysis here: The Five Strategic Goals Trump Masterfully Achieved In The First Presidential Debate
Now that the dust has settled, in terms of the next debates, what takeaways in debate tactics could we see going forward? Already many on the Left are saying that the first debate was a “sh*t show.” A disgrace to the nation. Trump said it was “fun.” The Commission on Presidential Debates said “additional structure” would be added to the remaining debates to “maintain order” but offered no specifics. “Last night’s debate made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues,” the Commission said in the statement.
So what about the debating tactic and the charge that Trump was too dominating over the time of each candidate had. Let’s take a look at the specifics (If one can believe CNN. The BBC said that Biden spoke for 43 minutes and Trump only spoke for 38 minutes – another CNN spin?):
So Trump only had an additional one minute and ten seconds, which is relatively small in a 90 minute period. What is not stated in this statistic is the amount of time Chris Wallace (the moderator) had. This was about an additional 13 minutes. Was Wallace’s time, in fact, merely more time allotted for Biden? Let’s take a look at a few realities:
- Wallace favored Biden – by interrupting the President 76 times and the Democrat Biden just 15.
- Wallace favored Biden by the questions selection – for example, by devoting a segment question of Trump taxes. But where was the balance of a question of the Biden family corruption charges that Trump repeatedly tried to bring up? The questions for Biden were mostly softball questions.
- Trump was doing Wallace’s job – by getting Biden to admit to things that we did not know before. For example, Biden has been pandering to the far Left with a New Green Deal trumpeted by the likes of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Biden threw the progressives under the bus and admitted he, in fact, did not support the New Green Deal. Trump did this not Chris Wallace.
- Wallace favored Biden – by not allowing Trump many times his allotted 2 minutes during a questioning period.
One can easily say that time allotted to Wallace, was in fact, time primarily allotted to Biden. The point here is that Biden had ample time to make his case on just about any measurement. Yet, the Biden team is calling foul. What is a debate anyway? Is it just a series of 2-minute policy or campaign speeches that one could see in a campaign ad? Presidential debates are not just about content but are about seeing the future potential Presidential candidate and how they are as a person. Hyper controlled speeches don’t allow for this. As they say, “if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.”
The Democrats and their allies have selected memories and apply double standards to such a degree it is nauseating. A cursory review of past presidential debates can be enlightening and provide a much – needed perspective:
1992 Clinton/Brown: NYT – “A debate among Democratic Presidential contenders degenerated into a bitter verbal brawl tonight.” Watch as the two men almost duke it out.
January 2008 Clinton/Obama – The Guardian: “Clinton and Obama exchange insults as Democrat campaign gets personal.”
No doubt, there was no call for any Commission to change rules or admonishing headlines that these candidates destroyed civility as we know it.
Any rule changes made by the Commission may help the Biden camp, primarily because of Biden’s inability to compete in a freewheeling debate. This calls into question the potential biases of the Commission itself. There is talk among some pundits of allowing the moderator to have control over the microphone of each of the debating candidates – there are other rule changes also under discussion. Perhaps this is why we are hearing all this talk of Trump being too dominant on a debate stage. Biden is looking to the Commission to get rule changes that would help him in any following debates.
Can Trump accept any debate rule changes at this late date from the Commission?