September 10, 2020

The debate prep Trump really does need.

Yesterday, I had a post titled "Do 'allies' of President Trump really 'worry' that he's not preparing for the debates with mock debates in which somebody plays the part of Joe Biden?" I was skeptical that anyone really on Trump's side was worried. It was an NBC article, and I presumed I was reading another article designed to please and titillate Trump haters. For one thing, I didn't think Biden is a strong enough debater for Trump to need to learn to debate him in particular. It might degrade Trump's style to fine-tune it to Biden's.

But, I said, "Trump has to decide how merciless he ought to be. That's all. I suspect he'll decide on the spot whether to show compassion or go for the jugular." In the comments, I repeated this point: "Trump will need to decide whether to go for the kill when he has the chance. Remember Romney in the second debate. He got cold feet." It's hard to imagine Trump becoming mild and compassionate if Biden shows genuine, serious human frailty. I said: "I could picture Joe breaking down emotionally around about minute 70."

The commenter Dan the Man said: "'Sundowning' is a real thing with dementia patients. They get worse later in the day. We have seen this first hand in our family. If you want to talk to grandma, call before lunch. It will be something of an objective test in front of millions of people. I believe there are a lot of people who want to see 'just how bad he is.'"

And Bob said: "[I]f Biden shows evidence of being addled, how much sympathy should the President show? Should he simply ignore Biden completely and let him bumblefuck himself, or should he be his usual sarcastic self? How will it play with the American people watching? As for debate prep, have you noticed how often President Trump has given press conferences recently? Almost daily now. And the banter in the press conferences is often far more merciless on both sides than anything Biden is capable of these days. What I really anticipate is that President Trump will bait Biden so mercilessly that Biden tries to make it personal and challenge the President to a fistfight, or assault the President on camera. How will the Secret Service teams from both sides react?"

Yikes, I did not picture a physical fight. But I remember Biden in his debate with Paul Ryan in the 2012 election. Biden indulged in aggressive laughing and aggravating interruption. I thought at the time that it was so inappropriate. But that might have been intended to throw off the polite Wisconsinite Paul Ryan. Getting into heightened aggression with Trump is another scene altogether, but the question is whether Trump will or should be the one to crank up the tension and make the event super-stressful. The media will describe Trump as crazy and cruel and protect Biden. And Biden could come in with a simple plan to stand calmly and speak planned sentences and meet low expectations while Trump melts down. 

So should Trump stand back, do his thing independently, and let the people decide for ourselves how diminished Joe really is? Or should he point it out — in real time? Maybe he should point it out if it's not that bad and Biden supporters have room to say there's no actual dementia. But if it's plainly in view, maybe it's better to soldier on, to simply outdo him in the argument, and radiate some compassion while the poor man is exposed in his woeful shambles. There are many possible choices for Trump, and he may have to make them on the spot. But that seems to be what he likes to do, and he's got a lot of practice at it. 

127 comments:

wendybar said...

Do the opposite. If it were Trump that was showing signs of dementia, what would the Progressives do and say?? They would ATTACK unmercilessly and YOU ALL know it....

Temujin said...

Just remember, Trump did not grow up as a politico. He grew up and spent his life in business. Hardcore business. Large transactions that dealt with some of the toughest, street-wise, financial-wise, and entrepreneurial people in the world. Not to mention, dealing with governments- city, state, national- all over the world. He's been doing this longer than Joe Biden has been squeezing the waist of other men's wives.

Trump can read a room. He can judge a situation. He is not thrown off if and when he says something he'd like to take back. He just forges ahead. And he waits for his competitor to tip their hand, or make their mistake. Then he plays to win. Every time.

DarkHelmet said...

Biden will be juiced with the best of modern chemistry, prepped to capacity (possibly very low) protected by the format and the moderator, and even if he drools and repeats nursery rhymes the media will proclaim him the greatest statesman in history.

But what will real people think of the show? That's the mystery.

Birkel said...

All of the things you describe show Biden to be passive.

Trump is the great man, standing in the ring taking shots.
Trump moves the action.
Trump gets all the attention.

Biden cannot win if that is the state of affairs.

rhhardin said...

Trump's got the rural vote. Pic yesterday.

So far no Biden yard signs have been seen.

Tommy Duncan said...

The debate(s?) will be an exercise in "compare and contrast". When they appear side by side on the stage there will be no need for Trump to attack Biden. Instead, people will wonder why Biden is even on the stage.

rehajm said...

If Joe really does have dementia and demonstrates it on stage there's no way Trump should let up or show empathy. Trump has been characterized as a bully and a tyrant since he rode down the elevator and Biden is running for POTUS for chrissakes. Short of Biden have an unequocal breakdown, empathy or backing off is not the play.

I can't imagine a scenario where the lefties don't have a plan for anything Joe does on stage, including the Hillary Insertion Contingency if it comes to that...

mezzrow said...

It's a fight without actual battery. Verbal assault is the weapon. Physical battery is over the line. All the judges are East German, as far as Trump is concerned.

Stick and move. Stick and move.

You can't trust the judges. It has to be a knockout.

If I was Trump, I'd roll out the no-prep info as disinformation. One, they want to believe it so badly, two, it fits their preconceptions perfectly. He's watching the Gorilla Channel instead of prepping.

I'm no Trump, though. Nobody nominated me for a Nobel prize.

rhhardin said...

It's not in Trump's character to pick on the helpless. He'll play the adult.

Larry J said...

While part of me wants Trump to pummel Biden like a baby seal, there is a risk if he went too far. The Democrats would be forced to admit that Biden is unfit for the office and could seek to replace him with someone competent, although I don't know who that could possibly be from their side.

cacimbo said...

I also picture Biden getting angry and calling Trump a dog faced pony soldier or some other insult. Then it turns into chest bumping.Finally Trump becomes dismissive and says he can't fight a dementia patient.

Mr Wibble said...

My guess is that Trump will come on aggressively at the beginning, back off on the open aggression as Joe starts to slip, but still continue to push. Once it's obvious that Biden is in no condition to be President, Trump will drop some gentle, sympathetic comment that drives the knife home.

Oso Negro said...

No mercy! No mercy at all! I want Trump standing over the prone Biden screaming "what's my name?" like Muhammad Ali did to Sonny Liston.

Tommy Duncan said...

Blogger DarkHelmet said...

"Biden will be juiced with the best of modern chemistry..."

Biden seems to get about 20 minutes of boost from the juice. 90 minutes will be an eternity for Joe and his handlers. Their hope will be that most people tune out after 15 minutes.

Ray said...

There could be another type of prep. Study what are Biden's canned answers and say things to befuddle him. Also, study what are Biden triggers, this will give Trump the tools to attack if and when he thinks it appropriate. It's always good to know when your opponent is about to crack so you can encourage it along. Trump also needs responses when the moderator tries to rescue Biden, and they will.

Bob Boyd said...

The could wire a little desk bell to the arm of Biden's chair.

MayBee said...

I don't know that there's dementia. I'd say there's cognitive impairment.

AlbertAnonymous said...

Trump will expose Biden’s deficiencies and then he’ll get more kind. He’ll keep exposing them and then go kind. After the debate, in speech after speech rally after rally he can laugh with the crows about how feeble Joe really is. But in the debate he won’t be/can’t be merciless.

Then Dems may well paint him as merciless, but he’ll back off a bit.

Mr Wibble said...

What I really anticipate is that President Trump will bait Biden so mercilessly that Biden tries to make it personal and challenge the President to a fistfight, or assault the President on camera. How will the Secret Service teams from both sides react?"

It's been a running joke for a while on some blogs that a Trump-Biden debate is going to at some point involve someone calling the other a "lying motherfucker" and then there will be bits of hair plugs and golden scalp weasel flying everywhere.

Well... a half-joke.

M Jordan said...

Trump needs to go hard after Joe even if it appears to be mean. Americans need to make their choice on competence, not niceness. Trump has proven that, despite media attempts to frame the result, they accept and even endorse a brawler. No need to play nice guy now.

bagoh20 said...

I expect at some point Trump will just shake his head, raise his hands and shrug, and it will be devastating.

We are lowing the bar so much for Biden that all he has to do is remain standing the whole time, and it will reported as a win.

Achilles said...

DarkHelmet said...

But what will real people think of the show? That's the mystery.

Not really a mystery.

It is called confirmation bias.

Most of the people watching will find something to support the conclusion they already came to.

The part that interests me is that Trump started out with almost no support. He has had to overcome confirmation bias every time he has gained a supporter.

Joe Biden obviously isn't going to do much to convince anyone who isn't already supporting him.

That is why this is going to be a wipe out election and democrats are really only left with Fraud.

bagoh20 said...

The defining moment will be when Trump wipes the drool from Biden's chin, and kisses his forehead.

clint said...

"But if it's plainly in view, maybe it's better to soldier on, to simply outdo him in the argument, and radiate some compassion while the poor man is exposed in his woeful shambles."

What's plainly in view to one person may not be visible at all to another. Lots of people apparently saw President Trump call for people to inject themselves with bleach to fight Covid, for example. And others watched Biden speak at the convention and heard an upbeat call for unity.

You and I saw Biden behaving inappropriately in the debate with Paul Ryan. I don't think that's what most Obama voters saw.

Tommy Duncan said...

Of course, Trump could go barbarian:

" Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of the women!"

Dave Begley said...

Yeah, Biden will challenge Trump to a fight. "Listen, you dog-faced pony soldier. I'm a Biden. I've had it with your lies and insults. We need to duke it out. I handled Corn Pop and I can handle you. Come on, man! Outside! Now!"

mockturtle said...

When you get someone on the ropes you don't want to let up. Go for the jugular and show no mercy. Trump should be unequivocally Trump. And sign of weakness or backpedaling on his part would be fatal.

Dan from Madison said...

If Trump were really mean, he would ask Joe questions with numbers in them. Joe's dementia is shown to be even worse even when he reads or tries to understand any number.

But he won't - at least I hope he doesn't. He should just let Joe speak in his usual crazy riddles and slurred nonsense.

Joe Biden's wife and others should be ashamed of themselves. It really is disgusting.

Jalanl said...

"What is best in life?" Conan: "To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women."

TreeJoe said...

So here's where the battleground prep the media and dems have been laying is going to be difficult: Biden is going to just claim over and over and over that Trump is lying. Trump is going to go personal: pointing out biden's corruption, his family's corruption, etc.

Biden is just going to shake his head and say lying.

The "trick" is going to be to get around that and get Biden upset. That's what i'm wondering how Biden's team is working with him....how to prevent him from getting aggravated. All Trump has to do is get him worked up and then sit back with that smug smirk on his face while he lets Biden rant.

The trick here is to get Biden OFF SCRIPT and angry. We've seen what he looks and sounds like when that happens. It's going to make people realize he isn't better than Trump, he's actually worse.

rehajm said...

My guess the question is moot. Joe's team is Belichicking this thing. Joe has been debate prepping to cover whatever mental deficiencies he has using stalling, smirks, laughter and other ploys to run out the clock. If there's any empathy it comes from the moderators, including Wallace. Any major errors will be mopped up in the spin room later

It worked for Obama...

reader said...

If Biden is elected president would our enemies be merciful? Would our allies be merciful and not use his infirmities against him when negotiating deals?

Laslo Spatula said...

Biden needs just one good sound-bite at Trump's expense: the media will take those five seconds and make it the news cycle for days afterward.

That sound-bite will be pre-written and extensively rehearsed, and told in advance to the debate panel: the panel will then tee up a question specifically to get the sound-bite moment.

I am assuming Trump will have some quips at the ready for reply to such a moment; I think it'll need more than a quip to counter the pre-written narrative. Indeed: he needs to highlight the moment for what it is, so that the media is forced to address it on his terms.

"That's a good line your staff wrote there for you, Joe: I coulda used that back on 'The Apprentice."

I am Laslo.

Browndog said...

So should Trump stand back, do his thing independently, and let the people decide for ourselves how diminished Joe really is? Or should he point it out — in real time?

As they say...Let Trump Be Trump.

That said, If Biden is that bad off he's not going anywhere near a live debate stage. Guaranteed.

AllenS said...

There will not be any debates.

Fernandinande said...

Trump should have Pence sneak up and crouch behind Biden, then push Biden backwards over Pence; then Biden would drop out of the race and go live with a male couch-owner friend and smoke marijuana 'jazz cigarettes.'

Fernandinande said...

If Trump were really mean, he would ask Joe questions with numbers in them.

Biden got 6,114 confused with 7.

Even CNN called him on it, but apparently not on his other fake statistics.

Owen said...

“...There are many possible choices for Trump, and he may have to make them on the spot. But that seems to be what he likes to do, and he's got a lot of practice at it.” Agree: Trump will be operating in a target-rich environment with a full load out of weapons ranging from sarcastic needling, to a steady bombardment of facts showing Biden’s long and unremittingly sorry record, to sincere empathy, to jazz-like riffing, to high inside fastballs, to verbal traps and distractions. His challenge will be to mix things up in a strategic way so that Joe gets off at most a few sad jabs, trudges around the ring for 5-6 rounds and then is pulled by his handlers, leaving the audience in no doubt about their cruel incompetence at ever putting him up.

Then, post-debate (I think there will only be one), Trump should grow magnanimous —“more in sorrow than in anger”— and focus on HIS programs, with specifics. Joe can run after the bus, barking and snarling.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

"There could be another type of prep. Study what are Biden's canned answers and say things to befuddle him. Also, study what are Biden triggers, this will give Trump the tools to attack if and when he thinks it appropriate. It's always good to know when your opponent is about to crack so you can encourage it along. Trump also needs responses when the moderator tries to rescue Biden, and they will."

This seems about right. It's for the Presidency of the United States, folks. Does anyone really think it's just done off-the-cuff? That Biden's weaknesses and strengths haven't been minutely studied by experts and advice given on how to exploit them? A Romney might just wing it, in the blunderous belief of his own superiority, but not Trump.
One of the advantages of years of Donk Trumpsterics is that they make the prickly Trump just that much more determined to be prepared to counter the next attack.

madAsHell said...

He should just let Joe speak in his usual crazy riddles and slurred nonsense.

He's much easier to understand if you read Cosmo, and/or People magazine.

Retail Lawyer said...

I warned of the fist fighting issue in the comments to the original post at 12:21.

roesch/voltaire said...

Biden's counter punch will be a simple there goes another lie and then state the record--eventually the Trump bluff of BS will untangle.

reader said...

Trump could come out afterwards saying...

Did you see that debate? It was bad. Very bad. Bad. I’m sorry you had to see that. It was so bad. But can you imagine him dealing with the Chinese? So sad. Bad. Just bad.

TML said...

What I do not understand about this post is the word "debate" and whether Trump and/or Biden will be "prepared." It seems to assume that these are real debates, traditiona debates. But they haven't been for decades. No candidate is required to muster (or master) an argument on any topic. They only need to have a few zingers and a facts in their mind. A real debate would certainly favor a non-brain-addled Biden. But a wild scrum, like these debates, certainly favors Trump.

Fernandinande said...

Three older men are undergoing a memory test at the doctor's office. The Doctor asks, "What is three times three?"
The first man answers, "274."
The second man answers, "Tuesday."
The third man answers, "Nine."
The doctor pleasantly surprised at the third man's correct response, inquires, "Great! How did you get that answer?"
"Simple. Just subtract 274 from Tuesday."

That website will be here all week, folks!

madAsHell said...

It's funny. Reading the comments here, everyone seems to agree on Trump's methodology, but no one seems to have a way to counter it. It's like he owns the future....he's owning events, determining outcomes, and shaping the future.

stevew said...

I said yesterday that Trump should allow Biden to hang himself without going after him too aggressively. My reason for thinking this is based on the belief that the fence sitting voter who might go Trump's way is the same sort that is put off by how Trump communicates, particularly his aggressiveness directed toward opponents and critics. That's the audience Trump is performing for.

A question for our host: which approach of the ones you mention would get you to pull the lever for Trump?

Dave Begley said...

When Ben Nelson ran for Governor of Nebraska (and won), I met his national Dem campaign consultants. They told me that they wrote that debate line, "I knew Jack Kennedy, Senator, and you're no Jack Kennedy."

At that time I was so naïve that I didn't think debate answers were prepared like that. The consultants are like joke writers.

In that same campaign there was an election contest in the Dem primary for Governor. I did some legal work on the Nebraska Supreme Court brief and was the lawyer who recommended that Nelson file a writ of mandamus in the Supreme Court. In fact, I wrote the petition for the writ of mandamus. Nelson's challenger hired the same election consultants that Al Gore hired years later and they did the same thing. And lost again.

The Dems have election contests tee'd up in many states.

TRISTRAM said...

Give people a reason to vote for you, not just a reason to vote against the other guy. Particularly, if you can let the other guy make THAT argument himself.

Also, multiple debates, try one approach, see how it goes, then adjust. You know, like businesses do.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Temujin said...

Just remember, Trump did not grow up as a politico. He grew up and spent his life in business. Hardcore business. Large transactions that dealt with some of the toughest, street-wise, financial-wise, and entrepreneurial people in the world. Not to mention, dealing with governments- city, state, national- all over the world. He's been doing this longer than Joe Biden has been squeezing the waist of other men's wives.

The main thing is to not underestimate Trump's ability to play the media. He's learned to do it over a lifetime.

mezzrow said...

There will not be any debates.

I suspect there's a better than zero percent chance of that being true.

I'm still thinking "I'll believe it when I see it..." regarding a traditional debate between Trump and Biden. I have about $200 riding on this, $20 at a time. We'll find out soon enough.

Lance said...

If Biden shows weakness, Trump will attack Biden's handlers. Their cruelty will have put Biden in an impossible situation, Trump will excoriate them. Without using the word "excoriate" of course.

Nonapod said...

Lot's of people still believe that there won't be any debates. The problem here is that Biden has no choice, he has to do at least one or people will just assume he's in really bad shape (if they don't believe so already). I'll be surprised if there isn't at least one debate. If it's a disaster, they'll cancel the rest obviously. But they know they have to try at least one, because if they don't people will just assume he's incapable of debating due to his declining mental faculties. And of course Trump will be able to hammer them by saying "He's afraid to debate me! He's afraid to even come out of his basement!".

Obviously there's a ton of people who will vote for Biden no matter what, even if he literally can't even tell what year it is or knows where he is. But there's also a load of swing voters who would be less willing to put complete vegetable in office.

Banjo said...

I'm reminded of the Doctor Feelgood who kept JFK going with his injections. Joe's performance will depend on what's in the needle and how much he gets to top it off during the rest periods. They no doubt are experimenting on dosage levels in the run-up to the voting.

Nonapod said...

As for what Trump should do in the debate, it all depends on how bad Biden is. If it's clear that Biden is in really bad shape, like at some point he starts babbling incoherently or wandering around aimlessly, Trump should react with sympathy. But if Biden just verbally stumbles and bumbles a bit, garbling a few words here and there, Trump should be merciless.

tim in vermont said...

Paul Ryan, what a fuckup. He has got to be upset that the little wars his friends want have been postponed for four years.

Kate said...

I don't expect to watch any debate. Last time I couldn't quite believe I would vote for Donald Trump, so I paid attention in the moment. This time it seems cringe to watch Biden.

However, I will absolutely see the memes. I'm certain Trump knows that the social media potential is where it counts most.

Michael K said...

Trump also needs responses when the moderator tries to rescue Biden, and they will.

Oh, I think this will be a big feature of the debate, if it happens. I still think the Biden handlers would taking a big chance.

"Sundowning" is a big problem with the elderly, not just dementia patients, but Biden will be juiced with stimulants. The effects, though, might be unpredictable.

tim in vermont said...

"Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of the women!”

I, for one, am sick of the lamentations of their women.

jeremyabrams said...

Biden is going to be juicing, no question. Watch for a sudden drop in energy and coherence midway through.

DanTheMan said...

>There will not be any debates.

And "Biden will never be the actual nominee". Well, he is.

He must debate Trump, he has no choice. The few remaining swing voters would see that for what it is: proof he's not up to the job.

If he can remain standing and speak for 90 minutes, Biden will be declared "the winner" of all three debates, no matter what he says or does.

Leland said...

So should Trump stand back, do his thing independently, and let the people decide for ourselves how diminished Joe really is? Or should he point it out — in real time?

The power of AND. I think Trump is standing back, doing his normal Twitter or rally thing, and could care less if there is an actual debate or not. The debate argument is only a loser for Democrats, because the past few cycles have shown they are a 2 on 1 fight with the media helping Democrats. In the mean time, Trump is still pointing out Joe's decline, in real time. The debate argument also heightens this, because it is so illogical for Democrats to want to avoid debate. This leaves open one logical argument: Joe is no longer capable of mentally handling a debate. Biden is in decline.

tcrosse said...

"I kid, ladies and gentlemen, but I do it with love"

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Perhaps biden can bring some molotov cocktails and a baseball bat with him... you know - like his angry white antifa peeps on the streets of leftwing cities.

Drago said...

Tommy Duncan: "The debate(s?) will be an exercise in "compare and contrast". When they appear side by side on the stage there will be no need for Trump to attack Biden. Instead, people will wonder why Biden is even on the stage."

I still suspect that there will be no presidential debates. Only 1 VP debate.

However, if there is an actual debate, recall that in 2016 Trump was making promises and commitments.

In 2020, he will have his promises kept to lean heavily upon.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

MayBee said...

I don't know that there's dementia. I'd say there's cognitive impairment.

I don't think there's either. I think Joe is just a really bad bullshit artist who's ego won't let him understand how much of a role MBNA has played in keeping him in the Senate. He may not be as sharp as he was 10 years ago, but there's no dementia. It's just Joe being Joe and thinking he's got the situation handled.

Breezy said...

Such a crazy situation... who would’ve thought we’d be discussing this very real scenario in a US Presidential election? One party in the most powerful nation in the world nominated a man who can’t recite the most often quoted sentence of the Declaration of Independence due to his cognitive decline. He no longer has a basic understanding of numbers nor knows how many people are in the US, generally. I hope the shellacking is deep and painful for them.

danoso said...

There will not be any debates

Yep. The Biden/Harris team is doing everything to avoid having Joe give anything resembling an extemporaneous answer, to the point where all questions and answers are scripted. Why on earth do you think they'd let him walk on stage with Trump?

Covid exposure and quarantine right before the debate is a little too obvious, I'm sure Team Donkey will come up with something more clever to get out of this.

Paul said...

I suggest Trump be firm in the two debates. Not 'go for the jugular' but not being a nice guy ether. If Biden makes a mistake, call him on it. THEN in the third debate.. destroy Biden.

Howard said...

I hope Trump is listening to you people

Tommy Duncan said...

Blogger bagoh20 said...

"We are lowing the bar so much for Biden that all he has to do is remain standing the whole time, and it will reported as a win."

You underestimate how difficult standing up for 90 minutes will be for Biden. I'm sure his team will require a desk and chair be present. 90 minutes without a nap is an eternity for Joe Biden.

Brian said...

but the question is whether Trump will or should be the one to crank up the tension and make the event super-stressful. The media will describe Trump as crazy and cruel and protect Biden. And Biden could come in with a simple plan to stand calmly and speak planned sentences and meet low expectations while Trump melts down.

Let me posit another strategy. Trump will actually go after the moderators (and maybe not the specific moderators but the "media" in general) and not Biden directly. He will treat Biden as someone not up to the job, but the real enemy is the media that is propping him up. That "rigged" the primary system and helped steal the nomination from Bernie. That protects him from hard questions, from real people. That allows him to hide behind his mask and in his basement.

The problem for Biden with that strategy is that he has to look independent of the moderators. He can't look to them for help as it will just make him look weaker. In his drive to maintain his independence and strength it will only show his weaknesses. The more he struggles the more he will sink.

NCMoss said...

If Trump truly wanted Joe to go off the rails, he could merely say, "Joe, I didn't understand the way you explained that last point; could you clarify it for me?"

Colio said...

It wouldn't surprise me if Trump, should Biden show dementia during the debate, stops the whole thing. "I can't, in clear conscience, capitalize on the diminished capacity of my opponent, only to see him further embarrassed in this forum," and walk off he stage. If Biden shows these issues, that would be Trump's only choice. He doesn't want to come across like a bully. It would be like a decorated Olympic athlete trying to break records in the Special Olympics. Until Biden does this however, Trump has to go for the jugular. It's a tough spot for Trump. He has to shoot for the kill from the beginning, yet be ready to back off if Biden loses it. He could also let the Democrats have it for trotting him out there in the first place. Maybe, "The Democratic Party should show some respect for the former Vice President and get him the medical attention he needs, rather than forcing him to be embarrassed in front of the nation this way".

tim in vermont said...

I agree that it is pre-ordained that Trump’s best moments will not be covered, and whatever zingers Biden happens to get off will be the focus of the coverage for days along with push polls will be used to back that up.

bonkti said...

Biden needs just one good sound-bite at Trump's expense

"There you go, again...."

Dust Bunny Queen said...

AllenS said... There will not be any debates

AllenS cuts to the chase. There will not be any debates. The end.

Yancey Ward said...

My father at Biden's obvious stage of decline (I watch every single video Biden puts out since late last year), was easily agitated, especially in the evenings- it took great effort and care not to agitate him. I see the same things in Biden- this was especially noticeable when Biden was still actively campaigning for the nomination was facing hostile people (the supporters of the other Democrat candidates)- since then, his staff has carefully kept him away from anyone who is hostile in any manner.

If I were Trump debating Biden, I would constantly change subjects- every other past presidential debate eventually devolves into the candidates questioning and answering each other, despite the moderator's intent. As Trump, I would interrupt and change the subject, or question Biden on the canned answers he is sure to give. I would invite Biden to answer with numbers at every opportunity- Biden has lost all understanding of what numbers actually mean- see the 6000 dead US soldiers from COVID- the real number is 7. I am sure his staff give him real numbers to use, to not do so is political malpractice, but he simply doesn't know the difference between 6000, 60, 6, or 6 million- there over a dozen such instances now where Biden conflates numbers that are 2 or more magnitudes wrong- this isn't a slip of the tongue, this is just real confusion about the scale of things.

I think on the 6000 Covid deaths, his staff gave him the number of 62 (it includes civilian personnel of 55), but to Biden 62 is the same as over 6000. I can pretty much guarantee you that Biden can't add 15 and 20 in his head, and if you tell him it isn't 1,520, you will be called a fa.....lying pony soldier.

LA_Bob said...

Agree with bagoh20 at 8:41. The understated response is often more devastating than the "direct hit".

But, I think AllenS is right. How the Dems spin skipping debates should be fun to watch.

Jupiter said...

As far as I am concerned, Trump could come out in a tutu singing TipToe Through the Tulips with a big, red one in his teeth. He'd still have my vote. And the Enemy don't care what Biden does, his mental insufficiency is part of the package from their point of view. So the question is, Who? Who is left in America, so gormlessly stupid he hasn't already made up his mind, but not so far gone as to be unable to vote? That gobbling idiot, the Undecided Voter, is the simpering moron upon whose loosely-connected lucubrations all of our fates depend. He, or more likely she, is the half-wit imbecile that Trump needs to impress. What will it take? I have no idea.

Jupiter said...

It does rather seem, that in a democracy, and especially a two-party democracy like ours, the parties will necessarily so calibrate their positions as to divide the vote very nearly in half. The decision will then come down to a set of voters whose thought processes are so impenetrable that neither guile nor open pandering can be sure of them.

Owen said...

Laslo @ 9:00 AM: "Biden needs just one good sound-bite at Trump's expense: the media will take those five seconds and make it the news cycle for days afterward.

That sound-bite will be pre-written and extensively rehearsed, and told in advance to the debate panel: the panel will then tee up a question specifically to get the sound-bite moment.

I am assuming Trump will have some quips at the ready for reply to such a moment; I think it'll need more than a quip to counter the pre-written narrative. Indeed: he needs to highlight the moment for what it is, so that the media is forced to address it on his terms.

'That's a good line your staff wrote there for you, Joe: I coulda used that back on 'The Apprentice.'

I am Laslo."

I hope you're wrong but I fear you're right. Certainly it's a move for which Trump should prepare.

policraticus said...

It doesn't really matter what Trump does, short of slapping Biden around, or pulling out his penis and waving it a la LBJ. It doesn't really matter what Biden does, either, short of his dropping stone dead in minute 45. Whatever Trump does, whatever he says, it will be cast as the consummation of all that is wrong with America from its founding in 1619 to the unremitting dystopian hellscape he himself has created in 2020. Whatever Biden says it will be sober, judicious, and pointed to a sunny upland where we can put aside our history as a cruel, benighted and vengeful people and embrace a world of tranquil equity under the scientific leadership and enlightened tutelage of Joe and Kamala, Peace be upon them. That is the story that we are being sold, every hour, every day, on every channel and from every media organ. Who are we supposed to believe? Them, or our lying eyes?

There is no ditch so deep, or any wall so tall, any obstacle so difficult that the media will not hoist and push and drag Joe Biden and the Democrats across the finish line to victory. And if they fail, well, Impeachment hearings will start on Nov. 4th. Again.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

will anyone ask Biden to denounce leftwing antifa terror - terror inspired by Nancy Pelosi herself?

News not found on any leftwing pro-democrat hack "news" channel or site

doctrev said...

1: Has everyone forgotten that Hillary Clinton, who had a genius level intellect but few actual skills and zero charisma, tried the "Trump's a liar/ don't hit me too hard" option four years ago? Even South Park was clowning on her for her robotic answers- yet she'll still have been more lucid and creative than Joe Biden is capable of.

2: Biden gets aggressive at the mildest of questioning from sympathetic normies at his rallies. At least, he did before China Flu hit. There's no way in hell someone with combative dementia is going to make it through two hours with Trump without cracking under the strain. Donnie's ability to get under people's skin is legendary- and he clearly threw Hillary off her game during the debates, because she was shrieking about it for months afterwards. No one cared.

3: Even assuming that Joe Biden can avoid drooling on himself or threatening to punch POTUS, which I doubt, his mental capacity was never great. I personally know that Biden is terrible with numbers and can't stop being off by orders of magnitude. By contrast, Donald Trump has had to manage giant development projects all around the world. Trump doesn't have to be a genius- he just has to throw Biden off.

4: The "wh-wh-what will the media say" cuckery goes a long way to explaining why altar-boy bottom Paul Ryan and Captain Underoos got smoked as badly as they did during most of their debates. I think Trump resolved to run when he saw Multiple Choice Mitt get bullied on national TV by Candy Crowley- not previously considered an imposing figure with gravitas.

Earnest Prole said...

Trump is an improviser and a counterpuncher. Asking him do something other than follow his intuition is a recipe for disaster.

rcocean said...

The "Let him hang himself" argument only works when people are able ON THEIR OWN to see the person has really shown himself to be senile, or wrong-headed or stupid. Sadly, lots of voters need to have it driven home. They need to have it pointed out. Or they won't get it.

I'm also against "going easy on the poor man". We're electing the leader of the free world, not chief victim of the USA. This is the man who is supposed to protect US when he becomes President, we shouldn't have to protect HIM from mean words. Nobody forced Biden to run for President at the age of 77. If he can't take the heat or do the job, he never should have run for office.

eric said...

Debates will be cancelled at the last minute.

rcocean said...

From what I've seen Biden is so frail and croaky I can't see him fighting Trump. It certainly won't be trump starting a fist fight. So, I think that's off the table. Anyway, I think this lowering of expectations is dangerous. Biden is senile, but I think he can show up for 90 minutes and with the help of Chris Wallace, more or less hold his own. BTW, I hope we'll have NO AUDIENCE. otherwise, we'll have a lot of D's cheering on Biden and booing trump.

Krumhorn said...

...and radiate some compassion while the poor man is exposed in his woeful shambles.

Wonderful prose.

I love Mockturtle, but she’s wrong about this. The key to winning this election is not getting Mockturtle and me and Pants and Freeman Hunt, and Laslo and others among us here to pull the lever. The key is to get our hostess and millions of other white suburban habitual librul voting women to decide that as much as they dislike his crude unpresidential manner, he’s not evil and scary like the BLMers invading restaurants and drinking some lady’s beer.

Reagan had a deft touch, and this is a time for OrangeMan not to be Bad and to show, not weakness, but humanity at the key moment.

- Krumhorn

Larry J said...

bagoh20 said...

We are lowing the bar so much for Biden that all he has to do is remain standing the whole time, and it will reported as a win.


He'll get extra credit if he can do it without soiling himself. The bar has been set that low.

Todd said...

Tommy Duncan said...

Blogger DarkHelmet said...

"Biden will be juiced with the best of modern chemistry..."

Biden seems to get about 20 minutes of boost from the juice. 90 minutes will be an eternity for Joe and his handlers. Their hope will be that most people tune out after 15 minutes.

9/10/20, 8:33 AM


Every commercial break, Biden's handlers will re-dose him, change his depends, replace the batteries in his ear piece, and hit him with Visine.

mockturtle said...

Krumhorn, I rebut your rebuttal. The Left will never, ever embrace Trump. I'm sure our beloved hostess would rather eat spiders than vote for him. Trump should not change a thing in his strategy. We all know he is 90% hyperbole but we don't want him to become a groveling, back-pedaling media sycophant just to try to pick up a few votes.

Joe Smith said...

He should let Joe self-destruct, but then be very sympathetic.

"Joe, you don't have to do this, it's OK. Go home and enjoy spending time with your beautiful wife and grandkids. They'll find someone else to run in your place. You've served the country a long time, now it's time to rest for awhile."

Trump is the nice guy. Trump is the sympathetic guy. He recognizes the same problem we all do, but wants what's best for Joe, and at the same time, the nation...

mikee said...

Trump: "Hey, Joe, what's 8 times 7?"

“One must have a heart of stone to read the death of little Nell without laughing.”
Oscar Wilde

DanTheMan said...

>>I'm sure his team will require a desk and chair be present.

And Trump will stand the whole time. Not a good look for Biden.

AllenS said...

This nonsense about winning over the swing voters, is a waste of time, because if people haven't formed solid opinions about either candidate by now, they are too stupid to try and win over.

wildswan said...

The part that should possibly be prepped for is when Chris Wallace does a Candy Crowley. In other words, I think there are drugs that could keep Joe Biden up for two hours (but afterward he would be depleted for weeks) but there's no drug that can replace the constant study of the situation that Trump is always making. Various "experts" have complained about Trump asking them why some situation exists but at the end of the day Trump has been briefed by experts for four years on why different situations exist. And the payoff is that his administration has substantially altered existing situations for the better in the Middle East and former Yugoslavia. Nobel Peace prize work - in a fair world.

Meanwhile Joe Biden has been coasting (ha, new meaning), has been coasting as he has always done. The coasts have always defined and Biden has agreed. So naturally, Biden wants to say "we'll go back to normal coastie rule of a wealthy, settled society." Only the coasties have allowed riots and violence by their black-face-minstrel children in the big cities the coasties rule; and covid has impoverished millions; and the bolsheviks of the Dem party are devouring the mensheviks and likewise among the cultural leaders; and people are moving from the cities; and the kids aren't going to school, except some are; and major league sports million-dollar players are refusing to play unless they can insult their fans. Then there's foreign policy. Then there's fracking. And Biden's response is just basically "Strawberry Field Forever."* He isn't briefed, not even by experts, on present realities. He talks about getting the NAACP to sit down with the police. "Hey Joe, it's BLM and Antifa running the riots, not the NAACP. Why don't you sit down with Bernie Sanders and Comrade Xi and find out what they want BLM and Antifa to achieve?" Maybe Trump should be debating Bernie Sanders and Comrade Xi. Cause that's who will be running Joe and that's what Joe will never know because that's what Chris Wallace will shield him and the American people from finding out.


*Let me take you down, 'cause I'm going to
Strawberry Fields
Nothing is real, and nothing to get hung about
Strawberry Fields forever

Living is easy with eyes closed
Misunderstanding all you see
It's getting hard to be someone, but it all works out
It doesn't matter much to me

Always, no, sometimes think it's me
But you know I know when it's a dream
I think a "no", I mean, a "yes", but it's all wrong
That is I think I disagree.

Strawberry Fields forever

AllenS said...

... and if anyone comments that they are a swing voter, look in the mirror.

Howard said...

Krumphorn is spot on. Fear of Blacks is the Trump mantra. Just like the origin of the KKK.

Francisco D said...

I said yesterday that Trump should allow Biden to hang himself without going after him too aggressively. My reason for thinking this is based on the belief that the fence sitting voter who might go Trump's way is the same sort that is put off by how Trump communicates, particularly his aggressiveness directed toward opponents and critics. That's the audience Trump is performing for.


I agree completely, based on somewhat brief discussions with my Democrat wife. The Media meme that works best with liberal White suburban women is that Trump is a bully. They seem to ignore the fact that Trump has been the most bullied POTUS in history (e.g. Obama spy gate, Russian collusion and the Schiff soviet-style Impeachment).

Another meme is that Trump lies "all the time". I am still waiting for some examples from my wife and steve uhr, but they have not been forthcoming. However, our hostess has pointed out egregious Biden lies which seem normal to most Democrats.

Howard said...

Allen S is also correct. Trump can't swing fence sitters, so he only cal solidify the base, suppress poor and POC voters and Putin hack the voting machines.

The hole election hinges on turnout.

Nichevo said...

Good question, Althouse, what do you want to see from PDT? What would make you vote for him? I realize the two answers are probably not the same.

Jim at said...

I don't think it's in Trump's personality, but I'd advise him to feed Biden rope. And keep feeding it to him.

He'll hang himself.

Gunner said...

The Trump Haters would regard any "compassion" of Trump as stupidity. If Joe does not poop himself on stage, they will say he won.

cf said...

i live just outside Portland,OR. My walking friend and I stand in friendly opposition, and practice talking about stuff. We observe that the overt campaign signs are missing this year. It was Obama and later Hillary signs everywhere back in the day. (trump signs were rare, brave, and meant a burned-down lawn in Portland proper)

What we see instead is EITHER an American flag OR the "WE BELIEVE" posters that have a rainbow of 8 or so major points like "black lives Matter" and "Women something something".

my sense is the regular Democrats KNOW something's gonna give, and the real candidate will be a surprise entry, so no one is putting on Biden signs because the real name will be different.

They just stick to "We Believe" and how true: they have blind faith in their Democratic cause. ptewy.

Birkel said...

Howard,
Thank you for once again highlighting the long history of Democratics who are racists.
You are correct to mention the KKK in the time of pro-violence, communist-inspired Antifa.

Democratics remain pro-racism and pro-violence.
Thanks again, Howard.

Birkel said...

When Blexit proves to be a thing, I fully expect Howard to call the black Trump voters racists.

Readering said...

Don't see either guy making it to 1/25 in office. More interested in veep debate.

Bob said...

Hey, thanks for using my comment in your post. I'm gratified.

Tank said...

If Trump baits Biden, and Biden physically attacks Trump, won’t the Secret Service be obligated to rush the stage and tackle Biden?

That would be fun, and, don’t forget, Trump is always fun and entertaining.

walter said...

Get Biden to talk numbers. It seems to be guaranteed to scramble his brain.
Expodentially.

RobinGoodfellow said...

“Blogger Dan from Madison said...
Joe Biden's wife and others should be ashamed of themselves. It really is disgusting.”

It is disgusting. But if Joe drops out of politics, then DOCTOR! Jill and her brood will have to find real work to maintain their lifestyle.

AllenS said...

To put even more pressure on Slow Joe, Pence needs to challenge Harris to debate 3, 4 times. What will she say?

Drago said...

Howard: "Allen S is also correct. Trump can't swing fence sitters, so he only cal solidify the base, suppress poor and POC voters and Putin hack the voting machines."

When you read the studies that show the lowest intellect and lowest information democraticals actually believe Putin hacked vote machines and totals, you no longer have to ask yourself just who these morons are because Howard is here as the Althouse blog lowest common denominator case study.

Its instructive.

Krumhorn said...

By way of sur-surrebuttal to Mockturtle, it certainly true that the Left will never embrace Trump. Nonetheless, presidential elections are won at the margins in a handful of states. My vote in California will have the same effect as pulling out Little Krumhorn and peeing on the forest fires. But the vote of a white suburban woman in a state like WI, MI, MN, OH, PA, FL, AZ, or NC will make every difference.

As Rhardin repeatedly points out, and our hostess has said many times, such woman are often more influenced by how they feel about a candidate in reaction to what they hear or see than simply saying, "I want a southern wall built, and I will vote for the rascal that will build it".

The question is not about back-peddling or going all Woke. The question is does Trump rip off Biden's head and shit kielbasa-sized turds down his neck? If Joe starts drooling and goes all bug-eyed with confusion, that would be a moment for a little grace that would go a very long way with those marginal votes needed for a win.

The lefties have handed us the BLM and Antifa thugs on a platter. The Dems own that. Trump doesn't need to be a monstrous goon himself when Biden "is exposed in his woeful shambles".

- Krumhorn

- Krumhorn

Unknown said...

Put it out of its misery. The fact that the democrat party is actually trotting this demented drooling idiot out to run the country highlights how little regard they have for it. Put it out of its misery.

Nichevo said...


Howard said...
Krumphorn is spot on. Fear of Blacks is the Trump mantra. Just like the origin of the KKK.

9/10/20, 12:05 PM


And that fear is so silly, because your Feral Diverses can't even make a clean kill on a 90 year old woman at 7:1 odds, let alone prevail in a stand-up fight. Even your white killers, your talent pool of rapists, stranglers and general violent drunks, plus a band of beaters, can't put the hit on a single 17 year old boy.

You're going to look funny turning your coat and pretending you were a true American all along. Hopefully it won't save you.

mockturtle said...

Krumhorn: You honestly believe that it's conceivable a white suburban woman who voted for Hillary in 2016 is likely to vote Trump in 2020 just because he cuts Joe a little slack?

ken in tx said...

Howard and Krumphorn hear dog whistles about Trump's anti-Black tendencies. Blacks who know him don't feel he has them.

Milwaukie guy said...

@cf. My block goes flag, blm, flag, blam, flag, blm, flag, flag and another flag across. I was joking the other day with the couple across the street about how nice it would be to have freedom of speech.

I'm on the corner and I get about 15,000 eyeballs a day. I was thinking about putting up a sign that said "Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, We Are Americans."

JK! We had a good laugh. It'd be gone in the morning and I'd feel that I must replace it, rinse and repeat. Hard pass.

For the outside world, the air quality today in the Portland area is worse than Beijing or Mexico City. They've got Canby, about 20 miles south, at go-bag ready and were warned an hour ago to be ready for the get out of fucking Dodge message. Noonish, a big-ass RV trailer parked in my neighbor's driveway, fire refugees.

Our gov, Comrade Kate, said that one of the driving forces of the fires are "huge fuel loads," i.e., we Democrats and environmental loons have halted logging on public land, devastated rural Oregon, out-sourcing their jobs to British Columbia and now our forests are far more flammable than they are healthy.

Helluva job, Dems. Pretty soon we'll be exactly like California.



Unknown said...


Blogger Dan from Madison said...
If Trump were really mean, he would ask Joe questions with numbers in them. Joe's dementia is shown to be even worse even when he reads or tries to understand any number.

But he won't - at least I hope he doesn't. He should just let Joe speak in his usual crazy riddles and slurred nonsense. “

Why should you hope he doesn’t? We are talking about the most powerful man in the entire world. Are we supposed to give him a pass?

Bunkypotatohead said...

The debate will be between the president and the moderator.
Biden can just be the wallflower at the party and he'll get good reviews in the morning papers.

walter said...

Trump would never do it, but it would be damn funny if he re-invoked This classic response.

Krumhorn said...

Krumhorn: You honestly believe that it's conceivable a white suburban woman who voted for Hillary in 2016 is likely to vote Trump in 2020 just because he cuts Joe a little slack?

Yes I do. I think that defunding the police, impeachment, RussiaHoax, riots, looting, neck-snapping screaming of bug-eyed urbanites in the faces of restaurant patrons calling them racists merely because the patrons are white plus doubts about Old Joe’s ability to function raise the possibility of a Trump vote. What Trump needs to do is avoid driving that vote away by not acting decently at the key moment.

Maybe Althouse would rather eat a mouthful of spiders rather than vote for Trump, but don’t you think it’s possible that she will chow down on arachnids AND vote for Trump? I do, but I can also see her pushed off his lever if he acts like a hateful antifa goon. Of course, I’ll vote for him even if he pulls it out and pisses on Biden’s leg, but I’m peculiar that way. At least the golden shower story will finally have substance.

- Krumhorn

DeepRunner said...

While reflecting on responses to a previous blog post, Ann Althouse said:

"Getting into heightened aggression with Trump is another scene altogether, but the question is whether Trump will or should be the one to crank up the tension and make the event super-stressful. The media will describe Trump as crazy and cruel and protect Biden. And Biden could come in with a simple plan to stand calmly and speak planned sentences and meet low expectations while Trump melts down...But if it's [dementia] plainly in view, maybe it's better to soldier on, to simply outdo him in the argument, and radiate some compassion while the poor man is exposed in his woeful shambles. There are many possible choices for Trump, and he may have to make them on the spot. But that seems to be what he likes to do, and he's got a lot of practice at it."

Here's a possible bad scenario for Trump's camp. Biden is obviously out of his muttering mind during a debate, Trump points out some past misstep or misstatement or gaffe, and Biden responds with Alzheimer's anger or rage. Then, Jill Biden comes on camera (because I really don't think Biden and Trump will be in the same studio together, if a debate really happens, which, alas, it won't) and decries Trump as a cruel, heartless Orange Man Bad not worthy of being President. Suddenly, the sympathy vote of city and suburban latte women is severely stoked. Media folks would rant for DAYS about it.

Todd said...

Drago said...

Howard: "Allen S is also correct. Trump can't swing fence sitters, so he only cal solidify the base, suppress poor and POC voters and Putin hack the voting machines."

When you read the studies that show the lowest intellect and lowest information democraticals actually believe Putin hacked vote machines and totals, you no longer have to ask yourself just who these morons are because Howard is here as the Althouse blog lowest common denominator case study.

Its instructive.

9/10/20, 5:25 PM


Drago, I have to give you props for continuing to address Howard [guess someone has to] after everyone can't help but understand that he is not even trying any more and is just phoning in far-left talking points.

If he was REALLY worried about the integrity of the vote, he would be pushing for cleaner rolls, more controls on voting time/place/duration, and demanding real IDs but he does NONE of those things so his real worry is that the left will under estimate the right again and under perform the voter fraud. This time their "ace" is mail in voting. It will be very interesting to see how many more lefty districts report over 100% participation (more votes than registered voters) and how many go 100% Harris.