The first of three presidential debates raged Tuesday night before moderator Chris Wallace, and most commentators, as well as many Americans, were quick to declare their favored candidate the winner. However, amid the uproar, which often was tough to watch, some things were interesting.
President Trump confirmed the opinion of many people, including many of his supporters, that he is rude and overbearing. Joe Biden, meanwhile, stood toe to toe with the president and performed better than many of his critics expected. He did show some bad form of his own with name calling, including calling Trump a “clown” and saying everything Trump said was a lie.
Biden sounded like some of his ads while simultaneously blaming Trump for the pandemic and problems in the economy, even though a greater shutdown obviously would have made the economy worse. Trump is frustrated because the economy was so good before the pandemic, which blindsided everyone. Interestingly, statistics this week showed that the Trump economy had done much to reverse the growing gap become the wealthy and lower incomes.
Biden also has been slow to condemn violence in the cities, and he again did not say enough. He made a major error in saying that antifa is only a “concept” when the violence obviously is organized. He also unfairly accused Trump of siding with white supremacists, taking out of context a remark made about the Charlottesville incident years ago. Trump pointed out Biden’s lack of support among police organizations. Biden refused to say he would not agree to add justices to the Supreme Court, which was troubling.
Trump is being criticized for attacks on Biden’s son Hunter, and the former vice president did some of that himself with Trump’s family. Biden had no answer, however, about the millions of dollars Hunter received overseas while Biden was in office, and despite Biden’s denials, he was aware of it.
Trump obviously is furious about illegal spying that was done against his associates under the Obama administration, leading up to the Mueller investigation and impeachment. Unfortunately, this has taken years to unravel, and some of it still has not come out.
Trump’s unwillingness to make his tax returns public hurt him, as a recent leak came up in the debate. Taxes for real estate developers are complicated, and there obviously is a misunderstanding with the difference between his personal taxes and his company’s, even though he is paying both.
We still have two debates to go plus the VP debate. The future moderators aren’t likely to maintain more control, at least with Trump and Biden. But Americans who can stand the discord are likely to learn some things.