Your opinion of the last presidential debate of this election season is likely to depend on whether you saw the full debate or whether you relied on the biased spin of those panels of Trump haters on CNN and MSNBC. Every talking head on MSNBC was stridently anti-Trump going back to Election Day four years ago.
CNN had former Pennsylvania Senator Ron Santorum – who too often acquiesces to the narratives of the network’s progressive Democrat team. He seems to be their counterpoint person because he does more agreeing with the Trump critics’ preconceived narratives than counterpointing.
Many of the commentators did concede that Trump’s performance was among his best – but that did not stop them from partisan nitpicking with biased editing and out-of-context analyses. One of the more intellectually insulting presentations was by Daniel Dale, CNN’s resident fact-finder – more accurately, their resident Trump fault-finder. He sort of reminds me of the stereotypical elementary school tattle-tale that is begging for a well-earned wedgie.
Trump gets a “B” for his defense of his record. There was still room for improvement, but he made the best case for re-election he has made in many months – rallies notwithstanding. He was especially effective in making his case to the black and Hispanic communities. He not only talked about what his administration was doing for minorities – higher wages, enterprise zones, criminal justice reform, aid to minority colleges, etc. – but the positive results that have already been achieved.
Trump also effectively prosecuted the case against Biden and his son, Hunter. He accused the Biden family – including the patriarch – of gaining millions of dollars from foreign interests. That is a story that is starting to roll out despite the left-wing media’s efforts to bury it for Biden. Of course, there was virtually no discussion of that subject in the CNN and MSNBC post-debate wrap-ups. And if it was mentioned at all, it was only to dismiss the story as some Russian dirty trick – something the entire United States intelligence community had refuted.
Trump may have stripped away some of Biden’s radical left-wing support. When Trump accused Biden of supporting socialized medicine and taking way private insurance – the heart of the Sanders/Warren/Harris faction of the Democratic Party – Biden said he supports private insurance, saying that he beat every one of his Democrat opponents on that issue. In a backhanded way, Biden revealed just how deeply committed his party is to government-run healthcare.
He also was forced to deny his past recorded statements in opposition to fracking. Biden said he will not end fracking – at least not now. You could almost hear the swoosh as the radical left activists were jumping off Biden’s bandwagon.
Trump gained big points when he got Biden to admit that he would close down the oil and coal industries. That message will be coursing through Texas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Ohio like a jet fueled rocket. That was the exchange that could make the greatest difference in how people vote – or come out to vote – in key battleground states.
Biden had several of those “Biden moments” where his train of thought would go off the rails momentarily. At one point, he seemed to be searching his mind (unsuccessfully) for the name of the guy in North Korea – Kim Jong-un.
Biden was flat – as usual. He talked in generalities and platitudes – promising everything to everyone. He assured the audience that he had plans for everything but revealed no details of any of them. His most common response to accusations by Trump was a feeble, “That’s not true.”
Biden’s rehearsed commercial-like speeches facing into the camera seemed out of context – drawing mocking criticism from Trump. In fact, he seemed to do less of it after Trump slapped him down.
At this stage it is difficult to determine what effect the debate might have on the few remaining persuadable voters. If there is a bump – even a little one – it is most likely going to accrue to Trump’s benefit no matter how hard the New York media cabal attempts to spin in the opposite direction. It is just unfortunate that Trump found his stride so late in the race.
So, there ‘tis.