The highs and lows of President Trump’s debate performance

The highs and lows of President Trump's debate performance

The first presidential debate concluded on Sept. 29. While the debate was very heated at times, even making moderator Chris Wallace get involved, both candidates performed how they intended to perform, and there weren’t really any surprises.

President Trump’s highs:

President Trump used a strategy that he mastered during the 2016 election, which involves being dominant no matter what, even if it includes interrupting his opponent or the moderator to get his point across. This might seem like a drawback, but it made Joe Biden break down and start calling Trump terms such as “clown” and “liar,” and it even made him go so far as to tell him to shut up. Overall, this strategy made a somewhat slow-to-react Biden resort to personal attacks while being under pressure from Trump instead of actually making rebuttals to Trump’s arguments.

While Trump also resorted to personal attacks at times, he was fast-paced and in control of the discussion, unlike Biden. Trump answered questions when they were given to him, instead of dodging them in an attempt to connect with voters, which was what Biden did when he was asked if he would approve the removal of the filibuster or court-packing.

Trump also hit Biden hard on the issues of crime, law and order, with Trump referencing the 1994 Biden crime bill that disproportionately affected African Americans. Trump also denounced Biden when Wallace pressured him on whether or not he had called on any Democrats to stop the violence in their states or cities.

Overall, Trump was more zippy than Biden. Biden seemed tired, and he spoke slowly and monotonously. Biden, at times, sounded incoherent, and he was unable to put words together.

President Trump’s lows:

One issue that Trump failed to tackle was Covid-19. Although Biden didn’t seem to have much of a solution for the crisis either, Trump wasn’t exactly solid on the issue, and he was pressured by Biden multiple times. Trump failed to give the American people confidence in a Covid-19 vaccine, which a large percentage of people are still skeptical about. Trump went off topic and attacked Biden’s college record when Biden mentioned Trump’s failure to lead during the pandemic.

Trump also floundered while condemning white supremacists. He had the chance to execute his statement better, and he could’ve taken the moral high ground had he attacked Biden on his false use of the “very fine people” quote.

Trump also stumbled by calling mail-in voting fraudulent while not providing any examples of said fraud, just examples of mail-in ballots getting misplaced or lost.

Final Remarks:

It’s unlikely that this debate changed the minds of any voters, especially since it was a shouting match most of the time. Trump’s usual debate style was on full display, while Biden’s usual low-energy vibes were also very prevalent.

As a Trump supporter I can say that Trump’s constant interruptions and name-calling are nothing new, these are the same tactics that he championed during the 2016 debates. But, I think that he should’ve toned that down a bit more during this debate since Biden is weakest when he is left talking by himself.

In my opinion the clear cut winner is Trump, but not by much. Trump’s character will for sure leave others with a sour taste in their mouths, but others will love it. I think that the deciding factor, at least for me, was Biden’s inability to answer basic questions and just his overall fatigue.

Hopefully the next two debates are more productive and include actual policies and solutions instead of just personal attacks and “gotcha” comebacks.

All things considered, Wallace should not be able to moderate a presidential debate again. His attempts to calm things down made the debate unwatchable, and he talked over the candidates way too much, often disturbing the flow of the debate.