I have two (three) thoughts -

Per Edward Luce, "The absence of that commitment outweighs any other takeaway from a night that was shrouded in ugliness." This made me jump out of my skin. If the belief in the core principles of our nation means anything it should mean that you don't mess with the concept of the peaceful transfer of power. I was half expecting the house lights to come on, the staff and crew to emerge from backstage and the moderator to say either that no one was going anywhere until both candidates agreed to this one pre-condition OR that someone would come out and tell us that it was all an elaborate prank and that we'd been punked.

My other thought (and I'd love to get people's take) is what is the value of a second debate for Biden? Perhaps Trump can behave worse but I think we all got the gist. Additionally, Biden was "fine" (better than beige) but having less interruptions would have had Biden going deeper into policy decisions and details where he has been less than stellar (too many notes). I would suggest that he has an excellent opportunity to, at a minimum, set the pre-conditions for the next debate (mics turned off, added time when interrupted, fact checking, etc.) that Trump will most certainly reject. Biden saves face with a 'decent' performance in the books and we're left with a Trump performance that shows exactly who he is.

Apologies, one last thought - given all of the interruptions made it impossible to really hear what Biden was trying to say. I would suggest that he record his answers to the questions so that they are out there for the people. This way they can be crisp and prepared and he would get the value of treating the American people with some level of respect without a heckler drinking on in his ear.


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I thought the Persuasion community was supposed to be open to both sides of all issues. I was therefore surprise at the one-sided criticisms I read above, all about bad-boy Trump and rooting, like a soccer dad, for Biden. I was glad to read Andrew Sullivan’s ‘weekly dish’ a few days later (2 Oct), where he took Biden to task on his answers on constitutional issues, the green deal, critical race theory, and that he (Biden) supports both “equity” and “equality”, two directly contradictory goals. Are we entering the woke silo??

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Watching with my brother, I was compelled to yell, “hey...old guys!”

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