Trump Wins Round One, Barely

There was no clear winner in Tuesday’s presidential debate and the country was the loser. 

President Trump could have won decisively if he had just followed Napoleon’s famous advice not to “interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” The moderator, Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace, did an excellent professional job largely without bias, and undoubtedly more fairly than those who will conduct the next two debates, but he didn’t come down hard enough on the interruptions. If Trump had just allowed Wallace to follow up on his questions of Biden, the former vice president would have stumbled badly. Trump’s irritating interruptions created an incoherent cacophony that enabled Biden to escape severe embarrassment. 

On balance, Trump almost certainly won, but a very few viewers would have had the perseverance to listen carefully enough to note that Trump defended his own record quite capably, and Biden was very shaky and imprecise both in criticism of his opponent and in explaining why he should be president. As was expected, the fact that he got through 90 minutes in the ring with Trump without becoming incomprehensibly muddled, empowered his supporters to claim that in limping out intact, he had won.

For those who followed it carefully or replay it, it will be clear not only that Trump is a much more forceful and articulate man than Joe Biden, but that he also clearly won the argument, insofar as it could be perceived within the tumult of interruptions.

The Democrats can claim the partial victory of their candidate having survived to fight another day, but the Democratic campaign—which has consisted exclusively of nonstop defamation of the president with a new false allegation every week—was discredited by Biden’s failure to make any of his accusations stick, or even sound like he believed them himself. 

These Foolish Things . . . 

For those who want a strong president, Trump won; for those who do not want an overbearing president, he did not win and to the extent that he did not win, perhaps Biden did.

But Biden could not refute Trump’s strong argument in favor of the COVID-19 shutdown that he sponsored and against Biden’s predisposition to shut the economy down again. Biden did not reply to the question of whether he favored ending the Senate filibuster and packing the Supreme Court. He did not make a strong argument against the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the high court. He was unable to give any evidence whatsoever of support for his campaign from any law enforcement organization; he denied the charges of his son’s corruption in Ukraine and China, a subject that he invited Trump to take up by mentioning his other son who was a decorated combat veteran.

Biden had no answer to allegations about the Trump-Russian collusion fraud, of which he was to some degree aware from the start, and was not altogether successful in trying to straddle between the militant African Americans in his party and opposition to mob violence. He was reduced to saying that “Antifa is just an idea,” and that sociologists and psychologists should accompany police in their general tasks of law enforcement. He will have disappointed the Left of his party, announcing (unconvincingly) “I am the Democratic Party now.”

But they now have nowhere else to go. The best he could do for them was to allege that there was “systemic injustice” in the country. He made no effort to defend his media allies and protectors from Trump’s dismissive attacks.

Biden denied that he was in favor of the Green New Deal even though his vice-presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) cosponsored it and he presented a harebrained proposal for giving $20 billion to Brazil to help reverse the reduction of the Amazon rainforest. He completely bobbled his attempt to explain his healthcare plans and the impossible fiscal burden of enactment of the Biden-Sanders taxing and spending proposals. Trump effectively exposed the Democrats’ panic campaign on the coronavirus but was careful to be solicitous of victims.

The Record, For What It’s Worth

For anyone who analyzes the exchanges at all, it is obvious that Biden continued the Democratic campaign of incitement of Trump-hate. He called Trump “a clown,” “ a liar,” “a racist,” “the worst president in U.S. history,” accused him of being “unpresidential,” told him to “shut up,” and had no answer, after saying the Trump was not “smart,” to Trump’s references to Biden’s false claims to academic distinction in a university he did not, in fact, attend. 

Biden’s charges that Trump was trying to prevent millions of people from voting, and was responsible for killer floods and fires and hurricanes because of his climate policy were just rubbish. Trump explained his opposition to Critical Race Theory effectively and was also plausible in the elaboration of his reservations about sending out ballots to the entire voters’ list in many states. But Trump failed to raise a number of points that would have been of great assistance to him. 

He rebutted the argument that he was a racist but failed to mention his Opportunity Zones program, his aid to historically African American universities, and the fact that he had produced full employment and more swiftly rising incomes for the lowest 20 percent of income earners than for the top 10 percent. He did not mention the southern border wall or the 90 percent reduction of illegal immigration. Neither did he mention Biden’s opposition to the killing of Osama bin Laden, and while he chastised him for his environmental nonsense, he did not make the point that enactment of the Democratic green new deal program would eliminate at least 7 million jobs in the oil and related industries.

Trump did not reject white supremacists as promptly as he should have done and, when he did, it was scarcely audible amid the contending voices of all three participants speaking at once. He was reasonably effective in rejecting the myth that he had ever endorsed the Klan and the Nazis at Charlottesville in 2017.

Raising the Game . . . Maybe

If it could be measured in points as in a prizefight, Trump was the victor, but few voters will do that and those who disliked Trump would not have been persuaded to soften their views and will be relieved that Biden survived. 

Those who have a positive opinion of Biden knew his limitations and he did not exceed them. But it was an unedifying spectacle: I suspect Biden’s vagueness, his scrutiny of notes, and his outrageous insults of the president personally will be found more unsatisfactory than Trump’s endless interruptions and his general belligerence. Trump is the one who needed to win and while he marginally did so, it is unlikely that his performance will provide him any sort of breakthrough. He dodged the tradition of an incumbent president losing the first debate, as Carter (1980), Reagan (1984), George H.W. Bush (1992), and Obama (2012), did; my guess is that Trump will gain one or two points in most polls, but I do not predict that with any confidence, and it remains a very close election. 

Wallace did his best, but he should have absolutely disallowed any interruptions in the two minutes allowed to each candidate to respond, and that practice should be stipulated for the balance of the debates. This extremely important and very nasty campaign is unlikely to become any more civilized or intellectually distinguished.

One longs for Kennedy and Nixon, civilized, well-informed, highly articulate and courteous Navy combat veterans in their 40s. But Trump set out in 2015 to overthrow the entire political establishment, and he can raise his game. I doubt that Biden can.

About Conrad Black

Conrad Black has been one of Canada’s most prominent financiers for 40 years, and was one of the leading newspaper publishers in the world as owner of the British telegraph newspapers, the Fairfax newspapers in Australia, the Jerusalem Post, Chicago Sun-Times and scores of smaller newspapers in the U.S., and most of the daily newspapers in Canada. He is the author of authoritative biographies of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard Nixon, one-volume histories of the United States and Canada, and most recently of Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other. He is a member of the British House of Lords as Lord Black of Crossharbour.

Photo: Saul Loeb and Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

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202 responses to “Trump Wins Round One, Barely”

  1. LOL, it cannot be a good sign when even Conrad Black and the Washington Times’ Charles M Hurt are disappointed after the debate. Never mind Byron York, Rick Lowry, Dan McLaughlin, Ramesh Ponnuru as well as the Editors of the WSJ and the Washington Examiner. If Trump had exceeded expectations, these conservatives would surely have been excited.

    • It took me a long time to get used to Donald Trump the politician. Even so, last nights debate was very chaotic and I appreciate the varied analysis as it brought some measure of clarity.

    • Trump destroyed Biden and Wallace . One has to understand what really happened and not listen to the biased Media . They will Never give Trump any credit for anything . Also , it is said Biden was seen crying after the debate . Why ?

  2. “Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace, did an excellent professional job largely without bias”

    And you lost me. Give me a break. I’m not going to suggest Trump performed well, but Wallace did a TERRIBLE job. His questions and engagement with Trump was totally adversarial. The questions themselves were phrased as attacks. After telling Trump he’s never had a plan, he argued back and forth with Trump when Trump said he did have a plan. “Did not”. “Did so”. “Did not”.

    It was absurd.

    The number of times Wallace interrupted Trump while also demanding Trump not interrupt him was astonishing. Even before the time was up.

    At one point Wallace actually ANSWERED FOR BIDEN when Trump asked a question of Biden during his time.

    I didn’t read the rest of your piece because I can spot a shill when I see one.

    • You lot claimed Biden would not show for the debate. He did.
      You lot said Biden would be demented. He wasn’t.
      The person with obvious mental problems all night long was Trump. Get the hook.

    • Wallace is the only good Anchor/Journalist on Fox (Fake) News Network. The rest are Trump puppets who would be better suited to Russia’s RT or Rossiya One.

  3. Can’t believe we watched the same debate. Trump was awful. He gave no concrete examples or quotes from critical race theory to illustrate how toxic it is, he failed to make the case that Biden is too weak to beat back the extreme left of his party. Why didn’t he mention Biden’s support for medical funding for illegal immigrants? Why didn’t he bring up the insane green ideas of AOC? Why didn’t he bring up his choice of a leftist as his VP? He did bring up the court packing and lack of law enforcement endorsements, but if he represents Democratic Party why didn’t he follow-up when Wallace asked Biden why he didn’t pressure Democrat mayors on law enforcement? Why didn’t he push Biden’s ties to China and why didn’t he talk more forcefully on how free trade with China has hollowed out our industrial base, a position Biden as well as mainstream of both parties did nothing about. Biden is weak and without conviction.

    • For the record, I am a Trump supporter and still plan to vote for him. I completely agree with your take on the debate. Trump blew this biggly! He has a ton of accomplishments and if he listed any of them, it was lost in his absolutely childish bickering and interruptions.

    • I addressed something similar but my comment, like this one I’d wager, has been scuttled.

    • Trump destroyed Biden even as he was double teamed by Wallace. News flash, the moderator sets the questions and those wuestions were designed to keep Trump on the defensive and in a negative light. He successfully changed topic several times. Wallace lied when he called criticial race theory racial sensitivity training. He knew he was lying you could tell in his change of voice and Trump avoided this racist trap.

      Trump is the best Presidential debater I’ve seen hands down, and I’ve watched them all. Conrad is a great man but doesn’t understand that Trump must interrupt Joe any time he lies because the fake news will never call out his lies.

      There was a lot of interruptions because Wallace was desperate to stop Trump and Biden did nothing but lie.

    • It was clear from the beginning that President Trump had no intention of debating Joe Biden. His objective was to chew him up and spit him out.

      After all, Joe Biden helped plan the coup d’etat intended to drive President Trump from office and destroy America’s centuries old tradition of the peaceful transition of power.

      Across from President Trump stood Joe Biden, one of his mortal enemies. and America’s too.

      President Trump is an All-American brawler instead of the usual polite GOP loser.

      It is a natural law of power politics that nice guys finish last.* For Democrats like Joe Biden not being nice means coup d’etat, Bolshevik riots, colluding with Red Chinese to unleash deadly disease, a totalitarian lock down and lying through his teeth.

      For President Trump not being nice is not doing and saying what the Democrat Party wants him to do and say.

    • Trump is expected to be brusquexand boorish. Biden has been claiming that he is presidential, gentlemanly and affable. Biden proved himself to be an ill-mannered lout. I am not sure how omportant it will be but those looking for a more “presidential” demeanor from Biden were lokely to jave been dissapointed.

    • what Total Baloney.. It’s clear he only watches Fox. Its the nonsense and conspiracy theories that Fox propagates.

    • I can’t believe anyone here watched the same debate. Trump wiped the floor with Biden. Stop with the handwringing. I don’t think you expected Trump to be any more than a punch and counterpunch guy. Biden proved himself the babbling dementia candidate that he is. He gives absolutely NO policy examples and proved himself a coward because he wasn’t going to answer questions on the Supreme Court list and on Supreme Court packing giving the old Pelosi standby answer of vote and then we will see what is in it. He was afraid of the issue and it wasn’t the only one.
      Conrad, you have disappointed me now twice in the last week with your tepid abortion statement and now about Chris Wallace. He wasn’t a moderator. He was a debater. That is not his job. Nobody voted for him and his name is not on the ballot. His bias was very clear as he shut down old Joe never and Donald J. Trump numerous times. The debate was a garbage fest, but Wallace was a participant and helped to create the atmosphere.

    • Also, BLM and Antifa are downplayed alot while white supremist have only been caught in the cookie jar a few times at these protest. One was a recent car hitting protesters where the guy had a lot of guns in his home. This happen at the LA protest In fact Proud Boys has minority members and is more a fist fight group than a white supremist group. In another protest in Yorba Linda, the caravan for Justice had shields where they could have easily crack heads but they didn’t. Having heavy shields means you have weapons. Caravan for Justice is a BLM group. Outside of Trump’s views on Antifa which I find mainly correct, I might not have voted for Trump.

    • Agree! Conrad was attending another debate. The fact that Trump acts as Trump shows that he is totalitarian and move like a Panzer Division. In the long run, the panzer were defeat, not matter the suffering caused to humanity. He was roaring for his acolytes.

    • I also think Trump’s “wall of noise” tactic detracted badly from his ability to refute Biden’s claims (many of which were clearly wrong, such as labeling this “Trump’s recession”, when Trump wasn’t the one with authority to either impose or cease States’ lockdowns). His legitimate questions to Biden were likewise lost in his own noise, robbing them of impact. He desperately needs to do better next time!

    • Trump brought up all those things and was exposed for the lying grifter that he is. Trump has no plan for another term other than to delay all the lawsuits and criminal charges he faces. Trump is a psychopathic criminal and racist. The whole trump phenom is nothing but the last dying breath of white supremacy–this is the only is the takeaway from last night’s debate where trump is concerned.

      • Jeff Mills…sorry Jeff Trump does plan on winning and serving another term. Who wants lame duck Joe Biden that has been in the Government for 47 yrs. or more and nothing but lie and steal from the people. The Democrat’s are famous for promising BUT NEVER deliver on the promises but want the VOTES!! There is NO such thing as the Democratic Party anymore it has been taken over by Socialist OAC & Bernie.

    • What you saw last night was the real Donald Trump. He doesn’t have a single original idea, conviction, or belief of his own. He’s nothing more than a puppet for the extreme right wing, ignorant, gullible, bigoted, hateful, vindictive right – the Stephen Millers and Conrad Blacks of the party, etc. I know it goes against the very cornerstone of the typical redneck Republican, but I hope at least a few of them learned something last night. DId you…

      • Michael: You described Biden to a “T” he is not real he is one sick puppy dementia and you want him for a President. He doesn’t have a single original idea, conviction or belief of his own Joe is the puppet for the extreme left wing, ignorant, gullible, bigoted, hateful, vindictive left. The Democrats have been over taken by the Socialist Bernie and OAC. “I learned” that President Trump is #1 President Trump 2020 for another 4 yrs.

    • Trump, well he did what he always does-he lied, repeatedly because the truth is not good for him.

      Trump allowed covid to spread through his silence and lies.

      Trump is not trusted by any of his key military or strategic advisors. They think he is unhinged and frankly, stupid.

      Dan Coates, no flaming liberal has said what we all think. Putin has something bad on Trump. Nothing else can possibly explain Trump’s willingness to abandon our Kurdish allies to slaughter in the field. Nothing else can explain Trump’s attacks on NATO and his defense of Putin, a murderer and thug.

      Trump is frankly lucky he babbled so much. He knows that the truth, if spelled out, cannot be explained except through lies and exaggeration.

      One other point. You think Biden lacks conviction and character?

      Biden has conviction and is a strong person. Unlike Trump, Biden showed enough class to leave Trump’s kids alone and there is plenty of material to work with there. You know, the 2 boys who avoided military service and the daughter who signed up multiple marketing licenses in CHINA after her Father was elected President. He also ignored Trump’s embarrassing business efforts in Russia-the ones he lied about in 2016.

      Trump went to Moscow on bended knee begging the Mayor of Moscow for the right to build a hotel. You know, the Mayor Trump mistakenly said paid money to Biden Jr. That’s the mayor Trump begged for a concession.

      Trump jr met with a person he believed was a Russian operative to get dirt on Hillary. The Trump family is real moral, isn’t it?

    • Agreed. Trump was awful in so many ways, not least of all that he acted like the worst of those who appear on Judge Judy. He pouted and shouted. I was expecting him to stamp his feet, pound the podium and cry. His only strategy was to interfere with whatever Biden had to say. Apparently, he thought he could treat him the way he treats his White House subordinates. Didn’t work.

      Even Fox and Friends hosts all gave the debate to Trump. That must have ruined Trump’s morning.

    • The reason PT didn’t have all those ‘come-backs’ is because like Biden they’re both in their seventies and not at a verbal boxing weight. Now Don Jr. remembers all those key points and can rattle off a list.

      • Don Junior hasn’t learned to talk yet. Any time I hear him him talking, it all “Gobbledygook”!

  4. Wallace was terrible. Climate Change but not the Budget, China, Forever Wars? Really?

  5. I am a firm and avid Trump supporter, and with that said, my fears about the debate became reality. Biden successfully rope-a-doped Trump into thinking that he would flop around the stage from a stroke. Oddly, Trump kept saving Biden from embarrassing himself repeatedly, interrupting Joe before he could dig the hole deep enough to stumble into it. For God’s sake get Bannon back or Gorka…someone who will honestly prep you and point out your debate flaws. Trump’s performance IMO was the result of underestimating the opponent and overestimating his own skills. I actually agreed with Biden for the 1st time in my life when he said “will you shut up?”, because if he had, Joe would’ve hung himself on his own meandering comments. Joe only has to talk uninterrupted for 60 seconds to fall on his face, and Trump never let him do that. Who gave him that advice?

  6. The simple fact that Biden remained standing for 90 minutes confirmed in the minds of millions of voters that he won. Meanwhile, Trump laid it on too thick looking belligerent and reckless. This dismal result was as bad as it can be for our side.

    There was a moment encapsulating the essence of the distinction between the two men: Trump insisted Americans want the country to be open and Biden countered several times that Americans want to be “safe”. I hope enough viewers noticed that stark contrast and agree with Trump.

    • If the President could curb his desire to shoot back immedicately, he might have won hands down. But he has been so beaten up, not to speak of betrayed, that he is understandably leery of “advice.”

    • The United States recorded 316,000 new cases in the week ended Sept. 27, up 10% from the previous seven days and the highest in six weeks, according to the analysis of state and county data.
      The nation’s top infectious disease expert, DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, TOLD ABC NEWS THAT THE COUNTRY WAS “NOT IN A GOOD PLACE.”

      7,130,000 Total Infection cases and 205,000 DEATHS and you have the audacity to doubt that Americans want to be “safe”…versus “open”? Boy I hope Americans are smarter than that as they head to the polls this year. And we as a nation head “indoors” during cold and flu season. Wow.

    • Cherbubin-safe, as in encouraging the Proud Boys to attack and intimidate black voters?

      That, my friend, is the lasting take away of this debate.

      and don’t worry, $200,000,000.00 of Biden ad money will explain very clearly to the voters Trump’s incompetence in dealing with Covid.

  7. I was hoping Trump would remind the public that he’d not started any wars or destroyed any foreign countries, in contrast to Biden BREAKING the entire country of Libya for no good reason. Why do we never get reminded that ObamaBiden literally destroyed Libya for no good reason? The people of Libya live with their broken, busted country every day.

  8. Can’t believe we watched the same debate. Chris Wallace was awful. He asked Trump loaded questions and then to Biden “What is your response”; he interrupted Trump and not Biden, and then castigated Trump for interrupting. When he did ask Biden a substantive questions, he did not follow up to make Biden answer, and did not give Trump a chance to respond. Trump at the same time, did not pick up on a few comments by Biden that would have given Trump a slam dunk (Basement Biden telling Trump to “get out of the bunker”); and Trump “rescued” Biden by talking over him when Biden was about to launch into some Bidenism.

  9. There was no indication that Wallace was going to cross examine and drill down on Biden’s answers. Instead Wallace interrogated Trump with questions full of biased premises and insisted he conform his answers to those premises. Biden was allowed to coast with questions full of favorable premises to his position. Trump correctly hammered Wallace and Biden.

  10. That debate was moderated worse than any debate I’ve seen. Chris Wallace’s bias was clearly evident from the beginning and he seemed more intent on preventing debate, even in a controlled fashion, than moderating one. Often he prevented any more than a basic answer to a question before pushing on to the next without allowing any cross talk. It was if he was trying to run two separate Q&A sessions, forcing President Trump to interject and act more aggressively to actually debate, which was than met forcefully and incessantly with “Mr. President”. From there it devolved, as one would expect.

  11. Are you actually serious? Trump was rude, didn’t adhere to any standards of decorum, ignored rules, and was generally disgraceful. trump scored no points, rather, he clearly gave support to the right wing hate group proud boys.

    Biden on the other hand, while being somewhat flat, at least kept his cool and didn’t get dragged down.

  12. The debate was a disaster, probably for both sides, but especially for Trump. He could not have been more incoherent, substanceless, and overtly incompetent. He seemed like a (very bad) boxer who got paid to take a fall. Spinning this as a Trump victory is pure magical thinking.

  13. What a crystal clear message Joe Biden sent to the voters! “I’m the Democratic party. I support the Green New Deal. Now I dont. I’ll raise your taxes. No, I won’t. I won’t repeal the Hyde Amendment, Yes, I will. I support fracking, No, I don’t. I support more money for the police. Or I don’t. I supported NAFTA. Now I don’t. I support putting the military on the border to stop drug trafficking. What? I don’t? Okay, I don’t. I support ending birthright citizenship for illegals, Oops! No, I don’t

    “I’m Joe Biden. I am the Democratic party, I stand for and against everything. So whatever position you have on these issues, I agree with you. Vote for me.” Or don’t.

  14. Conrad Clown….a poll among 1,000 debate watchers results: Biden 60% Trump 28% I assume the 28% were the Proud Boys and your ilk. I will add this, in 1946, they hung Steicher and Rosenberg at Nuremberg. These two pieces of garbage were the Fox News and American Greatness of the Naxzi Era. Consider that for what its worth.

  15. Such total bull from the guy who got pardoned by Trump.
    Obviously the columnist saw what he wanted to see.
    Nearly everyone else saw a bully constantly interrupting –
    Refusing to disavow white supremacists, and calling out the Proud Boys.
    Diehard Trumpsters won’t change, but everyone else was disgusted.

  16. I made up my mind yesterday that I was not going to watch the debate. My reasoning was as follows, but first. What is the point of a debate?

    A debate is designed to help people make up their mind; help people become informed of the stances of the various candidates involved, help people get a sense of the characters of the people involved. Now, this is Vital Information, if you just arrived from Mars and know nothing about the parties involved.

    But get real, anyone who’s been following this whole charade of the democratic presidential strategy; anyone who’s been following for the past 10 years, 20 years, 30 years the progression of events that has taken place in this country and who has studied Trump, Obama as well as his corrupt, duplicitous, pay-for-play Vice President, Joe Biden knows EXACTLY who each man is and what each man stands for and who can be trusted and who can’t be trusted.

    That was my first reason for not watching. My second reason was because I knew the ever and always totally unfair and insufferable Chris Wallace was going to be moderating.

    I knew that Wallace would be doing everything he could to help act as a crutch for the incompetent and utterly despicable Joe Biden to lean upon.

    I cannot stand to look at Chris Wallace or listen to that smarmy, self-important voice; knowing that what he is going to come out with is always going to be 99% likely to be a lie slanted in a never Trump way.

    Given the high-stakes that exist only a partisan, hate America leftist could or would vote for Joe Biden.

    So I realized it was absolutely no reason unless I wanted to be irritated to watch.

  17. Yikes, another sneaky Anti-Trump article from a burgeoning Never Trumper.
    I find it fascinating when lesser men act as if they “know better” despite the the lack of will to attempt it themselves, i.e. Mark Cuban, this author, etc.
    No mention of the nature of the questions. For Trump attempting to corner him into a position, while Biden’s ?’s were crafted to let him explain himself.
    Of course no mention of the fact Wallace interrupted Trump 76 times and Biden a mere 15.
    Or that Wallace and Biden shared a laugh together during the debate.
    Perhaps faced w/the situation of having to debate the candidate AND the moderator this author would keep his stately nature composed and then they would all have tea afterwards.
    Perhaps the authors bitter that despite all his accomplishments he had to rely on Trump for a Pardon.
    I look forward to the announcement of Mr. Blacks’ acceptance into the Lincoln Project.

    • There was nothing “Never Trump” about this article. Lord Black is one of the most ardent Trump supporters. He stated that Trump won. You are pitching an immature fit because he did not mention every point on your list when there are literally hundreds of points that could have been made. Oh purity test, thy name is losing elections.

    • PS – I guess anyone who does not 100 percent praise Trump’s every move and word, or mention all the pro-Trump points you did, is a “Never Trumper” in your book? Have you even read all of Lord Black’s other articles? Your slander or him is a disgrace.

      It is essentially a fact, not an opinion, that Trump’s behavior last night hurt his election chances. His mentally healthy supporters can be disappointed by a Trump failing, because they are sane enough to know that no human is 100 percent perfect. But I guess you believe Trump is God Almighty and any heretics believing otherwise are to be banished. I feel sorry for your weak and unthinking brain which can admit no fault in your perfect God (Trump). – –

  18. By talking through Trump’s obnoxious and incessant interruptions for 90 straight minutes last night, Biden demonstrated to voters more mental acuity than I even thought that he had. For that reason alone, Biden won.

  19. Trump acted like a crackhead. Senate Republicans could have saved us from this national embarrassment and given us Mike Pence, who can competently deliver a conservative message.

  20. I think Conrad Black is right about the Napoleon thing. If the the Trump campaign wanted Biden to expose his waning mental abilities – stumbling over words, facts and numbers, starting a sentence or subject and then suddenly forgetting what it is all about, and so on – then Trump shouldn’t interrupt him all the time. Because Biden will never get that far. I saw the democratic party debates where Sanders just let Biden babble and that certainly didn’t do him any good.

  21. No one won that debate. Which means that the one who desperately needed a resounding win, the one who is seven points behind in the polls, the one who is seeing Texas and Georgia become swing-states…was denied it.

  22. This format is stupid and proves nothing. Neither person is going to stand there and let the other guy say stuff they believe are lies without interrupting. And you cannot organize thoughts into coherent responses with someone yelling at you. Put each guy in a soundproof booth. Mics are turned on alternately to ask, answer, and rebut. Each asks the other a question, 2 minutes to answer, 2 minutes each to rebut. Go to the next question. Moderators do not ask questions. they moderate, keep time and shut up. We don’t care what they think and should not be part of the story.

  23. I also cannot believe we watched the same debate. Kinda breaks my heart.  First time most people could hear Trump since he became president. Main stations do not show Trump speaking  -or show the out of context remarks they select. Trump did refuse to condemn White Supremacy (it was not lost in over talking). Question: Though not a racist, is Trump afraid to lose the white supremacist vote? It begins to appear that is the case.

    You are correct that he failed to mention the 3 main pillars of his outreach to the black community (HSBCs, lowest unemployment for black Americans on record, opportunity zones) but merely strangely shifted immediately to “law and order” when the topic was race, as if he believed most rioters were African American to his great discredit since they were not.

     It’s a lie that Trump said “inject bleach” but given the chance, Trump did not refute it.  It’s a lie Trump said troops are suckers and losers but given the chance, he did not refute it.  It’s a lie that Trump said there are “good people on both sides’ regarding white supremacy (it was regarding confederate statues) but he absolutely did not refute it. So very ashamed.  The bottom line is that for the first time (with the possible exception of his “rapist” type remarks when “coming down the escalator) he acted like who the mainstream media says he is.

    If Trump were not on record (even in a written CNN news story) as specifically condemning racism and white supremacy, it would be so very hard to vote for him. I would – to avoid the disaster of far left economics- but it would be so vary hard. I still hang my head in great shame today in front of anyone who knows I refuse to vote for Biden.

  24. You’re missing something here.
    Biden never shut up. He kept looking directly into the camera and talktalktalktalked.
    The only chance Trump had to counter Biden was to interrupt Biden’s endless lies.
    And then Wallace kept telling Trump to stop talking!
    This was a terrible setup.
    They should have been given time to counter each other so that we could hear what each was trying to say.
    What did I get from this “debate?” Chris Wallace fancies himself to be the most important person in the room.

  25. Trump is done. I can’t see anything he did tonight to win over undecideds, unless there are a few Proud Boys that were still on the fence….

  26. Please do not insult us by saying things like “anyone who watched carefully” or “anyone who analyzed” would reach your conclusions. That’s a hack. Plenty of people are watching closely and analyzing and not reaching those conclusions. Further, no one cares about what he said about x, y and z policy when he told White Supremacists to stand by, refused to concede to accepting the election results, and conducting himself like a 5th grade bully. He clearly lost the debate and those who are writing off both sides as equally have an astounding ability to ignore the some of the most dangerous things a president has said in our lifetime.

  27. This writer” either needs medication or is drunk and/or crazy. WHO in their right mind wants this lunatic for president. How can anyone legalize his rantings , ravings
    and constant lies. Do we want 4 more years of this nonsense..

  28. Well, to translate Conrad’s headline into substantive English, given the partisan handicap factor:

    Trump was awful.

  29. It was clear from the beginning that President Trump had no intention of debating Joe Biden. His objective was to chew him up and spit him out.

    After all, Joe Biden helped plan the coup d’etat intended to drive President Trump from office and destroy America’s centuries old tradition of the peaceful transition of power.

    Across from President Trump stood Joe Biden, one of his mortal enemies. and America’s too.

    President Trump is an All-American brawler instead of the usual polite GOP loser.

    It is a natural law of power politics that nice guys finish last.*

    For President Trump not being nice is not doing and saying what the Democrat Party wants him to do and say.

    *Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince

  30. This is one of the most ignorant opinion pieces I’ve ever read. The President of the United States told a neo-Nazi white supremacy group to “stand by” and refused to condemn them. That is literally all that needs to be said. Saying anything after that other than “the President disgraced himself” or “the President is shameful” makes you complicit.

  31. I feel Trump won this debate by more than just a slim margin. I truly wanted to hear joe Biden’s plans and he provided nothing .He dodged every question I wanted an answer to. I did not believe him when he stated that his deal was not the Green deal. I needed Biden to explain his plan which he did not and his connection to the radical left. I left last nights debate convinced that Biden is a puppet of the left I know Trumps plans as he is vocal and he follows through on what he says. I have decided to vote for Trump !!!

  32. That’s certainly a spin, if you want to see who won the debate go look at the changes in betting odds. In my opinion they both lost, but trump lost harder. I firmly believe that after that debate the only thing that was decided was that less people are going to vote for either of these idiots.

  33. Your thesis is delusional. That was an appalling assault on our sense and pride in what it means to be an American to see a sitting President to act like a petulant child throwing a temper tantrum for 90 minutes like he did. He’s a rabid dog that needs to be put down. Stop providing a safe space for people to support Trump when he proves time and again that he’s completely unfit- its a disservice to Americans and a disservice to your own credibility as a political contributor.

  34. I think the “who said what about what issue” and the “he missed pressing him on this point or that point” line of thinking misses the far bigger picture. Trump looked strong and vigorous. Biden, despite remaining standing through the 90 minutes, looked weak and frail. When Trump went after Biden in areas where the latter had no defense (the “stupid bastards” comment, Spygate), Biden either uttered an easily verifiable lie or simply stood there dumbfounded with that uneasy smile on his face, knowing he had no defense. In short, Trump looked strong, Biden looked weak. The post-debate polls on CSPAN and Telemundo confirm that’s what the majority saw, and that’s going to be the lasting impression.

  35. Trump won the debate. Hands down. Proof is in the lamestream coverage this morning — or lack of it.

  36. Trump was a total disaster…..only question I have is he resigned to losing the election and that was intentional or does he just lack the ability to control himself?

  37. Conrad Black, ethically damaged goods, and then some. A “cerebral” (ha!) Trump. No cred. This
    “critique” of Trump last night is laughable. Trump needed to attract votes from beyond his minority base, from swing/independent voters, women, etc. He blew it completely. He’s like the Bourbon monarchs: he learned nothing and forgot nothing. I just looked at this column out of curiosity. I haven’t read anything by the arrogant sullied Black for years. I won’t again. Stupid fool. Trump will lose in November and maybe now by a larger margin than thought and the Democrats will retake the Senate and probably increase their House of Representatives majority, scrap the filibuster and BALANCE the hard right court, which TRUMP has packed. Time for America to get back to its truly democratic roots (small “d”).

  38. It was the worst presidential debate I’ve ever watched. The President needed to be far better prepared than he was and to have stayed calm and answered the questions. He made some good points, but low-hanging fruit like counselling his supporters to stay calm after the election or clearly condemning white supremacist groups (of whom the Proud Boys are not one) should have been easily gathered. Facts are critical and he needed to cite examples. There were too many instances of his talking about his polls, support, and comparing the successes of his first term – of which there are many – to those of other presidents were distracting and will not convince others. The first question, about the Supreme Court, where Wallace askd about why each candidate’s position was right should have been simply, “Because the Constitution, the Supreme Law of the land, says the President gets to nominate a justice even in the last year of his term. There were 29 other instances where this happened. The greatest Supreme Court justice, John Marshall, was nominated by John Adams and confirmed AFTER Adams LOST the 1800 election to Jefferson.” And so on. It’s not a campagin rally. The independent voters have to be persuaded. Please, Mr. President, prepare properly for the next one.

    • The independent voters HAVE been persuaded…to vote for Biden! Proud Girls aren’t a White Nationalist group? Maybe to an America hating fascist like YOU!

    • Good point. Proud Boys have minority members they are not just all white.

    • My thoughts exactly. Trump needed to remember that he doesn’t have to convince his base. He needed to convince the undecided. We didn’t need another rally. He had so many opportunities to destroy Biden, but let them slip away. It was not a good night for Trump.

  39. You blew it Conrad when you said moderator Chris Wallace largely officiated without bias. There’s quite of bit of evidence to the contrary. Trump won if nothing else in the sense that by looking to get a proverbial jab in on Beijing Biden whenever he could, he also never allowed Slow Joe to control the narrative like he did against Paul Ryan in 2012. I’ll bet Trump watched the 2012 VP debate quite a bit in his preparation and what happened to Ryan in that debate wasn’t going to him to him.

  40. Trump was incapable of letting Biden finish a sentence without interrupting him. This is a sign of insecurity. Policy wonks might have the patience to try to extract a meaning out of that noise but the normal person heard a Trump trying to drown out his opponent and a Biden standing his ground (not the stroke victim team Trump told us to expect).

    The MAGA people can claim victory all they want but will be licking their wounds on election day.

  41. ok, so if American Greatness states Trump wins, barely, we all know this means he was thrashed..

  42. The ultimate battle ended up being Biden against his own party after Trump pushed him to deny the Biden/Bernie manifesto, admit he wouldn’t enact AOC’S Green New Deal, refuse to say he would pack the court if elected after republicans put Barrett on SCOTUS by making it a 9 judge panel & put liberal judges on those extra 4 seats, refuse to say he supported Black Lives Matter & denied ANTIFA’S existence.

  43. Nostalgia is a wonderful thing. But with the two major parties diametrically opposed ideologically as they are now, the debate was awesome. Give me more of this, I say. Who needs a moderator? This election is essentially “life of death” for both sides so why not have a debate format that reflects the Thunderdome times in which we live? More, more, more!

  44. Chris Wallace was anything but unbiased. PROOF Look at the confrontational questions he threw at the President (taxes, Charlottesville) wheres there were no such hardballs at Biden’s head.

  45. I have heard or watched every Presidential debate since 1960. I have never seen anything like this debacle ! I saw an out-of control President who railed and flailed against political windmills. His bombastic responses were frequently without facts His demeanor rude, crude and bullying. He disrespected Mr. Wallace. He disrespected the democratic process and he disrespected America. He offered no plans for containing Covid19. He offered no plans to rebuild the economy. Trump’s performance was more suited for the stage of the Grand Guignol Theatre.

    The debate was an embarrassment.

  46. if trump walked on the debate stage dressed as a imperial wizard of the klan you would have said he won the debate.. your guy is one sick bully and last night americans who don’t follow politics will come to this realization… sadly the entire world also. the guy kowtows to putin but plays the tough guy with biden. there has to be good reason why… 420 millions why..

  47. If you ever need confirmation that Conrad Black publishes these articles not for his purported audience but for an audience of one on Pennsylvania Avenue, here it is. He knows where his bread is buttered: the check (the pardon) has already been mailed. He cannot relent on massaging the ego.
    Conrad–like Sean Hannity and the most shameless of the influence peddlers–will try to convince you that your eyes have deceived you and this was really a great victory for our side. But in your heart, you know the truth.

  48. Trump controlled that mental midget Biden and that Commie loving Chris Wallace pretty much all debate. The fact that some think Slow Joe win is laughable. Tellemundo had Trump winning by 2 to 1, at 66% vs 34%.

    All the Communist Demo☭rats have are lies and spin, neither is working well for them or Basement Joe and his anemic attempt at looking like a Presidential candidate without a ground game and with no one at his rallies.

  49. What does it mean to have a “strong” President? Trump didn’t look “strong,” he just looked like a jerk. He behaved the same way he’s behaved in office for the last 3.5 years and there’s nothing strong about that at all. That’s why the Iranians are laughing in our faces, the Russians have literally taken over our military bases, and the Chinese think we’re a joke. Americans already have proof that Trump’s projection of strength is all an act. He’s weak, powerless, and ineffective.

  50. It’s funny that Conrad black writes for a website called American greatness.

    Conrad is neither American nor great.

    He’s a self-hating Canadian who surrendered his Canadian citizenship to be a British Lord because he’s obsessed with job titles more than patriotism.

    And he’s a sucker and loser who wore the red hat in exchange for absolutely nothing and will be remembered as nothing but another slug who bowed down to Donald Trump.

  51. As a liberal Democrat, I’m pleasantly surprised by how reasonable this column and discussion are.

  52. Americans like change and are sick of the status quo. Trump has been a change agent especially toward average Americans. Biden is the same old DC lifer. He pretends to care only around election time. He shamefully campaigned off his dead son to attack against Trump’s statement about WW1 soldiers that everyone around him said didn’t happen. The Democrats offer 10/gal gas 50 % middle class tax rates economic stagnation and hundreds of Solyndras

  53. Whike I fully concur with Mr. Black’s assessment of last night’s debate performance and outcomes, there appears to be one observation he failed to note.

    Most voters were probably as surprised as I was with former VP Biden’s performance. We had expected him to come off like a senile buffoon. Instead he looked directly into the camera and connected with people sitting at home.

    However, to understand one’s intentions we need to study how they react when their opponent is talking.

    When President Trump was talking about how “one American life lost is too many” Biden was smiling like the Joker from Batman, as if he was part of some type of maniacal plan to depopulate the Earth of humans in order to save the environment. His smirk made me think of the millions dead Americans, who never had a chance for life, because activist courts are legislating from the bench.

    Perhaps in the next debate President Trump needs to consider bring up the RIGHT TO
    LIFE, paint Biden’s COVID reaponse plan as a direct ASSUALT ON LIBERTY, and tell us how his courts will secure for our posterity fair and equal justice under the law for generations yet to come!

    • If you expected him to be a buffoon it is because you swallowed hook line and sinker the attempts to portray him as such. He’s made more than his share of gaffes over the years, but if anyone is a buffoon it’s the guy currently residing in the White House.

    • You one sided person…Biden was laughing because Trump was on a rant from start to finish…even at times interrupting himself. Do you people not yet see the stupidity of Trump, how the Evangelists must have given him roughly 2 million “Mulligans” in the last 3 & half years for all his lies and disgraceful behaviour & worse. I suppose they all thinking now we’ll get the lawyers in and find ways to avoiding to pay Federal taxes as well. Which is the latest chapter in the “Chronicle of Trump-pits”…are yous right in the head over there. Trump doesn’t seem to care about any American & is fighting from one day to the other & twittering away at his Twit Tweets. Writing stuff that nobody really cares about except those in his close cult. All sensible media should refrain from showing any of his tweets ever again. Just ignore him…let him leave in silence. That would be Heaven to us all or at least the most of us. Another 4 years of him being (I won’t say President) because most well thinking people wouldn’t call him President…he should be just called the “Terrible Annoyer”.

      President Trump might say one life lost is one too many…but regards Covid 19, he didn’t do much to save the “Many”, 206, 494 & counting. Donald Trump, “Wear your mask & be seen wearing it “. Your country needs you to do this one small act.

      • Sorry I can’t see the 2 million mulligans through the 30 million deas babies.

  54. I love Trump and will vote for him again no matter what, but I fear last night was a disaster for the President.

    He seemed unhinged and unprepared. When he refused to try to calm our fragile nation and instead came out like a bull in a China shop, I fear no one will care to watch the other two train wrecks.

    I fear Trumps performance will be what independants remember.

    I love him, but he blew it. We can make exuses but anyone who watched saw what we all saw. An unprepared, belligerent, rude and unhinged performance on the most important night of 2020.

    Sad.

    • Former Presidents Reagan ans Obama each sucked wind on the first debates of their re-election campaign. Voters are very forgiving of elected officials who learn how to correct themselves.

  55. When Biden talked about keeping businesses shut down, that was Trump’s missed opportunity to say “If Nancy Pelosi can keep her salon open and go there without a mask, without social distancing–no one can stand 6 feet away from the person whose hair they are styling–then American businesses everywhere should be allowed to open.”

  56. Trump was terrible. He should have let Biden speak, because when Biden was given more than 30 uninterrupted seconds, he would go off topic and stumble over his own words.
    The undecided voters that watched this debate were given 2 takeaways.
    1. Trump is incapable of working with, talking to, or negotiating with anyone. As a Trump supporter watching the debate, I am seriously reconsidering my vote in Nov. I learned nothing about his policies or positions except that if you have a different policy or position he will interrupt you to the point that no one will learn anything about that alternate take either.
    2. Whatever you knew or understood about Biden hasn’t changed, because he barely got in a word.

    What should have been on display was that Biden struggles to complete critical thoughts and his policies and presidency will be overtaken by the left. What we got instead was a 1.5hr screaming match that was entirely Trump’s own doing. To me it felt like I was watching the first stage of the next American Civil War. Hate was on full display by both sides. No matter who wins in November, the country will not be better off. Things are going to get worse.

  57. Trump told the Proud Boys to stand down and stay ready. He is the White nationalist leader

  58. Generally, I certainly agree with and admire Lord Black’s assessment of the debate. But one must realize that President Trump has been in a “do or die” fight with Democrats supported by 90% of the press and the establishment in both political parties; not to mention the Deep State which includes some ex-military brass with myriads of Obama holdovers entrenched in the bureaucrat system. Given all that militant opposition how can anyone fault the President for his bellicosity? The question should be whether or not Americans want an establishment career politician wet noodle or a strong confident man’s man to lead America out of the middle of crisis on many levels who will rebuild the economy while putting Americans FIRST. Without an inkling of doubt, President Trump is the person to lead America in these difficult times!

  59. Trump won? Got to be kidding me. I’m actually offended that those two idiots wasted my time. I vote for conservative/libertarian fiscal policy not for the person so I have no reservations voting republican vs progressive but I’m legitimately pissed at Trump for being so obnoxious. Trump is likely trailing and needs to pick up votes and I can’t imagine anybody on the fence thought he was likable or prepared at all . Do you support white supremacy groups? The question is so dumb it doesn’t deserve an answer but dam it Trump you idiot, be unequivocal about it. Do I think proud boys are racist? I doubt it as the only one I’ve actually met in person was black but that is not the point. You just give the democrats talking points when you are clear. Trump should do some debate prep next time.

  60. It appeared that Trump did not prepare (just another rally) for the debate and Biden over prepared. So, Trump missed an opportunity to speak to his accomplishments and vision and put Biden in a position to respond “off script”. I disagree on Chris Wallace’s impartiality. I thought the selected topics were controversial (and biased) and intended to put Trump at a disadvantage. There was no mention of the success Trump has made in the Middle East. This should have been a debate topic but Biden’s record is weak and a vulnerability. Just another example of the press controlling the narrative.

    Let’s be honest, politicians are not that smart and are generally selected by a political casting director. Imagine a process where you had to be qualified to hold office.

  61. It appeared that Trump did not prepare (just another rally) for the debate and Biden over prepared. So, Trump missed an opportunity to speak to his accomplishments and vision and put Biden in a position to respond “off script”. I disagree on Chris Wallace’s impartiality. I thought the selected topics were controversial (and biased) and intended to put Trump at a disadvantage. There was no mention of the success Trump has made in the Middle East. This should have been a debate topic but Biden’s record is weak and a vulnerability. Just another example of the press controlling the narrative.

    Let’s be honest, politicians are not that smart and are generally selected by a political casting director. Imagine a process where you had to be qualified to hold office.

  62. Biden won the debate
    By Ted Belman

    I watched the whole thing live and felt Biden won for the following reasons,

    – Biden spoke directly to the cameras and came across as sincere and believable
    – Biden had the benefit of being able to attack Trumps actions or lack thereof for the last 3.5 years. That put Trump on the defensive.
    – Trump spent too much time defending himself rather than making the case for himself.
    – Instead should have said each time “There he goes again with his fake news” before extolling all the good he has done.
    – Trump’s folksy manner at rallies doesn’t work in a debate.
    – Trump should have had set speeches ready for expected questions. He relied on extemporaneous comments. He was not effective.
    – Trump’s tactic of hounding Biden didn’t serve him well.
    – It was very difficult to defend his pandemic performance. There were too many issues to address.
    – Trump should have had a prepared speech for the pandemic in which he listed all the stuff he did do
    – Trump should not have tried to defend himself.
    – Trump should have had a set speech to use for the charge that he was a racist. He could have listed all his great accomplishments.
    – Trump spent too much time bringing up Biden’s lack of accomplishments over the years. He should have spent his time listing his own accomplishments.

    I blame his handlers for their choice of tactics.

    September 30, 2020 |

  63. Unfortunately, the rudest President in American history also had no substance with which to debate.
    Black said: “He rebutted the argument that he was a racist” Trump did not, but in fact demonstrated it, by refusing to register any sympathy for racism. “but failed to mention his Opportunity Zones program, his aid to historically African American universities, and the fact that he had produced full employment and more swiftly rising incomes for the lowest 20 percent of income earners than for the top 10 percent.”
    The last of these were legacy items from the Obama-Biden years. The other two are trivial on the scale of things. “He did not mention the southern border wall or the 90 percent reduction of illegal immigration. ”
    If you are inhumane and un-American, it is a rather easy job to make America unattractive. 4% of the American population was unauthorized immigration: that has declined to 3.2% in 2017, before Trump’s policies had an effect. 1/5th of America’s population are immigrants: so about 15-20% unauthorized. Trumps shutdown of immigration is nothing to be proud of, but rather a search for a scapegoat for structural changes, not well understood or addressed it is true, but not much to do with immigration, which built America.
    “Neither did he mention Biden’s opposition to the killing of Osama bin Laden, and while he chastised him for his environmental nonsense, he did not make the point that enactment of the Democratic green new deal program would eliminate at least 7 million jobs in the oil and related industries.”
    These last two are just red herrings. Opposition to a tricky raid, which could have gone wrong, is not a problem for Biden. Right now renewable energy is becoming rather more attractive from an investment point of view than oil and gas, and Biden/Harris will build on that, and get in front of the parade to ensure American jobs, without denying the need for oil and gas as well.
    So overall, Trump left nothing on the table, and his policies are rather like his businesses: either bankrupt or about to be. His flailing about in a manner that would have got him ejected from any Gentleman or Ladylike exchange or company will rightly be seen by the electorate as the dying flailing of a failing President and Presidency.

  64. “The moderator, Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace, did an excellent professional job largely without bias,…”

    And that was as far as I needed to read. Chris was utterly in the tank for Biden. No article that suggests otherwise has any credibility at all.

  65. I have to disagree with the esteemed Mr. Black. Trump cleaned Biden’s clock.

    First of all, Never Trumper Wallace gave ridiculous questions. Global warming? Critical race theory as “sensitivity training”? Plus Wallace changed the subject when Biden faltered.

    Trump went in there knowing he was being set up by the moderator and didn’t get Candy Crowley’d.

    Biden was a non-factor–nothing he said made any sense or had any impact whatsoever. By virtue of not soiling himself he can declare himself the winner?

  66. Trump had no answers to anything, per usual. He sounded like a petulant five year old with autism. Only someone with massive bias could say Trump won anything last night. Biden didn’t win much either; mostly he just got dragged into the muck where Trump thrives. Overall the whole debate was pathetic.

  67. If Conrad Black really thinks that Chris Wallace did an excellent job “largely without bias” he either had a few co ktsils too many last night of he is traveling down the Alzheimer’s Trail beside Joe Biden.

  68. I enjoy reading how “the other side” views a debate. I am a left leaning voter, and I can’t even begin to understand how it can be said Trump won. This debate was horrible, there was no answers to questions of real merit and the “too hot” characterization of Trump is soft. He came in to try and shake and bake Biden, but all he did was look like a child. When a conservative Chris Wallace has to stop you many time and remind you of the rules of decorum, that shows how Mr. Trump did not win.

    Trump is not leading in any polls (even if you disagree with polls) he was the underdog entering this debate, I simply ask one question who will come out better after this debate, Trump or Biden, I have watch over 30 years of debates and I can tell you Trump did not win. Period.

    • Preisident Trump’s supporters had envisioned him taking out Biden; and he did not.

      The mere fact that Biden remains to debate another day means he wins this first debate, which isn’t all that uncommon for opponents of incumbents who win re-election.

      Question is: what will President Trump have learned from this first debate to take into the second and third?

  69. Biden won the debate, but lost the election. Young liberals won’t bother now that he’s dismissed Bernie again and deaded the Green New Deal and neither candidate was convincing to people who aren’t going to participate in the process anyway.

    That being said, the campaign needs to impart into Trump’s head that the ONLY thing he needs to say is, “Joe – why didn’t you get _________ done in the forty-seven years you’ve been here?” That’s it. That’s all. Every time Joe says anything, respond with that. Nothing else is necessary.

    Trump’s best line was, “I’ve done more in forty-seven months than you’ve done in forty-seven years.” More of that and less back-and-forth.

    • Most of the radical left aren’t voting for Biden, they are voting against Trump. They don’t give two hoots about Biden’s policies because they know if he wins it will be Harris who is inaugurated.

  70. I think President Trump could have done a lot better.
    It is true that this model of debate favors those who have nothing to say.
    Two minutes for each intervention is a long time for those who want to make general and unsubstantiated accusations.
    Two minutes is little time for anyone who wants to say everything this administration has achieved in just 3.5 years.
    So I think Trump has fallen into the trap of spending those precious two minutes responding to accusations instead of systematically reporting on everything he has done that others have never been able to do before.
    I am Portuguese, I live in Portugal and the report that our fake news give about the debate is that Trump did not distance himself of “white supremacy”.
    Also on this issue, as well as on issues of racism, someone in the Trump campaign has to tell him that it would suffice for him to assert that, unlike the racial divisions promoted by Democrats, he is the president of all Americans regardless of their races, religions or sex, the existing laws do not discriminate against anyone or any race and therefore must be enforced by all americans.
    So why not just answer that all Americans are equal before the law and should therefore be treated equally according to the law. Therefore, he should have said unequivocally that he is totally against any movement that claims that any race should have special treatment.All americans are equal !!!

    As I read in a previous comment, Trump has to prepare himself better for the upcoming debates and systematize his message more effectively.

    Note: Sorry for my poor English.

  71. Trump’s incessant cannonade — while it clearly hit many of the critical targets (i.e. law and order, freedom vs. lockdown, clean air/water vs. Green New Deal, ANTI-anti-American propaganda, booming economy (pre-virus) vs. socialism, etc.) — also inevitably obscured those same targets in the smoke, din & subsequent confusion. When every exchange is filled-to-overflowing with policy points, personal attacks, complaints, objections, and snarling denials it becomes extraordinarily difficult to separate wheat from chaff, value from distraction. That lack is particularly impactful when there is much which can & should be valued in Trump’s 4 yr. performance that the audience simply couldn’t find amidst the constant sturm und drang.

    Trump’s over-eagerness to make his points while simultaneously denigrating Joe-Who-Was-Not-So-Sleepy, ended-up (to Mr. Black’s point) helping Biden more than hurting him. Joe is at his worst when given enough time to reach the end of his ‘pre-recorded’ sound bytes. When faced with dead air he tends to stumble; his confusion becomes scarily evident. But when Trump fills ALL the dead air with further attack, Biden never had to deal with such ‘think & speak’ / ‘walk & chew gum’ challenges.

    Beyond that, Trump himself seemed to approach the debate as a challenger rather than the incumbent…and that scrambling, scrappy, angry tone did not serve him well when faced with a more sober and measured Biden.

    Mr. Black suggests that “Chris Wallace, did an excellent professional job (largely without bias)”. I disagree. While Wallace did at least semi-manage to keep the ‘debate’ moving from topic to topic, his bias was significant. Asking direct and pointed questions of Trump…. “Did you really just pay $750 in taxes”….. “Why did you stop Racial Sensitivity Training that addresses White Privilege? …. “Will you condemn White Supremacist and Militia Groups?” …. “What do you believe about the science of Climate Change?….Why did you withdraw from the Paris Accords?”, etc…… Wallace continued to lob softballs at Biden. Rather than asking the former VP, the much more revealing “What would you have done, as President, in Portland, in Seattle, in Kenosha?”, Biden is asked, “Did you ever give them a call asking them to get things under control.” (Allowing Biden to respond with the very reasonable, “I wasn’t President”.) Wallace did not mirror the hard-edged Trump interrogation. We did not hear “Do you reject the Green New Deal? Will you condemn the violence demonstrated by AntiFa and BLM? Do you endorse Race Reparations?”. None of that. Rather than asking Biden how he justifies his policy perspectives, he asks him how he would respond to Trump’s criticisms of those policies (as in “The President says your Environmental proposals would tank the economy….what do you say?”)

    Is it any surprise that such a lead — presented over and over again — simply set the stage for Biden’s canned answer: “The President’s absolutely wrong….The President doesn’t know what he’s talking about….The President’s a liar!”

    All round — it was a disappointing ‘debate’ (not that there ever really is a debate). Trump’s strategy was flawed. Biden came off as at least semi-competent (far more competent than he is in any of the televised events we’ve seen in the last few months). And the questioning was seriously slanted; Wallace pushed Trump in all the predictable Progressive ways …. and gave Biden a soft place to sit.

    We can only hope the next one is significantly better

    • Wallace is surely one of the Democratic proteges of the new, all swinging left media. Even Fox has now injected too much bias into their reporting. Why can’t we find a moderator who simply asks a question, but does not interject his/her own opinion of the matter.! Furthermore, why is being civil, so difficult?

      • Exactly right.

        (Too bad this new comment format has eliminated the ability to just ‘endorse’ with a ‘thumbs-up’. We are left with either replying with a verbal endorsement….or … nothing. Which means, of course, we can’t tell whether anyone is reading and agreeing (or rejecting) or not — unless they make an effort to actually say something. Not a good change!)

    • BDavis, did you watch Biden’s debate against Bernie. When given the chance to speak, he actually did quite well.

      Here is what Trump is afraid of on Covid (and kept interrupting Joe). Trump knew in late February that covid was very dangerous. He told Bob Woodward that, but he and his Fox chums told people for 3 weeks it was not dangerous-no worse than the flu. In short, he lied.

      In those 3 weeks, 40 million Americans flew throughout the U.S., 300 million Americans went to bars, restaurants, schools, sporting events, nursing homes, offices, buses, trains, crowded streets and friends’ homes.

      In those 3 weeks, community spread of covid exploded. Trump owns that spread 100%.

      Trump killed tens of thousands of his Americans with his dishonesty and lack of judgment. He tanked our economy thanks to his stupidity. That’s what he didn’t want Biden to say.

      But don’t worry-next debate, the town hall crowd will shut Trump down and it won’t be pretty. I watched his town hall performance a couple of weeks ago. It was pathetic.

      • I think Biden’s deterioration has been, sadly, quite rapid. He’s not the same now as he was even in the Bernie debates.

        As for the spread of WuhanV…. Nah, Trump doesn’t own that.
        Or, if he does, he’s a distant owner….well down the line from China (who lied about the virulence and rapidity of infectious spread)….from the WHO, who endorsed the Chinese lies and doubled-down on same….from the CDC, whose whole reason for being is to stop/prevent exactly what has been afflicting us for the last 8 months and counting — and which failed abysmally….from his various medical advisers (esp. Fauci) who assured him it was not serious…..from a Congress which opposed every initial action taken to close borders and segregate/ban travel from ‘bad’ countries…..and from a series of local governments (governors and mayors) who opposed lockdown measures and who took active steps to accelerate the infectious spread.

        As President, of course, the buck stops there. But the President did not kill tens of thousands…..the virus did. And the peak death counts are directly related to State and Local practices of returning the infected seniors back into senior communities.

        As for tanking the economy. THAT is the lockdown….and most of that particular burden falls, again, on state and local officials who act independent of federal control. The government, through the CDC, primarily offers guidelines; it’s up to our governors, our mayors, our county board of commissioners (whatever particular group of petty tyrants is feeling empowered) to open or not open, to mask or not mask.

        But the point you raise is a good one.
        Trump wants to reopen….and accept the minimal risks associated with the virus. Biden, and the ‘Progressive’ Left would continue and — most probably — intensify the lockdown. “Even one death is one death too many!” (as asinine a statement as ever made) is fundamental to the Progressive platform.

    • “Chris Wallace, did an excellent professional job largely without bias”
      BDavi52, I agree, the bias was significant — and disappointing, even for Chris Wallace. I don’t know how the ever-astute Conrad Black didn’t spend half the article examining that bias, instead of turning reality on its head at the start of the piece.

      As Joe would say, “C’mon man!”

      • Exactly!
        How anyone could see Wallace’s performance as “largely without bias” is astounding. As Trump said, “I guess I have to debate you, too (not surprising)” — looking at Wallace.

  72. If Conrad Black thinks the guy “barely” won, it’s pretty much settled that he lost by a country mile.

  73. The market doesn’t agree with your conclusion as the average betting odds had Trump at a 45% probability of winning before the debate and this morning it dropped to 41%.

  74. That is a bizarre interpretation of last night’s debate. I was a fringe Trump voter because I want to punish the Democrats for covid hysteria (amongst other things) but he lost me with that performance. I refuse to reward that type of behavior with my vote. Looks like another 3rd party year.

    O well, Michigan votes aren’t important to Trump, are they?

  75. The problem here is We have painted ourselves into two opposing corners and this is what we get. This is the perfect illustration of American society today. These two men should not be in the positions they have been put in. This SHOULD be a serious discussion on how do we address the various issues that face our country. And it should be debated by two people who conduct themselves with dignity, humility, and respect for the American people…as countrymen and our intelligence.

    • Amen….perfectly said….the next debate….with VP…should be…smart…and the next Presidential debate…….one…will be much more respectful…on both sides…no choice

  76. This debate was not good, and Chris Wallace was extremely partial. What was most disturbing was when Wallace asked Trump about “critical race theory” (a/k/a “cynical race theory”) and Wallace referred to it as “racial sensitivity training”, then asked Trump why he opposed it. First of all, despite the name “racial sensitivity training”, this is just word jiujitsu for anti-white racism; so this is anything except “sensitivity training”. Unfortunately, Trump was unprepared to call it what it is, an attempt to demonize an entire group of people for no other reason than their skin colour. That could have been his homerun on this topic, but he bunted for a single.

  77. The debate format was very poor. There were too many subjects on the agenda to do any one of them in substantive measure. Two minutes ( ! ) does not lend to an adequate presentation of relevant information. Side by side pictures of the candidates abets interruptions, both verbal and nonverbal, and is a decided distraction when one candidate is making his presentation. I concur with indicordis description of Mr. Biden’s smirks. And Trump did himself no favors with his demeanor at times, either.

  78. This article confirms Plato’s proverb that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. It’s almost desperate in its blindness. What this debate proved is that Trump has neither the temperament or the seriousness (nor command of the issues or facts) to hold the office. He needs to be sent back to reality television so more serious people can get back to running the greatest nation in the world.

  79. Nostalgia is a wonderful thing. But with the two major parties diametrically opposed ideologically as they are now, the debate was awesome. Give me more of this, I say. Who needs a moderator? This election is essentially “life of death” for both sides so why not have a debate format that reflects the Thunderdome times in which we live? More, more, more!

  80. I can’t believe any undecided voter watched last night’s debate and decided to vote for Trump. He was the clearly looser by far! The rest of the world is saying is that the best America has to offer?

    God save us!

  81. As a Canadian, Conrad Black’s toadying to Trump is embarrassing. Mind you, his loyalty to his own country is a deep as some made up title in a foreign country (Lord Backstab of Double Cross or whatever he calls it). Of course he will suck up to Trump. That is why he got is pardon related to his corporate fraud. Here is man who received every advantage in life (not unlike Trump), went to the best schools on the the daddy payment plan and has ended up a convicted felon and professional sychophant. No wonder he identifies with the worst of America.

  82. You are way off base. Trump’s psycopathy was on full display as was Biden’s competence. Biden won. Trump acted the fool for us all to see.

    • Biden is a smooth liar, has been his entire career. Last night was no different, and he looked ghastly pale and sickly. Trump could have definitely done a better job in fending off the moderator’s hostility and gotcha questions, and was too much on the attack. Chrissy Wallace just disgraced himself to the point even some of his Fox colleagues were shocked. All three participants performed poorly.

  83. What a useless article. Stupid author makes a dumb determination, not prediction, about this moderator being more fair than those who will conduct the next two debates. You can’t make determination about something that hasn’t happened. This article is not even worth toilet paper.

  84. “ For those who want a strong president, Trump won;“
    Bullying is not strength, it’s insecurity. Interrupting is not winning. It’s a sign of impatience and immaturity.

  85. I stopped reading at “Trump is more forceful and articulate”. More forceful yes, but Trump’s limited vocabulary has never once approached articulate.

  86. Did you watch the debate.

    Trump came in thinking he could trap Biden into an unforced error.

    Unfortunately, the reverse was true.

    Trump was asked to denounce white nationalist racists. He stood there with a stunned look on his face, said which one, and Biden, goading him, said why not the Proud Boys.

    Trump was dumb enough to take the bait. He then, predictably, proceeded to encourage the Proud Boys to be prepared to engage in election related violence.

    That frankly is what has survived this entire debate.

    By the way, polling shows the vast majority of swing voters know Biden won the debate.

  87. Only In a very bizarro world can anyone be considered a “winner” of last night’s “debate.” There were simply losers to various degrees. And by pretty much any measure, Trump came off as the biggest loser on stage. You have to be spinning VERY hard to suggest otherwise. Every focus group of undecided voters (are there any in reality?) , snap poll, etc. confirms that Trump did terribly, and far worse than Biden… But again, assessing who “won” and who “lost” is utterly irrelevant to the experience of the first debate. What has been laid bare is just how empty American governance has become. It has been a long time since it had any substance, but now even the entertainment value, the theater, and spectacle of politics is in shambles. It was unwatchable.

  88. As a former journalist, I have to take exception to the statement “Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace, did an excellent professional job largely without bias.” Wallace covered for Biden… interrupted Trump repeatedly… pointedly criticized Trump (with good reason) and was clearly trying to help Biden. Wallace said he would be a success if he was invisible. He was far from invisible – prompting Trump to ask whether he was “debating Wallace” – and became part of the story. There was nothing fair about Wallace last night.

  89. WT actual F are you talking about?

    Trump was unprepared. He could speak a cohesive sentence. He was loud, obnoxious, irrational and unbalanced. He was factually wrong on most points and completely out of touch with the American people on virtually everything he defended.

    But the one thing Black fears to address: Trump’s call to undermine our democratic elections. From telling people to storm polling sites to overwhelm election officials to advising the Proud Boys to get ready for an armed insurrection if he should be declared the loser were sirens to people who care about our Constitution when the person in the Oval Office calls for violence.

    This article is *exactly* what happens when 15% of Americans are in a Bubble where Trump can do no wrong.

  90. If Conrad Black feels the Covidiot leader won barely—————he lost.

  91. Mr. Black you are nuts!!!! In no way did that Clown win the debate. He is nothing other than a fool. His days are numbered!!!!

  92. Ridiculous but unsurprising take from someone who is all-in for Donald Trump no matter how low he goes. And last night, we found out that he’s willing to go REALLY low – “stand by!”

  93. Conrad Black is confusing belligerent and reckless with strong. A raging bull might have the power to break a lot of things and scare people, but it really can’t lead anything. Trump’s off-the-cuff recklessness is what makes him a bad president. Macho swagger is not what will make America great again. Smart, calculated strategies implemented by a team of experts (not unqualified lackeys) is the recipe for American success. 1000 years ago, the king was probably also the best sword fighter, but we live in a much more complex world now. Trump has tried to dumb down the presidency into a cult of personality which our adversaries simply run circles around. If winning the debate means getting more people to vote for him, Trump absolutely lost the debate.

  94. Laughs, your a dreamer. It’s time to come down on Earth. The main fact is that there was no President but only a roaring alpha male trying to bite and crush an elder. What a pity! But the elder kept calm and was still standing up by the night.

  95. You’re kidding, right? About that “excellent job Wallace did?”
    Wallace was holding the door open for Biden!
    A friend was tallying the number of times Wallace interrupted the Pres. Friend stopped counting at 74.
    Biden looked directly into the camera and never stopped talking, so that if Trump wanted to get a word of truth or correction, it appeared that Trump was the one doing the interrupting of en entitled Biden.
    There are some very funny pics going around the internet today. One is of Wallace and Biden in camouflage clothes with W allace carrying a wounded Biden on his back. My favorite is of Biden sniffing the hair of a blonde-wigged goofy-looking Wallace loving it. We know what we’re looking at.

  96. Those who want to continue democracy will give Biden the win. Those who want to end democracy and install Trump a dictator will give Trump the win.

  97. To all the above comments: Blah, Blah,Blah. To Conrad, are you crazy? Did you have some kind of 3-D glasses on. You didn’t watch the same moderator I did. “The moderator, Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace, did an excellent professional job largely without bias, and undoubtedly more fairly than those who will conduct the next two debates,” I am so sorry for you Conrad. but Wallace’s “excellent professional job largely without bias”. was towards Biden. He never made Biden answer a question. and your critique of Trump not saying this or that. How could he. Trump was interrupted 53 times by Wallace, and every time Trump was over the target, Wallace said they were moving to a new topic. Conrad you totally missed it. Wallace acted like a CNN buffoon. The next 2 debates with Democrat moderators can only be an improvement over the Leftist Biden campaign adviser Wallace turned out to be. Yeah this comment probably will never make it in the section, but at least I got this malignment off my back.

  98. This is absurd. Wallace bailed Biden out repeatedly when Trump was hammering him. He was as biased as you will ever see a moderator be. A good moderator would have stepped back and let them go at each other because it clarifies the differences in their positions. Instead, Wallace repeatedly inserted himself into the debate, always to prevent Biden from having to answer tough questions about packing the Court, who his justices might be, or his cokehead crook of a son.

    Trump may well have pressed the debate with Biden to keep him from being able to focus his thought or hear the wire his handlers were feeding him lines through.

  99. You are 100% clueless in our review of this debate! Trump was disturbing, arrogate, jerk on that stage, who refused to play by the rules, and LOST this debate by far!! Not even close! You SO SO BIASED it’s not even funny!

  100. Conrad writes:
    1)”Wallace, did an excellent professional job largely without bias”
    –Nonsense, and Conrad knows it. But it informs us that Conrad and Chris apparently attend the same dinner parties. Conrad, check your mail. I think you will be getting a very nice thank you card from your favorite “moderator”. Or, should I say, “immoderator”?

    2)”and undoubtedly more fairly than those who will conduct the next two debates”
    –So not only is Chris given an A+ for his dishonorable conduct, but that’s not quite enough. Conrad finds a way to compliment him for *imaginary* performances. Okay, now I’m thinking they’re golf buddies.

    3)” but he didn’t come down hard enough on the interruptions.”
    –You mean on his own endless interruptions? Are you kidding me, Conrad? Chris did all he could against Trump with the exception of rushing the stage, knocking over Trump’s podium, and presenting Joe with a dozen beautiful roses, and a very hearty handshake.

    By the way, not a hater. I’m actually a big Conrad Black fan, but… c’mon man!

  101. Trump should have been better prepared to counter the standard Demo lies, (racist , white supremacist) and he did interrupt more than he should have. As Mr. Black points out Trump actually helped Biden get out of trouble more than once. However, Trump succeeded in exposing Biden’s weakness on law and order and Dem’s hostility to police, points that will help him with the Latino vote especially. And Trump was able to force Biden to disavow much of the left’s program.

  102. “Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace, did an excellent professional job largely without bias, ” End of reading your tripe!

  103. Trump had no choice, but to take control. I strongly disagree with Mr Black on Wallace bias (rarely disagree with him). The questions came with indicting intro, and were slanted even then. He did not in anyway castigate BIden, even with his personal invective.

    Nobody will replay the entire debate for review. It will have some lasting impact by sound bite, which will all favor Trump.

  104. Your bias is clearly evident. You have should have no public platform and really have no business commenting on American political matters. Anyone with half a brain who watched Trump’s embarrassing performance last night could see he is a clueless bully and a petulant child. He has no reason to be anywhere near he highest office in our land. Biden remained composed for the most part, regardless of the orange clown’s incessant badgering. Trump was clearly on the defense, has no plans on anything, and has the blood of 200,000 American Covid victims on his hands. They should slap the cuffs on him the moment he tries to skulk out the back door of the White House. Oh, and I will not make the mistake of clicking on anything else on your site. You are a biased troll and unworthy of any further web traffic.

  105. This writer is obviously under the influence of some foreign substance. He has shown that isn’t credible with this garbage. Read his stuff at your own risks!

  106. Step back, now look at the political landscape, littered with the vicious, no-holds barred skirmishes and unnecessary battles that Trump rode to yesterday’s debate. It would’ve been a truly soulless, and suspicious, for Trump to have stood 12 feet from one of the known fabricators of all the fake stories and not “let off the steam.”
    Last night was round one. So providing Biden’s corner doesn’t toss the towel, expect a clinical, steeled Trump for the next two debates, as he works to retire Joe Biden from public life.
    The primary issue that Trump has to resolve himself soonest, is his Proud Boys comment. Supposedly, that “standby” comment can be resolved with unambiguous clarity.

  107. Conrad, you WERE watching the debate in Ohio, right? Because the debate you are describing is nothing like the one I watched. You must have heard by now – the President of the United States, who obviously had little of worth to talk about, spent 98 minutes being rude, disruptive, and spreading every falsehood that came to his mind – apparently, in the vain hope that Joe Biden would roll up in a ball and cry. Didn’t work …..

  108. I have watched or heard every presidential debate since 1960. The Trump/Biden debate was the most outlandish and disappointing. Neither Trump nor Biden “won”. The American people lost . Imo, Trump’s intention was to disrupt the debate so that he would not have to answer questions or defend his record. He achieved that goal.

    His rude, blustering bully style was embarrassing and off putting. Clearly no voters changed sides as a result of the Debate.

  109. trump??? Please you’re dreaming. I don’t care for Biden, but trump is a preschooler. He was completely awful!

  110. President Trump separated Joe Biden from the base of the Democrat party – if that’s not a resounding success, I don’t know what is.

  111. Lol wth? Trump literally repeated his twenty sound bites throughout the entire debate. You know when the moderator has to correct you….. And the moderator has to tell trump to stop arguing with him…then for Trump to stop interrupting it’s not going well. I think Trump is too used to playing to his base in Fox news bubble. He forgot he’s on the real stage and that facts matter now.

    Trump was slinging lies as usual and personally attacking Joe Biden… Joe Biden was literally pointing out objective facts 90% of the debate while trump was admitting his appointment CDC, his scientists, his appointed FBI director were all wrong because they didn’t paint Trump in a good light.

  112. Trump wins round 1?

    LOL maybe if you’re a third grader. But then that’s about the level of intelligence and maturity of your typical MAGA head,

  113. “The moderator, Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace, did an excellent professional job largely without bias…….”

    Sorry, you lost all credibility in your first paragraph.

  114. Trump was Vomit; Biden was the Remedy!

    One of your sites people was on Britain’s C4 a few minutes ago & showed himself up as a pure divider. Shame on him! Making excuses for Trump & saying Trump was aiming his diabolical “Stand down, Stand By” for to solidify his Base. You’re all looking so sad & doom laden from my side of the pond. No wonder America is now the world’s “Banana Republic”.

    As for the British “Daily Telegraph” it was always the BIGGEST rag in Britain, not even fit to wrap your chips in. Today they showed their extreme “Far Right” colours again. If they could…they’d get into bed with Trump. America’s a bigger mess today than ever before & the world is laughing at it.

  115. Trump had to debate Wallace and Biden. Wallace was a disgrace. He never chastised Biden for interrupting Trump. He not only skewed the questions to be attacks on Trump, but badgered, interrupted and “fact checked” Trump on a few occasions. He demanded specific answers as to how much Trump paid in taxes in 2016 and 2017 (a question based on criminal leaking of private IRS records and coordination with the NY Times and the Biden campaign), but asked nothing about the Senate report detailing millions taken by Biden’s family from Russia, China and Ukraine. He kept attacking Trump on “racial sensitivity training,” while Trump was trying to answer why the government stopped “Critical Race Theory” (the teaching in government agencies that America is an inherently, racist and evil country.) It was a horror show–and Trump can be excused for not sitting back and letting it happen (as Romney did with Candy Crowley).

    • You are lying. From the git-go Trump interrupted Biden and Wallace and violated all the debate rules. He demonstrated what a wannabe autocrat he is but without any intelligence.

  116. Last night was like a thug´s brawl at the drunkers tavern by the port in the 30´s.
    Those aren´t forms of debate in a democratic and modern country, those forms should be left for satraps like Maduro. God what´s going on?

    • Trump was not prepared to go toe to toe with Biden so he tried to sabotage the debate. He looked like a complete far right fool.

  117. I tried commenting and my comment is being held for moderation. I didn’t use bad language, or suggest violence. I criticized AG. This will also be censored, I’m sure. AG is managing to desteoy itself and without the aid of all the trolls it is attracting. Not only has the publiction turned to cowardice and censorship.

  118. Well said. You sir can handle the details. Unfortunately, many judge mostly on emotion. But you left something out that’s important–many parts of this performance were set up. The Time releases their tax claim days before and it’s a question. The Senate does it’s Hunter Biden thing a few days before and it’s a talking point. I’ve never seen anything so contrived in terms of psychological warfare, on both sides. It’s ugly. And this ugliness goes way above the head of your average citizen. We the people do not know our mental vulnerabilities. So they take advantage of us. But here’s the real question: is any of this evil? As a serious follower of yours, I’d love to hear your opinion on this matter. Perhaps after the election.

  119. I have been a Trump supporter. But, his performance last night was unpresidential and shameful.

    • Welcome to the real world. He’ll be no more presidential in the next debates. He isn’t presidential and therefore should not be president.

  120. Mr. Black, since you seem to know Trump so well, I need you to explain to us the truth about Trump’s federal tax returns. Did he as the New York Times reports pay $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017? Or did he as he claimed at the debate pay “millions of dollars” in those years? What’s the truth? Where is the proof?

    • Yup, that’s why gambling is so risky and the ‘House’ continues to build more casinos. I don’t know if you know this or not. RCP betting odds for the 2016 election was Clinton 88% – Trump 13%. Somebody took a bath in a big way. Hope you don’t have any money based on RCP betting odds.

    • I think there is some money to be made here. RCP betting odds in 2016 had Clinton at 88% and Trump at 13%. With todays odds how much would I win if I put $1000 on Donald?

      • True, but you,re missing the point. In a debate, the winner is called by the audience, but it can be hard to know who the audience thinks is the winner. We won’t know how the polls will shake out until a week or so, but the one thing we can see right away is the betting odds. More people thought that Biden won by that metric. It’s one of the best prognostication tools we have, although, as you point out, it’s not perfect. Of course if it was, it wouldn’t be gambling and this whole election thing wouldn’t be near as fun.

  121. I have no particular nostalgia for JFK’s manner or way with words. His foreign policy assertions in the 1960 debates were mostly lies to position himself to the hawkish side of Nixon.

    If it takes a polished speaker to convince today’s American voters that communism is bad for our health, or that actions in office should matter to us, we must know very little.

  122. Lord Black still has a wonderful command of the English language but his eyesight must be failing him if he believes that Wallace turned in a polished professional performance as an “unbiased” moderator. He was grossly incompetent and patently biased in multiple ways: selection of questions; timing of his interfering remarks; sharing laughter with Biden at Trump’s expense; structuring the sequence of questions to favour Biden; not providing rebuttal opportunities; lecturing the president but not his opponent. I could go on, but a more detailed analysis would further support my suspicions of a rigged debate that did not participant any honour. It was a waste of time and Trump still won despite the odds stacked against him. Forcefulness and conviction will defeat timidness and lack of principles every time. Conrad Black offers some wise contrarian opinions. In this case he is unfortunately way off base. But I would agree that the President can improve and raise his game, whereas Biden has shot his bolt and has little to get him out and above the hole he has dug with his empty rhetoric.

  123. Well thanks, Conrad, I’ve been almost alone in saying Wallace did a pretty good job overall, dealing with the chaos, and being marginally fair and balanced, as they say. I didn’t like his last question, it was “Have you stopped beating your white supremacist wife?”. That’s not even a “debate” question.
    Trump’s performance, strategy, tactics? I dunno, under the circumstance, in this debate format, well, it is what it is, right?
    The debate would have been far better without Joe. With Joe it was an insult to the format, to the very idea of reasonable debate, to have Joe on the stage, spouting his nonsense.
    Don’t be afraid to say so.

  124. FROM WIKIPEDIA: “A cult of personality, or cult of the leader, arises when a country’s regime – or, more rarely, an individual – uses the techniques of mass media, propaganda, the big lie, spectacle, the arts, patriotism, and government-organized demonstrations and rallies to create an idealized, heroic, and worshipful image of a leader, often through unquestioning flattery and praise.”

    Sound familiar?

  125. I headr Biden for the first time last night. He was aloof (or disconnectd), and downright mean. He said nothing that was remotely relevant.

  126. For a second debate, If i was advising President Trump, would be to leave Sleepy Joe on the side of the road, and let him babble his two minutes.
    Opening statement, everything that has been said about the achievements of the first administration donot need to be revisited. Everything former VP Biden has to say about the next four years is based on 47 years in DC with nothing to show for it. His high point in those 47 years are represented by his embarassing treatment of nominee and now Supreme Coourt Justice Clarence Thomas. If he had done that to a liberal nominee to the Supreme Court, he would have been retired more than 20 years ago as a disgraced politician.
    NO, what we are going to debate is the future four years of a Trump Administratrion. Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and a whole lot of others are going to be doing perp walks into federal courthouse in DC to face charges, beginning with violating their oath of office. Especially all those in the FBI and other agencies that participated in the election frauds of 2016. There will NOT be a double standard for corrupt politicians. I will celebrate the memory of Beau Biden with you, Candidate Biden, but you and Hunter Biden will be facing Federal Magistrates on corruption charges, and what other federal criminal charges can be brought. The Clinton Campaign of 2016 will be on Federal Court calendars for many years to come, and all those who participated in those election campaign frauds againts the Trump campaign will be prosecuted. THe corruption Special Prosecutor will go back and find the Mickey Mouse, Goofy, and Muammar Ghaddafi contributors to the Obama campaign as well. The United States today is NOT the Chicago of 1960. Richard Daley is dead and his dead voters are gonna stay buried in 2020. If putting an end to the ANTIFA and BLM professional rioters and anarchists requires giving George Soros a perp walk into the DC jail, that is what is gonna happen. You cant buy elections here in the united States, nor can you subject American citizens to the domestic terrorism of George Soros. We are gonna put a stop to double standards used by the elite social progressives in the House and Senate.

  127. I loved this debate because it was a brawl. Since I already know each candidates positions quite well, what I was looking for were the raw emotions and that is what we got. I like a strong president who can fight and not a weak president who is not really in charge.

    I was surprised by Chris Wallace’s many very poorly framed questions, especially about the Charlottesville hoax. Wallace should have provided Trump’s actual quote and not the truncated quote…of course, the question is absurd in the face of the full Charlottesville quote. Wallace should have reminded Trump that Wallace asked the same question in 2016 and Trump should have remembered and replied that his position had not changed. And then Wallace should have asked Biden about Antifa…

    Also surprised that Biden called Trump so many terrible names and Wallace never once said, “we expect civility here, Vice President Biden. Please refrain from personal name calling.” Politics is the art of not telling the truth so that people then just pick and choose what they want to believe and so truth is really not a part of political discourse. Politics are visceral and emotional and the disagreement is about the Trump Truth of individual freedom versus the Biden Falsehood of state coerced compassion…