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Tue Sep 29, 2020, 12:48 PM

I'm Down


A young person asked me if I planned to watch tonight's debate? Copping the lingo of the younger generation, I responded, "I'm down with that." He ignored my awkward attempt to sound hip, and asked, "What if something goes wrong?" This immediatelt resulted in my return to communicating in my abnormal manner.

Does Joe Biden rank high among the best in the art of debate in this era? No, of course not. Yet the exact reasons for this will definitely give Joe the upper hand in debating Trump. Let's consider his history of political debates in presidential campaigns.

The majority of these have been in democratic primaries. My young friend pointed out that when an opponent has attacked him in these, he hasn't reacted as strongly as previous winners of the party's nomination have. Exactly, I said, and that is because Joe actually liked every one of the other Democrats that he was debating. He does not like Donald Trump.

In 2008's vice presidential debate against Sarah Palin, although Joe recognized that she was grossly unqualified for office, Biden handled her with kid gloves. Even when she called him "O'Biden," he didn't miss a beat. While he did not respect her as a candidate, he was not going to disrespect her as a human being. He might not have liked her, but he knew it was better to let her expose herself as unqualified, than for him to hammer that home. He wasn't going to take the George H. W. Bush route from the 1984 vice presidential debate against the first female vp candidate, with the "we tried to kick a little ass last night" bit.


In the 2012 debate, although Joe disagreed with Paul Ryan on most issues, he was respectful throughout the debate. The fact is that despite their disagreements, Joe found something to like in Ryan. Yet he left no doubt who was far more qualifid to serve as vice president.

With Trump, we will see Joe Biden debating an individual that he neither likes or respects. Just the opposite -- he fully recognizes the dangers that Trump poses to the nation and the global community. Joe knows exactly what is at stake. And this was captured perfectly in Frontline's "The Choice 2020: Trump vs Biden." If you haven't watched it, I recommend doing so before tonight's debate:

The film highlights several importqant points. Among them are that Joe has had issues with stuttering, and that the Kennedys had a significant influence on the type of politician he wants to be. Now, when JFK had his first debate with VP Nixon in 1960, he actually liked poor Richard. But he knew Nixon's personality included "issues." Hence, he used the tactic that all seasoned police investigators and lawyers use -- be nice, then make the person angry, then go back to being nice, etc.

JFK went so far as to question the policy towards Cuba, defining it as weak. This infuriated Nixon, who was literally in charge of planning the Bay of Pigs invasion. By then being nice, Kennedy knew adrenaline fluctuating. This is the same general tactic that Muhammad Ali used in the boxing ring, as it rapidly tires the opponent out. I expect Joe to use much the same game plan tonight.

One last thing -- Robert Kennedy did not reach the level of popularity that he did in 1967-68 because he was a good public speaker. RFK was never comfortable speaking in public. But, as Rev. Jesse Jackson has noted, an audience often relates to a speaker who struggles, if that speaker is telling the truth.

Enjoy tonight's debate.
H2O Man

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Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply I'm Down (Original post)
H2O Man Sep 2020 OP
bigtree Sep 2020 #1
H2O Man Sep 2020 #2
Merlot Sep 2020 #3
H2O Man Sep 2020 #4
panader0 Sep 2020 #5
H2O Man Sep 2020 #6

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Sep 29, 2020, 12:50 PM

1. rec

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Response to bigtree (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 29, 2020, 12:56 PM

2. Thanks!

I'm looking forward to Joe reducing Trump to a puddle of feces tonight!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Sep 29, 2020, 01:25 PM

3. I wasn't impressed with Biden in the early primary debates, it was when

he debated Bernie Sanders that I thought he did really well (and I was a Bernie supporter). The one-on-one is a much better format for him.

He's going to do fine. I'm not going to watch because I will get tired of muting every time trumpft talks.

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Response to Merlot (Reply #3)

Tue Sep 29, 2020, 01:46 PM

4. Yep!

Joe was definitely better in the one-on-one format, exactly as you noted. Thank you for pointing out that important point.

My sons and I are definitely watching it. I do find looking at & listening to Trump a toxic experience. I have tried, over many decades, to rid myself of hate for even the most toxic of individuals. But I struggle with this when it comes to Trump. Sociopaths are so unattractive.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #4)

Tue Sep 29, 2020, 01:59 PM

5. "I have tried, over many decades......"

Same here. I catch myself sometimes slipping from my goal and correct myself.
Trump is a load.

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Response to panader0 (Reply #5)

Tue Sep 29, 2020, 07:43 PM

6. Right.

I'm surprised Trump didn't get jis ass kicked frequently as a young man.

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