There is no escape from this emotional reality: Trump haters didn’t secretly hope he would lose him here, and the fact that he didn’t mean he had gone far beyond what was the lowest bar in the history of the presidential debate.
The Donald Trump of the last few days, complaining about everyone from Leslie Stahl to moderator Kristen Welker to possibly the Iceberg Lettuce Attorney at the White House, looked like someone who was able to show up that night. and leave the stage after half an hour. Or five minutes. Or not at all.
But it showed up and lasted the entire time. He did get a few punches (although on Huntergate, not really). He was even polite at first. My notes make Welker say, towards the end of the first segment, “Thank you, and I appreciate it.” So the right will say it was a big victory for Trump that will change everything. But in real life, that’s unlikely. Trump had sound bites, but Biden had more substance and, in key places, more passion.
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