Debate Open Forum

This is bad.

Ok, so I realize that analysis in the moment is dangerous, but this debate is going very poorly for Biden. He sounds old and raspy, keeps fumbling words, and looks a bit befuddled.

Trump is spouting nonsense, but he is doing it boldly and looks strong in comparison.

Assuming this continues like this (and I suspect it will), I think Trump is going to be the big winner.

FILED UNDER: 2024 Election, Open Forum, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Mikey says:

    Assuming this continues like this (and I suspect it will), I think Trump is going to be the big winner.

    And America the big loser.

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  2. DK says:

    He sounds old

    He *is* old lol

    His memory is not the issue. But he looks and sounds his age and that will bother people. His team should know presentation matters, did/do they care? A little makeup and some throat lozenges would be nice.

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  3. Rick DeMent says:

    Bold nonsense beats timidly delivered truth.

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  4. Paine says:

    I couldn’t watch anymore. Not sure what the Biden team was thinking.

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  5. @Mikey: 100%

    @DK: Ineed. I was hoping for SOTU Biden, but alas.

    @Rick DeMent: 100%

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  6. Kari Q says:

    It’s traditional for the sitting president to have a disastrous first debate. I’m not surprised Biden is doing poorly. Sad, but not surprised.

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  7. gVOR10 says:

    Biden seems to have been very well rehearsed on all the details of his legislative history. He doesn’t seem top have been rehearsed at all on responding to Trump’s lies and bluster. WTF?

    Now Trump said Biden lies about everything and Biden’s responding with a load of trivial detail.

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  8. Joe says:

    Biden seems a little over-rehearsed. SOTU Biden could respond to rando audience members, but debate Biden can’t even respond to that guy Trump.

    The one predictable thing I want from CNN is CANDIDATE: “let me go back and work on the last question”; CNN: “hell no, answer the current question or STFU.”

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  9. CSK says:

    This is excruciating.

    Did they really argue about golf scores?

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  10. Gavin says:

    I think they moved the debate up so each party could get the reliever to start warming up in the pen.

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  11. DK says:

    @Joe:

    Biden can’t even respond to that guy Trump.

    Can you respond to a barrage of lies? I feel sorry for the fact-checkers who will have to count up Trump’s lies because it’s just nonstop.

    The double-haters who’ve tuned in will not be pleased with this. Trump sounds like a sleazy bullshit artist car salesman: icky, unlikeable, and talking nonsense in your ear nonstop. And Biden, who slept through the first half, is hoarse and apparently couldn’t be bothered with standard TV makeup.

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  12. gVOR10 says:

    @DK: The double haters and other low information voters don’t know Trump is talking nonsense. And Biden isn’t telling them Trump is spewing lies and nonsense.

    At one point Trump went off on Biden never fires anybody. Biden didn’t point out Trump’s history of hiring “only the best people” then firing them when they didn’t suck up enough. Biden sure as hell should fire whoever was responsible for debate prep.

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  13. Kazzy says:

    @gVOR10: Eh… Biden called out Trump as a liar several times. What more is he supposed to do?

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  14. CSK says:

    According to CNN, the Trump campaign sent out an email claiming Trump had won a “historic victory”…before the debate ended.

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  15. DeD says:

    JFC. Y’all need to calm tf down. Where’s the level-headed rational OTB community that shows up every day? Look, approximately 81 mil voters voted for Biden in 2020, around 7 million more than for Trump. You think those 81 mil (including y’all’s asses) are saying right now, “Oh, Trump’s a different man than 2020, I’m gonna vote for him!”

    What about the part of the 74 mil who have ditched Trump since? You think they’re saying, “Ugh, I don’t like Biden anymore; I’m going back to Trump!” HELL NAWL!!! Know why? Because not many of us never really liked Biden in the first place. We didn’t vote FOR Biden; we voted against that imbecilic pretender of a POTUS. And many more than 81 mil are going to do it again. Know why?

    Because WE KNOW WHO AND WHAT TRUMP IS. We know what he and his followers stand for. Now, quit pissing your goddamned panties over one shitty debate by a man — just a man — who has been steering our ship if state quite deftly. Nut tf up, for Chrissake.

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  16. Anjin-san says:

    CNN gives Trump an early Christmas gift.

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  17. gVOR10 says:

    @Kazzy: He’s supposed to get angry and show Trump, and the audience, who’s the real alpha dog.

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  18. Kazzy says:

    @gVOR10: So instead of calling him a liar, he should have called him a f’ing liar? Biden didn’t do great but I’m not going to hold him accountable for Trump’s repeated lies.

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  19. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Kazzy:

    What more is he supposed to do?

    Throw some elbows. Like when he goes “we had no terrorism” respond with something like “of course there was terrorism during Trump’s term. In some cases he was even in planning and leading it!”

    The one thing fascism never handles well is being mocked, and Trump in particular is easy to get under his skin by making fun of him. Biden shouldn’t have bothered memorizing facts, because they don’t matter. He should have gotten improv people to help him work on how to spend three hours just roasting the shit out of Trump.

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  20. Mister Bluster says:

    @DeD:..Where’s the level-headed rational OTB community that shows up every day?

    I’m watching cat videos.
    And I’m still voting for President Biden in November. Nothing will change that.

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  21. Michael Reynolds says:

    It is officially time to panic. Joe needs to step aside.

    Let’s have an open convention. It will dominate the news and change the narrative. Newsom, Whitmer, Kamala, anyone else? Newsom and Whitmer would both have destroyed Trump tonight. But can we sideline the first female and Black veep? Should we?

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  22. SenyorDave says:

    My guess is that this will be about 60/40 for Trump in terms of winning the debate. If it is on appearance it was Trump hands down. If it was on substance, well Trump lost. Biden did not do particularly well on substance, and missed badly on a few things (I can’t believe he didn’t mention abortion rights in his closer), but he didn’t spend an hour and a half making shit up.

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  23. DK says:

    @gVOR10:

    The double haters and other low information voters don’t know Trump is talking nonsense.

    I won’t comment on the low information voters, but the double haters know Trump is talking nonsense, hence why they hate him. Same feeling when the used salesman won’t stop talking. Don’t even have to process the words, you just hear him babbling an endless string of stupid, irritating bs.

    Trump has the same annoying sleazebag factor in this kind of debate format, without an adoring audience to riff off. It’s what made Biden’s frustrated “Will you shut up man?!” from the 2020 debates so effective.

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  24. SenyorDave says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I think Harris would have destroyed Trump also. As loathe as I am to admit it, Biden was not good in any way. As I said in an earlier post he wins on substance, but only by default. He looked like an old and slow, like your slightly confused grandfather, or maybe even great-grandfather. Couldn’t organize his thoughts well, and articulated them very poorly. Was sidelined by nonsense (who gives a shit about his golf handicap, people don’t want a president who even talks about golf).
    I just can’t see him dropping out, and the optics of that wouldn’t seem to play well.

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  25. Jax says:

    @DeD: Thanks for that. I still have hope. Not much, but a little.

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  26. Modulo Myself says:

    He should have gotten improv people to help him work on how to spend three hours just roasting the shit out of Trump.

    Right, and he should have hired a jujitsu black belt to help him backflip Trump to the mat. Did you watch that debate?

    The only positive takeaway is that I feel the same way about Biden as I felt about Trump after the Access Hollywood tape dropped.

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  27. DeD says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    And I’m still voting for President Biden in November. Nothing will change that.

    That’s gotdamn right.

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  28. DK says:

    @DeD:

    Where’s the level-headed rational OTB community that shows up every day?

    “The old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Cause she’s DEAD!”

    ReplyReply
  29. becca says:

    I will still drag myself across burning coal and broken glass to vote against the crazy fascist.

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  30. JKB says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Apparently, only if Biden steps aside as they’ve [almost?] already nominated him.

    This is from June 22nd Yahoo news, but doesn’t say if the process is complete

    The Democratic National Committee has taken a significant step toward formally designating Joe Biden as the party’s presidential nominee before the Democratic convention in August — a move that’s necessary to place him on the Ohio ballot for November’s election, States Newsroom has been told.

    DNC members finalized their vote Thursday to move forward with an all-virtual roll call vote after 360 members voted in favor, two voted against and five abstained, according to a spokesperson.

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  31. HelloWorld! says:

    Fact of the matter is the debate proved that Biden is not sharp enough to run for president. He mumbled like he had marbles in his mouth, lost track of his thoughts, and would jump somewhere else before he was even finished making a point. Trump was strong, clear, and even seemed gracious to Biden, given Trumps history on torching people. The dems have a candidate problem and I fear the worst.

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  32. SenyorDave says:

    @HelloWorld!: Gracious? I must have missed the Biden-Trump debate you were watching.

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  33. Kari Q says:

    Folks, it’s June. People who follow polo have already decided who they are voting for. People who don’t aren’t paying attention yet. This debate will be long forgotten by September.

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  34. DK says:

    @HelloWorld!:

    Trump was strong, clear, and even seemed gracious to Biden

    If you’re deaf and blind just say so.

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  35. DeD says:

    @DK:
    Indeed. I didn’t even watch the debate, and I know that’s a lie.

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  36. Hal_10000 says:

    Biden isn’t being replaced as the nominee unless he literally dies. The Dems know that would fracture their coalition and turn a marginal Trump victory into a potential landslide.

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  37. JKB says:

    Jill Biden treats president of the United State as a 3rd grader

    Joe, you did such a great job. You answered all the questions…

    Why? Why would she do this in public?

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  38. Heisenberg says:

    @JKB: What did Melania have to say afterwards?

    Oh right, she wasn’t there.

    Because her husband is an unrepentant adulterer.

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  39. Ken_L says:

    The only winners, he wrote smugly, were people like me who said Biden was a fool for agreeing to this joint interview in the first place. He should have issued a statement months ago declaring he had no intention of sharing a stage with a man juries had found committed sexual assault and fraud, a man indicted for stealing classified documents, and most importantly, a man who betrayed his oath of office by trying to overturn an election result.

    But that’s water under the bridge and Democrats will just have to soldier on. The worst aspect is that media pundits will spend the next 10 weeks working themselves up into a frenzy asking whether Joe can “bounce back” in the second debate, along with side serves of speculation about “Democrat strategists” planning an emergency replacement should he do badly again and be persuaded to withdraw.

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  40. charontwo says:

    People who already thought Biden is old and slowing just got confirmation of what they already believed.

    I was surprised he looked that bad, but I also know he is still getting things done, no effect on my voting.

    So maybe not such a big deal, not really changing the race much. The big change is disappointment for people (like me) who were expecting Trump to faceplant – didn’t happen.

    ETA: I quit after the first hour, missed the final half-hour.

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  41. Justin says:

    Not thrillled with Biden’s performance, but Trump was all over the place, kept saying the same thing like a broken record. Same points as 2016 and 2020. He had to be forced to answer and always deflected. The guy lies like most people breathe. The lies about Ukraine not happening during his term were laughable. Putin wasn’t intimidated by Trump.

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  42. TheRyGuy says:

    The real takeaway most of you should have from last night’s debate is the understanding that all the media sources you trust have been lying to you for years about Biden’s physical and mental fitness, and that all the media sources you despise have been telling you the truth on that subject.

    Amongst reasonable, responsible citizens, that would trigger a profound reassessment of your worldview and what shapes it. I’m suspecting that’s not going to happen.

    And just so it is said out loud for everyone, the Biden we all saw last night is NOT the President of the United States. He’s not quite a complete vegetable but he’s NOT the one making most of the decisions. Think for a moment about who is and about what letting them get away with this charade will mean for the future.

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  43. DrDaveT says:

    @DK:

    Can you respond to a barrage of lies? I feel sorry for the fact-checkers who will have to count up Trump’s lies because it’s just nonstop.

    I still say the best response to Trump’s lies is not to call him a liar, but to laugh at him for being so gullible and misinformed, and point out that America probably wants a President who can tell truth from fantasy and propaganda.

    Too late.

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  44. Gerry says:

    @DK: Putting a Normal Man up against a Con Artist and you expect him to win? My daddy would say, “I don’t put no ‘pendence’ in that.”

    ReplyReply
  45. Gerry says:

    @DK: Putting a Normal Man up against a Con Artist and you expect him to win? My

    daddy would say, “I don’t put no ‘pendence’ in that.”

    ReplyReply

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