So, the question wasn’t asked.  Just as well—I didn’t expect Biden to follow my recommendation.

I don’t think the debate changed many votes, which is fine: Trump needed a knockout, and he didn’t get it.  But I did think that Trump had a slight edge because he effectively exploited his great advantage—a willingness to lie constantly.  (Unless the audience is very well-informed, a debater with no integrity or scruples has a natural advantage over an opponent who has some.) CNN’s fact-checker compared Trump’s steady stream of lies to the relentless flow of chocolates on the transmission belt tended by the hapless Lucy in a memorable “I Love Lucy” episode. To my great frustration, it took Biden an hour and half before he finally called Trump a liar. (Until then, Biden would sometimes reply “false” or “not true” to Trump’s lies, but not often enough and not forcefully enough.) But, if CNN’s instant poll is anywhere near accurate, Trump’s aggressive mendacity wasn’t as effective as I had feared.  According to the poll, Biden won the debate 53% to 39%.  Let’s hope that the election results come close to replicating those percentages.



  1. Jeffrey Herrmann October 23, 2020 at 9:46 am

    I also think few minds will have been changed. Still, even a modestly good debater could have sliced tRump to ribbons. It would have been nice to see tRump melt down. Joe just hasn’t got that skill, but governing isn’t about debating.
    The tRump melt down we didn’t get last night is likely to happen on November 4. Polls are looking good in Florida as well as in the 2016 swing states and a few other traditionally red states. Fingers crossed.

  2. Frank October 23, 2020 at 3:25 pm

    I agree with your analysis. And I wish Biden would become more forceful, as you say, when he mildly denies the false and crazy accusations of Trump.

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