The presidential debate went off without a hiccup on Thursday night, surprisingly enough. Both candidates were polite and respectful. They both gave each other the chance to speak, the moderator handled all of the bumps in the road with grace and aplomb and all was well. All of that changed once the first minute passed, though.
All jokes aside, Thursday night was an absolute train wreck from start to finish. Donald Trump could not help himself when it came to interrupting. He probably should have let Biden talk, so that he could trip himself up but he could not allow that to happen. Biden also struggled to remain on-topic but you would have expected that.
Trump should have stopped talking over him. The constant interjections made it so that Biden looked more coherent than he actually was. Biden also interrupted a number of Trump’s responses but since Trump was acting up, no one seemed to notice. If anything, the current president did not give Biden enough of a chance to expose himself for being unable to string a sentence together.
Biden also tried his best to remain on the offensive. Someone must have told him that he needed to stand up for himself because voters are not about to fill out ballots for someone who gets pushed around. That’s why we were treated to so much name-calling. Trump was called a clown and a fool every five minutes.
If we did not know any better, we would have assumed that this debate was taking place at the park between two old men who were in the midst of a heated checkers game. Instead of the two candidates being able to settle this on their own, Chris Wallace allowed the proceedings to devolve into chaos. Trump got scolded for his behavior on a number of occasions.
Wallace did not have as much to say to Joe Biden, though. Why wasn’t Biden rebuked for his interruptions and his willingness to engage in pointless name-calling? Wallace was unable to enforce the rules because he was too busy breaking them himself. Fox Business Network’s Neil Cavuto laid out a simple rule beforehand: both candidates had agreed that there would be no fact-checking from the moderator.
As soon as the debate got underway, Wallace forgot these rules completely, repeatedly fact-checking the president. Biden was able to escape these lines of inquiry. “Candy Crowley was the big winner last night. She’s no longer the worst presidential moderator in history,” joked Hugh Hewitt last night and we could not agree more. Wallace let his biases show and that was enough for us.
To be fair, being the moderator for a debate of this magnitude does not seem like the most awesome of jobs. It’s a thankless task at best and actively terrible at worst. Wallace seemed far more interested in getting through all of the questions that he had prepared, as opposed to actually making sure that the debate was handled in the proper manner. We’re not the only ones who noticed, either.
A moderator’s job is not to serve as the star of the show. Their job is a very simple one: they are supposed to let the two men in the debate speak, without any sort of interruption. The presidential committee should go back to the drawing board. It is high time that we started rethinking this tired format. Media figures probably shouldn’t be moonlighting as debate moderators any more, as long as we are on the topic.
Trump already provided Wallace with an interview but it felt like he was trying to get a second one during the debate. It’s unprofessional behavior, for sure. Trump could not resist poking a little fun at him after the debate, in classic Trump fashion. “Chris had a tough night. Two on one was not surprising, but fun. Many important points made, like throwing Bernie, AOC PLUS 3, and the rest, to the wolves! Radical Left is dumping Sleepy Joe. Zero Democrat enthusiasm, WEAK Leadership!” he tweeted.