It was, in a phrase, horrendous. Under, the perfect and worst from the evening that was.
[This space is being intentionally left blank. This was an absolutely awful debate that did absolutely nothing to educate the public about the two candidates and what they would do if given four years to serve as president of the United States. It was, without question, the single worst debate I have ever covered in my two decades of doing this job. That it happened even as more than 200,000 Americans have died from Covid-19 and projections suggest that number could double by January 1 made the un-seriousness of it all the more striking — and painful. It was, simply put, a deep disservice to democracy.]
* Debate guidelines: The 2 presidential campaigns spend months negotiating the principles to manipulate the debates — most notably that every candidate would have two minutes of uninterrupted time to reply every query earlier than there was time for a extra common dialog. That by no means occurred. Not as soon as. As an alternative, Trump interjected nearly as quickly as Biden started to talk. Wallace would then remind Trump that his marketing campaign had agreed to those guidelines. Trump talked over him. A debate with out guidelines is not a debate. Or, higher put: A debate through which one of many candidates refuses to observe the principles is not a debate.
* Politics lovers: I’ve been an unapologetic lover of politics for many years. I like the pageantry, the competitors, the technique, the historical past, the battle of concepts. And on the prime of the listing of what I get pleasure from most about politics and campaigns has all the time been debates. They’ve lengthy been an efficient distillation of the combination of efficiency and coverage required to not simply be elected president but additionally to do the job properly. As a result of I like politics a lot, it was deeply disappointing to look at the debacle on my TV display screen on Tuesday evening. It did not make me mad. It made me unhappy. As a result of politics is — and must be — higher than this.