In what was his best debate performance to date, Joe Biden seemed tanned, rested, and almost lifelike on Sunday evening at the latest presidential debate. Usually gaffe-prone, Biden seemed to do better in the controlled one-on-one debate format.
That’s not to say Biden didn’t make any gaffes. Biden couldn’t keep his diseases straight, mixing up coronavirus, SARS and H1N1 at several points.
Sanders also showed his age and mental decline in the debate. He twice talked about “the Ebola” crisis, desperately trying to link the current pandemic to his religion of free healthcare for all.
Lacking a live audience, the debate seemed to stay on track without the catcalls, booing, and cheering from a partisan crowd. As the candidates walked out on the stage and did elbow bumps instead of shaking hands, both Democrats were essentially courteous, but in the end neither came across as credible threats to a larger-than-life President Donald Trump, and both provided useful quotes for the upcoming Republican campaign.
The Biden-Sanders arguing about legislative esoterica and their voting records 30 years ago made viewers long for a commercial break. Yeah, Biden voted for the Iraq war and the Defense of Marriage Act, and he clearly faltered when it came to defending his support of Social Security cuts as a way to shore up an expensive and faltering government social program.
Bernie, as socialists invariably do, failed to wrap his nutty ideology around real live events. Yeah, sure, Bernie, we know. You believe that economic misery prevails throughout half the country, while zillionaires flourish and game the system. However, there comes a point when you have to abandon feverish rhetoric and get real.
In light of the surging coronavirus threat, Bernie simply could not find a way to make fighting the pandemic realistically relate to his argument for a $30 trillion healthcare system.
Biden crushed Bernie’s argument. What about Italy who has a single-payer system? How did that work out for them? What we need is steady leadership, and all Bernie came up with was his tired old socialist talking points.
Sleepy Joe, however, has become woke to left wing identity pandering. He promised that his first litmus test for his nominee to replace a few elderly Supreme Court justices would be that they would have to be female and African American.
Actually, Joe, the Supreme Court has already ruled that such a test for college entry is unconstitutional.
If the expectation in both the somewhat left and far-left camps of the Democrat Party was that after this debate they could move closer together, Joe’s response was tepid. Biden’s pregnant reply was, “He’s making it hard for me right now.”
As the debate meandered from climate change to immigration policy, it became yet another snooze fest in the lexicon of the liberal mindset. Hubert Humphrey, himself a liberal, once admitted that liberals had more solutions than there were problems. Joe Biden is Obama 2.0. Bernie Sanders is George McGovern 1.5.
But Biden’s biggest moment was when he slammed Bernie’s biggest campaign promise of starting a political revolution. Going for the jugular in an obvious rehearsed attack, Joe sniped, “We have problems we need to solve now. Now. What’s your revolution going to do? Disrupt everything in the meantime?”
Sanders closing comments were both predictable and tiresome. His message to Americans was that the coronavirus crisis was all about the larger argument about economic inequality. He didn’t mention whether that inequality applied to his and his wife’s personal wealth and their three homes.
President Trump won yet another Democrat debate.