It’s about noon on Tuesday as I pen this. The reality is that as of this writing nobody really knows if Thursday night’s debate scheduled for NBC with Kristen Welker moderating will take place. In large part due to that uncertainty I publishing this a day earlier than I normally would. I have some advice for Joe Biden that I’ll share with you. Let’s explore.
My advice is basically outlined in the title. It is to pretty much let Trump talk. There is an old adage about if a man is in a hole and insists on continuing to dig; let him dig. That is largely applicable here.
Trump is behind, it’s late in the game, he bombed in the first debate, dodged the second and only has two paths to turn the third (assuming it happens) into a positive. The first is for him to shine which if truth is a factor is impossible given his lack of discipline and propensity to lie. The second is for Biden to commit a very serious gaffe.
Simply put, if Biden limits his talking to scripted remarks it is impossible for him to beat himself by committing a serious gaffe. Trump, on the other hand is incapable of telling the truth and very challenged when it comes to speaking in complete and intelligible sentences.
Biden must not take the bait of answering Trump’s taunts directly. Retorts similar to those he used in the first debate and a few “malarkeys” thrown in for good measure should get him through the evening without hurting himself and looking strong.
Biden has to view this like a football game where he is well ahead late in the fourth quarter. Make Trump beat you!
The debate has rules similar to the first where each candidate is given two theoretically uninterrupted minutes to answer the moderator’s question followed by a discussion. The latest rules are that the other candidate’s mike will be muted during those two minutes. If that actually comes to pass who knows what Trump will do. I wouldn’t put it past him to simply shout or worse. Trump is not exactly Mr. Manners!
One situation where Biden should refuse to debate is if Trump cannot present credible proof that he tested negative for COVID-19 prior to the debate as stipulated by the agreed upon rules. Credible does not include Trump’s word or that of one of his sycophants very much including Dr. Sean “Conman” Conley! Hard core Trump supporters cannot be moved, Biden’s supporters, both core and soft, along with undecideds (the few that I think exist) will feel Biden simply acted prudently. Biden represents the great hope of many Americans (and citizens of the free worlds for that matter) and therefore has an obligation to them to protect himself.
Trump will lie, that is a given. The lies, even the zombie ones, will resonate with Trump’s base. He already has them so the “score” does not change. Biden – minus a gaffe – will keep his core and soft supporters. They read fact checkers and in many cases can identify the lies as Trump utters them. Many of the undecideds utilize various legitimate news sources and will be made aware of the lies giving the majority of them to Biden.
In politics as in sports occasionally you face an opponent that can’t beat you. On those occasions the goal is not to beat yourself.
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