Round One goes to Uncle Joe

Vice President Joe Biden won the first presidential debate, and before my Trumpster friends have a stroke, let me tell you why.

President Donald J. Trump (left), former Vice President Joe Biden

You did it to yourself with all your smoke about Biden’s supposed dementia, and his inability to put together two coherent sentences. You set the bar so low a caterpillar could have stepped over it, let alone 77-year-old Uncle Joe.

But you know, even without the advantage you gave him, he came across like the adult in the room, laughing off President Donald J. Trump’s incessant interruptions and nonstop scowling. It was as lively as a fight in a prison mess hall.

The delusions of the right wing nuts were exhibited before the debate began when Fox News host Tucker Carlson admitted he lost when he bet that Biden would not show up for the debate. How self-deluded can he be? This is the result of listening to fringe Trump coyotes. 

Sympathies to moderator Chris Wallace who fought valiantly to keep order. He repeatedly admonished Trump, who raged like a typhoon, to obey the rules his team had agreed to. Despite the referee’s warning, the 74-year-old Trump kept it up, but failed to ignite Biden’s temper. At one point Wallace suggested maybe Trump would like to moderate.

Trump glowered at Wallace, scowled at Biden, and missed an opportunity to connect with the audience. To the contrary, Biden several times looked directly in the camera lens and addressed you, the viewer, which he did effectively. In that, he schooled master TV showman Trump.

Trump is a more facile, off-the-cuff talker, and was able to knock Biden off the point he was trying to make by interrupting him. Biden referred to notes, while Trump winged it as usual.

Here’s the big anti-Trump talking point: Wallace asked Trump to condemn white supremacy, and he started to, then pivoted to something else, and Wallace chided him to get back on track.

“Proud Boys. Stand back and stand by,” he said, of the racist, neo-Nazi group.


An anti-Biden talking point will be his refusal to comment on Democratic notions to end the filibuster and pack the U.S. Supreme Court.

The most contentious exchange did not come during the segment on race, but on taxes, of all things.

When Wallace asked Trump if it was true he paid only $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017. Trump said, “I paid millions of dollars in taxes” in those years, despite the fact that the New York Times has those tax returns.

Biden challenged Trump to release his returns, but Trump responded it was policies created by President Barack Obama that allowed his massive write-offs. During this exchange, Biden called Trump a “clown.” He later called “Trump” a racist, while agreeing there is “systemic injustice” in the U.S., while Trump denied and said racial division began under Obama.

Trump came off as bullying, while Biden remained cool, calm — and conscious.

Biden will not have the advantage of lowered expectations next time. 

50 thoughts on “Round One goes to Uncle Joe”

  1. Trump once again showed that he is a petulant child. 5 minutes of Trump gave me a migraine. Trump IS a racist & misogynist and maybe, anti-Semitic. All he could do was tell the big lie (see A. Hitler) and.demean Biden’s family.
    Do you think Trump is a Fascist? He certainly hates democracy. He aspires to be like Putin, who rules by decree and has pesky critics poisoned or murdered. Totally unfit for the office.

    1. Thanks for your opinion on all the ist’s. Did you get that list from a newspaper. How about an original thought, you had me in the first sentence, then you stamped him with labels.

  2. All your observations are spot on, Stu. Except for one: IMHO, it was less Biden winning and more like Trump losing, in that sense of the word. In popping around the Talking Heads Channels after the fact, I did hear one female commentator on CNN describe the debate (if you could call it that) as a “sh-t-storm.” I was rather surprised to hear that directly, even though they can do that on cable channels. I actually couldn’t disagree with that summation.

    1. But if Trump lost, Biden wins by default. I actually think Biden won on merit, but, behavior aside, it was close. Surprised Trump didn’t work in his successes in the middle east.

  3. There is a photo of Biden adjusting his ear piece ( which is what gave him an unfair advantage. Fair is fair, if it is true then Joe lost

  4. Two kids in the school yard with a instructor unable to stop the child’s behavior. If this is the best we have then foreign Governments are in total laughing mode as both showed they both are not presidential. If I had to choose a winner it would be Biden who came out of the bunker and sounded alive without dementia. The point that I wish Trump could have pressed was what support does Biden have from those who are on the front of the protestors who choose looting, firebombs and destruction of property and what is the support from the far left to stand behind the police during this time of extreme socialist behavior.

    1. Despite Trump’s lies, Biden has said from the beginning he would not defund police. I believe him on that. He is NOT a radical socialist. He IS further Left than Obama. The whole Dem tribe is.

  5. Philadelphia, PA

    Dear Stu,

    I found myself able to watch the debate for about two minutes before I turned it off in disgust.

    No Trump fan here. He got himself elected by identifying wide-spread public discontent with the bipartisan, neo-liberal, globalizing political establishment. This was a gigantic shock to the entire country–and to the world at large. The best result would have been open, coherent public debate on the political excesses and defects of that establishment and its policies foreign and domestic.

    Mr. Trump often seems incapable of anything except unprincipled, alarmist opposition and political expediency. In this way, he continually undercuts needed elucidations of the genuine public discontents which got him elected in 2016. He often seems to have little going for him except defiance. But it is important to keep in mind that the divisiveness in the country didn’t start with Trump.

    Thanks for filling us in with your take on the debate.

    H.G. Callaway

    You made some good points. Some not so good. Like you, I tried to warn my republican friends – from day one – that this “dementia” was a set-up ! Sleepy Joe held his own for sure. He took a lot more hits than he gave, and that is why there is no unanimous decision in this street brawl.
    Biden is a debater. Trump is an unpolished speaker who wants to command the stage, not share it.
    Trump tried to get under Biden’s skin. Those were childish nervous giggles and smart alec comments from Joe, trying to get to Trump.
    The context of this debate had little to do with anything other than this election ( removal of Trump ). If Trump and Biden argued about the world series, the results would have been the same.
    As for the Proud Boys: If antifa is going to show up, then the Proud Boys will be there. This is a forced response to violence. Sorry to say, violence countered by violence usually brings more violence, not peace. The solution is simple yet mostly unattainable. Let the cops to their job. If the protestors know – going in – that the police will shut them down at the first HINT of violence, then there’s a better chance to have the peaceful demonstration that the constitution recognizes.
    BTW. I believe that it’s ” the former vice president”. Most people don’t get titles right. Wallace called Biden by both titles. I believe that he was introduced as the former. That should have been the last time that V P was used. just say’n’.

    1. That is a fair analysis. Many Trumpsters believed their own bullshit. Trump actually started to denounce white supremacists, got distracted and then blurted out whatever the hell he meant about Proud Boys. He now owns it, like Biden and Corn Pop.
      Honorary titles last forever, which is why it is still President George Bush, Barack Obama and so on. That is spoken. Written? Probably should use “former.” I think I skipped “former” in caption for reasons of space.

  7. For those of us being forced to choose between these two men as the leader of our country, I am again horrified at the lies politicians freely spew.

    One full hour of trying to get a sense of where each of these men would take us, I had to walk away. I awoke with sadness as I will have to vote for one of them and that will mean I am either a white supremist or a radical socialist.

    Thanks Stu, for your honest unbiased assessment, a journalistic bright spot in a gloomy morning.

  8. Last nights debate was a global embarrassment for the United States. Chris Wallace didn’t have the balls to tell Trump to shut the fuck up (those who know me, know I would have said that to him). Neither candidate won in my humble opinion, instead, sickened voters to have to decide the best of the two most worthless candidates to become President in 2020. The ideal situation in the next debate (if there is going to be one) is to put both candidates in a separate, soundproof booth so that microphones can be turned off and on, when it’s appropriate for each to respond and have a much better moderator.

    1. Mike,
      That wouldn’t be a debate. Maybe a format for a game show, but that’s another topic.
      Sorry to say, I still remember the ’50s, when two STATESMEN would actually represent their party platforms. They were actually more than civil, they were gentlemen.
      The sad truth is that the American public is being forced to wake up to all of the lies and discredits that took place for the last 60 or so years.
      Because this is the 21th century, and WE have to deal with these issues, my battle cry is,

  9. The ‘debate’ reminded me of the ‘debates’ that took place on the school grounds of Lower Merion High School back in the 1950s, when the ‘debaters’ made their points by beating the snot out of each other. Perhaps we witnessed the genesis of a new game show: YOU BET YOUR DICK! Operative question: was anybody’s mind changed?

    1. Nobody’s mind was changed. Or will be.
      Trump’s best line “I’ve done more in 47 months than you did in 47 years.”

  10. Did anyone notice that Biden disavowed both Berne Sander’s “Manifesto” and the “Green New Deal” ?. I think the real winner last night was the U.S. Economy! No mystery the financial markets are reeacting postively to this.

  11. Great, and accurate article Stu. I am sure you will get a lot of flack for it.

    Trump is an ignorant individual who needs to be stomped on. He is a true bully who, when stood up to, relies on others to protect him.

    When I go vote I am having someone film it in case I encounter any type of intimidation. In addition, if anyone attempts to physically get in my way (trying to force me to walk around them) they will be filmed, the police will be called and if I am legally able to I will file charges against them. I also might put the encounter up on the ‘net for all to see.

      1. No flak from me, I’ve given up on you, Stu. But I see H has switched to Trump, by his last paragraph above. You know conspiracy bs!😁

        1. Tom, were you serious when you said I switched to Trump? Not to dash your hopes but I have not. If you were referring to what I said to Tony let me say just because I agreed with him on a lot of what he said that does not mean I like Trump.

          1. H, your point about problems when you vote was funny because of the irony. A Trump sign on a lawn here in Philly is a target. When I wear my red USA hat I get double takes and stares, checking for MAGA…never been complimented. You have said some not so nice things and called him many nasty names, while I have stated my concern for Biden’s obvious mental deficiencies. I wasn’t laughing at you, rather what you said. I think you will be safe wherever you cast that important and civic duty

          2. Tom, as far as that Trump sign goes I must say there are idiots in both parties. If the person is caught they need to be prosecuted. As far as the looks you get my thought to those people would be “look but don’t touch”.

            I am not worried about anything happening when I go to vote but in this election, because of how much angrier people are then in previous elections, I am going to be watchful.

  12. Neither candidate respected the other last night, but worst was painting Trump “racist.” Come on, man, Trump did not praise white racists at Charlottesville. He expressly condemned them. It was not a “racist” Trump who aided historically Black colleges, built an economy with lowest ever Black and Hispanic unemployment, passed prison reform, created opportunity zones, tries to stop illegal immigration, which competes with minorities for employment, backs law enforcement which protects minority along with other communities. He’s promising school choice for every American family, Few actions will help minority communities more. No racist anti-Semite would have done all that Trump has done for Israel. (Compare Obama-Biden’s UNSC 2334 on the way out the door.) Nor is the America that elected Trump in 2016 “systemically racist.” Just before him it had elected a Black American as President, twice.

      1. Hi, Tom,

        When a reporter asked Mrs. Truman once was it not a shanda (complete disgrace) that her husband, The President, had used the word “manure” in a veto message to Congress, Mrs. Truman responded, “It took me thirty years to get him to use it.” So, with Melania around, there’s some hope for Trump.

  13. Biden did what he has been doing, he did not answer one question on how he would attack the virus, or the economy. Chris Wallace didn’t pressing for any answers. He could have at least asked Biden why he considers Antics as an idea and not a radical group.

    1. Charles, Stu is the only one here who, as far as I am concerned, has been completely accurate and that is even when I do not agree with his sentiments.

      I await your attack on me.

  14. President Trump was not impressed with the Proud Boys black hispanic leader.

    I don’t think Stu likes black hispanics.

    I offered to be a fact checker for Stu , but he rather make up his own, Ha Ha

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