September 30th saw the U.S.A., and the rest of the world witnessed what was probably the least “presidential” presidential debate ever conducted. The two opponents, President Trump and Democrat candidate Biden threw the proverbial sink at each other, and not in a good way.
Interruptions, barracking, whining, bickering. The presidential debate sank to the level of schoolyard bullying and settled there. Both Trump and Biden claimed victory but the victory, if any, was Pyrrhic, more akin to an episode of Spitting Image than a serious debate.
The next round is scheduled for this Thursday, October 22nd, with a 90-minute debate divided into six 15-minute segments. The plan is for each of the two opponents to get two minutes for their remarks before the process moves to an open debate.
Intending to avoid the debacle of the first debate, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced on Monday that they would be taking measures to combat the constant interruptions of the first event and that “in order to enforce this agreed upon rule, the only candidate whose microphone will be open during these two-minute periods is the candidate who has the floor under the rules.”
The commission later added in a statement:
“We realize, after discussions with both campaigns, that neither campaign may be totally satisfied with the measures announced today. One may think they go too far, and one may think they do not go far enough. We are comfortable that these actions strike the right balance and that they are in the interest of the American people, for whom these debates are held.”
President Trump’s campaign raised objections over the proposed changes but was adamant their candidate would be taking part in the presidential debate. Thursday’s event is seen as one of the few remaining chances to reach a broad audience ahead of the November 3rd elections. Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien had this to say:
“President Trump is committed to debating Joe Biden regardless of last-minute rule changes from the biased commission in their latest attempt to provide an advantage to their favored candidate.”
The changes to the rules were brought about after the first debate of the 30th of September, during which both presidential candidates repeatedly interrupted each other. The end-game seemed to be loud over political nous with Joe Biden snapping and losing his cool after one Trump interruption too many:
“Will you shut up, man? This is so unpresidential.”
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