By Ademola Adegbamigbe
The venue for the first 2020 US Presidential debate was Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University. It was moderated by Chris Wallace of Fox News. And the gladiators were President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee, Joe Biden.
The issues the debaters were asked to tackle were the Supreme Court, the covid-19 outbreak; the economy; race; the candidates’ records; the climate; and, as Washingnton Post put it, “the integrity of the election.”
As monitored from 2.06 am, Nigerian time, on 30 September, President Trump had a lackluster performance. He fidgeted and interrupted Biden all the way. Biden, apart from keeping calm and reacting to Biden’s digs with smiles, asked the President to “shut up man, this is unpresidential!”
As Washington Post also reported, “Trump frequently interrupted both Biden and Wallace, taking swipes at Biden’s son, going over his allotted time and ignoring other rules. Trump, when asked about whether he would condemn white supremacists, failed to fully do so, telling the Proud Boys group, “Stand back and standby.” He also continued to cast unwarranted doubt on mail ballots.”
Here in Nigeria, people came down hard on Trump.
Odolaye Aremu, a social critic submitted
“Biden trapped the idiot. if this is all we may see as for the Presidential debates. I think it’s well to acknowledge my love for Biden today. He stood his ground and didn’t roll over for Spongehead Trump, whose chronic logorrheic condition acted up worse and profusely sweated from his scalp into his notoriously ugly comb-over. A hot mess totally! Matter of fact, each time Biden looked into the camera, I reckon he used those moments away from his empty adversary to quickly connect well with the legions of the Undecided and the so-called ‘Surbuban women.’ I can hear him tell them in Yorùbá that –
Also, Shola Osunkeye, a CNN African Journalist award winner said: “I just watched the most horrific presidential debate in my life. Donald Trump was not just a peculiar mess, he was tragically disgraceful. I wonder what America did to warrant this tragedy. God save America.”
Adebayo Asolo, another commentator, reacted that have you not read before sir, that, ‘All is fair in love and in war’
It worked for him over Hillary.
May be he thinks it might work again. Who knows? Strange man!
Tunde Adegbola argued: “I don’t even know why there is any debate. His foolish die hard supporters will not change their support and tonight shows this is what their plan is. If anything it might make some undecided not to vote for anyone of them because of how the debate went tonight. The distraction and interrupt tactics will work on some of them and Trump voters will give him high marks for this show of shame called a debate. Biden and Democrats needs to go shuffle their strategy and come up with a plan to counter this Trump move.”
Washington Post wrapped it up: “Top advisers to Biden, in the aftermath of a messy and hostile debate that some have already claimed was the worst in American history, say he will participate in the remaining debates with Trump.
“Yes, Joe Biden’s going to show up,” Kate Bedingfield, the deputy campaign manager, said on a call with reporters after the debate. “He’s going to continue speaking directly to the American people.”
She noted that the next debate, scheduled for Oct. 15 in Miami, is being conducted in a town hall format in which questions will come from undecided voters, which they view as a Biden strength.
“There is an open question here based on what we saw from Donald Trump tonight. Is he going to try to bully actual voters? Is he going to insult his way through the next debate?” Bedingfield added. “Joe Biden’s going to show up. … We’ll see if [Trump] decides to show up in Miami next month.”
She also added that Biden would participate in the third debate, planned for Oct. 22 in Nashville.
“We are going to the debates, guys,” she said. “We don’t know how many different ways we can say it. Yes, we are going to the debates.”
She said there would be ongoing conversations with the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates over the debate rules and format.
Biden’s campaign also announced that it raised $3.8 million between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Tuesday, breaking its single-hour fundraising record.”