by Theodore Roosevelt Malloch
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democrats say they want to cancel the three scheduled presidential debates. They are desperately afraid their candidate, Joe Biden, is not up to it. He is senile, gaffe-prone, and often hidden in the basement of his Wilmington, Delaware mansion. He can’t even read off the teleprompter.
Donald Trump, meantime, is ready, willing, and more than able.
Much is at stake—for both sides.
The U.S. presidential debates, a legendary institution, are sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates every four years. This year’s debates are scheduled for September 29, October 15, and October 22. The vice presidential debate is scheduled for October 7.
The kick-off debate originally was scheduled to occur at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, but university officials backed out, feebly citing COVID-19 concerns. It’s their loss, although it would have been fun to have Coach Lou Holtz as the moderator rather than Wallace.
The October 7 vice presidential debate will play out at Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Susan Page of USA Today will moderate the face-off between nasty Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence.
The second presidential debate will be a town hall-style event at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami. This, too, is a change of venue. Originally, the debate was supposed to occur in the key battleground state of Michigan, but university officials in Ann Arbor also backed out citing COVID-19 worries foisted upon them by their lame governor. Steve Scully of C-Span will moderate.
The first and obvious question is: Will Sleepy Joe even show up? Will he be slow? Can he pull it off even with the lowest bar imaginable as his measuring stick? How will the lamestream media spin it?
Will the debates be fair? Could someone slip Biden the questions (and likely, the answers in advance)? Will the moderators do their jobs, or will they be biased Biden teammates on the stage, beating down on President Trump?
Wallace is a known Trump-hater and repeatedly has shown his NeverTrump bias on “Fox News Sunday.” Kristen Welker hails from the furthest left mainstream news organization, NBC. And C-Span’s Scully was actually a senate intern for Biden early in his career. No bias or conflict of interest there.
So with the odds and moderators stacked against him, what’s a guy like Trump to do?
We all know he is a hard puncher and a stronger counter-puncher. Expect an attempted knock out. If not in round one, certainly an eventual TKO.
The image created and the memorable one-liners that go viral will make or break this election. Trump will win if he scores; Biden, if Trump doesn’t and he merely survives the beating.
Recall Ronald Reagan’s humor in debating Walter Mondale on the “age issue.” His immortal quip about not taking advantage of the youth and inexperience of his opponent stuck. Or Richard Nixon’s profuse sweating under the bright lights against a handsome and relaxed John G. Kennedy. Gerald Ford slipped up on the Soviets’ domination of Eastern Europe and it cost him in 1976. There are more than a few memorable lines from these debates that were consequential. Poor Dan Quayle was forever described as a “deer in the headlights” after Senator Lloyd Bentsen told him, he was—“no Jack Kennedy.”
Trump did well but seemed less than fully prepared against Crooked Hillary the last time around. This time don’t think he won’t be ready. Everything is on the line. He will be ready and eager to land a series of blows, maybe even a sucker punch, from which Joe will never recover. In boxing parlance, this won’t be a rope-a-dope and Trump should employ an unexpected left upper cut to catch his opponent off guard.
It is with some humility and trepidation then, that I offer our experienced president these six zingers to employ as he sees fit against Biden, if and when the time is ripe. The effect would prove most demonstrable.
One: Take out a copy of your Montreal Cognitive Abilities Assessment Test and give it to Biden. Ask him to do the same thing so the American people can judge his ability and acuity to hold high office. Challenge him right there and then. He will have to produce or admit ineptitude.
Two: Ask Biden, “If one of your sons took $85,000 a month from a corrupt Ukraine oil and gas company and $1.5 billion from the Chinese government in investment funds, would you use it against your political opponent?” Close with the proverbial: Where is Hunter tonight?
Three: Quote the entire Pledge of Allegiance and see if Biden can do likewise.
Four: Biden says he would shut the entire economy down again and mandate wearing of masks at all times (even during sex). Quiz him on which day he would initiate that plan. Is it so? Nail him down.
Five: What is the correct tax rate? Biden wants to raise taxes by $3.5 trillion. His party’s platform calls for even higher tax increases. His socialist colleagues want a 70 percent income tax on some Americans. “How deep into the American people’s pockets do you want to go, Joe? A number, please?” Then state how you have and will continue to cut taxes for the American working family. Compare and contrast: which does the American public want—more or fewer taxes?
Six: Ask, “Do any police or law enforcement groups endorse you? Why not?” Biden wants to defund them and continue the rioting, lawlessness, and violent conflict in American cities. Challenge Biden to say it ain’t so—here and now. Will he disclaim Black Lives Matter and Antifa? Ask him if he has the nerve to scold his radical supporters for supporting slogans like “ACAB. Does he even know what the acronym stands for? Then tell him: “All cops are bastards.” The people who think so are his base.
If Hidden Biden does show, if he makes a fool of himself, if he forgets where he is or his canned lines, offer an alternative. Say, “Joe, I have seen dementia in my own family and in the lives of older friends. It is nothing to be ashamed of.”
“Retire Joe. Get the help you truly need. I will support you and so will the loving American people.”
Ultimately, Americans need to see who has the wisdom, the wit, and the capacity to be president. It isn’t Joe Biden.
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Theodore Roosevelt Malloch is a scholar, diplomat, and strategist who was active in the Trump campaign in 2016.
Photo “Donald Trump” by Michael Vadon CC2.0