There have been all sorts of predictions made about the fate of this year’s presidential debates, as nobody seems to think Joe Biden will go through with facing Donald Trump on a stage.
For obvious reasons, of course. Biden managed to survive the 2012 vice presidential debate with Paul Ryan, who Eddie Munster’ed his way to, essentially, a draw by failing to recognize he was being trolled by Biden’s laughing hyena act.
Oh, you don’t remember that? Here was a taste…
But you can’t do that kind of stuff to Trump. Cut Trump off and try to talk over him with clown-show rhetoric and endless snickering, and he will let loose on you with a torrent of Queens trash-talk that will stop you in your tracks. Trump will drop a pithy insult on your head that will hurt your feelings sufficiently to make you lose your train of thought, and without even saying anything he’ll successfully troll you with hilarious facial expressions which distract both you and the audience.
You can’t out-clown Trump.
But there’s a bigger problem, which is that while the Joe Biden of 2012 was a simp and a minstrel, the Joe Biden of 2020 is a doddering old man who can’t keep his thoughts straight.
Trump is already goading Biden, demanding that he take a drug test before the first debate because, according to the President, Biden is on some sort of “enhancement” to make him more lucid during TV appearances. You already saw what a disaster it was when Trump started in with cognitive tests and Biden was asked about that.
Biden’s sycophants were positively orgasmic about his ability to struggle through a monotone, semi-slurred 20-minute Democrat Convention address read off a teleprompter. But teleprompter-driven speeches are what you’re supposed to get at a convention. There’s more to running for president than that.
You have to speak extemporaneously. When Biden tries to do that it doesn’t work all that well.
For example, this happened last week in Kenosha…
No, you don’t go to a town which erupted in rioting over a police shooting and where a militia member just shot three people, killing two, who were trying to take his gun and kill him. Nobody wants to hear a politician joke about being shot in a place like that.
So now he doesn’t get to answer reporters’ questions without the teleprompter. And you can see how well that goes…
Joe Biden orders his staff to move up his teleprompter and lets out a very labored sigh while waiting for the prompter to scroll.
Is he ok? Why can’t he answer a question without a teleprompter?
— Abigail Marone (@abigailmarone) September 7, 2020
He has to wait to answer while his staff moves the teleprompter up where he can see it, and then he’s sighing while waiting for something to read off the thing.
Tammy Bruce pinned the tail on this donkey perfectly…
What may be happening here (and on other virtual sessions)– he needs the teleprompter *because an aide is typing in what the response should be.* The virtual equivalent of using an IFB, but being *told* what to say wouldn't really work, so why not read the answer in real time? https://t.co/i8hKPhp005
— Tammy Bruce (@HeyTammyBruce) September 7, 2020
Does that make sense? Biden is now having to read off a teleprompter what his staffers are typing in real time while he’s doing these virtual interviews.
Which tells you just how “friendly” the media interviews really are. They’re very likely giving the campaign the questions in advance so Biden’s staff can have canned answers fed to him through that teleprompter and therefore he’s given a fighting chance not to come off as a moron.
Biden won’t do an interview with Chris Wallace of Fox News. Now he’s going to do a debate with Trump that Wallace moderates?
There’s reason to think they’ll find a way to beg out of that.
Biden without a teleprompter is a gaffe machine. Biden in a debate is Biden without a teleprompter.
Biden’s handlers are soon going to come to a crossroads. Which is worse, Trump dragging Biden all over the debate stage, or Biden ducking the debates and fueling the perception he’s unfit?
There’s the old line about it being better to be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt. That doesn’t quite obtain here, but the spirit of it is in force.
If we had to bet, Team Biden will try to find a way to keep him out of the debates with Trump. Because if they don’t, it’s going to go very badly for him. This isn’t Paul Ryan laying in wait for Slow Joe.